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Prisca

Different advanced Anglo brands: it's so confusing! Need specific comparison and opinions -

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Hi, everybody!

1) I'd like to buy a good ANGLO concertina (my range is around 4000 € max and I'm in Europe - Italy), but I'm very confused about advantages, drawbacks and all the countless factors.
Well, I'm not expert but I know the charateristics I want, which I'll try to explain: nasal sound, concertina steel reeds (of course), Jeffries system (or similar, just to have an important note such as C# on the pull and on the push), possibly 7 fold bellows (--> it has to be very responsive), it has to work for the rest of my life (as I'm not rich at all; I mean: if I but a Shakespeare, will it last as a new Suttner?). I'm not interested in the historical value and also I don't need the very very very best with differences from the standard timbre that only the most trained ears can hear. Did I explain myself?

2) Do you know if there are some underrated AC makers around - whose instruments are high quality and cost less than the most popular ones?

 

3) What do you think about these concertinas, compared to the others? Why is the price so "low"? Is it about the sound, the volume, the "less softer" bellows... or what?

I know it's a lot to ask.
I still hope your expertise can help me!

Thanks a million

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Posted (edited)

Hi, everybody!

I'd like to buy a good ANGLO concertina (my range is around 4000 € max; I'm in Europe - Italy; I play mostly ITM, however I want the possibility to play more genres).

 

1) Now, I'm very confused about advantages, drawbacks and all the countless factors.

Well, I'm not expert but I know the charateristics I want, which I'll try to explain: nasal sound, concertina steel reeds (of course), Jeffries system (or similar, just to have an important note such as C# on the pull and on the push), possibly 7 fold bellows (--> it has to be very responsive), it has to work for the rest of my life (as I'm not rich at all; I mean: if I but a Shakespeare, will it last as a new Suttner?). I'm not interested in the historical value and also I don't need the very very very best with differences from the standard timbre that only the most trained ears can hear.
Did I explain myself?

 

2) Do you know if there are some underrated minor AC makers around - whose instruments are high quality and cost less than the most popular ones?

 

3) What do you think about these concertinas, compared to the others? Why is the price so "low"? Is it about the sound, the volume, the "less softer" bellows... or what?
http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/concertinas.html

 

4) So... what would you recommend: dig deeper in the nerdy world of concertinas systems and stuff while I wait for the right occasion on 2nd hand sites or order a new instrument?


I know it's a lot to ask.

I still hope your expertise can help me and many others!

 

Thanks a million

Edited by Prisca

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My opinion is that in this price range it is important to get your hands on any model you are considering. I would never buy or order a top-rank instrument without trying it (or a comparable example) first. It isn't just timbre or feel that varies (most makers will do any note layout you want). Other details vary (button height, button throw, rake of button rows, how the handles fit your hands) that matter to some players and not to others. Even if if they are all great instruments (and generally they are), things like this mean one may suit you better personally than another. And only a few folks here have played all the leading brands and can give you a comparison (folks who know just the model they own and recommend it, while reassuring, is not quite answering your question). Underrated makes? Generally, once a make is proven as being good it will be priced as such - the market works pretty well, though sometimes you can save some money if you are willing to wait several years.

 

I know that is not a satisfying answer, but this being C.net others will chime in soon with different answers! For me it was a long hunt to find my everyday player(s), and that may be a common experience.

 

Ken

 

PS: I merged the duplicate threads here; I was responding to your first post

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2 hours ago, Prisca said:

3) What do you think about these concertinas, compared to the others? Why is the price so "low"? Is it about the sound, the volume, the "less softer" bellows... or what?
http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/concertinas.html

 

They use accordion reeds, which are much cheaper than concertina reeds.  From your description I think they would not have the sound you want.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2020 at 5:11 PM, Prisca said:

4) So... what would you recommend: dig deeper in the nerdy world of concertinas systems and stuff while I wait

for the right occasion on 2nd hand sites or order a C/G 38 button Suttner, wait one year on the list and **** **?

 

That's the very first time I have seen foul language on concertina.net in what - 5 years? I hope it's the last!

 

Later edit: I have been informed that the OP has been 'persuaded' to edit her foul language out of the post

about which I complained. I have been asked to edit my complaint accordingly.

 

I have now complied with this request, and edited my original complaint. 

 

It's a pity that I felt it necessary to complain in the first place. I would have preferred not to be put in a position

where I felt it was necessary. This forum is a very civilised one, and complaints are only needed on the very rare

occasions when folks with no respect for other peoples sensitivities, or other cultural mores post offensive attitudes

or language. I can remember only one other such occasion in the 5-6 years I have been looking at this forum. I will

always complain about such posts,

Edited by lachenal74693
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Really? I thought it was a concertina forum, a useful tool for players, not a moralism temple.
Anyway, I didn't mean to offend anyone: sorry about that. In my language, say stuff like that is not a big deal, I just translated literally.

Thank you for the answers. They're precious to me because where I live there aren't concertina players and experts to ask, nor instruments to try out.

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1 hour ago, Prisca said:

 I just translated literally.
 

I've  sent you a PM.

John

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Prisca said:

2) Do you know if there are some underrated minor AC makers around - whose instruments are high quality and cost less than the most popular ones?

 

 

Hi Prisca,

 

I don't think in a niche market like concertinas, builders of high quality instruments would remain unnoticed for extended periods of time, in particular if they sell below market value.

 

4000 EUR should get you pretty far on your way, you may even want to consider having a new instrument built for you. You can try Alex Holden, he's very good in figuring out what you want and will custom build pretty much anything you ask for. His waiting list is filling up though, so patience is the key. A trip from anywhere Italy to Burnley is both affordable and worthwhile (barring, of course, unpredictable Brexit developments).

 

Edited by RAc

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I would echo a comment above.  It would be worth looking at Kensington Concertinas (Dana Johnson).  He builds a very high quality instrument with excellent traditional concertina reeds.  His standard layout is similar to a Jeffries, with C# available on the pull and push.  Very responsive and fast, and with a good concertina bark, although maybe more like a vintage Wheatstone than a Jeffries.  I played one for years and often regret selling it.  It could certainly be a life-long concertina.  He charges $3500 US, so even with shipping and taxes it would be within your budget.  Last time I checked his waiting list wasn't too long. They occasionally come up for sale used for considerably less.  I wouldn't say Dana is under-rated- people who play his instruments really like them, but there aren't too many in circulation, so he's maybe not as well known as some of the higher volume builders.  He doesn't offer many options for customization, so that keeps his price down.  Also he's made a conscious decision to charge less than the market will bear in order to make the instrument more accessible.

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I don't usually get involved but can I put in a plea for thinking the best or cutting a bit of slack.

I don't know if the OP is a native speaker but in any case 'acceptable' is a very wide term.

Perhaps a quiet PM of explanation would be more helpful.

I have made embarassing misuses in a language that was not my 'home' tongue - native speakers have always gently given advice not outrage.

Example: Who could guess that adding the letters 'ard' to a French noun can make it much more 'offensive.'

And should an American be challenged over his use of the word 'fa**y' -asterisks 'cos I'm careful.

In a word let's be kind(er)

 

 

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Prisca

 

I've not tried a Kensington, Wolverton or other new make which might fit your budget for a "real concertina reed" instrument. I've a friend with a Seven Mount instrument which would fit your budget and from memory, it's worth considering (mind you, his is a GD so didn't have the nasal sound you say you're looking for) - but the maker's website (http://sevenmount.de/) indicates that he's not taking new orders at the moment.  I've played a couple of Suttners, one of which was fabulous (30 key, small format - Kate MacNamara's so well played in), the other I wasn't as impressed with (39 key, nearly brand new - just not a very "special" sound). 

 

Have you considered a vintage instrument?  For €4,000, you could get a Jeffries or Wheatstone from an auction but you'd be likely to have a considerable restoration effort (or bill!) so I'd suggest they're out of your search.  However, you could  consider a vintage Crabb, Ball Beavon, Shakespeare or George Jones, all of which I've tried.  The Crabb and Ball Beavon would sound pretty similar to a Jeffries (depending on the particular vintage and instrument) but wouldn't have the cachet and the special reed sound from a top Jeffries (but then you maybe don't need or want that? - you'd be unlikely to get the Jeffries sound from a new instrument).  The Shakespeare perhaps doesn't quite have the dynamic power of the Jeffries/Crabb/Ball Beavon but it's a nice sound and the speed should all be there (rivetted action, well voiced reeds) and you'd likely have change from your budget. The George Jones might be just as good as a Jeffries, again depending on the instrument.  I've one on my bench at the moment which I think is a George Jones and which could be up there with the best.

 

I think it's unlikely that you'd get the sound you're looking for from a Lachenal unless it was their Special anglo - which I believe exist but I've not seen one.  If the action and reed quality is anything like the New Model Duet, then it would be worth considering.

 

There's no reason that a carefully maintained/refurbished/restored vintage instrument should be any less durable than a new instrument. My main squeeze is from the 1890s, is used very regularly, is still on its original bellows and given that I'm in reasnoable health is likely to see me out without needing major repair./. Of course, if you're as rough on the bellows as (say) Niall Vallelly or Mohsen Amini seem to be, then it doesn't matter what age your concertina, you're going to need new bellows every so often and maybe your action might need running repairs as well.

 

With any vintage instrument - and probably the new makes as well - the individual characteristics of each concertina vary so that might make it difficult to match the instrument to you (the concertina picks you, not the other way round!) so there might not be a substitute for trying as many options as you can but I wouldn't necessarily rush straight for Mr Suttner's telephone number!

 

I hope that helps

 

Alex West

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Contrary advice:

Do not buy a 4K Euro first instrument.  With respect, you do not know what you want, yet.

Buy a new or used 1K Euro box in good shape from a reputable source and play for a year.  Bought 2nd hand, won't depreciate much.

Then you will know what size, type, weight, materials, etc. you might want to wait a couple of years and 4-5K Euro for.

IMO. :wacko:

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Posted (edited)

If you are still looking for your dream machine I have a 31 key C/G fully restored John Crabb with rosewood ends , new best 7 fold bellows, the right accidentals for ITM . It is in concert pitchand plays very well, if you want photos please mail me at mikeacottconcertinas@hotmail.co.uk

Regards.

Mike

PS the asking pricee is £3750

Edited by Mike Acott
added info

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