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Hello, I’m looking for advice on what to purchase. I have a cheap 20 key anglo concertina, which I play from time to time, but I’ve played string instruments for a long time. For some time now, I’ve wanted a concertina with chromatics and to accompany singing. What are some recommendations for a first English concertina? I looked online at a 30 key baritone English concertina (“Jack”) from Concertina Connection. Would this be appropriate, given my situation? John

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Posted (edited)

I should say, I'm willing to pay more for a box if it's an instrument that could still be used beyond "starter" status, or if it's something that could be worth a bit in a trade-up to something more expensive. Thank you.

 

Edited by John Trygve

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If you want a baritone EC then your choices are limited.

 

I had a Jack a few years back and I do remember liking its sound, but it is only a 30 button instrument so it might not be as flexible as you would like.  The only other readily available baritone ECs that I know of are made by the Button Box.  They make a 37 key Albion and a 45 key Geordie, they are both about $2800.  The Geordie would be more versatile, but it is a bigger, heavier box.

 

You might be able to find a vintage baritone EC, but it is going to be really expensive.

 

If you buy a Jack from the Button Box then I believe that you can trade it in later for an Albion or a Geordie, but check that before buying.

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Posted (edited)

I  am inclined  to  give  the  "  buy a  good  vintage  concertina"  advice.   These  cheap  starter  models , made in China, with  hardly   a sufficient  range of  notes  are  worth  next to  nothing  when  trying to  upgrade,  which is a situation that  can  arise  quickly  after  initial  purchase.  Yes , some  dealers  offer a trade-in  to  upgrade  policy  but  those  basic  ' taster'  models  really  don't offer a  good  concertina experience.   A  vintage  concertina  will  hold  its  value, or  at  least  they  have  been holding  their  value,  going up in value  faster than  inflation  to  my  knowledge  these last  50 years... apart  from  a  local  hiccup  or  two  caused  by  over inflated  values  and  the odd  economic  crisis.

 

You'll  get  48  or  more  buttons  with  a vintage  instrument  ,fully chromatic,  and  you  don't  have  to  have a Baritone  model  for  song  accompaniment,  though it  would  be  nice.

 

So, I  suggest  to  'invest  and  enjoy'... if  you  don't  enjoy  then  re-sell  it, usually  at  no  loss.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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I started on a Jack which I bought used.  Quickly went to a Morse Albion.  The price jump made me gulp but it was a far nicer instrument.  Then I went to Crane duet.  Oh well.

 

+1 on the sentiment that a good box will hold its value.  But baritones won't be cheap.  And as you catch the free-reed flu, it will just cost you more.   Hey, it's only money, right?

 

Kind regards,

 

Rod

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Baritones don't have to be expensive, especially if you're looking for one to sing to - in which case a 19th century brass-reeded one might be perfectly adequate for your needs.

 

It's only when you get into professional-quality ones from the first half of the 20th century that they get expensive, but they're also loud and fast.

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Posted (edited)

If you've started off on a 20 button Anglo and become familiar with how that works, how about sticking with that system and trying a 30 button medium-quality one?

 

That's how I started and I eventually progressed to 40 button instruments, in various keys.

Edited by Richard Mellish
Added another sentence

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Richard, that's a great question. I didn't really consciously ask myself that. However, I think in the back of my head I was thinking about the push-pull of a diatonic versus pushing and pulling based on the phrasing of the tune. Anyway, it's a question for down the road now, as I've just bought a 48 english lachenal. It's due to my home tomorrow. I feel like it's Christmas eve! J

 

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