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Vintage Lachenal Anglo as a beginner?

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Hello everyone!

I've been lurking around the forums for some time as I'm an aspiring concertina player and I just want to say thanks for this brilliant resource!
I'm an aspiring concertina player, this would be my first foray into folk/trad instruments but I have some musical background.

I'm looking at a vintage Lachenal Anglo as my first concertina, it looks to be a mahogany/lightwood model, 30b, steel reeds with a five fold bellows. Its been fully restored and including shipping would cost me around €1100. I know the advice to beginners is often picking up a Wren 2 or similar (handy as McNeela's is Irish and relatively local) but I'd like an instrument that I can grow into, that I can't put down and that will hold some of its value. Nothing against the Wren but I don't think it meets these.

I have a two questions though, firstly as to the quality of these concertinas, I know they are the lower end Lachenals.
Secondly, will a five fold bellows be enough for playing Irish tunes and shanties? I've heard 6 fold is the standard and 5 might leave me gasping for air.

I am open to alternative suggestions! Thanks in advance for any replies!

Edited by andersm
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I strongly second your choice re starting with a Lachenal (for a moderate price apparently) which make the learning process and playing enjoyable in a way that modern starter models won't offer -  and a 5-fold-bellows could very well be sufficient, given that the reeds are fairly responsive. If you're not able to try it, is there a return policy?


best wishes - Wolf

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My son started out on a low end mahogany Lachenal and he did well with it for a while. At the time it was a deliberate choice and I still think it was a good one. He did move on before dropping out of playing as a teenager.



(not the Lachenal in the pic)


He still plays occasionally, when nobody is listening (I was told by his neighbour).

Edited by Peter Laban
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