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First Anglo choice


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I use a regular music shop for my instrument purchases, & as I'm thinking of trying an Anglo, would appreciate thoughts about the ones they have in stock within my price range.

 

Stephanelli 30 Key Anglo Concertina

Sutherland Branwen 30 Key Anglo

Stagi Standard 30 Key Anglo

Or would this 20b be of overall better quality

Trinity College 20 Key G/C Anglo-Style Concertina with Gig Bag

 

(Or maybe recommend some other that is available here in the UK, up to about £600 max)

Edited by KeithMcK
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Yeah. Out of those 4 the Branwen looks the most like a decent instrument. The others look kind of cheap and flimsy. Not a brand I've ever heard of, though. A quick search of the forum finds only this:

Still, probably an adequate starter instrument.

 

Mike

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Rather than any of these, here's what I would suggest:

 

If you feel that you need a 30-button concertina now, either a Rochelle from Concertina Connection or a Wren from McNeela is probably a better instrument than any of the ones you mention.  And a McNeela Swan is better than either of those and is almost within your budget at £658.  These are all newly manufactured student/beginner instruments with accordion-type reeds.

 

But if you're willing to go with less than 30 buttons, you may want to consider a restored Lachenal or Jones Anglo from a specialist vintage concertina dealer like Barleycorn.  They have several 20-button ones in your price range at https://concertina.co.uk/stock-selection/anglo-concertinas/ .  You might ask them if they've got one with a few more buttons (22 to 26) within your price range - that would give you a bit more flexibility than a 20-button.. These are all made with traditional concertina reeds.  They're likely to hold their value if you want to upgrade later to a 30-button.

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48 minutes ago, Daniel Hersh said:

(1) ...If you feel that you need a 30-button concertina now, either a Rochelle from Concertina Connection or a Wren from McNeela...

 

(2) ...But if you're willing to go with less than 30 buttons, you may want to consider a restored Lachenal or Jones Anglo from a specialist vintage concertina dealer like Barleycorn.  They have several 20-button ones in your price range at https://concertina.co.uk/stock-selection/anglo-concertinas/. These are all made with traditional concertina reeds.  They're likely to hold their value if you want to upgrade later to a 30-button.

(1) I think I'm correct in saying that the Rochelle is larger (7.25" ax the flats) than a Wren (6.25" ax the flats).

This may be a problem? I've had 'mixed' reports on the Wren from acquaintances.

(2) Yeah. I think a good 20-button instrument is a better bet than a poor 30-button instrument, particularly

in respect of the re-sale value. You can do an awful lot with a 20-button. I have bought from Barleycorn.

It was a pleasure to deal with Mr. Algar (though from memory, he makes very strong coffee!). 

Edited by lachenal74693
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A different opinion.  I started out on a Rochelle.  After fighting it for a month (stiff bellows, stiff reeds, just seemed unwieldy), I swallowed hard and bought a used Edgley.  Later on I bought a vintage Jones with 26 buttons(still have and play the Edgley).  It has all the "accidentals" I have needed to date (2.5 years in), plays nicely and has a great tone.  A 20 button may inhibit progress (or maybe that's all you'll ever need), so you may want to increase the budget a bit and explore something with more buttons.  Just my $.02

Edited by mike_s
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7 hours ago, KeithMcK said:

Many thanks for the replies so far..... 👍

 

Whilst I don't normally like to buy anything I know nothing about used, some of those Barleycorn Lachenal look quite good.....

 

For some musical instruments, "used" isn't quite the right word.  Violinists and cellists pay huge amounts of money for high-end instruments that are hundreds of years old.  Vintage English-made concertinas can often be restored to near-new condition by replacing the pads and valves and sometimes the bellows, along with re-tuning the reeds to modern pitch.  Of the concertinas I own, the ones I play the most are restored vintage instruments: a Lachenal Crane that's about 100 years old (restored by Greg Jowaisas) and a probable Crabb Anglo that's even older (restored by Stephen Chambers).  If I were in your position, I would not consider an unrestored vintage concertina, but I would encourage you to consider a restored one from a reputable dealer like Barleycorn.

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1 hour ago, Daniel Hersh said:

 

For some musical instruments, "used" isn't quite the right word.  Violinists and cellists pay huge amounts of money for high-end instruments that are hundreds of years old.  Vintage English-made concertinas can often be restored to near-new condition by replacing the pads and valves and sometimes the bellows, along with re-tuning the reeds to modern pitch.  Of the concertinas I own, the ones I play the most are restored vintage instruments: a Lachenal Crane that's about 100 years old (restored by Greg Jowaisas) and a probable Crabb Anglo that's even older (restored by Stephen Chambers).  If I were in your position, I would not consider an unrestored vintage concertina, but I would encourage you to consider a restored one from a reputable dealer like Barleycorn.

I agree with this.  I forgot to note that my Jones (made in about 1895) was restored by Greg J.  It plays as easily as the Edgley and way better than a Lachenal I once had.

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1 hour ago, mike_s said:

I agree with this.  I forgot to note that my Jones (made in about 1895) was restored by Greg J.  It plays as easily as the Edgley and way better than a Lachenal I once had.

There's a lot of variation in Lachenal reed quality.  My two Lachenals have very responsive reeds, but I've played others that were not so good.  I think that Barleycorn is referring to this when they say things like "It has a very good set of reeds and plays quickly and brightly" about the concertina at https://concertina.co.uk/stock-selection/anglo-concertinas/lachenal-20-key-anglo-in-c-g/ .

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That Branwen sure looks like a cheap Chinese Anglo I've seen on a Chinese wholesale site. So from your list I'd vote Stagi, or consider Swan/Blackthorn if you can go the extra distance.

 

The extra row on the 30-button can make all the difference in playing in other keys (like D) and for richer harmonic arrangements.


Gary

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I'm also a new comer to Anglo concertina. In my experience:

 

- I'd outgrow a decent 20-key (e.g. from Barleycorn) in about 12 months. But afterward, I'd still use it as a second instrument.

- I outgrew a lousy 30-key (I started with one like this) in about 6 months. "outgrew" is a nice word. During that 6 months, I was frustrated because I couldn't tell whether the instrument or I was at fault!

 

I'm still learning from Coover's "Civil War Concertina," written for 20-key Anglo concertina.

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17 hours ago, KeithMcK said:

Whilst I don't normally like to buy anything I know nothing about used, some of those Barleycorn Lachenal look quite good.....

Don't lose any sleep over this - they will be (quite good, that is)...

 

Reputable dealers always give these vintage instruments a '100,000 mile service' before selling them on. 

These instruments will be in as good a condition (sometimes better) than the day they left the factory up

to ~100 years ago.

 

Whether a 20-button will meet your needs (as opposed to a 30-button) is something only you can decide,

but I started with a vintage 20-button, and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

You may care to consider the option of going for (say) a 26-button instrument, as some have suggested.

You will need to up your budget a bit, and do a little searching, but my 26-button G/D allows me to play all

the notes needed for my Morris gigs (I need the accidentals for the Scott Joplin tunes...😎).

Edited by lachenal74693
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Many thanks all....

 

I'm now thinking it would be folly to buy one of these from my regular music shop, & that I would get a better instrument if I go for a reconditioned & retuned item instead.

 

So now I need to consider whether I would need more than 20b, or not, & what that would cost me.

 

One other thing I need to consider is how loud these might be, as I would only be playing at home for my own enjoyment.

 

I have read on the forum that material baffles could be used, would they have a significant effect on volume, or would it be down to how fast I operated the bellows, (like hard or soft blowing on harmonica reeds).

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I have no experience on baffles. But I don't think they are effective in reducing the volume; rather, they are used on one side of the concertina to balance the sound.

 

A 26-key is good, because the "missing" keys (compared to a 30-key) are rarely used any way.

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18 hours ago, KeithMcK said:

One other thing I need to consider is how loud these might be, as I would only be playing at home for my own enjoyment.

In view of that question, it might be in order to add a further comment:

 

(Re-conditioned) Vintage instruments are likely to have more control over the volume? You will be

able to play quiet or loud as the situation (and the neighbours) demands. Of course there will be some

variability even within the range of vintage instruments - it's quite possible that you will have more

control over the volume with a 26-button Jones than with a 20-button Lachenal? It is also likely that

you will have more control with either of these options than with one of the cheap Chinese instruments?

 

Concertinas can be rather loud. I have a Marcus Traveller (a rather small instrument). It will 'blow yer socks

off' two fields away, but it's also possible to play quietly...

 

Don't be shy - join a Morris side, (or a local session band), once all this virus crap has died down. You

will be made very welcome, and keeping up with a load of dancers jumping around while wearing

funny hats is entertaining, educational, and a great way to improve...😎

Edited by lachenal74693
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Quote

Don't be shy - join a Morris side, (or a local session band), once all this virus crap has died down. You

will be made very welcome, and keeping up with a load of dancers jumping around while wearing

funny hats is entertaining, educational, and a great way to improve...😎

....not to mention all the beer & food....😄

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