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Comparison: Standard Rochelle and Rochelle-2


gtotani
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Folks, 

 

Hello from Japan.

 

I have acquired Rochelle-2 this July, and today I had a chance to put my hands on a standard Rochelle of some years old that belongs to a friend of mine.

They are different exactly as described in the website of Concertina Connection. 

 

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rochelle-2 anglo.htm

 

In termes of 7-fold bellows, they looked quite similar and I felt they are of same quality. 

The aged bellows of original Rochelle were less stiff.

To my surprise, when extended, the lengh of the standard Rochelle's bellows was longer. 

You might get disappointed if you expect smoother bellows on Rochelle-2.

 

In terms of reed sound, I thought original Rochelle has a little bit brighter sound than Rochelle-2. 

If you prefer mellower sound, R2 could be your choice, but I do not think this would be a definite reason to choose R2. 

Both original Rochelle and Rochelle-2 that I played do not have "loud" voice, something like "muffed" sound where you cannot put all the power of air into the airflow of reed. 

Reeds of original Rochelle are mounted on accordion style bank with beeswax, where those of Rochelle-2 are mounted horizontally with screws.

 

As for buttons, as it is explained in the official page, keyboard layout, rake, button size of both models are identical.

Standard Rochelle has off-white plasticky buttons where Rochelle-2 has matte black-buttons. Neither of them are bush-felted, but do not make umpleasant noise. 

As same as other higer-grade model of Concertina Connection, buttons are skinny. 

 

As a consequence, the playability of standard Rochelle and Rochelle-2 do not seem to differ much. 

But, I believe that my Rochelle-2 is of the first batch and there could be some improvement in the following production. Who knows? (perhaps Wim does :) )

 

What makes Rochelle-2 better than original Rochelle are, from my point of view, 

 

1. It is NOT bulky and close to standard sized concertina (still a little bit bigger than Minstrel)

2. Finish is matte black and not shiny celuloiid piano finish

3. Reeds are fixed horizontally on the reedpan with screws which would make it easier for the owner to get access to the reeds (for maintenance and fine tuning)

4. You pay less if you decide to upgrade to higher-classed Concertina Connection/Wakker concertina. 

 

I am very happy with my Rochelle-2 as my “camp” instrument or let my nephew give a try and I do not hesitate to recommend both models to any starters. 

 

As a conclusion, if someone asks me for an advice for his/her concertina, my first suggestion would be standard Rochelle. 

If he/she does not like the look of bulky&glossy instrument and ready to pay extra USD210, then Rochelle-2 would be a good choice. 

If he/she has desire to open the box and explore inside it, Rochelle-2 would be better. (I am sure Wim would not like the idea, though.)

 

If any of you have original Rochelle or Rochelle-2 and have different perspectives, please share. 

 

 

Totani

 

p.s. FYI, my main instrument is Concertina Connection Minstrel with Wakker Bellows upgrade, and I am getting used to the Herrington "Hercules" that came from Steve Shulteis through this forum. Such a lovely instrument!

C32C9013-5AEE-4B0C-9B88-2394AF47AE17.jpeg

Edited by gtotani
uploaded comparison photos
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Thank you for these comparisons and your earlier photos of the Rochelle-2 posted here and on Twitter.  The bellows length difference with original Rochelle is interesting.  Have you noticed much change in the bellows flexibility during your ownership as you have played it in?

 

I received a Rochelle-2 a month or so ago and have been enjoying learning on it as a complete beginner to this instrument.  I can’t offer any comparisons with other instruments, but can say that I’ve been pleased with Concertina Connection’s service and support since I’ve purchased it.

 

Edited by Druckexemplar
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2021 at 2:20 AM, Druckexemplar said:

Thank you for these comparisons and your earlier photos of the Rochelle-2 posted here and on Twitter.  The bellows length difference with original Rochelle is interesting.  Have you noticed much change in the bellows flexibility during your ownership as you have played it in?

 

I received a Rochelle-2 a month or so ago and have been enjoying learning on it as a complete beginner to this instrument.  I can’t offer any comparisons with other instruments, but can say that I’ve been pleased with Concertina Connection’s service and support since I’ve purchased it.

 

Hello, sorry for belated reply. 
 

I am glad to know to find another owner of Rochelle-2 who is happy with it.

 

So far I have not noticed any change in bellows flexibility. The bellows of standard Rochelle of some years old seemed to be a bit more flexible. I guess it takes years to change.

 

Happy concertina playing! :)

 

 

Totani

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  • 6 months later...
On 10/16/2021 at 9:36 PM, gtotani said:

Bellows stretched38CE9EA1-F756-4FB9-935C-64C032580B7C.jpeg

I am so glad for the size comparison. I have the R2, and am glad of the smaller size and non-plasticy appearance. The price difference is only 74 pounds in the UK. I find the buttons stiff enough to dent and bruise the fingers in playing, small and stiff. The bellows are stiff and springy too. Did you have to take the photo quickly? Mine would never stay extended like that for long, if I leave it, it springs back to about an inch of extension, so on the draw notes, I am having to fight the springiness. All that being said, it is the only one I have and I like the tone and am enjoying playing it, but will be upgrading as soon as I can afford to. I too would like a Minstrel comparison and maybe a Clover too. Will the Minstrel be a good enough upgrade, or should I head for the Clover?

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On 5/12/2022 at 9:08 AM, Martin Essery said:

I am so glad for the size comparison. I have the R2, and am glad of the smaller size and non-plasticy appearance. The price difference is only 74 pounds in the UK. I find the buttons stiff enough to dent and bruise the fingers in playing, small and stiff. The bellows are stiff and springy too. Did you have to take the photo quickly? Mine would never stay extended like that for long, if I leave it, it springs back to about an inch of extension, so on the draw notes, I am having to fight the springiness. All that being said, it is the only one I have and I like the tone and am enjoying playing it, but will be upgrading as soon as I can afford to. I too would like a Minstrel comparison and maybe a Clover too. Will the Minstrel be a good enough upgrade, or should I head for the Clover?

Yes, the bellows of R2 spring back rather quickly. Wakker bellows of my Minstrel, too do spring back to a certain extent, but not as quickly as those of R2 and I do not have to struggle against it when playing my Minstrel+Wakker bellows. 

 

Since you and I share the same point of view that bellows are important, I would suggest you go for Clover without doubt. Clover comes with Wakker bellows by default, have metal cap button, and you can choose wood type. If it is hard to stretch your buget to Clover, you could choose Minstrel but I would highly recommend bellows upgrade option. If I am not mistaken, Wim Wakker does not offer upgrade program from Minstrel to Clover. 

 

Having said that, I have owned my Minstrel+wakker bellows over four years traveling to many countries without problems. I am quite happy about my instrument and I am pretty sure that it will keep me entertained decades to come. 

 

Totani

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4 hours ago, gtotani said:

Yes, the bellows of R2 spring back rather quickly. Wakker bellows of my Minstrel, too do spring back to a certain extent, but not as quickly as those of R2 and I do not have to struggle against it when playing my Minstrel+Wakker bellows. 

 

Since you and I share the same point of view that bellows are important, I would suggest you go for Clover without doubt. Clover comes with Wakker bellows by default, have metal cap button, and you can choose wood type. If it is hard to stretch your buget to Clover, you could choose Minstrel but I would highly recommend bellows upgrade option. If I am not mistaken, Wim Wakker does not offer upgrade program from Minstrel to Clover. 

 

Having said that, I have owned my Minstrel+wakker bellows over four years traveling to many countries without problems. I am quite happy about my instrument and I am pretty sure that it will keep me entertained decades to come. 

 

Totani

Thank you. I am on a limited budget, so will have to stick with the Rochelle 2 for the time being while I save for the next step. Still wondering whether to go for the Minstrel then the Clover, or to hang on for the Clover, even though that could be a year. I have lived long enough not to be in a hurry and will enjoy what I have till I can afford the upgrade.

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