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Looking for a brand of English Concertina, maybe Jackie?


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Hi! I'm looking into getting an English Concertina within the next few months. I don't need a fancy one, I just want to have some fun and maybe I'll upgrade someday.
 
I'm looking into the Jackie. 30 note treble. What does everybody think of this one? Does it work well? What are the chances of it breaking? Are there enough notes for most songs?
 
I would, if possible, like a concertina with more notes and I certainly wouldn't mind one with 48 keys but I don't want to spend $2000. I would really like for it to be less than $1000. And I'm in America.
 
I am young and my hands are smaller than adult hands, so I don't want a huge instrument. I play piano (along with a variety of other instruments) so I'm used to stretching for some notes.
 
What do you recommend?
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The Button Box in Mass (buttonbox.com) has two used Jackie's, and the maker, Concertina Connection (concertinaconnection.com) lists the Jackie, and its lower-range brother, the Jack.

 

I don't know of any other sub-thousand-dollar English concertinas in the US. You could watch ebay, there was a Rock Chidley 48 button English listed last week for the price of a Jackie. I know because I missed it!

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Greg Jowaisas (a very good concertina repairer who lives in the US) might have a 48 button vintage English that meets your criteria.  He's a member here at c.net, so you can try to contact him via private message here.  If that doesn't work I may be able to find his current email address for you.

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4 hours ago, pioneerbird said:
...I am young and my hands are smaller than adult hands, so I don't want a huge instrument. I play piano (along
with a variety of other instruments) so I'm used to stretching for some notes....

About 2 (maybe 3?) years ago, I had a Jackie on loan for 6 weeks or so. I seem to remember it was larger than

'standard' - I think it was 7 1/4" ax the flats - which may, or may not, be relevant in view of the comment above...

 

You seem to have time to spare? Maybe it's worth while spending that few months looking for a good 2nd-hand

instrument?

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2 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

About 2 (maybe 3?) years ago, I had a Jackie on loan for 6 weeks or so. I seem to remember it was larger than

'standard' - I think it was 7 1/4" ax the flats - which may, or may not, be relevant in view of the comment above...

 

Bigger box doesn’t necessarily mean bigger hands needed. The button spacing and their relationship to the thumb loops and pinkie rests should be the same, just more space around the periphery. It would likely be a bit heavier, if that’s a concern. You’d have to try one and see if you’re comfortable with it.

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The button spacing on a Jackie is very similar to that on a Wheatstone. Of the modern cheap(er) boxes the Jackie is head & shoulders above the various Chinese monstrosities you'll find on Ebay, so unless you're really lucky and find someone selling a decent Lachenal at well under market value you're probably best starting on a Jackie.

 

That will get you started and help you decide whether EC is for you, and once you make the decision and start to hanker after something swisher, that's when you can start looking for a more expensive decent vintage or modern box. You can get a long way on the 30 keys of a Jackie before you start noticing the missing notes and start needing a 48 or 56 key.

 

Just don't make the mistake I made - I played a Jackie for about 6 months and was very happy with it. Right up until someone, very well meaning, put a lovely 48 key Wheatstone in my hands and said 'try that' ... and sadly the Jackie just never felt the same after that :)

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