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Stagi vs Scarlatti


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I'm an experienced musician, but a remedial squeezebox player. I have a lovely Hohner Pokework melodeon with lots of patching and mends and a Scarlatti SC-20 C/G anglo which I got used but in very good condition on ebay a good few years back.

 

The scarlatti was stored up in the loft for a few years while I played my melodeon, I got it down the other day and the material patching between the cardboard bellows has begun to perish, lots of little fissures - the bellows are now far from airtight and getting worse with playing, making the instrument very frustrating to play. This is annoying, as I am purely a sofa player and really don't mind the cheap accordion reed sound, or the slower action. 

 

As far as getting a new budget-end concertina goes, would I be best with a new Scarlatti 30-button (eager to get some accidentals!), or a used Stagi I have found online from a reputable dealer? I would be quite happy with the Scarlatti if I knew the bellows wouldn't perish when stored more carefully, but if they are likely to, will the Stagi make a better choice? The Stagi is 275gbp, pics below.

 

I am absolutely not looking for a genuine concertina or anything resembling a professional instrument - I just want something to bash out a tune with, which has bellows that don't leak air at the speed of light!

 

image.thumb.jpeg.2de46af6c284f2ac3a1d34835fe6d83a.jpeg171721029_Stagi1.thumb.jpeg.962e5a91369699f1dd1a327019644a01.jpeg

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If it were me, I would choose the latter without any of hesitation. I’ve played Scarlatti (in China branded “Blazefine”) for a while, it gave me a terrible experience because any part of it was fragile and smelled like bad plywood. Im playing a Bastari (now Stagi) 40 button instrument, it’s surely not a fancy box but still way better than a Scarlatti. I'm not sure if Bastari from different eras will come close in quality, but I don't believe any of them will be inferior to the Scarlatti.

 

Edit: £275 is quite a good price if the instrument is working as supposed.

Edited by LazyNetter
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6 hours ago, LazyNetter said:

If it were me, I would choose the latter without any of hesitation. I’ve played Scarlatti (in China branded “Blazefine”) for a while, it gave me a terrible experience because any part of it was fragile and smelled like bad plywood. Im playing a Bastari (now Stagi) 40 button instrument, it’s surely not a fancy box but still way better than a Scarlatti. I'm not sure if Bastari from different eras will come close in quality, but I don't believe any of them will be inferior to the Scarlatti.

 

Edit: £275 is quite a good price if the instrument is working as supposed.

Thanks so much for your input! You have reinforced what I was expecting. The dealer is reputable, but only usually sells and services genuine instruments - so this is essentially a surplus instrument thats come in for them, works properly and they want to sell off!

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As someone who still ( after 23 years).. plays the same concertina, which incidentally was sold under Hohner brand name at the time, I know since that it is also Stagi production instrument.  Italian made reeds ( steel) which I prefer, and the mahogany veneer frame, as in your photo.  That one in picture looks very nice to me. It has also metal looking buttons, which is an improvement. My own has issues over the years with constant use, but nothing that I cannot cope with( who doesn't need a little restoration now and again? Man or instrument?)..

My instrument is very similar, and has very powerful tone of sound, which projects well.. and I use it a lot; it is my only one currently in fact.

If you dare have a listen to my own attempts playing similar model, ( with simpler designed nickel face plate and different buttons).. and maybe that will give you some idea of how they sound! I have limited performance room in my videos, so not much acoustic echo, but have a listen, as my squeeze box is virtually same! Best of luck with your choice! I would have probably considered buying that one myself ( but wallet empty!!)..

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7 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

As someone who still ( after 23 years).. plays the same concertina, which incidentally was sold under Hohner brand name at the time, I know since that it is also Stagi production instrument.  Italian made reeds ( steel) which I prefer, and the mahogany veneer frame, as in your photo.  That one in picture looks very nice to me. It has also metal looking buttons, which is an improvement. My own has issues over the years with constant use, but nothing that I cannot cope with( who doesn't need a little restoration now and again? Man or instrument?)..

My instrument is very similar, and has very powerful tone of sound, which projects well.. and I use it a lot; it is my only one currently in fact.

If you dare have a listen to my own attempts playing similar model, ( with simpler designed nickel face plate and different buttons).. and maybe that will give you some idea of how they sound! I have limited performance room in my videos, so not much acoustic echo, but have a listen, as my squeeze box is virtually same! Best of luck with your choice! I would have probably considered buying that one myself ( but wallet empty!!)..

Just had a listen on YouTube! Lovely work :)

 

I have pulled the trigger on the Stagi, now really looking forward to getting it! I need to get my hands on a few more Gary Coover books to learn now!

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Thanks for your kind comment; (about my growing tune things online)..I have put rather a lot of stuff online currently! 

If I had a bit spare cash, then I might have had that concertina ( you showed on here) for myself, or similar! Best of luck with your deemed purchase.

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2 hours ago, jonrh98 said:

I have pulled the trigger on the Stagi,

.. which is what I'd have advised, if I'd seen our thread sooner!

The photos look very like my Stagi model, which I played for 20 years with my folk group, and which is still going strong 10 years thereafter. I must admit that, somwhere along the road, I had the bellows replaced by the Wakker company, but the reeds were worth it. They're still in tune after 30 years' playing, and sound twice as nice after the bellows transplant.

A really value-for-money investment. A good hybrid with a sound close to the traditional concertina. Have fun!

Cheers,

John

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:56 PM, Anglo-Irishman said:

.. which is what I'd have advised, if I'd seen our thread sooner!

The photos look very like my Stagi model, which I played for 20 years with my folk group, and which is still going strong 10 years thereafter. I must admit that, somwhere along the road, I had the bellows replaced by the Wakker company, but the reeds were worth it. They're still in tune after 30 years' playing, and sound twice as nice after the bellows transplant.

A really value-for-money investment. A good hybrid with a sound close to the traditional concertina. Have fun!

Cheers,

John

That's very reassuring, thank you! Out of interest, what was the cost of a new set of bellows if you don't mind me asking? 

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Oh dear! It was a long time ago, and I've no head for figures. Suffice to say that the new bellows cost almost as much as the whole concertina had cost some 10 years earlier.

Wim Wakker was still located in The Netherlands at that time, so there were no customs duties involved. I don't know whether Wakker makes custom bellows any more, now that he has his manufacturing lines for Rochelle, Elise and Jackie in the USA. The bellows I got was perfect for an Anglo - stout leather, but with supple hinges. There's no time-lag between pressing at full pressure and drawing at full pressure; i.e there's no "slop" in the bellows. This really does, in my opinion, make 50% of the quality of an Anglo.

 

As I said, the bellows was expensive - but it left me with a concertina that compared favourably with a new hybrid that would definitely have cost more.

 

Cheers,

John

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