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Used Rochelle for the camper?


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How many have a second-tier concertina that they take along to places where their "good" concertina (whatever that may be) would be a worry?  We travel quite a bit with a small (20 ft)

travel trailer, and I've usually taken along a banjo, mandolin, or once upon a time, mountain dulcimer, most often one that I wouldn't worry too much about if it something minor happened to it.  Now that I've taken up concertina, I'm wondering whether to pack my Clover along, or pick up a used Rochelle.  The nice thing about the concertina is that it's easy to play in a small space with sufficient care not to bang it on something, and they pack nicely into a protective case.  I'm not too concerned about excess heat; if it's too hot for a musical instrument, we probably won't be there anyway.  I know a lot of folks have their "session" instrument, and one that seldom leaves the house.  Is this common in concertinas as well?  

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I don't have one at the moment (all out on loan), but I often take a Rochelle or cheap German concertina with me on canoe trips.  We had a lake to ourselves one evening, and I got the loons answering back to my playing.

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I always take a concertina on the boat with me. I made the mistake of taking a "cheap" one once and it was so awful to play compared to my domestic instruments that I rarely touched it and didn't enjoy it when I did.  Nowadays, I have a dedicated "boat" instrument which is not so precious but plays well. By the way, I've never seen a problem with salt air affecting the reeds in any way

 

The instruments I play in sessions are also my domestic players.  If an instrument is so good, why not play it with friends?  Sure, look after it, but they deserve to be played

 

Alex West

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@Parker135, as I see it, the Clover is a modern instrument that's still commercially available. Thus I wouldn't regard it as "irreplaceable," however good it may be. Should anything untoward happen to it, surely that would be a case for your insurance. The worst that could happen to you would be that you'd be concertinaless until the replacement was delivered. A top-class antique Wheatstone in perfect condition is a different kettle of fish. If it got lost or destroyed, you might never find anything as good again, no matter how much money the insurance paid out.

 

Having said that, I must agree with Alex West: when I'm playing with or for others, I want to sound my best, so I'll take the instrument with the best tone and the easiest playability. At home, my main goal is to get my fingers round the pieces I'm working up, so I can practise on an instrument that may not sound as impressive, as long as it's playable. (My experience is with 5-string banjos, which can be set up so that even a cheap one with inferior tone has a comfortable action.) My two Anglos, a Crabb and a Stagi with Wakker bellows, both play easily; the only difference is between the traditional and accordion reeds. On boat trips I admittedly take my Stagi, but this didn't prevent me from supplying the incidental music to a promotion video that was being made about a little steamer that I took a cruise on!

Cheers,

John

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All very helpful replies.  Good point about the Clover not being irreplaceable, but it will be the most expensive instrument I own so it's giving me a little pause.  I guess if I had a Rochelle already, I'd probably take it on our trips, but I'm coming to the conclusion that the Clover will be probably fine and it's not worth the expense of buying a lesser quality instrument.  Were I canoeing, I'd be looking for a Rochelle.  I've done a fair bit of paddling, and I know how quickly one can transition from canoeist to swimmer.  

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