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Wheatstone 56 button or Lachenal Paragon


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Hello everyone,

 

 

 

Long time reader, fist time poster.

 

 

 

I'm looking to buy my second concertina, I've narrowed it down to two instruments - a 56 button (non-aeola) extended treble wheatstone or a lachenal paragon.

 

 

 

Both have steel reeds, both come from reputable dealers and are fully serviced.  

 

 

 

The price difference is about 100 gbp

 

 

 

The biggest difference is that the wheatstone only has 4 bellows, and the paragon has 5.  

 

 

 

I like to play mainly English folk music and American folk music. Sometimes I like to play the blues, and sometimes some classical (I played the violin for 15 years so it comes with the territory).

 

 

 

I'm wondering which of these two instruments I should get - I'm leaning toward the wheatstone for no other reason than it is a wheatatone - i.e. name recognition. 

 

 

 

I know thus is ultimately a personal decision, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on which way to go - any thoughts are appreciated since I'm pretty stuck trying to decide.  

 

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

8bitmime

 

 

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One standard question is, are you able to try one or both of them before you purchase? If so, the choice may be obvious (as it is a personal one).

 

Welcome aboard.

 

Ken

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Good afternoon Ken,

 

I knew I was forgetting to include some vital information.  

 

No - I unfortunately cannot try either of them since they are in the UK and I'm located in the US.   

 

I was unable to find any dealers near me (northeast US) that had something that interested me and was in my price range.  

 

That is the primary reason I started looking across the Atlantic.  

 

Best

 

8bitmime

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> if you plan on playing harmonies the 4 fold would not give you as much air

 

This is my biggest concern,  but the more I think about it the more I lean towards the stance of "I can probably learn to work around anything"

 

Plus when I think about what I play there are chords but not so much "harmonies" (in the sense of two parts going at the same time)

 

Best 

 

8bitmime

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Four fold bellows on a Wheatstone suggest that it is either a very early instrument, or or lower quality model.  

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Can you get the serial numbers on both instruments? I tend to agree that the 4 fold instrument indicates either an earlier model, or lower grade model; before domed keys were introduced etc, and the 56 keys extended upwards add weight for little benefit, other to annoy sound engineers, or dogs. The Lachenal is a well known 'label' and the paragon is a well developed model with all the 'mod cons' of it's day. Just make sure about the Cites documentation, the rosewood is likely to be a controlled material. 

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15 hours ago, Clive Thorne said:

I thought I read somewhere (but I can't remeber where) that musical intruments (vintage ones anyway) might now be except from CITES.

 

Can anyone confirn or otherwise?

 

In theory rosewoods other than Brazilian (dalbergia nigra) are now OK in finished musical instruments. I haven't personally tested this, and I'm not sure what happens if a border official decides your endplates are made of Brazilian rosewood (can you prove they aren't?).

https://www.musicinstrumentnews.co.uk/2019/08/28/cites-adopts-exemption-for-musical-instruments-from-rosewood-restrictions/

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'Better safe than sorry' comes to mind. At least get a letter, copy packed with the instrument, dating it.  I seem to remeber that items made before a certain date don't count.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Without being able to try both…

 

my feelings are. Wheatstone is probably a bit better (for action). But to me, extended treble adds size and weight and not a lot of practical use.

 

paragon, the one I tried, was a great instrument. Action was good, but not as good as most of the wheatstones I have played. Sound was rounded/ softer/ more reedy. And quieter than a wood Wheatstone.

 

my vote would probably be the paragon. But, it is a tough call.

 

 

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