Jump to content

Gear4music.com concertina


Recommended Posts

Has anyone had any experience with this company's concertina?  It is an Anglo 30 button unit that they offer for about $240 shipped to my location. They tell me it is made by them. It is a company located in the U.K.  I am trying to get started learning the concertina and have limited funds. Thanks for any information or advice. I live in the U.S. and there are not many concertina dealers or sales shops in the U.S. that I know of and am looking for a beginner model and heard a guy on youtube playing one of these that sounded pretty good.

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Franko48 said:

Has anyone had any experience with this company's concertina? 

I think it's likely that this concertina is actually made in China?

 

I think if you are going to buy a concertina like this, you will find suppliers within North America - far easier than dealing across the Atlantic?

 

This is an extract from the 'FAQ and buying your first concertina' post on the Reddit concertina forum:

 

Inexpensive Chinese concertinas: NOT RECOMMENDED IN MOST CASES, IF YOU BUY, BUY WITH AN IRONCLAD RETURN POLICY IN CASE YOU GET A LEMON the basic $150-350 (new) concertinas you see on eBay or Amazon are almost invariably Chinese-made. There are some that are badged by various names, including somewhat famous ones like Hohner, and other Italian or Irish names bought from defunct manufacturers. The better brands are okay-ish for a total beginner, but you'll quickly outgrow it, and it's maybe better to save for a used Italian or Concertina Connection. You can occasionally find used ones cheap on eBay or Craiglist. With any of these cheapies, if bought new, make sure it's somewhere with a good return policy, so you can return it if it's a lemon. These are mostly Anglo, occasionally a Scarlatti (now made in China) 30b or 48b English, not usually Duets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the reply. They just told me these were made by them so I guess I should have asked even if they were in the U.K. if they were made by them in China? I agree with you about some of the Chinese units having issues and  had seen some critiques on the Scarlatti that are made in China. Was the Scarlatti made in Italy at one time?  I checked on craigslist all around the U.S. and not much out there. On Ebay it looks like Chinese units but the price they are asking for them i would rather buy one of the McNeela units which I think are very well made instruments at a pretty good price especially when you get them on sale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Concertina Connection offers second hand Rochelle-2 for USD480, or you can choose brand new original Rochelle for USD459. I believe this price is more accessible than entry class McNeela brand cocertina.

 

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/pre owned.htm

 

Both of them are good starter instruments for their price. Although they are made in China, you could trust QC of Wim Wakker, I think. 

 

If you become good enough to upgrade to a better insturment, you could buy Minstrel or Clover and you can trade in Rochelle or Rochelle-2 for the price you have purchased. McNeela also offers trade-in, but evaluated at far lower price than its original purchase price.

 

Totani

(My main concertina is Minstrel with Wakker bellows upgrade, and I have Rochelle-2 as well.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Franko48 said:

...They just told me these were made by them so I guess I should have asked even if they were in the U.K. if they were made by them in China? ...

I sometimes see what I think of as 'interesting' claims made by companies operating in this

sector of the market. Claims verging on 'sharp practice' IMO.

 

One of these companies claim that "anything with a bird's name is made in China" which is clearly

aimed at disparaging one of their competitors (some of whose models are named after birds), but

which totally ignores the fact that they themselves market a concertina named after a bird...

 

I regard this as vastly entertaining, but then, I'm never going to buy their kit.

Edited by lachenal74693
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gear4Music are a UK music retailer but they have websites for a number of countries, including the USA. They sell a wide range of kit, not just musical instruments, under their 'own brand' (I have their in-ear wireless monitor) but I suspect they don't manufacture any of them themselves.  Instead they will have arrangements with manufacturers.  This is nothing new, it is common to see vintage concertinas branded by the retailer rather than the maker.

 

I very much doubt they have anyone who knows anything about concertinas. It is just part of their range of stock.  I can't comment on their concertina, but the low price rings warning bells with me - with concertinas I'm afraid you get what you pay for.  I have no concerns about Gear4Music and buy from them regularly, but for something of this nature I would prefer to buy from a retailer who specialises in folk instruments, who might at least have some knowledge of what they are selling.  No doubt there are US members who can recommend somewhere to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you hjcjones. Good information and I will tell you gear4music as you know has  a very good warranty(30 day return /2 yr warranty)  and also have in house quality control which is good to know.   They did let me know the concertina is one they brand as their unit but they do have them made in China like so many retailers.  I am glad to see they are up front with information request and are very good at responding which I really appreciate.  It appears to me to be a very reputable company to deal with.  Since I am low on funds and do not want to wait forever to get started I will probably order one of these since they also come with a very good return policy. If I order one I will have to post a review and sound sample if possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After much research and the good advice from you guys on this forum I have decided to hold off and purchase a better quality concertina than the lower priced units out of China. I think I will go with gtotani's suggestion to check out the concertina connection web site for one of the Rochelle units they have. What is the difference in the Rochelle and the Rochelle2?  I saw an excellent video today on youtube showing issues with some of the beginner models out there today. Very revealing and educational. Check out this link.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Franko48 said:

After much research and the good advice from you guys on this forum I have decided to hold off and purchase a better quality concertina than the lower priced units out of China. I think I will go with gtotani's suggestion to check out the concertina connection web site for one of the Rochelle units they have. What is the difference in the Rochelle and the Rochelle2?...

I think you have made a wise decision! If you can afford to wait, do so.

 

You will find a brief comparison of Rochelle vs. Rochelle-2 on the Rochelle-2 page on the CC web

site here.

 

I'll throw a bit more petrol on the fire: You may care to consider upping your game still further, and

acquiring an instrument with leather bellows? You'll find an interesting article about bellows, also

on the CC web site, here.

Edited by lachenal74693
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That video of  repairing concertinas was very interesting ad pleasantly presented; I was also glad to see that my own model [Italian made, instrument, sold under Hohner brand in 1999[ now I know to have been  Stagi metal ended] didn't fare too badly overall, in the critique.  Well, its still working so cannot be too bad then!

But at the end of the day it is also the person behind the instrument that is literally 'instrumental' in getting the most out of their choice of instrument. I've had mine for well over 23 years; it causes some little issues, but has a nice mellow sound. Nice video though;  I found it very informative.

Edited by SIMON GABRIELOW
spell error
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

I think you have made a wise decision! If you can afford to wait, do so.

 

You will find a brief comparison of Rochelle vs. Rochelle-2 on the Rochelle-2 page on the CC web

site here.

 

I'll throw a bit more petrol on the fire: You may care to consider upping your game still further, and

acquiring an instrument with leather bellows? You'll find an interesting article about bellows, also

on the CC web site, here.

Thank you lachenal for the comment on the leather bellows. I have to agree 100% about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

That video of  repairing concertinas was very interesting ad pleasantly presented; I was also glad to see that my own model [Italian made, instrument, sold under Hohner brand in 1999[ now I know to have been  Stagi metal ended] didn't fare too badly overall, in the critique.  Well, its still working so cannot be too bad then!

But at the end of the day it is also the person behind the instrument that is literally 'instrumental' in getting the most out of their choice of instrument. I've had mine for well over 23 years; it causes some little issues, but has a nice mellow sound. Nice video though;  I found it very informative.

Thank for the comment Simon. As you stated, "But at the end of the day it is also the person behind the instrument that is literally 'instrumental' in getting the most out of their choice of instrument." I have to agree to the point that the instrument you are using has quality and stays in tune.  I know guys that could pick up any guitar in tune and just blow you away at how good they were. After playing it they would then tell me how difficult it was to play that particular instrument and how on a better quality instrument they could play just as good or better but it would not wear them out trying to get a good sound out of it. Glad your concertinas are working well for you. Have a great day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think my approach is very different to mainstream; as I rarely play traditional concertina music. I started on 20 key {German made] instrument [well made but basic].. and went on to 30 button.  From that moment on I had a world of different key tones to experiment with; which I had wanted to try out for months.

Then I used mainly flute, or more recorder music books, as they fitted well the range of my instrument; gradually progressing to more advanced stuff later on, over time. And throughout 23 of those 34 years of playing free reed instruments; my 30 key [Stagi made] Hohner branded model has served me well.  It is not without its  little annoying habits, but I stick with it. And I have made some eccentric adjustments of my own [internally too!]..

 

A thought maybe; but also when you think it is possibly the Chinese Sheng that partly inspired free reed design..

and now the Chinese are making some rather more mass produced efforts. How things have turned round full circle!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since childhood I wanted to learn to play concertina. About a year ago, during the Covid lockdown, I decided its time to bite the bullet. But what do you buy? If you buy an expensive concertina and cannot manage to play it, then you wasted a lot of money. So, I decided to order a cheap Chinese 20 button Anglo from Banggood. Yes, it is hard to play- the bellows are very stiff, but in a few months I managed to play it and the more I played it, the easier it became. A few months ago I moved on, I found an almost new 40 button Hohner with metal buttons and -ends and leather bellows. What a pleasure to play! I will never be sorry that I started with the Chinese 20 button, and I still play it now and then.

Just my 2c.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its good to hear someone going up from the basic types (which seem to divide people in opinion).. and sticking with it... And finding the ability to play is indeed there. I never regretted going up to my one and only ( currently) what was Hohner branded model. 30 button)..

It is amazing what music there is out there suitable to play.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...