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need advice for my next concertina


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Hello - I don't post much here, but I've been slowly learning Irish tunes on my 20b Lachenal in C/G with steel reeds for the last few years, and I am starting to feel that the 5-fold bellows and somewhat soggy action and slow reed response (compared to other makes) is limiting my ability. The little Lachenal is great fun, and was put back in playing order by Greg J. when I first got it (it was near death), but I'd like to continue with a nicer, more responsive instrument. With that in mind I believe now is a good time time to move up to a 30b. 

 

I know the technology and makers are always changing and advancing, but I really don't keep up with that side of things so I'd appreciate any recommendations for C/G Anglo instruments in the price range of $1500-2500 US. For reference, I have about 12 years experience playing Irish (mostly uilleann pipes, flute, and whistles), and on concertina consider myself an "intermediate" level player. I've briefly tried a friends Phoenix and also a Morse and quite liked both of them. Goal here is to play Irish jigs and reels, etc at session speed. I am located in the mid-west. Thanks in advance!

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Don’t write off Lachenal based on your experience of one 20 button Anglo.  They made good quality instruments too.

Edited by Theo
Correct typo
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On 11/16/2022 at 8:16 PM, dirishfluter said:

Hello - I don't post much here, but I've been slowly learning Irish tunes on my 20b Lachenal in C/G with steel reeds for the last few years, and I am starting to feel that the 5-fold bellows and somewhat soggy action and slow reed response (compared to other makes) is limiting my ability. The little Lachenal is great fun, and was put back in playing order by Greg J. when I first got it (it was near death), but I'd like to continue with a nicer, more responsive instrument. With that in mind I believe now is a good time time to move up to a 30b. 

 

I know the technology and makers are always changing and advancing, but I really don't keep up with that side of things so I'd appreciate any recommendations for C/G Anglo instruments in the price range of $1500-2500 US. For reference, I have about 12 years experience playing Irish (mostly uilleann pipes, flute, and whistles), and on concertina consider myself an "intermediate" level player. I've briefly tried a friends Phoenix and also a Morse and quite liked both of them. Goal here is to play Irish jigs and reels, etc at session speed. I am located in the mid-west. Thanks in advance!

12 years is a  long time playing on anything!

 

Well, you have done your research and now you want to confirm what you already know.

But first, may I ask what did you want to achieve with your previous instruments besides sessioning?

 

I ask because I have experience with other genres besides Irish folk dance music, and think that an adherence to any genre alone is narrow, rather like learning Guitar to play 'Sultans Of Swing' on TikTok. Like how many of those are there? probably thousands.


So, like I see many who embraced playing the Flute, one ought to get the best quality possible on day one. IOW wasting time with an inferior quality instrument is little use when the mechanics of performance so much depend on quality of build. Nowhere is that more critical than with the free feed family.

 

Too, accordion reeded Concertinas lose value like a new car, 30% of it as soon as you walk out the door of the shop where you bought it.

 

OTOH Concertinas with real concertina reeds in them increase in value as time passes. Why? Well for one thing they sound miles better than the Chinese made instruments do. For another, the bellows and action is infinitely better quality; the latter is probably the most essential player difference. Yes you can learn to play fancy on a cheapo box, but you'd have learned far quicker on a new Carroll, for example, or a classic Crabb or Jeffries, not to forget the superb quality found in the Suttner instruments. Those are very, very popular in Ireland these days, and I can hear why.  Then there are other makers here on this site who's work is outstanding, need I mention Colin Dipper?

 

But if Irish trad in the US is sessioning on Phoenix and similar, hey go with the flow :0). For my part I also love Morris and folk singing with the Anglo backing it. So those types would not pass the test of sounding, even closely, like the classic English built instrument.

 

Good luck.

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I ask because I have experience with other genres besides Irish folk dance music, and think that an adherence to any genre alone is narrow, rather like learning Guitar to play 'Sultans Of Swing' on TikTok. Like how many of those are there? probably thousands.

 

Concentrating Irish Traditional Music is the same as wanting to learn one song on guitar? Some of the stuff people come out with on these forums keeps amazing me.  And I'll leave it at that.

 

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Nowhere is that more critical than with the free feed family.

😄

 

Edited by Peter Laban
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19 hours ago, Peter Laban said:

 

Concentrating Irish Traditional Music is the same as wanting to learn one song on guitar? Some of the stuff people come out with on these forums keeps amazing me.  And I'll leave it at that.

 

😄

 

You are off topic, wildly so. But I do not sink to your C&F troll level by insulting you,

 

 

 

 


 

Edited by Notemaker
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15 hours ago, dirishfluter said:

Thanks folks for your responses. I am very excited to say I will soon be the lucky owner of an Edgely concertina. Onward and upward.  : )

A wise choice, great instruments, well made and supported.

Thanks

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