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Buying Help!


cortezthekiller

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Hey now,

 

I am new here. I have been playing music for probably 10-11 years. I play the piano, guitar, and within the past year or so I have picked up the melodica too. I've become a big fan of the sound produced by free reed instruments---

 

I was looking to take up the concertina, and I have been looking on ebay for deals. Keep in mind i have VERY little money, and I found a deal for a bastari concertina at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...AMEBI%3AIT&rd=1

 

I bid on it, but now I am having second thoughts after a bit more research. Should I expect this to be in tune and usable when I get it? The man said it has no problems with the buttons or bellows. Is this something that I shouldn't expect to be any good... Im not looking for top of the line, but something that sounds good at least. thanks!

Edited by cortezthekiller
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Welcome to concertina.net! This site has a wealth of information on all things concertinal.

Regarding your question, the Buyers' Guide section is a good place to start. Also a search in these forums will turn up other threads which started with a question very like yours.

Samantha

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Should I expect this to be in tune and usable when I get it?
No. But then again, most cheap concertinas - even brand new ones - won't be in tune, though how "usable" depends upon what you consider that to be.

 

I expect that box to be about the same out-of-tuneness as new cheap ones though it may have a few more of the same problems (double-sounding notes, leaks, slow to respond reeds, action hang-ups, etc.) that many new ones have and fixing them won't take appreciably longer. If you're reasonable handy (and with some advice from the group here) you should be able to take care of it yourself. The nice thing about this box is that if you can get it considerably less than a new box, you'll be 'way ahead of the game!

 

I'd say to keep on top of it up to maybe $60 at which point it'll be about the same price as the new ones (which are about $100 but the $40 difference is what the extra cost to repair it would probably be beyond the typcial cost to fix up the new ones). OTOH, if you can do the fix-its yourself, you'll be in good (financial) shape with this beginner box.

 

Usefulness is something you'll have to decide on. It will be useful as a beginner box though it won't be as easy, fun, or flexible to play (and learn on!) as a better quality box. Already being a musician, you may want to take that seriously into account. Think of this box as being a plywood and plastic guitar with tuners that occasionally slip and bind, and strings with 1" action....

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Think of this box as being a plywood and plastic guitar with tuners that occasionally slip and bind, and strings with 1" action....
thats rough.... :blink:
I forgot to mention that said guitar has a string missing as well as some frets here and there to the effect that it can only play in a few keys (due to the inability to play certain chromatic notes)....

 

Really though - I'm not down on cheap 20 button concertinas. Just wanted to make the point that ones like that are really bottom end instruments in every way. And they are fine for being that, but if you'd like to enjoy playing concertina, you really need to get a better box. Virtually everyone that starts out on a 20 button anglo either quickly trades up or becomes quickly disenchanted and gives up.

 

Have you experienced many types/qualities of concertinas? There may a store or some players in your area that will let you test drive some and give you an idea of what the differences are.

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Really though - I'm not down on cheap 20 button concertinas. Just wanted to make the point that ones like that are really bottom end instruments in every way. And they are fine for being that, but if you'd like to enjoy playing concertina, you really need to get a better box. Virtually everyone that starts out on a 20 button anglo either quickly trades up or becomes quickly disenchanted and gives up.

 

doesn't kitty hayes play a cheap 20-button anglo? the picture on her album is of a 20 button stagi. i think it's a c-1, which the button box sells for $405. this instrument would be considerably better than the cheap $100 anglos being discussed, though.

 

i'd have to agree that it is very difficult to play a cheap instrument well. a few weeks ago i met someone on the street who had just gotten a chinese anglo. it was the same as my first concertina, which i only had for about a week before deciding it was too hard to learn on. anyway, i tried playing a few tunes on it, and was surprised how much easier it was to play than i remembered. i think that as you get better, you are able to play a wider range of instruments. which seems kind of unfair.

 

as an aside, does anyone know why cheap chinese concertinas smell like frankincense? i remembered my first instrument smelling like this and the one i tried recently smelled the same. maybe it's the glue they use.

Edited by Chris Allert
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Guest Peter Laban
doesn't kitty hayes play a cheap 20-button anglo? the picture on her album is of a 20 button stagi. I think it's a c-1, which the button box sells for $405.

 

No, Kitty relearned on a two row D/G Stagi but bought a three row C/G Lachenal before recording 'A touch of Clare' the photo on the cover is of the Rosewood ended Lachenal. She was happy to be rid of the Stagi and never touched it again. She has been looking for a good D/G or D/A two row for a while to be able to play in concert pitch.

 

A picture of (her playing) the Lachenal below.

Edited by Peter Laban
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what is the general consensus on the hohner 100-200 dollar models? I know hohner to be a trusted company, so are they're concertinas considered of quality?
I believe that Hohner only makes one model any more, the D40. I consider the D40 to be one of the highest quality "concertinas" of the beginner rank.

 

But let me be very clear about this.... By highest quality I mean that their design/construction is okay and that they come from the factory fairly intact - all parts are present, tolerances are reasonable and uniform. Still, we (The Button Box) go over and adjust every box to make sure that it meets our quality standards before we will sell them (and we guarantee them too). That's why our prices for this instrument are a bit higher than other retailer's prices.

 

We've tried many lesser boxes to find that they are so poorly designed/constructed that they were just not a viable item for us. One problem was that we were not able to make all the pre-sales adjustments/repairs we would like to (partly because there were too many problems and we wouldn't be able to recoup our costs - or would have had to price it beyond the market, and partly because they were of such poor quality that many repairs just weren't possible to do), and the other is that they would develop some problems soon after being sold which resulted in disappointed customers and a lot of warrantee repairs work for us.

 

To give you and idea of relative qualities, I would consider the D40 to be about a 9 (from 1 - lousy to 10 best) of the beginner "concertinas". OTOH, considering the entire spectrum of concertinas, it would rank barely a 2 out of 10. And that should give you some idea of where the rest of the beginner boxes are.

 

Not to sound commercial or crass, but the Button Box is having a D40 holiday special (box, book and bag) that we plan to feature on our site in a couple of days....

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Okay,

 

I took your advice.

 

I retracted my bid on that piece of crap, and I think i may look into the Hohner. That pretty much tops my spending limit, and it seems like it might work out a little better for me that way. Though i feel bad about the bid retraction <_< ... I've done it like 14 times in the past 6 months

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I hope you don't mind me adding my own question to your thread?

 

Can you buy a decent 30 button anglo for under £500?

 

I bought a 20 button cheapy to establish my interest. (I couldn't bring myself to spend much straight away in case I gave up or didn't enjoy it, but it turns out I love it)

 

Anyway now that I know I am going to carry on with the concertina I will need to get a better one.

 

I found everyones advice very helpful on here last time :)

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