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Low $ Concertina Choice?


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Hello all. I am new to this group and new to the concertina. I play mandolin, tenor banjo and a bit of fiddle, so I am seeking the fastest-action low budget concertina I can get (if such a beast exists). I am on a short leash as far as what we can I can spend for a concertina, and just like anyone else, I am seeking the biggest value for my money. I have four options right now that I know of. The first three options are all on the same page: http://www.hmtrad.com/catalog/winds/sbx/sbx-anglo.html

These 'tinas are. From following the threads here, I know that stagi seems to be the "best of the worst". On that page, I am looking at the last three 'tinas (30 button models). I really prefer the wood end, but it does not come with metal buttons. I have a couple of questions concerning strictly these stagi 'tinas:

1. Is the 30b model W15MS deluxe the same model used in the "turbo-stagi" modification? On the page I noted above, it is the 2nd from the bottom. It has plastic buttons. "turbo" modification help make for faster action and a better "feel"?

2. Out of the 3 'tinas at the very bottom of that page, which is the best as far as tone, response and action?

3. Is the nearly $700 for the two stagis at the bottom of the page worth it, or is there somewhere I can get one of these things cheaper (even second hand with the turbo-stagi modification already done would be great, even better).

 

My fourth option is ebay (cringe). But It might just be a good thing. There is an ebay seller that is selling his/her 'tinas for about $320 USD. The shipping is outragous, but for less than $400 I could get my hands on a wooden end, 30 button anglo with what looks to be good solid bellows. I don't really care much for the color of the bellows, but the color really is not what is important. The dealer seams to be selling from the UK (Strabane, Co Tyrone). The link to view this 'tina is: http://cgi.ebay.com/Beautiful-30-Key-Anglo...1QQcmdZViewItem

I contacted the seller, and they said that this instrument has fast action, the buttons are set so they won't stick, and that this particular concertina is becoming popular in Ireland. As I live in the states (actually Korea for a few years) I don't know how true that statement is. Does anyone here have any knowledge or experience of/with this particular instrument? In case the above link does not work, the concertina in question always appears under the label of : "Beautiful 30 Key Anglo Concertina Tuned C/G"

 

Are any of these concertinas better than my (nearly) serviceable hohner d40? I got the hohner to see if I would even like playing the concertina, and I love it. So now I really need to upgrade (in accordence with my low instrument budget). I just want something that sounds close to a fairly respectable 'tina, and has acceptable action. Oh, I would also like it to sort of look like a "traditional anglo", I can't stand the look of the cheap bellows on the hohner (with their little decorative metal corner pieces and all).

 

Thanks for bearing through this really long message, and I appreciate any experienced evaluation of the above mentioned concertinas.

 

Thanks.....

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Welcome! I hope you're enjoying playing as much as I am :blink:

 

As a beginner myself I made the decision that I would only buy from those recommended from this board. I knew nothing about the concertina other than I enjoyed the sound, but the choices were so great that I didn't feel comfortable playing the eBay lottery. There's a lot of fraud out there so be careful. Now that I've been playing for a while and have had a chance to play a variety of concertina's, I can make some comments from my beginners perspective.

 

The bottom line is going to be how much do you want to spend. If it's $700 then a Stagi or maybe a 20-button Lachenal (if you can find it). If you're going to get a Stagi go to The Button Box (or one you know has been modified by them or others qualified like Bob Tedrow). If it's a Lachenal then stick with The Button Box, Paul Groff, Chris Algar or others that have been mentioned in posts numerous times. http://www.concertina.net/guide.html contains a lot of good information on those experienced in selling and repairing concertinas. The problem you'll have with the Stagi is that resale value is limited and you will outgrow it in 12-24 months, but if you're willing to accept that it can be a fine starter instrument if properly tweaked.

 

If your top price is not $700, but maybe you could spend $1,000 to $1,500, then you can maybe find a well loved newer concertina. But you need to be prepared to wait for one to become available or stay in contact with the concertina makers to get in line for one to be traded in.

 

You can also do the inevitable and sell off all your current instruments and buy the concertina of your dreams. Once you get your hands on a quality instrument you'll never look back and not be sorry for the investment. "Resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated!"

 

There are others here with much more experience than I, as I said this is from my beginners viewpoint. Do some searches on the forum and their past posts are a wealth of information.

 

Best of luck and welcome aboard!

 

-jeff

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That ebay rig looks like its bellows is made from the chair cushion covers of a 1950's kitchen dinette set! Very retro. It'd probably make a good and very challenging piñata.

 

If I had a Hohner, I'd play it until I could make the leap to the USD1600-2000 range. If its looks are embarassing or annoying, you can always wear a disguise in public, or a blindfold in private.

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Concertina Connections Jackie for EC.

Possible Anglo in some near future.

All for $300-400. In the meanwhile you can use Hohner, but combined it will cost you $600-$ 700 of throwaway money. So if you want Anglo, wait for the Wakker's entry level Rochelle.

20 button Lachenal with brass reeds from Chris Algar will cost you $400-$500. With upgrades and re-sale value. A much, much better instrument than the best of Hohners. Why rush?

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"Fast action" and "Stagi" are two phrases I do not associate with one another. The concertina is a complex item (over 1000 parts inside) and to demand fast response and good sound from it is to mandate careful, skilled construction. This won't come cheap, unless you get the cheapest labor possible (China)...I would only buy such from Wakker, when he has his promised Rochelle ready, because otherwise that cheap labor lacks even minimal quality control. Regrettably, it ain't like buying a guitar, where you can get decent beginner's models very reasonably.

 

Consider renting from the Button Box in Mass.: costs less than the depreciation buying new and then dumping a Stagi yourself, and they adjust them and let you credit the rental to a more reasonable purchase later. I wouldn't buy a cheap concertina retail off ebay. Another issue is the Stagis don't fit all size hands; on the metal W15 the buttons are absurdly close to the handles. If you can stand to wait, best is to go to a festival or class and try everybody's. You may decide a good box is so much better that you'll save your money up for one rather than blowing half as much on a Stagi.

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Thanks everyone for the info, I will mull over it for awhile. I think I may contact Mr. Algar about one of those 20 button Lachenals. The basic notes for alot of the Irish trad I want to play are easily found on the 20 button. I really love the look of the Lachenals, and if I can get a 20 button Lachenal for $600-$700, I would much rather spend my money on that than on a $700 30 button stagi. From the sounds of it, the Lachenal (if I can get one for that price from Chris) will be a much better choice.

I am, however, very interested in the Rochelle. I have never heard anything about it. Does anyone have any idea how much loot one of those tinas will set me back? Anyone know how much longer the concertina world will have to wait for it to come out? Anyone seen a prototype? Or better yet, played one?

 

Bottom line, I will not waste my money on ebay again, and I will try to contact Chris for a 20 button Lachenal rather than throw money down the pipe on a stagi. Thanks again for helping me save money, time, and headache!

 

Patience is a virtue (and a requirement for those without big bucks, like....say, me).

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I am, however, very interested in the Rochelle. I have never heard anything about it. Does anyone have any idea how much loot one of those tinas will set me back? Anyone know how much longer the concertina world will have to wait for it to come out? Anyone seen a prototype? Or better yet, played one?

 

Based on what I've heard on this site and from EC players elsewhere about the Jackie/Jack boxes, I'm waiting for the Rochelle to come out. I contacted Wim Wakker at Concertina Connection recently and he said that they are hoping to have the box on sale within the next month or two.

 

- W

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Thanks everyone for the info, I will mull over it for awhile. I think I may contact Mr. Algar about one of those 20 button Lachenals. The basic notes for alot of the Irish trad I want to play are easily found on the 20 button. I really love the look of the Lachenals, and if I can get a 20 button Lachenal for $600-$700, I would much rather spend my money on that than on a $700 30 button stagi. From the sounds of it, the Lachenal (if I can get one for that price from Chris) will be a much better choice.

I am, however, very interested in the Rochelle. I have never heard anything about it. Does anyone have any idea how much loot one of those tinas will set me back? Anyone know how much longer the concertina world will have to wait for it to come out? Anyone seen a prototype? Or better yet, played one?

 

Bottom line, I will not waste my money on ebay again, and I will try to contact Chris for a 20 button Lachenal rather than throw money down the pipe on a stagi. Thanks again for helping me save money, time, and headache!

 

Patience is a virtue (and a requirement for those without big bucks, like....say, me).

 

One thing to keep in mind is that with a 20-button C/G you're missing the C#, which is going to hamper you on a lot of tunes in D. If you get a 20-button G/D you won't have that problem. Again, talk to Chris and read the past posts on the 20- vs 30-button topics. Even if you decide to get a good C/G when you have more money later the time spent learning on the G/D will not be wasted.

 

The Rochelle sounds very interesting too. Wakker is highly regarded and the Jackie/Jack reviews are excellent. It sounds like it would be worth waiting for.

 

Good luck. You've got nothing but good choices to make ;)

 

-jeff

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If you do decide to go for a G/D 20-button, Chris Algar has one listed on eBay here. You'll indeed get the C# that way, though you'll lose the F natural in return. Far more people play C/G Anglo than G/D, but G/D certainly has a following, I believe especially among players of English tunes and singers.

 

Daniel

 

Thanks everyone for the info, I will mull over it for awhile. I think I may contact Mr. Algar about one of those 20 button Lachenals. The basic notes for alot of the Irish trad I want to play are easily found on the 20 button. I really love the look of the Lachenals, and if I can get a 20 button Lachenal for $600-$700, I would much rather spend my money on that than on a $700 30 button stagi. From the sounds of it, the Lachenal (if I can get one for that price from Chris) will be a much better choice.

I am, however, very interested in the Rochelle. I have never heard anything about it. Does anyone have any idea how much loot one of those tinas will set me back? Anyone know how much longer the concertina world will have to wait for it to come out? Anyone seen a prototype? Or better yet, played one?

 

Bottom line, I will not waste my money on ebay again, and I will try to contact Chris for a 20 button Lachenal rather than throw money down the pipe on a stagi. Thanks again for helping me save money, time, and headache!

 

Patience is a virtue (and a requirement for those without big bucks, like....say, me).

 

One thing to keep in mind is that with a 20-button C/G you're missing the C#, which is going to hamper you on a lot of tunes in D. If you get a 20-button G/D you won't have that problem. Again, talk to Chris and read the past posts on the 20- vs 30-button topics. Even if you decide to get a good C/G when you have more money later the time spent learning on the G/D will not be wasted.

 

The Rochelle sounds very interesting too. Wakker is highly regarded and the Jackie/Jack reviews are excellent. It sounds like it would be worth waiting for.

 

Good luck. You've got nothing but good choices to make ;)

 

-jeff

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