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Which Concertina To Get?


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From reading this thread and other things on this site and elsewhere, it looks like my choices are:
  • A Rochelle, once they become available next month.
  • A Stagi (from the Button Box, properly overhauled and tested).
  • A Morse Ceili, a Herrington, a Tedrow or something else in that range.

Has anyone had access to a pre-production Rochelle, or can people only guess how it will be based on the quality of the Jack and the Jackie? How is it likely to compare to a Stagi? If I'm able to pay the price of a Morse (I live in Massachusetts, so it seems a better choice to drive to Sunderland than to correspond with Homewood or Rowlett), am I likely to be better off with that than with a cheaper instrument?

The Morse (and other hybrids) are much better than any Stagi (however turbo'ed) and Jack/Jackie. Not only in sound, size, weight, response, but also in durability too. They *are* considerably more expensive, but most people move up from Stagis (and all below that) in fairly short time anyway. If you can afford a hybrid level one - it would ultiimately save you money and make your learning/playing concertina a really pleasurable.

 

Come on down the the Button Box and give the Stagis and Morses a try and decide for yourself.

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I am similar in that I've only recently taken up concertina. But I may be able to shed some light on your situation Joshua, as I also first purchased the Hohner D40 (was in pawnshop--how I came to be playing C) and I just acquired a Jackie. The sound of the reeds on these two are similar. Someone corect me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that these and the Stagis use single or double accordian reeds (?), and the sound is not at all complex. By comparison, I have an old Hohner 3-row melodeon that, while out of tune, sounds great. It has steel reeds. I'm thinking that, all of these economy models will sound fairly similar, and the quality instruments will sound much better as they'll have a different reed composition (or something..) But, the Jackie does seem to perform well, in comparison to the Hohner. It seems far and away a better value than the Hohner. But then, maybe I just prefer the English to the Anglo.. I need a 30-button Anglo.

Edited by catty
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Jeff says:

Buy as much instrument as you can afford and a little bit more. Don't waste time wishing you had spent the extra few hundred dollars, 'cause once it's built it's too late.

 

This is in line with my growing impression that there's no such thing as a really good cheap concertina, unless your definition of cheap is "under $2K" (which also defines the price range I'm willing to consider). Good enough given budget constraints, sure, but really good, no.

 

Richard Morse adds:

The Morse (and other hybrids) are much better than any Stagi (however turbo'ed) and Jack/Jackie. Not only in sound, size, weight, response, but also in durability too. They *are* considerably more expensive, but most people move up from Stagis (and all below that) in fairly short time anyway.

 

This is the resounding "no" I expected in answer to the question of whether the difference in price between Stagis and Morses (inter alia) makes up for the difference in quality...

 

Joshua

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Joshua, sounds to me like you understand the problems all of us newbies on a budget face.

 

I would have loved to buy a Wheatstone or Jeffries, but like you my budget was under $2K. FWIW, I think all of the makers in that price range produce excellent instruments. I think Richard had great advice to get to his shop if you can and try them out. That is really the best way to find an instrument you'll ultimately be happy with. There is nothing like being helped by a professional who not only makes and repairs, but plays the instruments.

 

-jeff

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