Jump to content

Looking For An Affordable English Concertina


Recommended Posts

I'm searching for a 48-key english concertina to learn on. I am considering the Stagi A-48, because around 800 U.S. Dollars is the price I can afford. However, from reading around on this website I get the impression that I might be able to get an older, better concertina for around that price. However I also get the very clear impression that buying an older concertina is a very, very risky endeavor for someone who is new to the concertina world. I am a college student and it will be a very long time until I could afford to upgrade to a better concertina, so I am seeking buying advice for the best possible, reliable english 48-key concertina for around 800 dollars.

 

As a secondary preference to quality, I would prefer a tenor or baritone to a treble. If I bought a Stagi I would buy the baritone. However I understand that the lower ranges are rarer, and would readily go for a treble if it is the best deal.

 

I'm also wondering if there are any good places to go in Southern California to try out concertinas.

 

It's great that the concertina playing community has such a knowledgable, friendly, and welcoming attitude (as I have gathered from these forums, and this website). I'm very greatful a place like this exists on the internet to ask for advice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Chris, welcome to a great adventure! I have two treble Wheatstones, and the concertina I play and enjoy most is the one I bought and made by the Button Box (www.buttonbox.com), the Albion, for (when I got it) $1600. I never have to tweak it; it sounds fabulous, and I love it. Moreover, I just heard today, if that price is just too much for you, of the Jackie, a concertina made in England by Concertina Connection for $300. Evidently it's quite nice and getting some good reviews. they make a tenor too called the Jack, for a bit more, I heard. Good luck to you. Deirdre

Link to post
Share on other sites
....I just heard today, if that price is just too much for you, of the Jackie, a concertina made in England by Concertina Connection for $300. Evidently it's quite nice and getting some good reviews. they make a tenor too called the Jack, for a bit more, I heard....

Not far away- Concertina Connection are in the Netherlands - see this link for more

 

- W

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Jack is a baritone, not a tenor. It is one octave lower than a treble. Both the Jack and the Jackie have (and for that matter the Albion) have a reduced number of buttons, but I doubt you'd notice any restriction. The top of a 48 button treble is not used much by most of us!

 

If you (or anyone else for that matter) are interested I have a three year old Gremlin 48 button treble by Stagi I'd be willing to part with for quite a bit less than a new one would be. It is black with black bellows and metal buttons. I started on it and then got not one but two Wheatstones (see the thread on concertina aquisition syndrome-- it is a danger).

 

PM for further details-- pictures will need to wait until late this week when my new computer arrives.

 

Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your feedback.

I'm wondering if the Stagi 30-key ($600) is not much better than the Jack/Jacki's despite the $300 price gap. Would the Chinese labor half the production cost? Has anyone played both, or either of these instruments? Or can anyone report if either breaks quickly?

 

I'm also looking at the restored Lachenal English 1925 from stella24 on the Buy/Sell forum (if its still for sale). Can anyone tell me anything about the quality of this instrument, particularly if a restored instrument of its kind will hold up for a long time? And finally I'm wondering how much it would cost to have it tuned down 5 cents to A 440 from A 445, and where I could get that done in California.

 

Sorry for asking so many specific questions, I just am not going to be able to buy a better instrument in a long time and want a lot of information before I make my choice.

 

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Stagi 30 button is an anglo and the Jackie is an English, so you are sort of comparing apples to oranges there-- the comparison with a Jackie would be with the Stagi 48 button EC.

 

Retuning a vintage Lachenal or Wheatstone would cost you (perhaps a few hundred dollars, though that depends a bit on whether new valves and pads are needed too) and would take a while to get done (perhaps 6 months). I had the Button Box do some restoration on one of my vintage Wheatstones. They do very good work. A restored low end Lachenal or Wheatstone could be a much better instrument than (and probably about twice to three times the cost of) a Stagi. I suspect that the same is true for a Jackie, but I haven't tried one of those, so I really don't know.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm wondering if the Stagi 30-key ($600) is not much better than the Jack/Jacki's despite the $300 price gap. Would the Chinese labor half the production cost?
Probably a lot less than half. The average Chinese production worker makes $2250/year, which providing working no more than 40hrs/week is just over $1/hr.
Has anyone played both, or either of these instruments? Or can anyone report if either breaks quickly?
I've played (and examined the innards) of both and find them to be overall about par for construction quality though in some areas the Jack/Jackie have a distinct design advantage. I know the durabilty track record of Stagis but not the Jack/Jackies. I'm thinking that they may be similar.
I'm also looking at the restored Lachenal English 1925 from stella24 on the Buy/Sell forum (if its still for sale). Can anyone tell me anything about the quality of this instrument, particularly if a restored instrument of its kind will hold up for a long time?
That's a "learner" model but yet not the bottom end of Lachenal's line. Even though, it's a lot better quality that the Stagi or Jack/Jackie. It will be easier to play, have less problems and last a lot longer too (even if it is already 80 years old!).
And finally I'm wondering how much it would cost to have it tuned down 5 cents to A 440 from A 445, and where I could get that done in California.
Around $275 for the tuning alone. I'm surprised that the valves weren't replaced when that box was overhauled which would add to the cost. No idea who does that sort of work in CA.
Sorry for asking so many specific questions, I just am not going to be able to buy a better instrument in a long time and want a lot of information before I make my choice.
Definely go for the Lachenal (or similar or hybrid concertina) over a factor made job like the Stagis or Jack/Jackie if you can afford it. Keep in mind that if you're thinking about spending $1200 or so you're now into the used hybrid range.
Link to post
Share on other sites
The Stagi 30 button is an anglo and the Jackie is an English, so you are sort of comparing apples to oranges there-- the comparison with a Jackie would be with the Stagi 48 button EC.

 

Actually, Stagi has made a 30-button _English_ concertina for some years (a beginner's model), though I confess I haven't checked any on-line catalogues recently. It lacked some high notes and duplicate accidentals, and they do turn up used on ebay and elsewhere. Confusing, isn't it?

Link to post
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.

×
×
  • Create New...