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Chris Timson

First Reaction To A Rochelle

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Well, I had a go on Woody's new Rochelle last night (pun intended and repeated :( ) and was favourably impressed. it was in tune and playable. The sound was acceptable and I could get music out of it without too much effort. OK, it's not a Jeffries or even a Lachenal, but it isn't trying to be. It is a good starter instrument that will allow someone to find out if the anglo is for them without spending pots of money. 259 euros, it says here (that's 175 pounds in imperial measure) isn't a lot of money for any sort concertina, let alone one you can actually play! And it even comes with a bag and a manual, for God's sake.

 

There are downs as well. The hand rest (or rail if you prefer) is placed too low, so that I found my fingers going too far down the scale. Thus instead of my index finger naturally resting on the B/C button it rested on the D/E, and the same on the left hand side. You can learn to adjust to that, but it's a shame to have to and hopefully Wim Wakker will pick up on this and get it changed. The hand strap is a bit too small. Personally I think it looks ugly. But I don't think any of that matters compared to the price and playability. Nobody would suggest staying with a Rochelle for life, but as a first instrument I find I can recommend it heartily. If the Jackie is as good (and my Partner Anne says it is) then that also becomes an easy recommendation. Nice one Concertina Connection!

 

It will be interesting to see if this forces Stagi to raise their game. After all, a person can buy a Rochelle and then, when they are ready, move to a decent old concertina or one from one of the modern makers, thus completely skipping the more expensive Stagis.

 

One ethical concern. This price has been achieved by outsourcing to China, but there has been bad publicity recently about the poor working conditions endured by workers making, for instance. ipods. I hope and assume Wim Wakker will have a grip on that aspect.

 

Chris

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The hand strap is a bit too small.

Fair point - as I mentioned in the other thread Wim Wakker at Concertina Connection is sourcing longer straps for those like me that need them - get in touch with him if you get one of the early ones and it's a problem.

 

259 euros, it says here (that's 175 pounds in imperial measure)

Paying through Paypal cost to me was £179.36. Wim sent me two options for paying, Paypal and Bank Transfer (which should save you a couple of pounds over Paypal I think).

 

Personally I think it looks ugly.

Oh Chris how could you? It's lucky she can't read. :angry:

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Thanks for the info!

 

I may try to pick one up as a spare, RenFaire (with all forms of inclement weather), etc. box.

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how does it compare to a stagi from the buttonbox? not considering price, but playability.

Can't comment as I'm in England and never handled a Buttonbox or Tedrow Stagi. Would be an interesting comparison, though.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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it going to be my frist concertina, i cant wait untill he get some mre in stock. :D i guess i got lucky when i came into the group or i would probably be stuck with horner d40. im glad that there is a decent concertina that will do me justice till i can safe up 2 or 3 grand for next level but im thinking about buying a english as well.

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it going to be my frist concertina, i cant wait untill he get some mre in stock. :D i guess i got lucky when i came into the group or i would probably be stuck with horner d40. im glad that there is a decent concertina that will do me justice till i can safe up 2 or 3 grand for next level but im thinking about buying a english as well.

 

Buy Jackie. It may be a little squeaky at the top, but a responce, tuning and action would be very decent.

Jack that I tried, was a bit heavy to play at the bottom of the range, and upon opening it, I found that the low reeds are not long, but rather octave higher with waighted tips. Not a very good solution, prone to be slow and breathy. One improvement to this could be small piccolo reeds in the corner of large reed plate. These piccolos help to start a big reed.

It would be nice if Wim Wakker offered more expencive reeds with the Jack at additional price. I'd buy it!

I also think that fixing the reedplates with wax is not worthy. Should be secured by screws. These screws, connecting the reedplates, could correspond vibration from one reed to another, and improve reed responce during playing. Leaving aside tha incovinience of been careful with leaving it in the hot car.

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I also think that fixing the reedplates with wax is not worthy. Should be secured by screws.

Well, yes, but then you start to add significantly to the price. Wim may or may not decide he wants to bring out a better built concertina at a higher price (he has already brought out very much better instruments at very much higher prices), but to bring one out at this price you are going to have quite a few compromises. I am impressed with this instrument because it is good enough to get somebody properly started with the concertina while keeping the price down to the point that an ordinary (i.e. not a potential obsessive like us lot) person might even go out and buy one without worrying too much. For its purpose and for its intended market the Rochelle is spot on!

 

Chris

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how does it compare to a stagi from the buttonbox? not considering price, but playability.

FYI, Button Box owner Richard Morse compared the Stagi to the Rochelle's sister (brother? sibling?) concertinas the Jack and Jackie in this post. He said "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."

 

Daniel

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I also think that fixing the reedplates with wax is not worthy. Should be secured by screws.

Well, yes, but then you start to add significantly to the price. Wim may or may not decide he wants to bring out a better built concertina at a higher price (he has already brought out very much better instruments at very much higher prices), but to bring one out at this price you are going to have quite a few compromises. I am impressed with this instrument because it is good enough to get somebody properly started with the concertina while keeping the price down to the point that an ordinary (i.e. not a potential obsessive like us lot) person might even go out and buy one without worrying too much. For its purpose and for its intended market the Rochelle is spot on!

 

Chris

 

Perhabs you are right. It will depends on the overall durability. Accordions with wax last a long time. I checked the wax in Jack, seems to be hard enough, not usual chinese paraphine.

I have tiny Schvartzer Orgele, one voice, where the reeds are fixed without wax and without even leather.

Just alluminium plates on wood, touching each other, and fixed with two screws each. Seems quite easy and simple. The vibration from one reed helps the others to start, so the responce is very fast. And it's air tight.

May be wax is not much cheaper than the screws?

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May be wax is not much cheaper than the screws?

The reeds are probably wax mounted because it's a known technology that works, and one with which the factory are familiar. While I'm sure that Wim could have spent time experimenting with different mounting methods that would have added uncertainty and cost.

 

With the Rochelle, and I assume the Jackie/Jack, I believe he has taken the pragmatic approach of taking a Chinese Concertina design and changing the bits that really need to be changed to get a decent playable instrument, but leaving alone parts/techniques that work adequately. Maybe, if there's enough demand, someone will turbo these instruments - similar to the turbo'd Stagis? Of course, that would raise the price and then you might be heading towards the price range that Stephen Chambers is aiming at with the Triskel.

 

- W

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I've now received the longer hand straps for the Rochelle and they're perfect. Below are some photos for those interested...

 

post-1809-1157626680_thumb.jpg

 

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post-1809-1157626701_thumb.jpg

 

post-1809-1157626648_thumb.jpg

 

post-1809-1157626663_thumb.jpg

 

 

- W

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Thanks for the photos. Obviously there wasn't a chance to have a shufty inside at the session. It looks quite neat and tidy and well thought out.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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where can i find out more info on the Triskel? or just more info from you guy and gal would be great. :D

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The maker of the Triskel, Stephen Chambers, is a member of this forum, so PM him for information. meanwhile, here are some photos from another thread. Doing a search on Tridkel also gets you a lot of info.

 

Chris

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Doing a search on Tridkel also gets you a lot of info.

Actually, Chris, it only got me your post that I just quoted. (Now it will also get this one when others search.) But when I spelled it "Triskel", I did get quite a few hits. :D

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