Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kacy

20 Or 30 Button Anglo

Recommended Posts

I'm confused now. I thought I was going for the Rochelle as it seems to have a good reputation. However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.

 

Which one is better - 20 or 30 button?

 

Would I (a complete novice) notice the difference if I played a Rochelle, against the cheaper (cheapest) 20 button?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are clever Kacy as you are asking the same question that has been asked many times before, but worded it differently so it sounds like a different question.In general the majority would say that you start on a cheap instrument say twenty button, as has been suggested and see if you enjoy playing the instrument.If you find after a short while that the concertina is not for you then it has not cost you a lot of money for the experiance.There are stacks of tunes that you can play on a twenty button so it will get you started.If after that you decide that you love the instrument and want to progress further than pay as much as you can afford to upgrade. If however you feel that you want to start on a Rochelle you have enough money for it, you like it when you play it , you have made up your mind to have one prior to going in the shop,you are certain that the concertina is for you and you want a reasonable one to start with, then buy it.If it does not work out then you will be able to sell it for very little loss of the original cost. The difference between a twenty button and thirty button (apart from 10 buttons) is that the bottom two rows on each hand are identical to that which is on a twenty button.The extra buttons are the top row which will give you more options for direction, speed etc.

I hope this helps

Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which one is better - 20 or 30 button?
A 30-button. It will give you a lot more notes - and particularly several that you need to play in common dance tune keys.
Would I (a complete novice) notice the difference if I played a Rochelle, against the cheaper (cheapest) 20 button?
The is no NOTE difference between the 20-button model and the 30-button model if you don't us the uppermost row on each side of the 30-button model. OTOH, the Rocelle is easier to physically play, sounds better (IMHO), and is not as problematic/tempermental as the cheaper boxes. Those cheaper boxes take so much effort just to make playable/salable that we don't even carry them. We're so impressed by performance and durability of the Rocelle/Jack/Jackie that we're now using them in our rental program - as well as our full-price trade-up program. Wim has really done a world of good with this!

 

-- Rich --

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm confused now. I thought I was going for the Rochelle as it seems to have a good reputation. However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.

 

Which one is better - 20 or 30 button?

 

Would I (a complete novice) notice the difference if I played a Rochelle, against the cheaper (cheapest) 20 button?

 

 

I don't really play the Anglo but I can tell you this: my first concertina was a 30 button cheapo, it discouraged me so much I pretty much shelved the idea of playing concertina. Then, on a whim I bought a 20 button german, and it made all the differrence in the world: I could hold it and play it, the buttons didn't get stuck under the fretwork and sounded much much better.

 

I think from my expierence you are better off with a nicer 20 button than a crappy 30 button.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm confused now. I thought I was going for the Rochelle as it seems to have a good reputation. However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.

 

Which one is better - 20 or 30 button?

 

Would I (a complete novice) notice the difference if I played a Rochelle, against the cheaper (cheapest) 20 button?

 

 

For starters, to help me decide whether I wanted to concentrate on English or Anglo, I bought a cheapie "factory second" of each on ebay...you can get a 30 button chinese anglo, (possibly a Rochelle clone or one that failed Wim Wakker's excelllent quality control?? The fretwork pattern is the same, probably from the same factory in China) for about $120 plus shipping, as I did, and what looks like a no-name factory second Stagi English 48 button for $165 to 190 plus shipping.

 

I've also subsequently bought a couple of Lachenal 20 buttons: one Barleycorn restored lachenal made ca. 1908, and one dated 1886, unrestored and with a few structural problems, which I'm learning how to fix and maintain on, thanks to the excellent Concertina Maintenance Manual and generous help from various very kind makers/repairers on this Forum....So, I have four concertinas to compare side by side and I'm a newbie, having started on the concertina trail about three months ago. For what it's worth, here are my reactions....

 

For the money, I find the cheap Chinese 30 button anglo actually easier to play and can do a lot more on it with the accidental keys, than I can on the Lachenals. It has four drawbacks...at least...maybe 5:

 

1. breather valve is too small...I'm fixing that by putting in a larger breather myself...its a matter of some posterboard, leather and glue, and boring out a larger hole.

2. buttons don't have pegs that slide into the action pad, so a couple tend to go crooked and stick..a nuisance but not fatal.

3. no real resale value

4. Even though it makes more sound from less air, it sounds a lot like an accordion...lacks that concertina Honk.

5. It will wear out and eventually not be worth fixing...probably sooner rather than later.

 

But...even though it has accordion reeds and lacks that real concertina honk, it's easier for me to play a wide variety of tunes...and makes me want a good new custom 30 button new-maker concertina or maybe a real Rochelle.

 

The antique 20 buttons are fun, quaint and nostalgic, and historical and have that concertina honk, but...frankly they are limiting to me...can play in D with Irish only if you skip around the lack of a C#.

 

Your mileage may vary...I play a variety of other instruments and have a lot of tunes already in my head, so the Anglo seems to come fairly easily to me.

 

If I had it to do over, knowing what I now know from experience and expense to date, I'd probably go with a Rochelle. It is definitely better than a cheap 20 and will last longer, and is trade-up-able. A winning combination, I believe.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers!

Edited by paperpunchr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big disadvantage of a 20-button as opposed to a 30-button of similar quality is that that a 20-button is missing almost all the accidentals (the notes represented by the black keys of the piano). That means that there are many tunes where you can't play all the notes, and many others where you can only play all the notes if you transpose the tune into a key that's different from the one in which it's usually played. This will become a problem if you want to play with other people.

 

If your main concern about the Rochelle is the price and you want to take your chances on a generic Chinese concertina to save money, they're available in 30-button models too, such as this one on eBay. But I wouldn't make any assurances about whether anything cheaper than a Rochelle would work properly, or for long....some of them do, and some of them don't.

 

I'm confused now. I thought I was going for the Rochelle as it seems to have a good reputation. However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.

 

Which one is better - 20 or 30 button?

 

Would I (a complete novice) notice the difference if I played a Rochelle, against the cheaper (cheapest) 20 button?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.
Take what they say wih a large helping of salt. They don' t really know whereof they speak.

 

I think from my expierence you are better off with a nicer 20 button than a crappy 30 button.
Shold make it clear that Rochelles are not crappy instruments. I regard them as the best value in starter anglos you can currently get. About their only disadvantage is that they are only available as C/Gs, not G/Ds. I do hope the estimable Mr Wakker brings out a G/D version some time.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are clever Kacy as you are asking the same question that has been asked many times before, but worded it differently so it sounds like a different question.

 

Not that clever, I have read lots of other bits and pieces in the forums but was never quite sure which ones were being compared and what the difference was. The only thing I did notice is that they all link into the Rochelle (as does this one). Looks like they are doing something pretty special with this concertina.

 

Thanks for everyones advice, knowing that the bottom 2 rows on the 30 button are the same as the 20 button it makes it less daunting. Looks like I will go for the Rochelle then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like I will go for the Rochelle then.
Best of luck, then. You're starting on something that will likely take over a significant chunk of your life. Don't worry about it - it's worth it. Let us know how you get on.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do hope the estimable Mr Wakker brings out a G/D version some time.

 

Chris

 

 

Dang...that would be a hot number...I'd buy one, fer sure, and donate my cheapies to the Goodwill store.

 

Wonder if there're any plans? I've just emailed him to ask him to consider it and suggested he do a market survey here if he has doubts about selling many 31-button G/D's ;) .

Edited by paperpunchr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do hope the estimable Mr Wakker brings out a G/D version some time.

 

Chris

 

 

Dang...that would be a hot number...I'd buy one, fer sure, and donate my cheapies to the Goodwill store.

 

Wonder if there're any plans? I've just emailed him to ask him to consider it and suggested he do a market survey here if he has doubts about selling many 31-button G/D's ;) .

 

I'd buy a G/D Rochelle tomorrow if it were available but was told he wasn't considering it - this was back in the winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In some ways, the wrong question.

 

A good quality instrument sounds better, is nicer to play, easier to play, and therefore gets played more.

 

I bought a cheap melodeon, and have to force myself to practise it. I bought a Rochelle Anglo and practised it a fair amount. I bought a Marcus Anglo and I keep picking it up and can't put it down.

 

The Rochelle and the Marcus have basically the same layout, but the better box is more fun to play, and encourages me to practise.

 

If you buy a cheap 20 button box, you will not enjoy it, you may come to hate it, and you will probably give up. If you buy a Rochelle, it will encourage you to buy a better one.

 

But the number of notes is not crucial at this early stage. William Kimber knew a thing or two about the Anglo, and although he had a "three row" he only played the two main rows and seldom used the accidental row, because he learned on a 20 button. I play harmonica, which is effectively a 1 row, and there are plenty of complex and beautiful tunes that fit it.

 

A 30 button box is more versatile, but the quality of an instrument is the thing that makes it a joy to own and play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However I saw (and tried) a 20 button in a shop and they seemed to think that it is better to start on the 20 button.
Take what they say wih a large helping of salt. They don' t really know whereof they speak.

 

I think from my expierence you are better off with a nicer 20 button than a crappy 30 button.
Shold make it clear that Rochelles are not crappy instruments. I regard them as the best value in starter anglos you can currently get. About their only disadvantage is that they are only available as C/Gs, not G/Ds. I do hope the estimable Mr Wakker brings out a G/D version some time.

 

Chris

 

 

I never said Rochelles were crappy, I meant the chinese junko i bought was crappy, and it is quite so. I was making a general reference to the really low end models, I have never played a Rochelle and cannot compare it. No insult intended to Rochelle or thier supporters.

 

I listed my expierence with 2 anglos, I personally would rather have an instrument that sounds good and has a limited range, than being fully chromatic with a harsh crappy sound.

 

I once asked an orchestral conductor if an instruemnt with a 1 octave range had value in the orchestra, to which he replied "most definitely".

 

Pro models sell for 1000's because they sound good (like a "concertina"), they play well, and they look stunning.

 

Maybe your chinses box is actaully pretty good, its night and day when i compare my chinese anglo to the vintage german and my lachenal duet. But that chinese box does have the extra keys.

 

But to each his own, fortunately we have choices. I'm glad to hear you have found a choice that works for you, thats' all that really matters.

 

 

Some food for thought: if you were up on a stage and your precious C# button got stuck under the fretwork, what would you do?

Edited by Hooves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some food for thought: if you were up on a stage and your precious C# button got stuck under the fretwork, what would you do?

Just what I'd do if any button got stuck - sing unaccompanied.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some food for thought: if you were up on a stage and your precious C# button got stuck under the fretwork, what would you do?

 

That's easy. Entertain the audience with the breadth and depth of my knowledge of contemporary profanity and invective.

 

Having once been reprimanded by my boss, a retired British Commodore, for swearing too loudly and profusely, and having spent a pleasant although somewhat injurious few years playing Rugby, I believe that I am more than capable of impressing any crowd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some food for thought: if you were up on a stage and your precious C# button got stuck under the fretwork, what would you do?

and having spent a pleasant although somewhat injurious few years playing Rugby, I believe that I am more than capable of impressing any crowd.

 

We have got two morris dancers who were the Cranbrook "second row" for a number of years. The "range" of their songs is quite ..... erm... startling.... is probably the best adjective :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having once been reprimanded by my boss, a retired British Commodore, for swearing too loudly and profusely, and having spent a pleasant although somewhat injurious few years playing Rugby, I believe that I am more than capable of impressing any crowd.

I'm certainly prepared to acknowledge your swearing credentials as impeccable, Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having once been reprimanded by my boss, a retired British Commodore, for swearing too loudly and profusely, and having spent a pleasant although somewhat injurious few years playing Rugby, I believe that I am more than capable of impressing any crowd.

I'm certainly prepared to acknowledge your swearing credentials as impeccable, Dave.

 

Hmm. I'm yet to run across profane English. I would have understood you, if you were talking about swearing in Turkish, or Hungarian. But English? Give me a break!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×