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Wtb> A Decent Anglo, Used Ok, At Or Below $150


Zach Condon
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Zach, I also want to get a "decent" concertina but I am told by one gentleman that it would cost me 4000 GBP or $8,000.00 (Dipper) and I would have to wait for 3 years. The other gentleman told me that it would cost me 5,500 GBP or $11,500.00 (Dickenson) and I would have to wait for 5 years.

 

Ah, to dream the impossible dream! My boss said: All things are possible...if you believe. It may be possible for a generous person on this website to give you a used concertina...if the Good Lord works on their heart. Unfortunately one is not going to get a working concertina for $150.00. You could try Ebay.

 

You also have to dedide if you are going to play on an anglo or an English style concertina. You have to decide also what type of music you are going to play...Irish Traditional music, English session style music, etc. Different styles of music may require different styles of concertinas. I play South AFrican Boer Music that needs plenty of bellows and plenty of buttons. Other styles of music need fewer buttons and fewer bellows. Some concertinas take a lot of punishment...some cheap Chinese models may tear apart (poor bellows).

 

Have faith...

 

Regards,

Ben

Edited by Ben Otto
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Things are getting rapidly out of hand here. Top class anglos, new or vintage command a fearful price but there are many other options for the new player. $150 however is completely out of the question (sorry Zach), $335 for the Rochelle is the least you can expect to pay for anything playable, if that's too much to pay right now then look at something else because anything cheaper is a waste of money.

 

Take it on the chin mate, if you're living on a budget the concertina isn't for you but if the $335 Rochelle is possible (if painful) then have a go, but be committed, it really has to be what you want most.

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Every now and again there's a used Rochelle available if you check the Button Box and Homewood Instruments sites. Or also they're listed here.

The cheap ones on ebay are not playable.

 

But I would argue that Dippers and Dickensons are several levels past decent.

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Hey guys I have a question for you. Being I know very little about concertinas (as far as the different models) will someone explane why the Hohner D40 is not a good concertina?

 

It's not well made. It's probably made in China with the purpose of competing on the cheapest bottom level.

The sound is OK, even good, but the reeds are slow and take more air to sound. It probably has to do with larger gaps between reed tongues and slots, in which they vibrate. They probably are made from softer steel, so they are not loud and may go out of tune sooner.

Valves, pads, mechanics are cheaper made, out of soft alluminium, artificial "leather" and plastic, that will deteriorate quickly. Pads are poorly glued and may fall off as soon as you start playing. Valves are not glued properly, covering the reeds, or not covering the slots. Screws may not be screwed properly, overtightened or loose.

Bellows may not be airtight, poorly glued, with lumps of glue and some material still flapping around. They are made out of cheaper cardboard and vynil, instead of leather.

Wrist straps are not adjustable and too thin, wrist brackets may fall off, not been screwed well, or having the screw holes lose from multiple unscrewing.

It may come to you with wrong tuning, reeds replaced or reversed, standing upside down, wax is not proper, too soft and stickish.

There is nothing wrong with the design, if only the reeds were good, and all the details were made out of quality materials and assembled well. I'm surprized myself, why they are so bad? I like the sound.

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Well, none of that applies to a little Hohner D40 that I've been playing for a couple of years. I guess YMMV.

 

Sorry, but a lot of this applies to it. Reeds are still not the best there are, action is made from alluminium, etc.

If you bought it from a dealer, like Kimric Accordions, or the Button Box - places, where instruments are checked more or less, you may be safer, or you just got lucky.

Hohner is slow, difficult to play on push/pull and doesn't have much of the Piano-Forte.

Interesting to recall that interview with a young concertina player in 19century Lundon, where he says that he can play anything on concertina, except fast reels.

I guess all the music that was heard around him was diatonic, and reels were too fast for cheap German made (!) instruments he had.

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Wow, now I'm really confused. I have no dought that M3838 knows what he is talking about but I have a friend who has a Hohner concertina that he has been playing for 40 or 50 years now. Yup its a Hohner, red colored but still a Hohner. And I have had several concertina players (a couple right here in the club) who play a English tuned concertina tell me its very hard to play fast songs on a Anglo/Diatonic tuned concertina because of the push-pull action.

 

As far as Hohner using cheap materials and cheap Chinese labor in their concertinas I can believe this. I played around with Hohner harmonicas for about 50 years and have seen their quility standards go way down. And some of their harmonicas are made in China.

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$150 however is completely out of the question (sorry Zach), $335 for the Rochelle is the least you can expect to pay for anything playable, if that's too much to pay right now then look at something else because anything cheaper is a waste of money.

 

Take it on the chin mate, if you're living on a budget the concertina isn't for you but if the $335 Rochelle is possible (if painful) then have a go, but be committed, it really has to be what you want most.

The cheap ones on ebay are not playable.
Well, none of that applies to a little Hohner D40 that I've been playing for a couple of years. I guess YMMV.

 

 

Hi Zach & first of all welcome to Concertina.net

 

You'll get a lot of opinions on this site telling you one thing or another as if it is absolute "gospel" truth. In reality of course things are never so straight-forward.

 

First of all the consensus on this site seems to be that the cheapest Anglo available that can reasonably be relied upon as a learner instrument is the Rochelle. I'm not going to disagree with this &, if you can any way afford one, this is undoubtedly the way to go and you'll never regret spending the extra.

 

If however there's no way you can afford the cost of the Rochelle, there is the scary world of the cheap eBay Chinese Anglo. Many players, myself included, started learning on one of these. Quality is a problem - you might get lucky and get one that does well and stays in tune, or you might get a piece of junk - unfortunately there seems to be little way of telling which you'll end up with before parting with your money. If you get an OK one (I had two different ones and both were playable - but see further down for a qualification of this statement) then you can begin learning on one quite well, but my experience was that as soon as the Rochelle was released I upgraded to one as fast as I could and was glad to do so.

 

If you buy a cheap Chinese box from an established dealer or shop you might be able to avoid the worst problems. When I first went to buy a Cheap Anglo for about $100, I bought online from a shop - the first 20-button box had the wrong reeds fitted, the second didn't work properly, but after going through the process of returning both the one I finally got served me very well for 6 months until I wanted a 30-button. The second cheap Chinese box I got was through an importer who imposed their own quality control, and the box I received worked well, but there were problems with the button placing which made it not that comfortable to play on the right-hand G row. Both were resold on eBay for, from memory, about half what I paid

 

At the end of the day you pays your money and you makes your choice. If it were me, I'd save up for a Rochelle - even if it meant quite a wait, but if you choose to brave the ultra-cheap world you won't be the first to start learning on such a box.

 

Good luck whichever way you go

 

W

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And I have had several concertina players (a couple right here in the club) who play a English tuned concertina tell me its very hard to play fast songs on a Anglo/Diatonic tuned concertina because of the push-pull action.

See the debate about Irish music on this forum. See also this example from Niall Vallely, or this one from Noel Hill and decide if it's a bit slow.

Edited by Woody
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I will concede that my MIC Hohner is made with cheap parts, labor, and perhaps poorly designed/manufactured mechanisms. However, then, I am unable to explain why it performs so adequately. I'm not in the habit of arguing the merits of $150 instruments; yet, this box--which I obtained randomly from a pawnshop for $150--got me into anglo playing and entertained scores of people for years. It is more responsive than the general descriptions by m3838: I play jigs, some reels, and fiddle tunes. It is, indeed, a honking little box--especially on the right side; I generally avoid playing up there. For some reason this anglo is outfitted with EC-style thumb stirrups, which I prefer, intead of wrist straps.

 

I also have a Jackie which sounds and plays better, so on this basis I would recommend a Rochelle.

Edited by catty
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Hey guys I have a question for you. Being I know very little about concertinas (as far as the different models) will someone explane why the Hohner D40 is not a good concertina?

 

 

As someone said earlier, you pays your money and you takes your chances. I had two of the D40s, bought from an internet dealer a couple of years ago. They were made in China. One lasted a month before the buttons were irretrieveably stuck. Returned that one and got a replacement. It lasted 5 minutes for the same problem occurred. Sent it back also. Upgraded at that time to a 30b Stagi, which I was reasonably happy with. I'd recommend a Rochelle over a modern Hohner D40 anytime.

Edited by CaryK
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I am unable to explain why it performs so adequately.

Well, first what comes to mind is your tolerance. Some people just get annoyed faster.

Second is the speed and articulation, with which you are playing. As your level will increase, your demands will increase, and many people just are happy where they are in little spare time they have.

I actually like the sound and wouldn't describe it as Honky. Kind of "nasal" a little, but with presence and personality.

Third, you simply may have gotten lucky.

To bear - those of your friends, who played Hohners for 50 years, played German made ones, before Hohner moved production to China. No wonder they like them. Russian firm "Lantan" also made and exported bottom level 20 button Anglos. Their primary outlet in the US iwas little music store in South San Francisco. The instruments looked easonably good, sounded reasonably well, but were poorly made. Although with Hohners made in China, Lantan instruments may appear quite OK. I looked them up, but couldn't find the webpage. I guess they are out of business

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