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Boney

Stagi Anglo W-15-ln

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Hi, I started playing concertina last summer, so I'm still a real beginner, although there are a few slow simple tunes I can play with some pals of mine that don't sound bad. I started out on a used 30-button anglo I got for $100, it had no name, but the tuning was good and it sounded decent (better than several other cheap concertinas I've tried). But there were a few slow and sticky reeds, and the response wasn't great. I opened it up, and it was glued together so I couldn't get at most of the reeds without risking destroying the instrument. So I decided to get a better box, but I'm not ready to appreciate or judge the merits of a high-end or vintage concertina. So I ended up getting the Stagi 30-button anglo with "improved action," the W-15-LN. I'd tried the W-15-MS, and thought it sounded and played better than my cheap box. The W-15-LN does seem to have a somewhat faster and tighter action, although I do like the looks of the wooden ends of the MS better than the black lacquered LN.

 

So, the Stagi responds quicker, all the reeds work fine, the bellows seem a bit more efficient, the air button vents quicker, and the leather bellows smell nice. But, there are a few issues I wanted to discuss.

 

First of all, the C#/D# button (#1 on the upper row on the right side) started sticking. I took it apart, and while the insides look a bit nicer than my old one, it's still clearly not a high-end instrument. I couldn't see what was making the key stick, so I tried rubbing the walls of the hole the button comes through with pencil lead, to "lubricate" it a bit with graphite. This did seem to make the button move a bit smoother (I may do it to the other buttons), but it still stuck.

 

So I made a guess that the metal arm the key presses on was rubbing the inside wall of the wood making up the case of the concertina -- it did seem awfully close. I filed away a little groove in the fairly soft wood, and now it seems to work fine. I thought I'd just mention this as a comment on the quality of the Stagi concertinas, and as a possible fix if anyone else has a similar problem.

 

Another issue is one of sound. While in general the Stagi sounds a bit nicer than my old box, some of the notes on the middle of the left side sound a bit "hollow" or "honky." It sounds to me to have something to do with the acoustics of the sound chamber, not the reeds. Is there anything that can be done about this? The grille material seems to be some sort of plasticky mesh with a foil-like exterior. Could changing that help the sound? I don't like the looks of it anyway, I was thinking maybe some sort of coarse-weave fabric would work -- any ideas?

 

One last thing! When I release the lower notes on the left-hand side, there's a quiet springy "bwoiiiing..." sound. I think it's the reed, because it only happens when I move the bellows, not when I press and release the button "silently" (without working the bellows). Is there any way to get rid of this sound? Does it signify some other kind of problem?

 

Thanks for any help guys, I've been lurking here a while before my recent posts, it seems like a really nice group.

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I had the same problem on the C#/Eb with a new Stagi W-15 LN purchased in October 2003. The folks at Button Box fixed it on warranty while I waited, and were quite helpful. I am not sure as to the exact cause of the sticking, but it was at least partially due to a bent key. At the same time Button Box also replaced the screws (with bolts) on the movable metal hinges that hold the wrist straps.

 

I have not had a problem (that I have heard) with a "bwoiing" on the lower notes when releasing the button. There is a marked difference, however, in the tone of the same note played on different keys--e.g., the A in each of the three rows has a different quality, although the A on the C row and the A on the accidental row are fairly close in tone.

 

Even though the instument is in tune (based on my clavinova), I find the upper register to be a bit harsh, and I have to ease up on the volume when playing these notes.

 

Overall, the instrument has been a good beginners instrument that has kept me enthusiastic. I am not sure why it has a very spotty reputation, but on the other hand I have nothing to compare it with. Alan Miller

Edited by Alan Miller

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Hello, I own a STAGI w-15-ln too (since living in Italy and the concertina not being my principal instrument I didn't want to invest a lot of money) but I'm not very satisfied. I began with an old 20 button BASTARI, then I switched to the STAGI. Well, the key heights are uneven: some buttons are higher than others by circa 1 mm (0.03 in -?-), and the first two buttons of the G row, left hand, are stronger than the others to push. More, one of the reeds on the left side sometimes gives a grinding noise, and another on the right side has a noisy harmonic. Last, the instrument is not airtight: if I hold the concertina by one of the straps without pressing any button, it slowly opens and the bellows is quite completely extended in about 5 seconds.

I wonder if I am too finnicky or my instrument is defective. I paid €370 hard case included, so the price was fairly good, but I think I have to have it fixed by someone really skilled.

 

Ghiro

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Ghiro:

I have not experienced the same degree of problems (with my Stagi) that you have with your Stagi. The keyheights are basically even for each row, although the rows themselves differ with the G row being the lowest, and the accidentals row being the highest. I have a slight air leak, but it takes approximately 20 seconds for the bellows to become well-extended. I have ordered a new concertina, but I also believe that the Stagi has been a useful instrument. Mine was new, and cost approximately $630. Good luck, Alan Miller

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Hi, Alan,

I'm not really unsatisfied with my instrument, first because being a real newbie almost every box will be right for learning, and second because the price was really good, sort of 370 US$ carrying case (hard) included. The air leak is a pain, though, and I'll have to have it fixed. The unevenness of the button height, after a close - and honest - look is not dramatic except for the air button which is a little 'slanted' towards the rim of the concertina, so I would need a longer thumb to operate it comfortingly. Maybe it's all a matter of habit...

By the way, is there a place where to fin tablatures along with scores? Just to sort out how jump from row to row...

 

Bye

Ghiro

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The Stagi Concertina range has now been greatly improved and they now offer great quality concertinas at wonderful prices. Here at Red Cow Music we have seen the Stagi range improve and find the quality very good.

tuning is exceptional, action is fast and the build quits wonderful.

we would highly recommend these concertinas to any one wishing to learn the concertina,  for Anglo, English or duet.

 

Steve Morrison ( Red Cow Music UK)

70CAD723-5BD2-4BBC-8213-11B8B6CCA198.jpeg

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Could you post a pic of the action?

 

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