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nula

From beginner...to hybrid...to...?

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Could someone clarify the relative hierarchy of anglo concertinas, as I find it a bit confusing.

 

Stagis and Rochelles etc., are the lower end, right?

 

Then come hybrids such as Tedrow and Edgely. But aren't these quality makes? What makes them hybrid and does that term imply some devaluation of quality?

 

What makes are considered above these (i.e. 'real' anglo concertinas)?

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Differences between your first two categories include workmanship, materials and size, but they are both "hybrids" in the sense that they use accordion style reeds even though they are concertinas in other ways.

 

The next step up is to "genuine concertina reeds." There's a superb explanation page on Wim Wakker's site at

 

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/concertina%20reeds.htm

 

Although the Jackie and Rochelle etc that Wim Wkker gets made in China fall in your lower category, the true "Wakker" concertinas go into the top category as the pictures on the website explain.

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Well, this document is a bit complicated for a beginner I'd say.

 

From my point of view, the difference between an hybrid (accordion reeds) and a concertina-reeded concertina is the sound, the frequencies and the general 'feel'. The more you'll hear different type of concertinas and the easier it will get to notice and differenciate accordion reeds vs concertina reeds. Some people prefer accordion reeds sound, some other people, like me, prefer the sound of a concertina reed.

 

Beyond the sound, another difference is the frequencies/harmonics, it's not just the sound, but the effect you'll get when playing a chord, or playing more than one note at a time.

 

Another important difference I personally noticed is that lower notes are easier to play with an concertina reed versus an accordion reed. Maybe it doesn't apply to all concertinas, but this is my own experience with a dozen of different concertinas.

 

I started with an 'hybrid', a Edgley, and never regretted doing so. It's a very well buult, solid instrument, and very, very easy to play, especially compared to your Rochelle or similar. I personnaly started with an hybrid and would suggest anyone to start with one. There are shops like the Buttonbox who will allow you to buy a Rochelle and then trade for a Morse later and they will deduct the price of the Rochelle. Sounds like a good deal to me if you really don't want to spend too much before you're certain you want to commit to the instrument.

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Here's my understanding of this issue:

 

"Hybrids" (or intermediate or midrange concertinas -- there's no fully adequate name) are distinguished from traditional/vintage style concertinas only by the type of reeds they use. The traditional/vintage ones are more expensive primarily because traditional concertina reeds are much more expensive (in terms of the labor involved to make and adjust them) than high-end accordion-type reeds, which can be purchased at relatively low prices from an accordion reed manufacturer. Concertina-reed concertinas aren't necessarily better than accordion-reed ones, they just have a different sound. Many of us like the sound enough that we're willing to pay a premium for it, but there are also hybrid owners who are happy with their concertinas and have no plans to change over to a concertina-reeded instrument.

 

Daniel

 

Could someone clarify the relative hierarchy of anglo concertinas, as I find it a bit confusing.

 

Stagis and Rochelles etc., are the lower end, right?

 

Then come hybrids such as Tedrow and Edgely. But aren't these quality makes? What makes them hybrid and does that term imply some devaluation of quality?

 

What makes are considered above these (i.e. 'real' anglo concertinas)?

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yes, edgley, tedrow, button box, herrington, etc are all quality makers, and all of their instruments are considered hand made. but the thing is that they do not make their own reeds. their reeds are the same reeds used in accordions, though tweaked and modified to work well in concertinas. that being said, they are very good accordion reeds, but the fact of the matter is the concertina was designed to play with reeds of a slightly different shape and characteristic than that of the accordion. when you look inside the instrument, they look slightly different with accordion reeds compared to concertina reeds, both in how it is mounted, and how the reeds must be arranged (accordion reeds take up slightly more space).

 

when concertinas were first invented and very popular, skilled labor was cheap. you could make a mid range or an upper range instrument with concertina reeds at your fancy. but nowadays, the amount of time and effort goes into making concertina reeds really wouldnt be worth it unless you are making the very best reeds. so, there are several makers out there who put all the love and care into their instrument as the top makers, but choose to buy and modify reeds, to pass these savings onto their customers. making your own reeds or using concertina reeds basically doubles the price of the instrument instantly. they are all master crafstmen, and could make their own reeds if they wanted to, but it would hurt the customers who could not afford to pay twice as much for the same quality work.

 

i upgraded to a hybrid, and i think it was the way to go. it wasnt until i was playing for at least 5 years that i found myself needing a concertina-reeded instrument, rather than just wanting it. a good hybrid concertina (and they all are great, we are lucky!) can do all you want and then some.

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