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Good Inexpensive Anglo


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:o Unseen, "good" and "cheap" are words that rarely go together, especially with anglo concertinas! You might keep an eye on e-bay for bargains, BUT remember that it's "Buyer Beware" on sight unseen instruments. A "good" anglo 30-button concertina will usually run closer to $1500 and up. Good luck!
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Sadly, I have to agree with Bill here. Unfortunately, what gets in the way of the production of good cheap concertinas is the sheer complexity of the beast. Consider the guitar. Of course the very finest guitars are craftsman productions and command the sort of prices you would expect for top quality instruments, but nevertheless a guitar consists of a relatively small number of discreet bits that lend themselves to mass production, meaning it's not too diffficult to produce a reasonable instrument for not too many shekels.

 

The concertina, however, consists of literally thousands of discreet parts. What is worse, many of these parts are small and fiddly. On top of this, there isn't the demand for concertinas that there is for, say, button accordions worldwide that would enable economies of scale.

 

In recent years the situation has improved greatly with the arrival of the modern makers with accordion reeds and a price point of about $1300, but when I started the choice was either old concertinas (bing in the right place at the right time) or craftsman-made (long waiting lists and high costs).

 

The decent $1000 anglo is still the Holy Grail...

 

Chris

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In recent years the situation has improved greatly with the arrival of the modern makers with accordion reeds and a price point of about $1300, ...

Just so 'Unseen122' doesn't get his/her hopes up unduly ("Yes, I can come up with $300 more"), I feel obliged to point out that in North America the current prices from the new makers are north of $1300 --- more like $1500 to $1900. And due to the decline in the dollar vs. the Euro, a new instrument from, say, Geuns-Wakker will be well over $2000.

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At least Unseen didn't say "new". My guess, in your near price range, the best Anglo might be a used instrument from Homewood, Edgley, Groff music or Button Box, depending on what they have available. These vendors can be found in the sponsor link at the home page of this site or www.groffsmusic.com.

 

Many say that this $1300 Marcus is great bang-for-the-buck at the buttonbox. This is a 30-button; other dealers may have used 20-buttons below $1000.

Edited by Stephen Mills
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Stephen, I'm sorry to report (actually, I'm not sorry at all!) :D that I have purchased said Marcus and am VERY happy with it!

Yes, Unseen, used is probably the way to go. Check the Buy and Sell forum here, contact the Button Box and other sites mentioned, and be prepared to save a few more hundred dollars to add to your budget.

In the meantime, maybe a rental would keep you playing? I had a Stagi from the Button Box which taught me the rudiments and made me realize it was time to move up and on. Now I have an instrument I will be happy with for years to come!

 

All the best,

Allison

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I've been playing a Norman 30 button---in my opinion it's very close to the sound of several "vintage" concertinas I've heard with traditional concertina reeds---not accordian sounding. I would recommend it to anyone! I also have an old Stagi. Many people who actually hear the Stagi (that is casual listeners who themselves don't play the concertina) actually like the sound of the Stagi better. (Some describe the sound of a traditional concertina reeded instrument as a bit shrill.) I think it's because accordian reeds vibrate with more dynamics than traditional sounding concertina reeds. In any case, don't be surprised if accordan sounding concertinas aren't more pleasing to the "uninitiated." It can be a bit of a bummer when you do an A-B comparison and they like "B" better! You may want to consider a higher end Stagi---I won't tell anyone.

 

 

Bill

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Yes, while baritones have their wonderful uses, I don't know that it is the first box I would suggest to a beginner. And I'll warrant the price will rise a fair bit, as all ebay auctions for nice items do at the end.

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