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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:30 am 
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Well, I decided to take the leap into the world of Anglo Concertina and bought myself a Rochelle C/G 30 key anglo from Wim.

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rochelle.htm

It's nice to be able to get a decent beginners instrument without breaking my wallet. The Rochelle seems to be quite a bit larger in diameter than other concertinas but it's still pretty lightweight. It seems like a very good starter instrument.
The concertina is quite a different beast compared to the other instruments I've picked up so far and it will definitely be a challenge but I hope I can stick it out because I love the sound and natural rhythm you get from the push pull action and I've always been a sucker for the reeds of the accordian (I've had a piano accordian for about three years). The Rochelle came with a nice carrying case and a tutor but the tutor doesn't go very in-depth. Any basic tips, pointers or advice for a starter would be welcomed and much appreciated.

cheers,
Johnny

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Last edited by straycat82 on Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:34 pm 
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These are very cool. I have a Jackie English, but would definitely like to try the Rochelle.

Here's a useful page on tutors, etc.

http://www.concertina.net/learning.html

I like the Bertram Levy book.

Others with more experience will no doubt be along shortly with better advice.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:44 pm 
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Looks like this Rochelle is the concertina equivalent of the Billy McComiskey Learner accordions, i.e. instruments made in China to specs developed by experienced players/makers and designed to supply the beginner market with a low-priced yet acceptable alternative to a "real" instrument. US$279 for a 30-button anglo 'tina is a great price, assuming it's not a total piece of crap that will fall apart before you're done squeezing out your first tune.

Has anyone out there played one of these? (I'm assuming straycat82 is a raw beginner so he probably hasn't been able to form an opinion yet, but if that's not the case, by all means chime in here too.) How's the workmanship? Are the bellows way loose (or way tight)? Are the reeds (accordion reeds, I'd bet, but that's okay in a beginner 'tina) in a reasonable semblance of being in tune? How's the button action? Do they seem to stick easily, or do they move freely in and out?

If these instruments are at all close to being adequately made, I see a real market for them, given the price and waiting time for good concertinas nowadays. Hell, they're less than half the price of a Stagi, aren't they?

This is an especially nice provision, too:
Quote:
Trade in Program
We understand that some owners would want to ‘move up’ in the concertina world after having played the instrument for a while.
To facilitate upgrading, we offer a full purchase price refund when the Rochelle is traded in for any higher priced vintage or new concertina.


So, any reports from the field?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:12 pm 
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John,
I am a beginner on the 'tina but I believe I would be able to see right off if the instrument was absolute rubbish.
The bellows don't leak and are pretty responsive. The action is pretty smoothe and none of the buttons stick. Some go down easier than others but it's not enough of a difference to cause any issues. They move pretty freely in and out. It uses riveted action which is pretty impressive on such a budget instrument. I'd say, out of all the parts of the instrument, the bellows seem to be the nicest feature. They seem to me to be very good quality. I wasn't as impressed with the cosmetics of the faceplates compared to the picture on the website but it doesn't look bad. The design was just not cut out as clean as my artistic eyes would like. I haven't tested it against a tuner yet but when I played a few tunes I already knew it sounded in tune with itself. Unfortunately I wouldn't know about the reeds being accordion reeds or not but I did look at them and they don't seem to be junk.

Tim,
Thanks for the comments, I did check out the learning link in their page previously and it seems to only be geared towards the English concertina and from what I've gathered it's quite a different playing concept.

Regards,
Johnny

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:19 am 
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straycat82 wrote:
John,
Tim,
Thanks for the comments, I did check out the learning link in their page previously and it seems to only be geared towards the English concertina and from what I've gathered it's quite a different playing concept.

Regards,
Johnny


The link that I posted was not the Concertinaconnection link, but from the concertina.net web site, and has links to learning resources for all systems, but is mostly devoted to Anglo concertina.

Hope you're enjoying the new box.

Tim


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:33 am 
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Oops, I read it wrong. Apologies and thanks again.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:22 am 
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It certainly looks like a very good deal. The website does specify that it has accordion reeds.

It looks a lot better than a Stagi for a lot less dosh. Shame the face plates weren't as nice on yours as in the pictures, Johnny, but that's only cosmetic. They also offer a full price refund if you later trade this in for something else from their website, which is fantastic.

If they did the same in D/G tuning I'd be very tempted to try one.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:05 am 
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Yeah, I'd say that the trade in program was one of the biggest selling points for me. I've been very impressed with the bellows action as I've been playing it these last few days, it's a pretty easy player.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:04 am 
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straycat82 wrote:
I've been very impressed with the bellows action as I've been playing it these last few days, it's a pretty easy player.


This would be one of those qualities that's both a plus and a minus. On a new concertina (or accordion, for that matter) the bellows should be a bit stiff to start, as they will loosen up with extended playing. (Hmmm...Is the word bellows singular or plural? Should I have used 'it' instead of 'they' in that last sentence? Come to think of it, is there such a thing as a 'bellow', or are bellows like pants - trousers in the UK - in that they are always spoken of in the plural? But I digress...) Anyway, if the bellows action is easy now when the instrument is new, it may get uncomfortably loose as the concertina ages. This is probably one of the corners they cut to keep the cost of the instrument down.

That's the minus. The plus is that because of this the instrument is easy to play right out of the box, which is a good thing for a beginner. As long as they will take it back as-is when you trade it in on a new and better instrument from them, the minus is not really much of a negative. The bellows wear out, you presumably have learned how to play by then, and you trade it in for a real 'tina. Sweet...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:08 pm 
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Hi Johnny,
I want to order one of the Rochelle's but when I go to the website there is an ordering button for the Jack/Jackie but not one for the Rochelle. I emailed to the contact address but have not heard anything back. I would be ordering and shipping to Connecticut. How did you get yours ordered? How long did it take for delivery?
Thanks
Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:06 pm 
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mthatcher61 wrote:
Hi Johnny,
I want to order one of the Rochelle's but when I go to the website there is an ordering button for the Jack/Jackie but not one for the Rochelle. I emailed to the contact address but have not heard anything back. I would be ordering and shipping to Connecticut. How did you get yours ordered? How long did it take for delivery?
Thanks
Mark


These just came on the market as of this month. I had been on a pre-order list and was lucky to get one from the first batch that were manufactured and shipped. I got mine by making an inquiry a month or two ago before they were even for sale. I'm not sure there is anything else you can do other than emailing Wim directly. Once he notified me that it was shipping it took about ten business days to get to me (apparently customs was a rough spot for the new product). Wim took about three days (if I remember correctly) to get back to me in email so hopefully you'll hear back from him soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:24 pm 
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Great Johhny , Thanks. I will wait till next week to hear from him. I am a Mandolinist/Guitarist/fiddler. I have my old Gibson A50, a Martin D-62, and an old Stainer Lion Head copy. For all these cool instruments the Chinese have come up with fantastic entry level instruments. With the Guitars it was 'Blueridge', with the Mando it is the 'Eastman' line and now I am hearing rave things about Zhang Shu Mei (sp?) violins coming out of China. It used to be 'made in china' was a bad joke. And to an extent it still may be for a majority of the cheap instruments coming out of there but there is a growing industry of finely crafted instruments coming out of there. The Chinese, as a nation, are very good at grabbing a good idea and copying it. I am so glad to see someone like Wim saw the writing on the wall and has commissoned a 'good' affordable entry level Concertina. I dont know if I will take to the Concertina or not, if I do (I think I will) then I will 'learn' on the Rochelle, and later upgrade to the next level. It is nice to have that option of an affordable Decent instrument to start out on.
Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:52 pm 
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mthatcher61 wrote:
I want to order one of the Rochelle's but when I go to the website there is an ordering button for the Jack/Jackie but not one for the Rochelle.

Last week I e-mailed them asking about wait time, availability, etc. Wim promptly e-mailed me back and said once the new shipment came in, the ordering button for the Rochelle on the site would be reactivated. It may not hurt to ask if you need to be put on a waiting list (if one exists). The Rochelle has gotten some good early reviews on concertina.net: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index. ... topic=4549

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:34 am 
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Martin Milner wrote:
If they did the same in D/G tuning I'd be very tempted to try one.


They might do one if you request it; it's more or less a matter of swapping reeds around. Some of the reed cells might have to change size, though, depending on how it was designed.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:02 pm 
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Here's a sound clip that I recorded on the Rochelle if anyone is interested (a kind thanks to Mr. Wisely for hosting the file). Just don't criticize the playing too hard, I've only had it hardly a week :)

http://www.chiffandfipple.com/guests/johnnykerr-munstercloak.mp3

Also, I'm still interested in any advice or pointers that those with some 'tina experience would be willing to send my way. Thanks to you who've have already posted.

Regards,
Johnny

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Pipes (beginner): The First Slip | Midnight on the Water


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