ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING AN IRISH CONCERTINA
What you need to Know about Concertinas Ireland
THE WORLD OF CONCERTINAS
If you are new to the world of Concertinas there is a lot of knowledge out there on forum’s and you could get bogged down before you get to the first hurdle.
Basically there are 3 types of concertinas on the Market.
1. The Beginner instrument.
There are numerous versions of these but mostly they all mass produced and all come from a couple of factories in China.
No one in Ireland makes Beginner instruments.
Price range €350 to €900 there is a few instruments priced just over this price but believe me they are Chinese and they even use the worst lever system which is hook action.
[a] More info on these at bottom of page.
2. The Mid Range / Hybrid. €2000 +
These instrument use good quality Accordion reeds and are hand made. Action is set to give the student a balanced action over all the buttons.
Makers in Ireland are Jose Claro and Sean Garvey’s “The Irish Concertina Company”
A lot of imports into Ireland happen at this level from Makers using Irish names to confuse the buyers into thinking they are buying Irish, who are in general mostly parents or teachers.
Example of these are from America “The Morse” Ceilí.
From England the “Claddagh” made by AP James.This concertina is imported by Jim Sheilds for years and re sold into the shops around the country. one might ask why dont the shops buy direct and not buy from a middle man??
3. The Vintage. €3300 +
There are different variations of these instruments and they are mostly promoted by the top players who receive free instrument for their loyalty.
The vintage type Concertina are the real Concertinas using Brass Singular reeds. These Concertinas have the origional sound of the Vintage.
[b] More information at bottom of the page.
If your name is not on this list you are not making Concertinas in 2018.
– Colin Dipper
– C Wheatstone & Co
– Anthony James – hybrids
– Marcus Music – hybrids
– A C Norman – hybrids
-Wolverton Concertinas hybrids
– Sean Garvey’s Irish Concertina Company – hybrid & Vintage
– José Claro Concertinas – both. Co. Kerry
– Suttner Concertinas
– Ralf Schlimm Concertinas
– Frank Edgley
– Alabama: Bob Tedrow – hybrids
– Kentucky: Carroll Concertinas
– Maryland: Kensington Concertinas
– Maryland: Thomas Concertinas
– Massachusetts: The Button Box – hybrids
– Washington State: The Concertina Connection – both *)
– Chris Ghent
a. Irish Music is often played at speed and unless you have riveted action, the buttons will not react fast enough for the player to do what is required of them, Rolls and triplets especially.
b. There are a lot of very old Concertina being brought into Ireland from around the world and being sold as reconditioned instruments. Wheatstone come to mind especially as this company made thousands of low quality concertinas back n the ‘1950’s and most never had brass plate reeds or riveted action. Along with the wheatstone you should know that Latchenal made over 150,000 concertinas and stopped back in 1920’s which means they are all over 100 years old and mostly Rubbish. Old is not good when buying an instrument as when the dealer says he reconditioned it, did he replace springs, reeds pads, you never know until you bring along to a repair man and he will soon tell you what you have.