|Irish concertina player Mrs. Elizabeth Crotty|
There is a decent entry-level 30b c/g Anglo called the Rochelle by Concertina Connection that typically sells for between $325-$385 used, and $415-$499 new. It's priced low to act as an introductory instrument. Some sellers like The Button Box in Massachusetts offer a full refund when you trade the Rochelle back in for a new, upgraded concertina. I've seen the Rochelle in action and it's much larger in size than a typical 30 button Anglo concertina, and it also seems to be cumbersome. Not really what I'm looking for.
Then there's the Stagi W-15, which sells for between $695 and $900, but I haven't seen many glowing reviews for this mass produced instrument. Getting it into good playing condition usually requires setup work by a skilled technician. You're better off with a Rochelle than a Stagi from what I can gather. I suppose I could try the the vintage route. Refurbished 22 button, 24 button or 26 button Lachenals are in the $800 to $1200 range when you can find them, but there may be an adjustment needed for the fingers when moving to the 30 button. And, for that cost, why play one of those at all if your ultimate goal is to play a 30 button?
|Tedrow Zephyr concertina|
The demands of an Irish sessions require a fast and responsive concertina. With over a thousand parts involved, a truly adequate concertina cannot be mass produced - it has to be hand made and that's going to cost you. The lowest I've seen for a hand made concertina is about $1800, and they go up from there. Some builders make "hybrids" using accordion reeds; others make their own custom concertina reeds. North American makers include Herrington, Tedrow, Morse and Edgley. I particularly like the Zephyr model made by Bob Tedrow. At 5-5/8" across the flat sides, it's a bit smaller than usual. But that one sells for around $2750.
|Tony Dixon Trad Irish Whistle - my concertina alternative|