Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

Hi all

I’m thinking of buying a late model Wheatstone 30-key Anglo in C/G (ex-South Africa) from Chris Algar, as a replacement for my mahogany Lachenal. I’ve found some info on these models on "concertina.net", but does anyone have first-hand experience of them - their good and bad points?

I realise that they are not in the same league as the pre-war Wheatstones. Apparently the reeds are ‘clinched’ into aluminium frames, which must affect the sound, but how do they stand up in everyday use, and do they hold their value? As with all of Chris’s concertinas, it will already be refurbished, and I may have a choice of 2 or more. I am going to order a Suttner soon, so I’m looking on this instrument as a intermediate for the next 4 years or so.

Thanks Mike

Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

I would imagine that the price you are being asked fairly accurately represents the true value of the instrument, bearing in mind that he has to make a living and it’s no good asking a price no-one will pay.
I couldn"t comment on their qualities, not being an anglo player.

Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

I’ve played a couple.

If you realise that of all the concertinas made about 95% were unmitigated crap, things made mainly by Lachenal to occupy a space labelled "concertina" and not really for playing, then you will be relieved to know the 50s Wheatstones are not in that class. They are firmly in the top 5%. Some of them, I have heard, are really quite good.

Neither of the ones I played were any better than the best of the Lachenal Anglos. They felt like a good concertina, but the sound was not as pretty, and most important of all, the response was only fair. This is a very important aspect of a concertina when you want to play fast music. If volume doesn’t come fast you will be heaving and pulling at something that won’t move. Does this sound like your Lachenal? If you play longer noted or chorded music it would not be such an issue.

The difference is in the quality of the reeds, not whether they are "clinched" in the frames, but in the clearance between the frame and the reed.

They will stand up in everyday use, and as to hold their value, depends on what you pay. Chris Algar is a man or repute. He will tell you exactly the truth about every instrument. If he says it is in good condition it will be. So I recommend people to buy through him if they don’t have access to a wider market. Know though, that you will never get a bargain from him, he knows exactly what the market will bear. He is a very good businessman. If you buy from him you may get exactly what he describes, but you will not get the same money back for it unles the market moves or you have his sales ability.

If you get to try the two Wheatstones take your Lachenal as a comparison. Try to get a play on something really good as well.

Now my major point. Very good quality anglos cost a packet new. If you take delivery of one it immediately becomes worth a few thousand more, because there are plenty of people with bulging pockets and an immediate thirst. Dippers and Suttners in particular hold their value.

What I would suggest to you is you advertise for a good Suttner and buy it as long as the price is not unreasonable, and at exactly the same time order your new Suttner. When the new Suttner arrives sell the one you don’t like as much for the same price you paid for the second hand one. You now have a Suttner at the new price. You have the added advantage that you have had a good concertina all the way through.

HTH

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Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

My Lachenal is a typical one - a bit leaky, slow and very varied action. There seem’s little point in spending a fair bit more cash just to make a move sidewise in terms of playability, so I’ll just have to try them out and compare.

I don’t expect to get a bargain, but would rather buy from someone with his reputation, etc. Plus my Lachenal came from him, so I get a trade-in at the purchase price.

My other thought was to try out a Morse Ceili. OK it has accordion reeds and won’t keep its value, but they are supposed to have fairly good action, etc. At this stage in my playing/learning, I think I’d rather have that over a good sound.

If I could stretch to a second-hand Suttner now I wouldn’t be considering all of this. At the moment I’m not one of those "people with bulging pockets"!

Thanks Mike

Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

Here are a couple of links about 50,000 series Wheatstone anglos, the first link being a comprehensive article about them. Specific reference to South African models is toward the end of it. The second link has some opinions.
http://www.concertina.com/gaskins/late-wheatstone-anglos/index.htm
http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=5043&hl=

If you get a Morse you’ll probably want to keep it because it has good a volume and action and is incredibly lightweight. If you want to sell it you’ll probably get close to what you paid for it because there’s usually a waiting period for them.

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Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

Micheal O’ Raghallaigh is a Morse agent in Ireland. If you don’t mind the sound they are very good to learn on, they won’t hold you back in response…

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Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

later Wheatstones 1950to 1962tend to be of inferior quality generally speaking, serial number 23oo to3000 are generally speaking better quality.

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Re: Late model Wheatstone Anglo Concertina’s - info please…

i f you want to play … fast then you need good 6 fold bellows and good steel reeds the rest is up to your ear …dont expect to get… one.. to .. one advice on this site a good player will always take the best out of a poor instrument ..although it will be hard for them