17 Best Concertina Reviews 2021

Best Concertinas

Best Concertinas

The concertina is a musical instrument that is closely related to the accordion. Concertinas are not very widely used and there is a close-knit community of folks who play the concertina. In form and function, there are different types of concertinas but they all work on basically the same principle.

There are well over a thousand individual parts in a concertina, and when one individual part is disjointed with the others, it might affect the overall quality of the concertina. Concertinas may be bought new or used. Whether one is buying new or used concertinas, there are things that one should look for in the concertinas. These would help inform one’s buying choices and decisions.

There are traditionally bellows of 6 or 7 folds in concertinas. In concertinas, more folds are better, because that means the player gets more air to work with, and the air buttons will not need to be used when there are more notes to play. Some concertinas have only 5 folds. It is better to buy one with 6 folds or higher.

What is the Best Concertina to Buy?

2) HOHNER CONCERTINA 20 KEY

  • 20 Buttons & 40 Reeds
  • Bright Sound
  • Smooth Tone
  • Lightweight
  • Best for Beginner Players

1) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2248 CONCERTINA

  • Black Fabric-covered Bellows with 6 Folds
  • 48 Buttons & 2.5 Octave Range
  • Execution of Speedy Intonation

3) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2230 CONCERTINA

  • Black fabric-covered Bellows with 8 Folds
  • 30 Buttons &  3 Octave Range
  • Completely Chromatic

When buying concertinas, steel reeds are much preferable to brass reeds. Steel reeds produce brighter sounds, and they will stay in tune for much longer and last longer than brass reeds. Most Anglo concertinas are fitted with steel reeds.

Vintage concertinas have buttons – also referred to as the keys – of metal or bone. Bone and metal buttons are very strong, and they can hold their own well, even when playing is vigorous. Most concertinas now have metal buttons, and these are good; although some have plastic buttons, which are might not so good. Whether the button is plastic or metal, it is important to ask if the keys come right up through the end plates or if there is a felt gasket in between. When there is a gasket, the end plates and buttons are protected and this helps improve the durability of the concertina. So it is better to buy concertinas that have metal buttons and felt gaskets.

17 Best Concertina Reviews

1) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2248 CONCERTINA

This is a concertina by Trinity College. Unlike the other concertinas discussed in this review, this concertina is an English style concertina. Like an accordion, this concertina plays the same note on the push and pull of the bellows. It is made in Germany and it plays on the key of C. It has 48 button keys, weighs 3.6 pounds and has a light brown finish. The 48 button keys have a full 2 and a half octave range.

The concertina is fully chromatic and can run through all the semitones in its 2 and a half octave range. Its bellows are covered in black fabric that gives them additional protection, although they have six-folds. The hand straps on both sides of the concertina are fully adjustable. Besides, it has a plush-lined black nylon bag for carrying the concertina. The bag is zippered and has a fixed handle made of fabric. It also has a bonus one carrying strap that is both adjustable and detachable. Furthermore, it has an air release button that helps to close the concertina with the least amount of sound possible.

2) HOHNER CONCERTINA 20 KEY

This concertina is made in China by Hohner Accordions. It is an Anglo-German (also referred to as Anglo style concertina. It is multicoloured, combining colours like, brown and blue with the white buttons and the black leather straps in an impressive fashion to give the ornate appearance and outlook of this concertina. Like many Anglo concertinas, it has twenty keys and forty reeds. It plays on the keys of C major and G major, and any other keys to be played on it need to be transposed. When played, it produces a bright sound and a smooth tone.

It is lightweight and portable and can easily be carried out and about on the road. This is made especially easy with the packaged gig bag in which the concertina can be carried. The gig bag is padded and will protect the concertina from dust and liquid spills. It will also help to cushion the concertina in the event of a fall. The concertina has a leather strap that holds it in place in the player’s hand when it is in use. The straps, however, cannot be adjusted. Like most 20 button concertinas, it is best for beginner concertina players.

3) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2230 CONCERTINA

This is another concertina by Trinity College. It is an English style concertina and it is unisonoric, meaning that it plays the same notes on the pull and push of the bellows. The end plates are wooden laminated and they have a walnut finish that is simulated, giving it its light brown colour. It has 30 button keys, a full 3-octave range and is fully chromatic.

This concertina is appropriate for playing melodies that are swift and fast-paced because the notes on the scales are alternated between two hands. For both classical music and folk dance music, this concertina would be an indispensable instrument. It is easy on the fingers because the leather thumb straps on each side of the concertina are padded, fully adjustable and have a metal hand stop. The bellows are fabric covered and have 8 folds.

For carrying it, there is a zippered nylon bag, black coloured, plush-lined and having a fabric handle. The extra carrying strap of the bag can be adjusted and detached as the need arises.

4) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-1130 CONCERTINA

This is Anglo style concertina from Trinity College. It is beautifully crafted with woodenly laminated end plates, having a highly glossy black finish that gives it a sleek and lustrous outlook. It has 30 button keys and 40 reeds. The 30 buttons are arranged on three rows on each of the sides of the concertina. The first row of buttons contains the dominant keys, the second row the tonic keys and the third and final row a few double keys.

It has steel reeds that give it more beautiful, longer-lasting and more sustained notes on the concertina’s one and a half octave range. It is fully chromatic; the bellows are covered in fabric and have 8 folds. It has hand straps that are both fully adjustable to fit the palm width of the player for easier and more convenient access to the button keys as well as the bellows. The hand straps on both sides of the concertina are fully adjustable. It also has a plush-lined black nylon bag for carrying the concertina. The bag has a zip, a fixed handle, and another detachable handle.

5) JOHNSON FI-120 CONCERTINA

The Johnson F1-120 concertina is an Anglo style concertina. It features 20 button keys, 40 reeds, and a 2.5-octave range. It plays on two keys – C Major and G Major. It is a low-end, starter instrument for learners, beginners, and people just taking an interest in playing concertinas. The bellows on it have been reinforced to allow for better passage of air through them so that the player does not run out of air while playing. The end plates are made of red Pearloid that enhanced the durability and longevity of the concertina. The buttons are touch-sensitive and easy to depress so that they do not get stuck during play.

It is lightweight at 2.8 pounds and is both easy to carry and easy on the fingers when playing. The reeds are made of brass and they produce loud, crisp and clear notes. It has a compact size and measures 7 inches across and 7 inches from bottom to top. When it is being played, it can open up to 18 inches. This concertina is made in China, It does not have a bag or case included, and has no fingering charts.

6) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-1120 CONCERTINA

The Trinity College AP-1120 Anglo concertina is a smaller version than the Trinity College AP-1130. It is a shiny, glossy black colour and like most other Trinity concertinas, it has laminated wooden end plates. It is an Anglo style concertina with 20 button keys and 40 reeds. It has an octave range of 2 and a half, and the concertina can close without any noise owing to the air release button the concertina is fitted with. It also has bellows that are covered in black fabric, which is a signature style in Trinity College concertinas. Unlike most bellows of 7 or 8 folds, this concertina has a whopping number of 11 bellows, ensuring that a player can never run out of the air when playing.

The bellows are reinforced with shiny metal, giving them a shinier outlook, and improving their durability. Like other concertinas made by Trinity, it also has the signature black, zippered, plush-lined, nylon carrier bag with fabric handle and detachable carrying strap.

7) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-20 DIATONIC CONCERTINA

This is one of the low-end concertinas made by Trinity College. It is an Anglo style concertina and is diatonic. It is a brilliant colour of red Pearloid. Its features include 20 button keys, 40 reeds, a two and a half octave range, and an air release button. The end plates of this concertina have a covering made of polished red Pearloid to reinforce them.

This concertina is mostly played in the keys of C Major and G Major, while it transposes every other key. Two different pitches are produced on each button of this concertina, a pitch on the blow, and a different pitch on the draw. It is portable and lightweight and as it weighs only 2.6 pounds, which benefit it can be carried easily, moved around and played with no strain to the shoulder muscles. It also features imitation leather hand straps that can be adjusted for ease of play. The button keys are white and touch-sensitive and do not stick on pressing. This concertina has a fast response time and has sounds that are bright, smooth and clear.

8) MIRAGE C7001 CONCERTINA ACCORDION

This concertina from Mirage is a beautiful blend of colours. White, black, red and wine all combined to give its riveting appearance. It is an Anglo-style concertina sporting 20 button keys and 40 reeds. Its twenty button keys are on two rows on either side of the concertina. Weighs all of three pounds and is a good low-end, entry-level instrument. Although the 20 button keys put some limitations on the kind and range of music it can produce, it has a bright and clear sound and produces loud notes. It is a CG concertina meaning it plays on the keys of C Major and G Major like most other 20-button concertinas, and any other keys will have to be transposed.

Its reeds are made of steel, giving it long-lasting and more sustained notes. It has leather straps that can be adjusted for ease of play. This concertina comes packaged in a hard case that keeps the concertina insulated from dust and liquid spills. The hard case can be locked and is used to store the concertina when it is not being played. It is also very efficient in moving the concertina around.

9) VBESTLIFE DIATONIC CONCERTINA 

This concertina is essentially a small, lightweight and portable one. It is made out of a combination of metal and environmentally friendly acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) which is a type of polymerized plastic. It is a beautiful bright red colour, but it also has options for both the green and blue colours of the same concertina. It has 40 brass reeds and 20 button keys. The keys are arranged in two rows of ten button keys on each side of the concertina.

The brass reeds produce a somewhat subdued tone for the concertina, as is to be expected in brass reeds. It has a convenient 2.5-octave range. The hand straps positioned on either side of the concertina is for convenient holding, and the carrier bag helps in moving the concertina around. The small size and features of this concertina make it geared towards children and concertina players of a younger age. This concertina is essentially a toy and it is not for serious, advanced or professional playing as it is not likely to be able to withstand the rigours of vigorous playing.

10) AMMOON 40-REED CONCERTINA

This is a dark blue version of the Ammoon concertina accordion. Like other concertinas of its kind, it is made of red pine. Being an Anglo style concertina, it has an octave range of 2.5, twenty buttons and forty reeds. It is made available in three other different colours: red, green and blue so that the player can choose whatever colour they find most appealing to them.

Like the other Ammoon concertinas, this concertina also has end plated reinforced with Pearloid. This helps to protect and preserve the end plated of the concertina for as long as the Pearloid will last, although not as much as metal or mother of pearl will. It is light enough to be played conveniently by anyone and has a bag that keeps the concertina safe from dust when it is not in use. This 20-button concertina can only play in two of the two dominant keys of C and G. However, the sound it produces is bright, and the tone is smooth. The two key play of this concertina is limiting. It would pose a snag if a player is to play accidentals because it would mess up the tones a little bit.

11) BONETTI CONCERTINA 20 KEY ACCORDION

The Bonetti concertina is an Anglo style concertina. It is hand carved and has a finish of natural colour. It has 20 button keys and 40 reeds that allow it to cover up to a 2.5-octave range. It is hand-tuned to play in the keys of C Major and G Major. The reeds are made of brass and the hand of the concertina is made of leather. The brass reeds give it a mellow quality sound that is soft and smooth.

The button straps on this concertina hold the player’s hands in place when playing and allow for greater freedom of the fingers and easy access to the two rows of 10 button keys that are on each side of the concertina. It is a very relevant instrument that may be used during band practice, at parties, musical concerts, in churches, during events, at jobs and gigs and for practice at home.

It also has the added feature of a padded hard case that is fitted to the concertina and designed for safe storage and transport of the concertina to wherever it may be needed. The leather used in making this concertina is simulated and so should not be confused for real leather.

12) 30 BUTTON ANGLO PHOENIX CONCERTINA

This Phoenix concertina shares a lot of features with the Curlew concertina. It is an Anglo style concertina that plays on the keys of C major and G Major. Its 30 button keys are black Delrin and domed so that there is no friction when playing them. This concertina has a riveted action system that is both traditional and improved for fast response of the concertina’s keys. It is lightweight and measures 16 inches across the flats. It has a Jeffries layout, and leather bellows with 6 folds. The hand straps are soft, adjustable and made of premium leather.

This concertina is fully chromatic and has melodious, clear and rich tones. The reeds are Tipo a Mano and made from high quality Czech steel which gives the concertina its rich, loud tones. This concertina is eye-catching and comes in a padded hard case that insulates the concertina from shock while at the same time providing a safe place to keep it stored in.

13) 30 BUTTONS SWAN ANGLO CONCERTINA

The Swan Anglo Concertina Accordion is an Anglo style Concertina with 30 button keys. It offers more opportunities in playing and plays on the keys of C Major and G Major. This concertina is a high-end concertina and it packs a lot of impressive features. Across its flats, it measures approximately a remarkable 16 cm. The reeds are made of high-quality Swedish steel which is durable and stay in tune, lending this concertina a brighter, clearer, stronger and sweeter tones for longer periods. The rivet action of this concertina is good, and it gives quick, efficient and fast response.

This concertina is in the vintage Wheatstone layout with adjustable leather straps and black leather bellows that are six fold. This ensures that there is more air in the concertina, and the player does not need to run out of the air on the pull only when there are lots of notes to be played. The end plates are made of metal, and the buttons are touch-sensitive so there is no delay between depressing them and their action. This concertina is fully chromatic and can be used for any type of play, beginner or professional.

14) WREN 2 ANGLO 30-BUTTONS C/G CONCERTINA

The Wren 2 Anglo concertina is an improvement to an existing Wren concertina. It has 30 buttons of three rows on either side of the concertina. It plays on the twin keys of C Major and G Major like other Anglo style concertinas. It measures 16cm across the flats. Unlike most other concertinas with the traditional or 7 fold bellows, it has a groundbreaking 8 bellows that are easy to open and close. The 8 fold bellows allow for sufficient air in the concertina and the player can play as many notes as possible without worrying about running out of air. The buttons are large and white, very conspicuous and easily accessible for convenient play. It is fully chromatic in play and tone and is in the Wheatstone layout.

This concertina is in the traditional standard size of concertinas and is neither bulky nor too compact. It has hand straps made of leather. The hand straps are adjustable and co can be used by both children and adults. Its weight is very light, and so is easy to handle, carry and move about. It has a sleek monochrome finish of visible grain wood. It has the added advantage of a padded hard case for the concertina.

15) M-ZUTX CONCERTINA ACCORDION 20 KEY

This concertina is an Anglo style concertina. It has 20 button keys – two rows of ten buttons on each of the right and left sides of the concertina. It is made of metal and ABS which is a type of strong plastic copolymer. ABS is environmentally friendly and poses no risk of danger to the environment. The combination of metal and ABS on this concertina make it durable, stylish and sleek. It has 40 reeds and a 2.5-octave range. It also features adjustable twin hand straps on either side of the concertina for easy carrying and maneuvering of the concertina whilst it is being played.

An additional feature of the concertina is the carrying bag packaged alongside it. The bag helps to protect the concertina from dust and liquid that may clog the moving parts, and also helps to store the concertina for the next use. This concertina has a beautiful green finish, and it has options for red and blue colour. It is lightweight at 1.5 kg and is a very appropriate concertina for teaching and training children to play. For safety, however, children under three years must be properly supervised when using this instrument.

16) RUSSIAN GARMON CHAYKA 2, CONCERTINA

Quite different from all the concertinas that have been reviewed in this article, the Russian Garmon Chayka 2 concertina is a used and refurbished concertina. Made in Russia, it has 2 rows of 25 button keys for the higher treble notes and 3 rows of 25 button keys for the much lower bass notes. This range of notes allows players to play a wide range of notes on the concertina. It weighs a little less than 11 pounds and is a little bit on the bulky side, but this does not diminish the quality of notes it produces.

It is relatively easy to move around and hold in place while playing, although the weight and size may make it inconvenient for players of a younger age. It has steel reeds that give out crisp, enhanced and loud tones. All the button keys on it have been carefully set to tune, resulting in high and rich treble sounds and powerful deep bass sounds. It is perfect for advanced playing for professional players.

17) 30 BUTTONS CURLEW ANGLO CONCERTINA

This is a high end, high quality concertina. It is an Anglo style concertina with 30 button keys. It is made with the best possible materials, which include Czech reeds. The reeds of this concertina are hand finished and cut from Swedish steel. This makes the reeds open out, and improve with constant play and gives the reeds melodious and sweet tones. In addition to their sweet tones, the reeds’ volume is enhanced. It plays on the keys of C Major and G Major and is made for playing fast melodies and sessions. The keys are touch responsive, and there is no delay in touch response, owing to the riveted action of the concertina.

This concertina is easy to play and has leather bellows that have 6 folds, allowing for an abundance of air when playing. Across the flats, the Curlew concertina measures 6.3 inches. As opposed to the traditional plastic buttons on most concertinas, the buttons of this concertina are black and thin Delrin, to enhance fast playing that is frictionless. Its ends are Beechwood and French polished to give the concertina mellow tones.

Choosing the Best Concertina

All the above guidelines are important when buying concertinas, but one thing that is worthy of note is that different styles of concertinas have their specified music areas that are attuned to them.

2) HOHNER CONCERTINA 20 KEY

  • 20 Buttons & 40 Reeds
  • Bright Sound
  • Smooth Tone
  • Lightweight
  • Best for Beginner Players

1) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2248 CONCERTINA

  • Black Fabric-covered Bellows with 6 Folds
  • 48 Buttons & 2.5 Octave Range
  • Execution of Speedy Intonation

3) TRINITY COLLEGE AP-2230 CONCERTINA

  • Black fabric-covered Bellows with 8 Folds
  • 30 Buttons &  3 Octave Range
  • Completely Chromatic

English style concertinas are most appropriate for playing in a group or a concertina ensemble. The English style concertina is also best for playing melodies that are fast flowing. When composing or playing from a music sheet, an English style or a duet concertina will do the job effortlessly. Duet concertinas are also perfect for solo instrumentals and accompanying songs.

Anglo style concertinas, on the other hand, are good for English folk dance music. Irish music is also best when played on an Anglo style concertina. Folks who want to buy concertinas should buy concertina styles that are appropriate to their style of music, and follow the guidelines above. For beginner players, cheap concertinas may seem like a good deal, they often have buttons that stick and result in the player losing interest in concertinas altogether. Investing in better, even though pricier concertinas are a smarter choice.