Weltmeister Unisella (project)
I was browsing for a small PA and found this attic roamer very close to home. It remained unplayed for 20 years, looks like new, no scratches.

Tone is good and plays well. It is very airtight so response surprised me. Certainly good enough for my purposes. Still in tune too!

Could be a replacement for my Concerto as my stage beater...

Bought it for the equivalent of 7 pints of beer   Exclamation

happy camper

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Sounds ideal, Jazz.  How many bass does it have ?  I'm really happy with my Rubin - it's brilliant for stand up and walk about gigs, light and easy to play - could be good to take camping too !
Have fun, sounds like you have a bargain.
Nice wee box jozz.

Even for the price of 7 pints of beer in Norway that looks like a bargain.
in the end i was unsure about the Rubin because of the narrow keys

It's 32 bass so 8 ground notes, up to 7ths; that is enough for camping..but live I will only use treble side on this one, we'll see how it goes

I welcome the weight reduction at the bass side; with a 72 bass it is a bit too hard to jump around with
I can understand about the keys, but I really don't have a problem.  However, they could be a problem if you have large or fat fingers  !!!!
Yes, the difference in weight from a 72 bass even down to 60 bass makes a difference.  But if it's only 2 voice, that will also make it lighter.
After fiddling a while with it I've come to the conclusion it sadly needs a tuning. I have asked my guy for a quote, but if it's to high I will for once try my own hand at it. After all, how hard can it be?

Couple of questions:

1. The valves are looking great, the reeds clean, and it's nice and airtight. The wax however is dark and hard.
How smart would it be to simply tune it as it is without taking out the reeds? Will I get a decent result that will last for a couple of years?

2. The reeds are all out of tune and too high, like 7pc or more off of A=440. They seem to have been tuned be a combination of scratching and some powertool. Where this tool has scratched at the bottom it seems quite extensive (to my untrained eye).
How many times can you tune a reed at its base before it will be prone to cracking?
Been away for a while, but now back on track with some progress on this project:
  •  my Concerto has been sold so now I'm aiming for this thing to be my main live performer
  • the Unisella has been rewaxed, revalved and retuned to a tighter tremolo than German, more suitable for Irish (or so I hope)
What I noticed right away was how the basses are influencing the treble notes, sort of causing vibrations but we'll see if that is a real bother or not.

Pallets and action seem good so I leave that for the time being, first put some miles on it.

New grille cloth

It was ugly and dirty so I replaced it with a black/silver party stocking of my better half. The old one I could carefully tear off no problem, and I reattached the stocking with dilluted wood glue ( i had nothing else on hand).

Internal microphones

As this will be used in a band setting, internal microphones is a must. I was trying to solder a electet circuit together myself but gave that up as I kept on getting high signal to noise. I was determined not to buy a new expensive system so I went on searching for alternatives.

Eventuelly, I found this guy: https://www.ebay.com/usr/midifisa

The prices fluctuate so I guess he changes them when the ads get older.

Anyway, i just went ahead and ordered the type for diatonics as this 26/32 is about those sizes. After a week or so I received the package. It came labeled and with spare wires (probably the stuff he had left after he was done).

There are no reviews anywhere of this product so here comes mine.

The system consists of 2 treble mics (the capsules are the standard two-pin variety, and one bass capsule which is about twice the size of the treble capsules. The 9V battery is attachable to a standard 9v wire hat which is soldered to the jackplug. It comes with a bellows cable and the necessary connectors are pre-soldered. For this reason you need to drill reasonable big holes in your soundboards to go through the bass side. I am using this treble only so I didn't do that.

The treble capsules are on a printboard strip with the necessary components to generate the signal. These are very small components (i don't know what exactly) not nearly as much resistors and stuff you find on the Musitech printboards. There is double sided tape attached to the back of the strips and also to the connectors for the bass side cabling.

There is no install guide, so you are on your own, which was fine for me. I used a battery drill, some pliers and screwdrivers, an assortment of tape. And bits and pieces I needed to place the 9V battery somewhere under the grille.

I measured for clearance inside and marked the drill holes, and took the plunge. It took about 2 hrs and I was don, but I didn't go through to the bass side, instead I used the bass capsule as a third capsule under the grille. This allows me to accurately place it later on, where it is most needed according to how it sounds in the mix with the full band.  

Audio sample:
First part: single notes (both pots are at 75%, no normalization or eq)
Second part: singles and thirds in the keys I will be mostly using (same settings)
Third part: pots at 100% and silence to check for signal to noise

Will go testing how it holds up on stage.

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Looking good, congrats!
Next time you need internal mics and don't want to spend a fortune, have a look at the Carini website (carinidena.it). They sell a 3+1 mic system for about 95 euro, good enough for a small box. I use the 5+1 in my bass accordion, using the "1" for adjustable extra volume for the lowest notes. The 5+1 would do well for a larger normal accordion and is about 105 euro. They also have stereo models, models with external battery, a 5+2 model, etc.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
Now you're telling me!

Yes I guess I should've done that (they finally gave me my user account). They also have the Sennheiser kits for half or third of the retail prices! Also I was thinking about external mic's for this small box.

I was afraid the Italian stuff / circuits and putting everything under the grille on one side would generate hum. Because I have seen people with small boxes that had power hum on their signal (depending different circumstances, wireless or cabled). When I take my Italian system out I can also introduce hum in some positions / circumstances. It didn't fit in this small accordion by about 2cm but that made me a little cautious.
Hi Jozz,

I worship the water you walk on.

Kind Regards,

that is totally unnecessary!

but thank you, there is however room for improvement

i played a rehearsal last night

the good:

- box weighs so much less and for the first time I had absolutely no pains anywhere
- had some issues where I ran out of air on the pull as i'm not used to this smaller volum, but playability is adequate

currently facing two issues:
  • the placement of the capsules is disadvantageous for the high E and F#, this has to be remedied as I use these a lot in the Irish set
  • the clamp for the 9v battery is not secure enough and caused it to wiggle loose after 2hrs, causing some crackle on the signal
so off for a little tinkering again
Hi Jozz,

It sounds as though you are having great fun, which is really what life is all about. Good luck with your new project ... as you say, "how hard can it be?"

Kind Regards,

thank you Stephen

- I have hopefully fixed the battery issue with an extra notch to hold it in place (this is mainly for when the box is placed on its feet, in the playing position the battery rests on the casing)

- the extra capsule has been repositioned over the higher notes, however I still get a weak input from D# and E in that area so I'm beginning to suspect there is another problem there, will have to investigate more

tonight is a second rehearsal for testing overall road-worthiness

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Hi Jozz,

I hope your rehearsals have been successful, and that your new toy has performed well.

Keep It Up,

thanks Stephen, I'm not there yet

The battery stays put now, and this second band is less loud so I can hear a wider range of my output and the capsule placement is less critical. I also had a wire rattle against the grille so i padded that with tape.

So far the good news.

The bad news is halfway through I got a crackle on my signal, the source of which I could not identify. It was not anything loose or bad pots or some other evident thing.

It left me rather sad, however the crackle went away after a while and I haven't heard it since. I took off the grill with the mic's and tried mishandling, touching stuff, shifting wires, while plugged in. It stays dead quiet.

Rather puzzling, but now I don't trust it enough yet to really use it

Hi Jozz,

A man of your calibre & determination will soon consign this problem to history.

Whilst I am fascinated by electronic gismos, I still harbour an irrational mistrust of them.

Kind Regards,

Thank you Stephen,

It turned out to be a faulty DI-box (not mine), it got switched and we were fine.

A small summary of what I have now:
  • "midifisa" system with pots at 40%
  • mono out into stageclix wireless
  • stageclix into central IEM rack into personal bodypack
  • rack goes into main mixer
The system produces the same gain at 40% as the Italian system at 70% so that is profitable regarding pallet noise and such.

I have a couple more hours on it, and it's so nice to carry such a small pack on your back through buildings and doorways. After playing 2,5 hours I have zero shoulder pain. It cuts nicely but stays warm. The violin comes over in my range sometimes and I have nowhere to go on my 26 keys but that's about the only negative so far.

I intend to use this Unisella in full band settings the next months: we have drums, bass, elec.guitar, ac.el.guitar, mando, violin, tin whistle, accordion, lead and backings.

Here is a small sample of a rehearsal at the mixer. This will be fed into the live PA. The lead is missing, but you get an idea of how the Unisella sits into the mix:

---> https://instaud.io/3GvA
Accordion sounds good on the mix, congratulations!
I have nothing to contribute to this conversation, other than to say that you exemplify the good cheer and helpfulness that makes this forum the best.
Good on ya!
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed)

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