General tuning question
#1
I have a Tiger Combo Cordeon from 1966 I believe. I bought it in 1990 and it was new/old stock. Never been sold before. I played it with a bluegrass band a little, but never recorded it. The quint tuning is pretty wild and I’ve found some fun things to do with it. 
I don’t have perfect pitch, so I was pretty surprised when I  checked its tuning with an app and then with my piano. It’s at 444!
It’s never been a smooth instrument, but it’s really fun to play and it’s not been mistreated. Why would the overall pitch rise that much, or could it have been at 444 all along and my band partners just tuned to it and didn’t say a word. I’ve heard of accordions being tuned to 443 but never this high.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed)
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#2
Tuning "standards" have been all over the place over the centuries, but in the last 100 years or so it settled at values between roughly 438 and 446, so your 444 is not yet the extreme end of the scale. For many decades already we have an international standard, an ISO standard, and it states that A = 440Hz. But like many standards, no matter how official, why should anyone follow them... which explains why many accordions come factory tuned to 442 instead of 440, by default, and without even telling the customer... So beware when ordering an accordion: always check what the tuning will be or already is. And you can get standard A=440Hz tuning from every accordion maker. They just do not all give you that as the default.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#3
Eddy,

Some European accordion stores will actually state the tuning of the accordions they have for sale, and it soon becomes apparent that certain countries prefer specific tunings.

Whilst I don't claim to be particularly knowledgeable on the subject I do know that the default tuning currently offered by both of the big name French manufacturers is 442Hz. Where such instruments are supplied to Switzerland they are usually tuned to 441Hz. I dare say there are other similar arrangements, but I'm not aware of them. 

A good few years ago Danielle Pauly, a French recording artiste, came to Scotland and made an album with a Scottish player, whose name I have since forgotten. The result of the two accordions playing together had to be heard to be believed. I'm making the assumption that her accordion was 442Hz vs the Scottish 440Hz. The recording was available on a K7 cassette tape and my copy ended up in a landfill site before I had listened to it all the way through. If you include the basses, the combination of some 16 or so simultaneously sounding accordion reeds all out of tune with each other, was just too much for me. 

Years of playing stringed instruments with the frequent necessary adjustments to tuning seems to have caused my ears to be extremely sensitive to pitch variation, and if one of my guitars goes out of tune it can be enough to "throw" my playing off until I can correct it. 

I still have issues with most musette tuned accordions, although very occasionally I'll hear one where I can listen to a tune right through. With hindsight the accordion was possibly about the worst possible choice of instrument for me. For years I played an LMM box with the two MM reeds tuned near in unison with each other, although I eventually "hardened" myself to cope with a whole 8 cents difference between them. The drier tunings of Scandinavia are less irritating to my ears. I have two accordions at 440Hz and two at 441Hz, and fortunately cannot manage to play two of them at once.
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#4
Thanks for the info, savants!
I guess I owe an apology to my former band mates, and from now on, the Tiger will be played solo!
Guenadiy of the Accordion Gallery says how his accordions are tuned, but the highest I see is 443.
I feared there was some mysterious physics of tuning in older accordions I didn’t understand, knowing that a piano left untuned can drift all over the place. If all Tigers were tuned to 444 that may also have something to do with why they didn’t catch on in the rock and roll market.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed)
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#5
444 is a point where one knows something is off but can't quite place it...

you will have those bandmates re-tuning their strings because they think it's them.

after all, an accordion is always in tune, right? hahaaa
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#6
That might be why the band is no longer together......?
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed)
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