Hi from Holland
#1
Hi folks!

Just a week ago I felt like buying an accordion. In fact I liked it much longer but I never dared to. Corona is forcing me to stay at home so I thought why not now? Smile

So, after investing some time on watching YT movies on how to play, what brands are available and the differences between the amount of bas notes I thought an 80 bass was a good startpoint.

After visiting a second hand Marinucci for sale in my local area for really cheap I first was a bit frighten off. Some notes wheren't working and a bit out of tune, but I liked the sound of it.
The second one (also a Marinucci) was even in more worse state. Some white keys where almost above the black keys (as if they where bended or something), much more out of tune and even more expensive.

After some considering I decided to buy the first one for cheap and spend some on maintanance. 
So far I only have been calling a friend of friend which gave me some good advice. Together with some simple tools I got most of the stucked notes fixed now. 

Next on my todo list will be an attempt to change the pitch of the 'out of tune' reeds, I'm sure I'll need some more experienced advice on that from you guys.. but already had loads of fun on trying to play it. Smile

See ya...
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#2
Hiya and welcome to the club,
the 80 bass sounds like a good choice for starting.

Warning: you'll find another accordion you just have to buy really soon :)

There's plenty of knowledge on how to fix things on here, but the goto web resource is http://accordionrevival.com/Home.php.
Tuning is not something I've tried yet, apparently it can be difficult / tiresome.
The main advice I can offer is take pictures before you take things apart.

Best of luck,
Gareth.
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#3
Hi Marinucci, welcome! Smile

The accordion was very popular among the Dutch of my acquaintance, but maybe not so much among the younger generation of today?
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#4
Hey thank, peeps!!

Interesting link Gareth!! Some reeds are really off in pitch.. hoping to fix that a little. But if my skills will improve I'm sure gonna spend some more money on a good working one.

@ Dingo: You're right! The accordion is still used very occasionly in a sort of swing-folk music and is quite popular here...
Also the accordion has been used in songs by many singers from Amsterdam in the past.. This has all to do with this famous area in Amsterdam they call the 'Jordaan'.
Most of the streets where named after flowers.. and 'Jordaan' in fact it's pronounced a bit like 'Jardin' (French) as most of the people who settled there in history where from France.. so they're imported their accordions too probably Smile
Check Johnny Jordaan for example.. accordion used instantly!! And of course Johnny Meyer Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=880M6j0Dcn8
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#5
Just a note:
Pitch being off can be caused by the valves so check those first.
Also check for any deposits or rust on the reed.
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#6
Marinucci,
Thanks for the clip: Johnny Meijer is one of my revered artists! Smile

I'm thinking now of the enormous amount of printed music of many genres, including much popular music of the day, and at a variety of levels of difficulty that used to be readily available, printed in Holland (or is it the Netherlands nowadays?) that my Dutch friends had regularly sent to them by friends and relatives back home  Smile

At the time, the Dutch were the largest contingent of European immigrants to Australia, second only in number to the Brits.
In a sense, this is ironic, as the Dutch discovered the place before the Brits (the Dutch getting lost on the way to Batavia and " hitting" Australia ) but didn't follow it up as they didn't think very much of it at the time  Tongue
The whole place was originally called New Holland, Tasmania being known as Van Dieman's Land).  Smile

Luckily for me, I made fairly good use of the opportunity to secure copies of the music, enough to meet my foreseeable needs into the future! Smile
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#7
The procedure for getting the accordion working properly involves many steps of which tuning the reeds is the very last one. It makes no sense to try to tune reeds when the accordion still has other faults as you will just have to do the tuning again, and as tuning is a destructive process (of filing and scratching) you don't want do it more often than strictly necessary.
1) First check that the keyboard and register switches are operating smoothly. If not, fix anything that appears misaligned. Do not use lubricant. Also, level the keyboard: all white keys should have the same height and all black keys the same height. If a key is too low, gently pull it up, and if it is too high, gently push it down while holding the end of the arm (where the pallet is) down.
2) Check for air leaks. The accordion may lose a little air, so when you pull the bellow opens very slowly. When you push the bellow should close at about the same slow rate. If closing is much faster the pallets are leaking air. Check for misalignment. If everything looks fine, for the moment just live with it as replacing pallets is not for a beginner.
3) If the accordion leaks too much air on pull the bellows seal may be worn. You need to replace the gasket on both sides of the bellows. Use the proper gasket tape which you get from an accordion parts shop. Do not use anything else. Do not use glue or bathroom silicone!
4) Check the reed valves. They should lie flat on the reed plates, not curled up. This should be true on the inside as well as the outside of the reed block. Leather valves should not feel stiff. Replacing reed valves is again not for the faint-hearted beginner. Especially for inner valves you may need to take off the reed plate to work on the inside and then wax it back in.
5) The wax holding the reed plates in place on the reed block should feel a little bit sticky, not brittle. If you give a reed block a little knock and reed plates fall off the wax is definitely too brittle.
6) The reed blocks should have no play (no wiggle) and should sit tight against the gasket underneath. The reed block has a "fixed side" (the side with the low notes) and if you undo the other side the block should feel a bit springy, like 1 to 2 mm above the gasket, requiring a gentle push down to fix it (typically with a slide).
7) When all this work is done, so we are typically several days into the whole operation, you can start thinking about tuning. If you needed to renew the wax (which really cannot be done by a beginner) you need to wait a few weeks before tuning to let the wax harden. For tuning you need an app on the phone to measure frequencies and deviations (in cents), scratchers (to lower pitch), files (to raise pitch), "pingers" (small metal blade to ping reeds) and a very large amount of patience.
The reality is that fixing an old cluncker so that it is good as new requires a lot of skill and time and a lot of tools and spare parts. The tools and parts you can buy from an accordion parts shop (like Carini in Castelfidardo and some ebay shops) but the skills you can only learn through proper training. There are excellent courses given in Castelfidardo (Accordion Craft Academy). But they are not running now, only after Corona is gone.
The good news is that as you say you bought the accordion for not too much money. The repairs will keep you busy during the Corona time. After that you may have either saved the instrument or ruined it, but it isn't an enormous loss...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#8
Welcome!
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#9
Thanks again for the welcome and info!! Smile

Really good info Glug and Debra. I already noticed some notes that tend to change pitch when I pull or push a bit harder.. guess that's the problem of the valves.
Really handy checklist btw.. All registers are selectable.
There isn't a very worse leaking problem. When no keys are played it loses a bit of air but I suppose that can be caused by the leaking valves?? I visually checked them and some aren't really lying on the plate (far from flat).

However I did a bit of tuning already and solving some small problems which made the instrument more playable. One reedblock wasn't really locked in wax and when pulling (air) it was really off in pitch (as it got pulled out then.. I think). I used a bit of glue to solve that.. maybe not the right method but rewaxing it is not really an option for now.

I also used an app on my phone for tuning.. in fact I had it installed when I went to check the second hands I found for sale. Smile For now I'm quite happy how it functions.. some musette notes (that's the sound I like) that where really off are fixed now and all reeds are working.. however there's some that arent speaking as loud as others.. (need som more air first).. and I suspect this can be caused by the valves, I detected one that wasn't really flat.

I have enough skills to do the tuning process as I've worked as an assembler / metal worker for many years.. and I have some experience with electric pianos.. in fact the principle is the same on these Hohner Pianet EPs.. but the pull reeds aren't really accesable (especially when it comes to lowering pitch).. and the whole valve thing is quite new... but I really liked what I see on the inside. The bas side also had a button that stucked.. (solved that too by some bending) really amazing how this keyboard is assembled.

For the rough tuning I now made some notes on which to treat but i was thinking about something simple to push and pull air. Does anyone has experience with something like below? It can do both ways (push and pull) and it has 5 liter volume:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unibos-Differen...B018ZUWWPM
This will also give me a more visual info how the valves are functioning.. I noticed also some fluttering sounds..

Yesterday when I had most annoying (out of tune) keys fixed I really had fun in playing this instrument. The bas and keyboard hand tend to do the same rhythm at first but I use this trick to slow down the tempo and litereally overthink every fingerpress. And speed up once both hands can play independently.. (This method also worked for me on studying Piano and drum parts.)
So.. for now this accordion really amuses me.. and who knows (if my play skills are improved) I will be buying something more proffesional. However.. maybe I'm going to replace some of the valves?? But I'm taking it step by step.. no need to rush Smile

@ Dingo40: Thanks for the history lesson!! I almost went for a vacation to Australia for one month.. unfortunately my dad got very ill and had to cancel everything.. Sad But most important is he's cured now and he really likes what I'm trying to do with the accordion. He used to play saxophone when he was my age and back then also wanted to play accordion.. so he's really amused. Smile

I have to be honest that I'm inexperienced with sheet music.. but sometimes this can be very useful. If necessary I can sort of calculate which note is which in a score (hahaha).. for my piano lessons I needed to play from scores but I never could get used tot that.. Once I'm familiar with a melody and I know which scale (and if I can play the melody in my head) I just study and try to play it as good as I can.. and if not I try to improvise and do the best I can..
For example.. below is how I do it with saxophone Smile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdX0wclC1sI
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#10
You may know it already, but I find Musescore really useful.

I use it for producing my own sheet music from books I have bought or stuff on the internet.
I can then add my own fingering notes or change stuff I really can't play at the moment.

The big advantage for me is I can play back the score to get a better feeling of how it should sound.
Also means I can have one folder with all the music I find interesting and it lays falt when I open it :)

And it's free: https://musescore.com/?sort=relevance&instruments=5 (there's a download link)
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#11
welcome to and from Holland

lekker hoor die sax! das good stuff
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#12
Thanks for the link Glug!! (keep it in mind) I sometimes having a hard time studying on melodies that's when it really comes in handy Smile

@ jozz: Dank je wel!! Wink

Just a little update on my tuning procedure. Everything is acceptable in tune, except for some notes that are unstable, as I really hear the valve closing and pitch is getting much higher suddenly.. and there's some more weird sounds that maybe are caused by bad valves?? Maybe I'm going to replace some but for the moment I'm really amused with this accordion and my dad is very impressed by what he heard till now.. Smile
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