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Accordion dealers

Beemer

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I'm going to buy a high quality Italian made piano accordion. I have the impression that I have the choice to buy from a large European dealer or from few online dealers that appear to be one man operations that don't even give their location. What are your opinions?
 

Alan Sharkis

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If they are one-man dealers, there is a chance that their showroom/inventory/technician’s workshop is in an industrial building with no identifying signage or even in rheir own home. In either case, they won’t state a locatiion unless they are convinced that you are a serious buyer, because that inventory is bound to be expensive and they want to avoid theft, or, they haven’t invested in a storefront but but have had success in spite of it. I have experienced all kinds of dealers, including those I have just described.

So, how do you know that the dealer is legitimate? You can ask accordionists about their reputation and possibly their background (for example, were those dealers ever players?)

Buying an instrument on line is a gamble, even with a liberal return policy. If you want to invest in a musical instrument, you want to sit and try it out for some time. But as dealers become scarce and spread out, as accordion dealers are in the US, they must advertise via the Internet. Often, those ads don’t come with prices, for the same reason that the dealers won’t identify their location. At first, that would make a prospective buyer suspicious, but it shouldn’t. We’re not talking about new cars here.

So, don’t be afraid to ask about specific dealers here or in other online accordion groups, but specify that you’re looking for opinions from people who have had first-hand experience with those dealers.
 

debra

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There is also the option to buy direct from the manufacturer. Not every manufacturer will do this unless you go to the factory and order the accordion there. But... buying direct is best done when you either can do repairs yourself or know a friendly repairer who will do repairs when you buy direct from a factory.
 

Valski

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I'm going to buy a high quality Italian made piano accordion. I have the impression that I have the choice to buy from a large European dealer or from few online dealers that appear to be one man operations that don't even give their location. What are your opinions?
Do your research on line, purchase in person. A high quality Italian made accordion is a substantial investment so try to avoid unnecessary disappointment.
 

Tom

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I second Paul's idea to buy direct from the manufacturer. It's difficult to decide which one, this is where you heve to do your research to identify a brand that you will like. It's a chicken and egg situation. How do you know which brand you like? You have to be willing to part with a lot of money and hope you like the results. It can be stressful, and unless you live near Liberty Bellows, or another retailer, almost impossible to try before you buy. Maybe play guitar instead? Just kidding, you'll be fine!
 

debra

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I second Paul's idea to buy direct from the manufacturer. It's difficult to decide which one, this is where you heve to do your research to identify a brand that you will like. It's a chicken and egg situation. How do you know which brand you like? You have to be willing to part with a lot of money and hope you like the results. It can be stressful, and unless you live near Liberty Bellows, or another retailer, almost impossible to try before you buy. Maybe play guitar instead? Just kidding, you'll be fine!
When the pandemic is over I hope the Frankfurter Musikmesse will be held again. You can see and try almost all brands of accordions and talk to the people. Some brands have a "representative" there from Germany instead of the people from the factory directly, but you can at least already select the instrument you want by trying lots of instruments there.
 
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Walker

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We live in an era when the accordion shop is a shadow of its former glory. Gone are the city centre stores open five days a week, with a window full of gleaming instruments. It is sad that this has happened, but not unexpected, as less people are buying quality new accordions than they used to. The cost of instruments is high as the cost of labour and materials has risen over the years. Whilst not ideal, the new industrial estate form of accordion shop still has its virtues, for you can still make an appointment and try out instruments. This is invaluable, particularly for the first time buyer. There is plenty of time to become more adventurous as the urge to explore and discover takes hold. Italy or Frankfurt can wait for you another time, they are unlikely to have many musette accordions to show you anyway. And surely, if you are buying from an authorised retailer that respectable accordion manufacturers have selected, there ought to be no problems.

You know, there is value in buying a smart vintage Hohner Morino. They are sturdy standards of the Scottish scene. But I would be lying if I said that there was not something wonderful about purchasing a gleaming new accordion.

Now Beemer, I assume you are looking for an instrument for Scottish music. Now don't be fooled by me hanging around with the classical guys. I like them because they put up a decent fight when I challenge them over the button accordion. Make no mistake, traditional accordion is my genre.:) You know, I am enjoying myself so much writing this, I think I am just going to assume you want a musette accordion, with creamy double cassotto and hand made reeds. Thing is, if I am wrong, I just get to write another piece about classical accordions too. It's a win-win for me.?

Going by the recording equipment you choose, I think you want an accordion with a bit of class! Well, in this day and age the 37/96 accordion is very common in Scotland. I personally prefer 41/120, but it's what you like that matters. You should try as many instruments as you can. Most people seem to go for smaller instruments now, for traditional music, there is nothing wrong with that. So here is what I would do. I would research all the accordion shops in the United Kingdom and find out their speciality. Are they an authorised dealer for any particular brand? Avoid online purchases and orders, if you don't like surprises. Buy the physical instrument you have played. But take your good time. Buyers remorse is not cool.

I would buy the best quality I could afford. Something artisan, with a rich and silky musette. Not too strong. Around 20 cent is nice. Here's three big-hitters in no particular order, that are wonderful quality.​

Scandalli Super VI Extreme musette.
Beltuna Spirit IV 108 M
Brandoni Infinity

But if these don't float your boat, there's plenty of alternatives – and remember there's always that Morino...








 
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Dingo40

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There is also the option to buy direct from the manufacturer.
Ask Waldo what he thinks of that??
(See thread Killer Accordion "?)
 
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Beemer

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My thanks to all of you for responding in the manner that you have. All too often these days forum responses can be catty and hurtful. I have had a worthwhile discussion with the owner of the dealer (distributor) and tonight I have ordered a new Scandalli Air III T LMMM. I'll be 75 on Tuesday so I just hope that I can handle its weight!
 

Tom

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Scuromondo

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I would buy the best quality I could afford. Something artisan, with a rich and silky musette. Not too strong. Around 20 cent is nice.
I suppose everyone has a different measure, but for me “Not too strong” would be 8-12 cents!
 

jbr

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I'm going to buy a high quality Italian made piano accordion. I have the impression that I have the choice to buy from a large European dealer or from few online dealers that appear to be one man operations that don't even give their location. What are your opinions?
I think you need to focus first on what kind of music you want to play on this dream accordion. Are you aiming for American Songbook, Balkan, French, polka? This will determine or guide you in selecting an instrument with the registers (stops, ranks)--piano-side choice of reeds that are right for you. Do you want a musette tuning? Wet or dry? Once you know this, you could to to a place like Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia and try some on for size. I personally have had good experience with The Accordion Gallery.
 

Beemer

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I think you need to focus first on what kind of music you want to play on this dream accordion. Are you aiming for American Songbook, Balkan, French, polka? This will determine or guide you in selecting an instrument with the registers (stops, ranks)--piano-side choice of reeds that are right for you. Do you want a musette tuning? Wet or dry? Once you know this, you could to to a place like Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia and try some on for size. I personally have had good experience with The Accordion Gallery.
I think you missed my last post which said that I had now ordered a Scandalli Air III LMMM
 

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