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Advice on purchasing a quality new or gently used piano 60 or 72 bass accordion under $1000.

jensenvideo

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I'm a beginner and want something to grow into- something fairly lightweight. What brand/model do you recommend? I've heard so many horror stories on this forum about manufacturers cheapening storied accordion brands with outsourcing. I currently own a Goldencup 72 bass which may not be worth repairing...
 
I suppose it depends on how you define "lightweight" - I have a 1980s Hohner 72 bass "Concerto", it's about 17 lbs and light enough when I'm indoors sat on a stool. But I also bought a 48 bass to get lighter for 'strolling' - my latest acquisition being a 12lb nearly-new Weltmeister 48 bass "Perle". But I'd certainly recommend the Concerto.
 
Welcome Jensen,

The conventional wisdom around here is that in the under $1000 range you are better off with a used accordion from a quality Italian company (than buying new). There are too many to mention here but include Piatanesi/Ottavianelli, Beltuna, Cooperfisa, etc etc. The issue is finding one in perfect playing condition, at the weight you need, which can be more important than brand.

Finding a lightweight accordion means sacrificing “something,” be it number of treble/bass keys, treble/bass voices, or features like cassotto. You have to decide which of these is important to you. It’s difficult to recommend without knowing more about your personal desires and the market that is available to you.

Good luck!
 
well shoot you are one of the lucky ones who can drive to a world class shop

dunno how you havn't noticed this before


you can make Petaluma easy in less than an hour
if you go opposite traffic pattern flow of course

and don't try and trade in the Gold Cup, just take it
to Burning Man this year and have them add it to the structure
 
"Light" + "60 or 72 bass" sounds as if you're seeking 26, 30, or 34 keys and 2 or 3 voices. I like those size/weight configs too. An LMM 26/60 or 26/72 can keep you under 15 pounds, and they can do a lot more than people realize. You're also 15 lbs or less with a 60 or 72-bass 2-voice MM 30 or 34. A 3-voice 30/72 or 34/72 will run 16-19 pounds depending on the build.

Your issue will be "quality" in the price range you've cited in your thread title. You won't get a used Beltuna, Ottavianelli, or Piatenesi 60 or 72 bass MM or LMM in that price range. For example, LB currently has 2 used Beltuna LMM 30/72s (16 lbs) priced at $3300 and $3500. They had a used Saltarelle 2-voice MM 34/60 in stock for about 5 minutes about 6 months ago at $3,000. Around the holidays a used like-new Paolo Soprani 26/60 3-voice LMM was at Petosa around $2800. (Their own Petosa brand 3-voice LMM 26/72 goes new for $4500-ish, while 2-voice 30/72 MMs in their lower price Americana line price at $3100-ish).

I see Petosa has a "Like-New" Weltmeister Kristall model 3-voice LMM 30/60 in its "Certified Used" listings, at around $1800, about $700 less than that model is going for new these days. The Kristall is specced at 15 pounds. Full-size keys, not the skinny keys of the Rubin and Juwel models. Judging from the video demo quite a bit of fun might be had with it. That's a nice light weight for an LMM.



Smythe Accordions in Petaluma lists a new Delicia 26/60 MM and a new Weltmeister Perle MM 26/48, both at around $1500. There are a couple of older vintage items around your price range, but they are not small/light 60 or 72 bass models.

 
I second the opinion by most others: get a lightly used accordion from Hohner or any Italian manufacturer. This will typically be something from before 1990. Avoid anything made in China or the former Soviet Union. That includes Weltmeister, Delicia, Bandmaster, Barcarole and other names. When you think you found an Italian accordion, check out the brand name for its existence in Italy. Most accordion brands with an Italian sounding name you cannot locate in Italy will be Chinese. Check out the list of Chinese accordion brands found on this forum. Avoid all of them! Also avoid more recent Hohner accordions as Hohner moved production to China and just isn't as good quality as older Hohner accordions.
 
I second the opinion by most others: get a lightly used accordion from Hohner or any Italian manufacturer. This will typically be something from before 1990. Avoid anything made in China or the former Soviet Union. That includes Weltmeister, Delicia, Bandmaster, Barcarole and other names.
Uh, you know the difference between "former Soviet Union" and "former Warsaw Pact members"?
 
Uh, you know the difference between "former Soviet Union" and "former Warsaw Pact members"?
Oops, I missed that subtle difference. For me everything behind the iron curtain was of the same status, but of course there is a difference. It's a difference about as small as between Belarus and Russia (in terms of being "independent" of each other... but a difference indeed. In terms of accordions the former Warsaw Pact members certainly did not make accordions that were any better than Soviet Union accordions (and probably worse in fact).
 
Oops, I missed that subtle difference. For me everything behind the iron curtain was of the same status, but of course there is a difference.
Weltmeister's capital was in Berlin rather than in Moscow. I'd guess that Germans (both East and West) and Russians were able to appreciate the not so very subtle difference, never mind the "brotherly visit" of Russian tanks in 1953. Regarding the quality difference: I believe that Russia had its fair share of cheap accordions; they just weren't exported. Try getting a new Garmon here, for example.

Similar with Delicia.
 
Weltmeister's capital was in Berlin rather than in Moscow. I'd guess that Germans (both East and West) and Russians were able to appreciate the not so very subtle difference, never mind the "brotherly visit" of Russian tanks in 1953. Regarding the quality difference: I believe that Russia had its fair share of cheap accordions; they just weren't exported. Try getting a new Garmon here, for example.

Similar with Delicia.
Is Delicia a good brand? I'm looking at one on sale now on Facebook for $475
 

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look Jensen,

even if you have zero experience or understanding, the
issues in that one photo alone are glaring and, frankly,
ridiculously obvious

how could you not notice the flaws yourself ?
what were you looking at ?
do the shiny parts really distract a newbie that much ?

you gotta do better than this if you are determined to buy something
without the help of local professionals in and around SanFrancisco

the keys are filthy ,uneven, at least 2 are lifted, several are obviously
touching/sides rubbing/ each other, the Grill is no longer flat, meaning obvious stress

sorry for being blunt..
take your time and look closely before you get excited about something
 
look Jensen,

even if you have zero experience or understanding, the
issues in that one photo alone are glaring and, frankly,
ridiculously obvious

how could you not notice the flaws yourself ?
what were you looking at ?
do the shiny parts really distract a newbie that much ?

you gotta do better than this if you are determined to buy something
without the help of local professionals in and around SanFrancisco

the keys are filthy ,uneven, at least 2 are lifted, several are obviously
touching/sides rubbing/ each other, the Grill is no longer flat, meaning obvious stress

sorry for being blunt..
take your time and look closely before you get excited about something
I notice the flaws, but would it be worth getting repaired? Looking for alternatives for spending $1500 on a 72 bass. I'm new to this forum- are condescending responses common here? If so, I'll go elsewhere for advice.
 
I notice the flaws, but would it be worth getting repaired? Looking for alternatives for spending $1500 on a 72 bass. I'm new to this forum- are condescending responses common here? If so, I'll go elsewhere for advice.
I'd say they aren't common, and like often in a forum, you can use the "ignore" function on users to not get to see messages from users whose communication style does not agree with you. On large forums, it is to be expected that this can make a significant difference. I get enough feedback of a kind where I am comparatively confident that several people's life becomes more pleasant by putting me on such a list. But it would be sad if people stopped visiting the forum rather than just stopping to visit what I have to say.

As to "worth getting repaired", the answer is "no". I'd say that this instrument would be overpriced even when in good repair, and it being from the Czech Republic has comparatively little to do with that. It is a very basic instrument already on the outside. One could get it as a personal repair project, but the asking price for that purpose is far too high. A repair by a capable repair person would end up more expensive than the instrument would be worth after being repaired.
 
I'm a beginner and want something to grow into- something fairly lightweight. What brand/model do you recommend? I've heard so many horror stories on this forum about manufacturers cheapening storied accordion brands with outsourcing. I currently own a Goldencup 72 bass which may not be worth repairing...
If you are looking for any accordion, you must first of all:
  • know what you want to play and then find out:
  • what boxes are in your area, because:
  • those are probably the most likely to come into consideration, because:
  • due to their common occurrence, their servicing will probably be also available.
  • don't buy an exot just because it costs $499 (it doesn't matter what brand or where it's from)
  • Always make sure you like it haptically and with a nice sound, the price is not everything.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

On the margin of minor geographical ignorance: I grew up on quality models of the brands Weltmeister and Delicia, but these are not brands whose quality models were exported to the West. I don't recommend buying it, you don't know them, you don't have service for them. In order to be able to play on high-quality models of these brands (surprisingly, they also exist), you would have to grow up here in "Eastern Europe".

Best regards, Vladimir
 
I notice the flaws, but would it be worth getting repaired? Looking for alternatives for spending $1500 on a 72 bass.

I wasn't involved in that exchange, but I'm excerpting part of your last post to try to reply to this portion I'm excerpting. My own post upthread may have been too oblique and indirect--I was trying to say that if the parameters you posted originally are pretty hard and fast for you at the moment, you're facing a bit of a dilemma:

---60 or 72 bass
---New or gently used
---A "Quality" instrument
---Price under $1000.00

What I meant in posting a bunch of "comp" examples of used but very nice-condition 60 or 72 bass accordions and their prices, was to help you see that your chances of getting all the specs in your original post are . . . well, a challenge.

The Delicia in the photo you posted and asked about is outside the wish list in your specs, which is okay--you obviously see you can't have all those wish list items in the price range you've stated. But the Delicia in your photo is not "new or gently used." It is an older East German instrument that is very well-used, to say the least. You'd have to take it to an experienced, expert tech to get an assessment--it wouldn't be safe to just "go for it," unless you don't mind burning the dough. But if you take it to a tech, what you may hear is that the cost of getting it to playability might be so close to the $1500 you'd spend on the brand-new Delicia and Weltmeister instruments I linked at Smythes in Petaluma, that it doesn't make sense.

There is also the issue that improvements have occurred in the keyboard ergonomics and playability of these instruments, since the one in your photo was made. Though, that is not the main concern with the one in your photo. The main concern is that the instrument is older and plainly has had a lot of use, on top of not being a premium instrument to start with.

I know that poster de bra advised above to look for something lightly used made pre-1990. I understand that rationale, but the challenge there is that very few vintage accordions are available in your size specs that are lightly used, let alone lightly used accordions in your size specs over 30 years old that would come in at your price range. The photo you posted strongly suggests that this Delicia probably is not one of those few--it is patently not lightly-used. And it dates from an era when some of these East German instruments were stiffer and harder to play than new ones that have had the benefit of ergonomic engineering improvement over the years.
 
The main concern is that the instrument is older and plainly has had a lot of use, on top of not being a premium instrument to start with.
The uneven key level makes it likely that it also has seen significant times of non-use, enough for moth larvae to feast on several pallet felts. The dirt on the keyboard also suggests less than optimal storage conditions.
 
You asked, "Is Delicia a good brand?" Delicia is an Eastern European brand roughly equivalent to Weltmeister in quality. That is why the prices on the two new 26-key MMs in stock at Smythe are about the same--they are very close in quality and playability. Some of the small East German/Eastern European instruments that are 20+ years old are playable folk bargains. But many others are stiff and hard to play. The older ones have a poor reputation.

New, contemporary Delicias and Weltmeisters are much better engineered ergonomically and are what passes these days for lower-priced small instruments that are still playable. They have Czech macchina reeds, the new ones being plenty responsive and serviceable for folk music. Many folk musicians love them including gigging pros. I'm acquainted with a fantastic player who leaves his big Italian accordion at home and performs gigs with a delightful wood-chassis re-badged 26/72 Delicia LMM put out under the marque of the lamented late Main Squeeze Accordions, a now-vanished, magical joint on the old Lower East side helmed by the late Walter Kuehr.

But like Hohners made in Asia, Delicia/Weltmeister are not premium quality instruments. The small Weltmeisters have plastic reed blocks on the bass side at the least, and plastic bass mechanisms that are hard for techs to fix if they get bonked out of whack. I believe Delicias also have the plastic quotient inside. Poster de bra (along with my own techs) dislikes them. Personally, I like them and supplement my Italians with a couple small contemporary Welts I bought used and like for practice and bumming around--but not "bonking" around. I coddle them and cushion them, like Stradivarius violins. I will say I acquired mine used in like-new condition at reasonable prices, and am, er, disappointed, at the way prices have gone up on these instruments.
 
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I'm a beginner and want something to grow into- something fairly lightweight. What brand/model do you recommend?
Welcome Jensenvideo!🙂
Buying an accordion (new or used) is very much like buying a car: it's easy to make an expensive mistake, and it takes time and effort to acquire the required knowledge.
A number of our members are extremely knowledgeable and willing to be helpful even if they may sometimes seem a little brusque.
Don't let that bother you: it's not personal.
Good luck with your search!🙂
 
...
But like Hohners made in Asia, Delicia/Weltmeister are not premium quality instruments. The small Weltmeisters have plastic reed blocks on the bass side at the least, and plastic bass mechanisms that are hard for techs to fix if they get bonked out of whack. I believe Delicias also have the plastic quotient inside. Poster de bra (along with my own techs) can't stand them. Personally, I like them and supplement my Italians with a couple small contemporary Welts I bought used and like for practice and bumming around--but not "bonking" around. I coddle them and cushion them, like Stradivarius violins. I will say I acquired mine used in like-new condition at reasonable prices, and am, er, disappointed, at the way prices have gone up on these instruments.
Not too long ago I was gifted a small 2-voice (MM) Weltmeister CBA, 42/60 (42 notes treble, 60 bass buttons) with convertor and all wooden reed blocks. The bass mechanics contain a lot of plastic, so I wonder how long that will last. I spent a bit of money on the accordion (new straps, textured buttons so I can feel C and F) and the Welty was certainly worth the amount spent on it (about 100 euro in total).
But unless you have friends like I do you won't get such a good deal...
 
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