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Anyone got a Cheapie !!! or is it mainly serious Accordions on Here.

Markordion

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As we have a cheap Cinese Accordion, which to me sounds rather good.

Though I am becoming more aware of its limitations.

I wondered do any on here have a Chanson, A Baile, Stepanelli, Parrot, Startone, Black Diamond etc.

If you do what do you think and do you use them much.

Some of these seem to cover various countries in Various Guises with interesting Italian-ey sounding names much of the time.

I wonder how many different factories there are that make them, and how they vary.

Also are there any still made in Say Spain, or France, or other EU nations you might not think off ?

Many Thanks.
 

petch

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Before I bought my button accordion I was learning on a couple of Soviet-era piano accordions. One from East Germany, another from what was Yugoslavia. I still quite like their sound if I'm honest, despite having a well regarded Italian brand accordion now

One of those accordions was by Delicia, whos still make accordions today in the Czech Republic. They're not as cheap as they were in the mid 80s but probably cheaper than accordions made in western Europe
 

Alan Sharkis

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One of the drawbacks of Chinese accordions only appears when it needs service or repair. Many Chinese brands were constructed with unconventional methods and/or materials. I know of only one repair person in the US who has tackled repairs on them.
 

TomBR

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I got started on CBA on a Delicia, it did me very well.
Nearly all my playing of diatonics, pianoboxes and CBA has been done on elderly Hohners costing very little.

"Fine" instruments play beautifully and at the other end of the quality spectrum there are some instruments around that are so bad they will discourage anyone from learning or making progress. But there is a very broad zone in the middle of instruments that aren't great, but can be played and allow both progress and enjoyment.
I think there is sometimes a risk that those who play high quality instruments can forget this middle zone.
 

Glug

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My main box is a 1959 Hohner Lucia (LMMH 96 bass) bought on Ebay for £220.
It worked pretty well as bought and after an extensive overhaul (by me) it's about as good as new.

I've spent more on accordions (used) but I still prefer the Hohner so far.
 

debra

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There is a wide variety in quality of Chinese accordions, which is somewhat depending on how long they have been in the business.
When you buy a Hohner (made in China), E.Soprani (Circus line), Parrot or a Baile you can expect the accordion to be quite usable and not sounding too bad, perhaps even for a few years. After that the crappy chinese materials may start to let you down. (The most common problem I know of is the springs breaking, causing keys or bass pallets to no longer be forced closed, and thus causing drone notes.)
However, it takes an accordion maker to learn how to properly design and build an accordion. Some of the lesser known brands will give you a piano accordion where the force required to press a white versus a black key differs considerably. Buttons on a CBA may have a lot of play (moving left and right) and that implies imprecise touchdown of the pallets as well).
If you don't know a brand name and it sounds Italian, you can be pretty sure it's a Chinese accordion and unlikely made by people as experienced as for instance Parrot and Baile. (Some names that spring to mind are Paganini, Scarlatti...)
 

debra

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My main box is a 1959 Hohner Lucia (LMMH 96 bass) bought on Ebay for £220.
It worked pretty well as bought and after an extensive overhaul (by me) it's about as good as new.

I've spent more on accordions (used) but I still prefer the Hohner so far.
I think that should reed "the Hohner still made in Germany", not "the Hohner made in China"...
 

Markordion

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We are hoping to get a decent Italian at some point or similar but I think the Chinese ones have thier place and reading around the Stephanellis and Black Diamonds for instance seem to make a difference to the quality.

Longer term though granted its not as clear maybe.

But the 72 Bass Blue Startone that landed here as a gift was £439 with a 3 year guarantee.

If your just dipping your toes in to the Accordion Universe, that seems pretty good.

We had actually ourselves bought a GearForMusic red 48 bass in the UK for the same price for our son for Christmas being toally unaware etc.

YEE Gods it was literally falling to pieces funtionality wise, bellows issues, key issues, button issues. Thankfully a no quible guarantee.

Our 70 Year old Ariatta with all its issues that do need sorting, was still far far better.

I have to say the Thomann Startone is much better and in a different league compared to the Gear For Music one.

But I`m sure some of those are OK.

Its a shame there is not an accordion Company in Taiwan as they are much better metal and materials and workmanship wise there.

In fact if playing does really take off again, be a good place to establish a company making them.
 
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Corinto

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All my accordions are German made, several Hohners from the 1930-40 era, not expensive with overhaul costs included, and one 12 year old Weltmeister, also very fair priced imho. Of course, ymmv.
 

Tom

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We are hoping to get a decent Italian at some point or similar but I think the Chinese ones have thier place and reading around the Stephanellis and Black Diamonds for instance seem to make a difference to the quality.

Longer term though granted its not as clear maybe.

But the 72 Bass Blue Startone that landed here as a gift was £439 with a 3 year guarantee.

If your just dipping your toes in to the Accordion Universe, that seems pretty good.

We had actually ourselves bought a GearForMusic red 48 bass in the UK for the same price for our son for Christmas being toally unaware etc.

YEE Gods it was literally falling to pieces funtionality wise, bellows issues, key issues, button issues. Thankfully a no quible guarantee.

Our 70 Year old Ariatta with all its issues that do need sorting, was still far far better.

I have to say the Thomann Startone is much better and in a different league compared to the Gear For Music one.

But I`m sure some of those are OK.

Its a shame there is not an accordion Company in Taiwan as they are much better metal and materials and workmanship wise there.

In fact if playing does really take off again, be a good place to establish a company making them.
Have you considered having the Arietta restored? Might be comparable to purchasing a new Italian job.
 

debra

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My main box is a 1959 Hohner Lucia (LMMH 96 bass) bought on Ebay for £220.
It worked pretty well as bought and after an extensive overhaul (by me) it's about as good as new.

I've spent more on accordions (used) but I still prefer the Hohner so far.
I think that should reed "the Hohner still made in Germany
 

vivdunstan

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My main box is a Paolo Soprani made 72 bass piano accordion bought from Clinkscales in 1981. it recently had its first ever retune in its 40+ years (thanks Gordon Pattullo!) and yes it sounds quite gorgeous.

However I recently bought a low cost 48 bass Weltmeister Perle, as a lighter more compact second instrument to have as an option. I have a progressive neurological disease, so physically managing the accordion now is increasingly difficult.

The Weltmeister isn’t at the absolute cheapest end of the scale, but it is more of a budget model. But it does sound good, and I expect it to last a fair while. I was relieved I could sample the sound in advance on the Thomann website I bought from (buying direct from Thomann in Germany). I really wanted a second accordion I was happy with the sound. And it plays very nicely.

Personally I think there is a bit too much of a tendency in accordion forums towards the larger accordion models. A smaller bass size can suit many people nicely, and is also often more economic. Also fewer registers helps bring the cost down. So it isn’t just a question of budget versus expensive, but also being open to a wider range of accordion options.
 

Valski

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My main box is a Paolo Soprani made 72 bass piano accordion bought from Clinkscales in 1981. it recently had its first ever retune in its 40+ years (thanks Gordon Pattullo!) and yes it sounds quite gorgeous.

However I recently bought a low cost 48 bass Weltmeister Perle, as a lighter more compact second instrument to have as an option. I have a progressive neurological disease, so physically managing the accordion now is increasingly difficult.

The Weltmeister isn’t at the absolute cheapest end of the scale, but it is more of a budget model. But it does sound good, and I expect it to last a fair while. I was relieved I could sample the sound in advance on the Thomann website I bought from (buying direct from Thomann in Germany). I really wanted a second accordion I was happy with the sound. And it plays very nicely.

Personally I think there is a bit too much of a tendency in accordion forums towards the larger accordion models. A smaller bass size can suit many people nicely, and is also often more economic. Also fewer registers helps bring the cost down. So it isn’t just a question of budget versus expensive, but also being open to a wider range of accordion options.
I think that you are correct, however it's not always about the size of the accordion, but the complexity. Hand made reeds, tone chambers and fancy decorations tend to drive up the cost (says the owner of a big Roland). I've heard and played some that might be considered second rate and found the sound to be wonderful so fancy doesn't necessarily equal nice sound. Try to get the best that you can afford but most of all enjoy the instrument that you own. Music is after all about enjoyment.
 

jozz

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75% playing time: Parrot 80 + Weltmeister Unisella vs. 25% Bugari

Granted: I've done up the Unisella quite a bit, but these are two junkers. They serve simple task: play tunes in hostile environments. Many times I've toyed with the idea to have ONE box, which is my signature box and play it 100%. But I couldn't let myself carry my precious Bugari everywhere.

Heavily amplified, it doesn't make much sense to have a very expensive accordion anyway. More about the player, and how the piece is played.
 

saundersbp

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Personally I think there is a bit too much of a tendency in accordion forums towards the larger accordion models. A smaller bass size can suit many people nicely, and is also often more economic. Also fewer registers helps bring the cost down. So it isn’t just a question of budget versus expensive, but also being open to a wider range of accordion options.
I couldn't agree more, in fact less is often more when it comes to accordions (and much else in life). A single reed of exquisite beauty in each hand would be perfect - no gadgets, no registers - a communion between player and living music uninterrupted by excess and consumption.
 

Dingo40

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The more there is, the more to carry and to repair!😄
My suggestion?
Stick to mouth accordions, guys!🤣
 

TomBR

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I couldn't agree more, in fact less is often more when it comes to accordions (and much else in life). A single reed of exquisite beauty in each hand would be perfect - no gadgets, no registers - a communion between player and living music uninterrupted by excess and consumption.
Lots of truth in that - also a slippery slope that leads to diatonic instruments?

In the diatonic world you have boxes like the Castagnari Lily - single reeds but beautifully made, little and light and surprisingly loud, when asked to be.
Any accordion equivalents - simple and light but very high quality?

Harpsichord parallels come to mind. You have the simple elegant Italian style instruments with two unison 8' string sets compared with the bigger and heavier Flemish and French instruments.
 
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dunlustin

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" A single reed ...... in each hand would be perfect "
Heresy?
Sounds like we're talking Crane Duet Aeola?
Maybe a Wakker Concertina with Chromatiphone keyboard or if you want mainly melody, a Parnassus?.
(And No - not made up names.)
Please forgive the hi-jack.
 

Tom

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For lightweight, nice sounding accordions I really like the "ladies model" Scandallis. They look good too. I've restored/had several, although none now. You used to be able to pick them up pretty easily for $150 but I bet now a good condition one will run you about $500.
 

Dingo40

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I have two ladies sized Sonola PA 41/120 (LMM & LMH) accordions, which I frequently alternate with my full size PAs.
I often think, they're all one really needs 🙂
 
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