• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Bass keyboard dimensions?

Status
Not open for further replies.
P

Petross

Guest
Just wondered if all bass layouts in terms of button size/spacing etc are the same. Do the six rows always occupy the same footprint in terms of width and length? (inches/mm) regardless of the type and size of the instrument? (for the same number of bass buttons) Or on a larger instrument are the buttons spaced out more?

I have been struggling to play the free bass on my Roland Fr 3xb. (120 button bass) The buttons seem small and very close together, the thumb is basically out of action and the left hand pinky weak and uncooperative, leaving just 3 digits available with which to play. If the button spacing were wider, it would be (physically) easier to be more accurate., as the hand would not be quite so scrunched up. Thanks Petross.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,994
Reaction score
869
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Having had many accordions, and still have several, from different brands, including a Hohner made in Germany (really), a few Italians, and a Russian, I have never noticed any difference in the Stradella bass button layout and spacing. The only thing that makes playing a bit difficult is the position of the "central" C. Different makes and models of accordions have a different position of C (in terms of how many rows are still above and below it). Often a convertor accordion has the C a bit further down than a non-convertor accordion. (And I have seen a 3+3 accordion with convertor and it had the C several rows further up.) Especially in most Italian accordions the bass mechanisms all share many "standard" components which may contribute to their similarity.
That being said, the Roland V-accordion is not an accordion. It does not have an accordion bass mechanism, so Roland can essentially do whatever they want in terms of button sizes and spacing. I have only tried V-accordions briefly (at demos) and did not notice a size and spacing difference, but my experience was too short to really tell.
People like JerryPH who have both a regular and a V-accordion can easily measure the sizes and let us know.
 

Alan Sharkis

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
405
Reaction score
74
Location
East Meadow, New York, USA
debra post_id=64912 time=1544268338 user_id=605 said:
Having had many accordions, and still have several, from different brands, including a Hohner made in Germany (really), a few Italians, and a Russian, I have never noticed any difference in the Stradella bass button layout and spacing. The only thing that makes playing a bit difficult is the position of the central C. Different makes and models of accordions have a different position of C (in terms of how many rows are still above and below it). Often a convertor accordion has the C a bit further down than a non-convertor accordion. (And I have seen a 3+3 accordion with convertor and it had the C several rows further up.) Especially in most Italian accordions the bass mechanisms all share many standard components which may contribute to their similarity.
That being said, the Roland V-accordion is not an accordion. It does not have an accordion bass mechanism, so Roland can essentially do whatever they want in terms of button sizes and spacing. I have only tried V-accordions briefly (at demos) and did not notice a size and spacing difference, but my experience was too short to really tell.
People like JerryPH who have both a regular and a V-accordion can easily measure the sizes and let us know.

Having had my FR-4x for a little less than a week, I can back you up, Paul. I practice material on my acoustic and then switch to the 4x and find that the buttons are a little closer together. (The 4x has 120 bass buttons built into a compact instrument; 37 treble keys.) The fact that the buttons on the 4x are also velocity-sensitive by default also adds to a different feel when compared to my acoustic. If I recall correctly, at one time I also owned a Titano that was compact and the button spacing was different.

Alan Sharkis
 
P

Petross

Guest
Well, thanks for your replies. I had a feeling that the Fr-3Xb bass button footprint looked a wee bit smaller than other accordions I had seen, but probably not much in it. The angle from which you view it can also make the rows look wider and more spread out than they really are. My width (6 rows outside of button to outside of button ) is 57mm and long diagonal approx. 335mm
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,994
Reaction score
869
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Petross post_id=64930 time=1544344087 user_id=2630 said:
Well, thanks for your replies. I had a feeling that the Fr-3Xb bass button footprint looked a wee bit smaller than other accordions I had seen, but probably not much in it. The angle from which you view it can also make the rows look wider and more spread out than they really are. My width (6 rows outside of button to outside of button ) is 57mm and long diagonal approx. 335mm

I just measured two accordions, to find that indeed they are NOT the same...
Bugari 540 ARS/C: 6 rows outside to outside 52mm (64mm along the diagonal), long diagonal 325mm
AKKO Bayan: 6 rows outside to outside 58mm (68mm along the diagnoal), long diagonal 312mm
No huge differences between them, but clearly the 6 rows are similar on the FR-3XB and the long diagonal is longer, meaning that the 120 bass section on the FR take up even more space than on my large bayan! Also, on the small Bugari it also takes up more space than on the large bayan.
 

geoff45789

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Just measured my 3 accordions & found they are significantly different

Sonola 120 base: 1 cm between buttons along the diagonal; 1.5cm along the row
Pompeo Bompezzo 48 base (12 x 4): 1.5 cm along the diagonal; 1.6 cm along the row
Delicia 60 base (12 x 5): 1.2 cm along the diagonal; 1.4 cm along the row
 

jozz

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,670
Reaction score
410
Location
The Netherlands
my Bugari and my spare Hohner are different as well: width, height, spacing and buttons are all different with the Bugari having everything smaller except the buttons themselves
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,351
Reaction score
387
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
One of the big reasons I won't do the Free Bass thing on the Roland is simply because the bass buttons are further apart than on my Morino (or even on the FB36). I get cramps playing it in a few minutes but never get any issues with the other 2 accordions. Truth is, it has to be some tiny small amount but it is enough to affect me, so I feel it. The Stradella is also effected in terms of feel but because the reaches are so much less and the demands of playing are far less it doesn't bother me.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,994
Reaction score
869
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
JerryPH post_id=65081 time=1545038925 user_id=1475 said:
...Truth is, it has to be some tiny small amount but it is enough to affect me, so I feel it. The Stradella is also effected in terms of feel but because the reaches are so much less and the demands of playing are far less it doesnt bother me.

Very interesting... I never found the differences in size to be an issue and never even noticed until I measured. However, the differences in position of the central C of the Stradella bass has really bothered me. After two years with my AKKO Im still struggling to find the C. (After that everything is about relative positions, so Im good once I get started.)
 

Eddy Yates

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
814
Reaction score
41
Location
Montana, USA
I’ve been what used to be called a Multi-keyboardist my whole professional career, going from organ, to piano, to clavinet, to synths, to strange tiny keyboards, so my smaller Bugari doesn’t bother me at all. However, like Paul De Bra, I do find left hand button C harder to find in some accordions. Lance Curkendall, an accordion technician in Portland, Oregon, puts jewels on the locator buttons, but instead of just gluing them (since the glue doesn’t always hold) he takes the mechanism apart and drills a little hole in the button and inserts some kind of rhinestone with a screw installed. Sounds too complicated for me to find the rhinestones and mess with the bass mechanism, but I’ll have him do it to my next accordion.
 

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,424
Reaction score
1,008
Location
South Australia
Regarding ways of marking strategic bass buttons, I have described “my” technique elsewhere in this forum but, briefly, it can be done without taking anything apart simply using a pair of “muffled” long-nosed pliers and a hand drill with a 1/4 or 5/16ths very sharp drill bit and the help of an assistant <EMOJI seq="1f642">?</EMOJI>: takes less than five minutes!
Personally, I prefer a good deep dimple without a rhinestone, as it is more easily felt with one’s fingertip.
 

Eddy Yates

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
814
Reaction score
41
Location
Montana, USA
Hi Dingo,
Couldn’t find it, but do you just grip the button with the pliers and drill? Thanks.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,994
Reaction score
869
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Eddy Yates post_id=65152 time=1545369906 user_id=3100 said:
Hi Dingo,
Couldn’t find it, but do you just grip the button with the pliers and drill? Thanks.

I guess thats the idea. But what I would do is start with a very small drill to get the center right, then a little bit larger, until you reach the diameter you want. Im generally pretty bad at positioning a larger drill bit exactly where I want it.
 

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,424
Reaction score
1,008
Location
South Australia
Hi Eddy and Paul,
Yes, you place the accordion on its back on something soft (a bed will do) with the bellows strapped closed, wrap the jaws of the pliers (long nosed) in something soft to protect the finish of anything they may touch against, grip the required button (making very sure you have the correct one!), have an assistant grip it firmly ( not so tightly as to crush it), mark the dead centre (I use the tip of a short sharp, pointy kitchen knife, twisting it into the required spot). Then, while your assistant holds the button firmly, and using a new drill bit (1/4 or 5/16th inch is suitable)in a manual hand drill ( I didn’t trust myself with a power drill), Using just enough force, gently turn the bit to drill into the top of the button to suit yourself ( just down as far to where the tip ends and the flutes begin is enough for me).
With a brand new drill bit, you tend to get a very neat smooth job<EMOJI seq="1f642">?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq="1f44d">?</EMOJI>
Just make sure you have the right button!!!<EMOJI seq="1f605">?</EMOJI>
 

Eddy Yates

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
814
Reaction score
41
Location
Montana, USA
Thanks, Dingo! Glad for a full description because the hand drill is an important detail. I guess if you have a fully equipped shop with a drill press, that would work, too.
 

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,330
Reaction score
709
Location
USA
I just put a little spot of my daughter's fingernail polish on, then inscribe a cross with the dull edge of a knife. Sparkly red is always good! On my little Scandalli the bass chords are really close, I have to squish my fingers together to play minor chords, it can get tiring.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Top