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Best inexpensive accordion for rough environment

Ben-jammin

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Good day, I’m a new member. I have played accordion for years, most of which I played occasionally but didn’t really study (I took a few years of lessons as a kid). I’m at the point where I’m taking lessons again and am improving for the first time in years. I spend most of my free time in the summer on my sailboat. I understand this isn’t a great environment for an accordion but I would like to keep an accordion on board so I will play more than I would otherwise. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on a particular brand or feature I should look at that will best tolerate the temperature/humidity swings and mechanical shock from being in a moving vehicle.
 

NigelB

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A low value simply constructed box. I picked up a second hand Chanson brand 72 bass for certain outdoor gigs that’s fine for knocking out tunes. Older Hohner and Weltmeister/Galotta seem durable too.
 

Ben-jammin

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Thanks for the responses. It seems people are thinking around the same lines as me. Basically pick an instrument that you can accept losing. Just to clarify what my application would be. My boat is on the Great Lakes so salt water will not be a problem (at least this year). I want to stick with a piano accordion and want at least counter bass, bass and chords through 7ths, I could take or leave diminished.
 

Longshore

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Older Hohner and Weltmeister/Galotta seem durable too.
As I live in a 'rough environment' full time (a van, invariably next to the sea) I fully agree with NigelB.
I personally would go for a German made, student type, Hohner. Easy to source parts and maintain.
I keep my accordion in a good gigbag, wrapped in a fleece blanket, for temperature control and extra protection against damp and damaging air.
 

Ben-jammin

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Thanks for the feedback. I have an old Weltmeister 3/5 120 Bass accordion (in my profile pic) that could do with some compression work but is nominally functional. It’s pretty lightweight. I’m guessing it’s an entry level instrument. Maybe I’ll bring that on board and if it is seeming to survive I can get the compression addressed.
 

Ben-jammin

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Maybe a small digital?
I did consider that. But at the moment the cost/value of such an instrument is more than I would be willing to lose because even as it would be less susceptible to some of the hazards it would still face increased risk in this environment. I am leaning to just using my 120 bass Weltmeister unless I find a used 72 or 80 bass instrument at a too good to pass up price.
 

Scuromondo

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Liberty Bellows has an $800 Acme for sale, with stainless steel reeds:

 

debra

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No such thing. Around 99% of Hohners are made in china now, especially the "students".
For this to be true the cheaper models need to be extremely popular compared to higher end models like Mattia, Morino, Gola...
But for a rough environment I would never consider a new accordion in any case. An old (made in Germany) Verdi II for instance is great for rough circumstances.
 

Sqeezer

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I didn't mean to cause fuss here.
3 years ago, I wanted to upgrade to a decent accordion, and in my searching I found a wonderful bloke dealing in instruments. He did have some Hohners there, but they were all in used condition, and when I asked him about Hohners, He replied "please yourself, but keep in mind that for every European Hohner made, there's at least a hundred made in china these days, with most of those delivered out to the world through eastern Europe".
I eventually bought a Scandalli Polifonico and it continues to delight me.
If I was to need an accordion for boating use, I'd buy a cheap, used, Chinese "throw-away" model (always a lottery anyway).
 

AccordionUprising

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Ben-jammin

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It won’t have all the counter bass and bass buttons you want but, I want one of the new Hohner XS (extra small) ones, designed for kids, but they released an adult “backpacker’s” version.

They look like they might even float if you drop them over the side (might void warranty)

Very hard to get in N America still 😼
https://www.hohner.de/en/instruments/accordions/chromatic/xs-series/fp-hohner-xs-adult
That’s intriguing, kind of a shame they did’t build in another set of bass/chords (Bb or E) so you could have a full set of major & minors for at least one key.
 

Ben-jammin

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I decided I’m going to start with one of my more beater condition instruments and see how it holds up. Kind of canary in a coal mine situation. I did order a pelican case which should help things quite a bit. If it is seeming to work out I might try with a slightly nicer instrument. If pelicans reputation is to be believed I should be able to drop it overboard and not worry about a thing. But there is still temperature risk and hazards to the instrument when I’m using it.
 

Scuromondo

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I decided I’m going to start with one of my more beater condition instruments and see how it holds up. Kind of canary in a coal mine situation. I did order a pelican case which should help things quite a bit. If it is seeming to work out I might try with a slightly nicer instrument. If pelicans reputation is to be believed I should be able to drop it overboard and not worry about a thing. But there is still temperature risk and hazards to the instrument when I’m using it.
I would throw a bunch of those moisture-absorbing desiccant sacs in the case with it to keep it dry while it is in the case.
 

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