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Bugari or Borsini

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colinm

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I am looking for a light full size 37/96 accordion with full size keys, , good quqlity.
I have the option of Bugari or Borsini , both about £1500
I will have to purchase either without seeing them and with the briefest of descriptions
Bugari private sale in Scotland, Borsini reatailer in Germany

Neither specifies hand made reeds, both are 4/5 voice, i have no experience of playing either of these makes.
Does anyone have experience of these makes and models ? Which would you recommend ?
 
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maugein96

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Colin,

Bugari or Borsini, Maserati or Lamborghini? Is it the case that no other make will do?

I hope you are able to get some advice with regard to this dilemma. There is always a chance that you'll get a reply from somebody who might be able to give you an opinion on one make vs the other, but will you actually make a decision based on the opinions of others?

I've had two Cavagnolos, and neither of them are/were very great, to the point where I wouldn't recommend the make at all. Yet, watch You Tube and you'll see that just about every other big name French pro player is playing a Cavagnolo. Either I've had two bad ones, or my opinion isn't worth much. You'll also get people who are biased towards or against one make or the other.

A while ago I posted on here that I never thought much of the Hohner Nova. At least two members shot me down with big guns saying that I was being too critical.

I know that you're probably fairly remote from an accordion retailer, but I think I'd rather be heading for one of the few accordion retailers we have left to see if they had anything you could try before you buy, rather than take the gamble you are considering. OK, the retailer's price may be an issue, but there's just a chance they'll take it back if you change your mind. If you're unsure about trying a box out ask the staff to play it for you, and just check it for comfort and ease of playing when you're ready.

I realise you were probably seeking positive experiences to help you to make a choice, but the one accordion I bought sight unseen remains in that category. I wish I'd never seen it, let alone bought it! I do believe there are several optimists on here who have bought accordions online without a hitch. If you know of any, ask them if they've still got the accordion(s) concerned.

Good luck,

John W
 

colinm

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I have said this before, but i do not belive going to a shop is good, you are subject to sales chatter and surrounded by other customers, my only purchases from shops have been regretted.
But thanks for your observations, maybe someone will have firsthand experience.
Hohners are out because i do not like the tuning
Similarly weltmeisters and delicia
The only quality instruments that i have found are the bugari and borsini
Not a guerrini or a vignoni or a serenellini a siwa and figli or a moreschi or a victoria
 

wirralaccordion

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Hi Colin,
Just curious to know what you mean by "both are 4/5 voice"
 
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maugein96

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Hi Colin,

I know what you mean about accordion shops. Up here you can walk in looking for an LMMH to play swing and jazz, and they'll tell you they only have LMMM with Scottish musette tuning, but you can play anything on them. There is always pressure, but at my age now I just tell them that if they haven't got what I'm looking for then I'm off like a whippet. If I was honest, electric guitars are a bit of a challenge to buy in a shop, and I've bought most of mine online. They'll always find some kid who can play as though they have 17 fingers on each hand, then stand back and watch you fumbling through the repertoire you can never quite remember.

I recently decided to take a few CBA lessons to help me get rid of several thousand bad habits I've taught myself. My teacher has several accordions and uses a swing tuned Bugari to accompany me. Very nice sounding box, but I've never had a go on it, as I'm about twice his size and it would take the whole lesson to adjust the straps. He also has a Borsini Orfeo, and he prefers the Bugari. Now I don't know whether he prefers the Bugari because it has a stepped treble keyboard, whereas the Borsini has a flat keyboard. He plays Swiss Landler music and also uses a Paolo Soprani with a flat keyboard for that purpose.

As a dyed in the wool musette player I obviously had a preference for French accordions, but with the passage of time I would say that the Italians make a better instrument, and it's up to the player to work at getting the desired sound. I have been thinking of asking him for a go on his Borsini, which he's trying to sell, but his Bugari is definitely not for sale.

Therefore my music teacher, who has been playing for 50 years, prefers Bugari to Borsini (or so it would appear).

You've obviously reached the stage where it has to be one or the other, which is fair enough. Personally speaking the make wouldn't matter to me, or any perceived quality issues associated with a particular make. One of my Cavagnolos (which I bought new) was the typical Friday afternoon job, and the other one has had a very hard life with tired old reeds, , so other people have had better experiences with it than I have. I recently had my Maugein Mini Sonora refurbished by the teacher, and although he wouldn't want to have received it in a lucky bag (it's a smaller 96 bass accordion with less treble range), he acknowledges that the reeds in it are superb.

Just another thought. If the one in Scotland is LMMM the musette will be very strong indeed, but that's how some players prefer musette to be, as I'm sure you're aware.

I'm sure you know what you are doing, and wish you well in the venture.
 
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wout

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I have some pretty bad experiences with going to shops. I love going there to see and play the instruments. But once I brought in my accordion (a fairly new one) to get it checked since one of the reeds sounded a bit "bendy" and he said it needed a complete overhaul: rewax, revalved and retuned (worth 1500 euro's) . Now I knew the wax and valves were all in really good shape and in the end it turned out that one of them was just slightly bend making the tone bend a little at the start of playing. Other shops tried to sell me really overpriced mediocre instruments and made up really nice stories about them. Now luckily I have some knowledge about the instruments but if not.... Its like going to a used car dealership sometimes.
Bottomline is I think there are loads of passionate trustworthy dealers but theres also alot of guys who would just make up anything to make money.
 

jozz

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one vote for Bugari (because I have one)

but given the same specs I guess it will be a close call
 

debra

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wout post_id=63842 time=1540917328 user_id=1654 said:
I have some pretty bad experiences with going to shops. I love going there to see and play the instruments. But once I brought in my accordion (a fairly new one) to get it checked since one of the reeds sounded a bit bendy and he said it needed a complete overhaul: rewax, revalved and retuned (worth 1500 euros) . Now I knew the wax and valves were all in really good shape and in the end it turned out that one of them was just slightly bend making the tone bend a little at the start of playing. Other shops tried to sell me really overpriced mediocre instruments and made up really nice stories about them. Now luckily I have some knowledge about the instruments but if not.... Its like going to a used car dealership sometimes.
Bottomline is I think there are loads of passionate trustworthy dealers but theres also alot of guys who would just make up anything to make money.

This sounds all too familiar... there are many stories like that. The sad reality is that shops are mainly (only?) interested in selling new and used instruments, not in repairing one you bring in. So they will make up a story to convince you you should simply trade in your old instrument and buy a new or used one. (They will then do minor repair as needed to sell your old box for a large profit.) The best option to get an instrument repaired is to go to a repairman who does not have an accordion shop. But these are far and few between.
So I am all for the idea of not going to a shop but to look for what is available on the used market, directly from another owner, but there are two huge caveats:
1) You MUST be able to visit the seller and try the instrument. Buying a used accordion unseen and untried is a REALLY BAD IDEA. The only possible exception is when you know the instrument model you buy is a recent model so the instrument cannot be older than a few years and is therefore unlikely to have major issues unless there was an accident.
2) You MUST be able to get the instrument repaired by a trusted repair person. It is highly unlikely that a used instrument you buy from an ordinary user needs no work, so you need to be able to get that done.
I follow on-line market places and there is a lot of junk for sale and there are few instruments on offer that look decent.
 

debra

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Considering Bugari versus Borsini in general, a Bugari may be slightly heavier than an equivalent Borsini and that is because it is made to be more sturdy. A Borsini is lighter but more fragile. Both are good brands. Borsini sadly is no more, which also means that you can never send a Borsini back to its factory for a major repair but with a Bugari you can.
 
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maugein96

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debra post_id=63856 time=1540928461 user_id=605 said:
1) You MUST be able to visit the seller and try the instrument. Buying a used accordion unseen and untried is a REALLY BAD IDEA. The only possible exception is when you know the instrument model you buy is a recent model so the instrument cannot be older than a few years and is therefore unlikely to have major issues unless there was an accident.
2) You MUST be able to get the instrument repaired by a trusted repair person. It is highly unlikely that a used instrument you buy from an ordinary user needs no work, so you need to be able to get that done.
I follow on-line market places and there is a lot of junk for sale and there are few instruments on offer that look decent.

Very well put Paul. You wont get any better advice than that.

The fact is the chances are that you simply wont get any accordion delivered to your door which does not require some attention, however slight. Even a brand new one will have settled a bit, and may need to be spot tuned.

Therefore, even if you consider the first caveat does not hold any weight in your particular circumstances, and you are prepared to go against the advice on offer, then you cannot sidestep number 2. Its when youre at stage 2 that you might wish you had considered stage 1, especially if the repairer tells you that youd have been better putting your money on the 3.30 at Cheltenham (a UK horse race track).

On a forum such as this one very few people will actually admit that theyve had a bad experience with a mail order accordion. Even the good experiences tend not to be up for discussion.

If anybody is keeping a record of online experiences, Ive bought one brand new accordion online, and there simply is no substitute for trying before you buy. Mine came from the USA, and Id rather have wasted the money on the air fare to the store and rejected it there and then. Now I need to find somewhere to store it. I could always try and sell it online, but I reckon the guys with the black limo would be here before it sold. Please note, I wasnt ripped off. I actually saved a few hundred £GBP, and the last race was over at Cheltenham the day I decided to buy it. It just wasnt what I expected, pure and simple, and it needed tuning when it arrived. It might actually be worth something as a novelty, as few accordions will have travelled the distance this one has. China to the USA to the UK before anybody realised two reeds were out of tune. It also bore a German quality control tag inferring it had been checked by Hohner technicians in Germany. Dont know how they managed that.

OK it wasnt a Bugari or a Borsini, but after that experience it wouldnt matter if it was a £30,000 concert bayan. If I couldnt play it first I wouldnt buy it. Ill wager there are Friday afternoon £30,000 bayans out there too.

Im an optimist really. I know if I dont buy that £30,000 bayan my money will be safe.
 

colinm

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Well thankyou all for trying to look after me, but i have already bought many accordions unseen
Usually the 10 to 15 year old good quality ones are in good condition.
I can make most repairs myself, but i would hesitate to take too many reed plates off to replace inside valves

So please do not get side tracked

It appears that the Bosini has been sold, so for now i have the choice of one and need to find out how wet the musette is on the bugari, can i believe what the owner tells me?
 
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maugein96

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Sorry Colin,

I do tend to get carried away quite often, and realise that some people are happy to buy unseen. You're a lucky man if all your purchases have been satisafactory, and the fact that you are able to undertake some repairs yourself does even it up a bit. I could ask the proverbial $64,000 question as to why you've had to buy "many" accordions, but I appreciate that is no business of mine. I swapped and changed a fair bit in the early years, but in the last 25 years I've only bought four. I think I've owned 8 in total in over 35 years of playing.

I've lived in Scotland for most of my life, and the Scottish band Wet, Wet, Wet, sort of sums up Scottish accordion tuning. It's an absolute requirement for the music. Don't be surprised if it's up a few cents over 20, and down by a similar amount with the flat tuned reeds. My first ever box, a Guerrini, was Scottish tuned, and there was a facility to play the high tuned M reed on its own. Can't remember what they called the register, but you couldn't use it in conjunction with the basses, as the reeds were so far out of tune with them.
 

Tom

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I'm sorry I don't know anything about the Borsinis or Bugaris. I wish you luck with your purchase.

It would be a dream to be able to go to a store and try a variety of brands of new accordions, but I don't believe I have that option within 500 miles. I was very fortunate and successful to buy my two new accordions directly from the factories, and recommend this method.
 

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My understanding was that the Bugari Seniorfisa line has hand-finished (aka hand-type, tipo a mano, or "TAM") reeds, and that it was their Juniorfisa line that has super-durall export reeds. There may be some intel about this on the Bugari site. It might be helpful for you to inquire when the instrument was made/how old it is, and determine from Bugari whether the Seniorfisa line indeed had TAM reeds when yours was made. This might be a nice feature to know you are getting in a prospective acquisition, though in unisonoric accordions I like high-quality, well-voiced-and-set super-durall reeds just fine, it's the bisonorics where I want hand reeds.


Did you mention whether you are PA or CBA? You referred to "keys," but sometimes people colloquially use that term for CBA buttons as well.

Has the seller stated a condition rating in writing, with written details of positive/excellent features or, conversely, any issues?

If you have no choice but to purchase sight unseen, I would not do so on the "briefest of desrcriptions." The seller needs to make a commitment in writing to a condition rating, with details as to why/how it is in excellent or whatever condition, or specific description of any issues if less than super-excellent condition. With highly detailed interior and exterior photos.


I would be uneasy about the "briefest of descriptions" thing. Every once in a while, somebody selling with a super-cursory description turns out to be selling a gem, a real diamond in the rough. But that's not usually the case. Usually, used instruments that are worth buying are sold with detailed condition descriptions, disclosure of any issues, and interior/exterior photos.


Alors, caveat emptor.
 

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colinm post_id=63849 time=1540923040 user_id=134 said:
Jazz
This one is a seniorfisa 151 se, is yours similar, have you tried a borsini

I can only vouch for the Bugari.

I have a custom 115 with Artist badge and Cagnoni reeds that I use all the time now. The feel when playing is superb.

The casing and mechanics are similar to those of the modern 151 and the reeds might be close. I like it a lot and I would love to have a 37/120 151/SE/C for chamber music. That could be my ideal instrument.
 

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colinm post_id=63862 time=1540932671 user_id=134 said:
Well thankyou all for trying to look after me, but i have already bought many accordions unseen
Usually the 10 to 15 year old good quality ones are in good condition.
I can make most repairs myself, but i would hesitate to take too many reed plates off to replace inside valves
...

This is reassuring: indeed, instruments that are 10 to 15 years old should be in good condition and if you can do most repairs yourself that makes the availability of a good local repairman (who isnt just trying to sell you instruments) less necessary.
Good luck with your search for an accordion. The Bugari may already be the one.

Sorry if I sounded too overprotecting but many people are too naive when considering buying an accordion unseen, and indeed also many people can easily be bullied into buying something they dont want by an accordion sales person.
 

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I have two cba borsinis, one flat and dry tuned k10, as dry as it gets. The best keyboard, fantastic weight and balance. Based on the k10 experience, I bought the second one from the same guy liberty below in Philadelphia. The second one is a wet lmmm musette. Both about the same age, less than 20 year old. But the musette is very different from the k10: feel bulkier and the buttons are smaller. Still good response but no match to the k10. The musette is dramatically lower in volume than the k10. It has the lowest in) volume compare to my other accordions, dry or musette, about 10 in total. The borsini musette is in perfect condition. Just very quiet. So brand brand is not very reliable indicator to sound quality. Each box has its unique character.
 
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