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Buying advice

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I have recently acquired a giant interest in accordion, so much so that I went out and bought one on Craigslist for $200 knowing next to nothing about them. It is beautiful and sounds great, I fooled around with it a lot, learned some very basic songs, and then eventually figured out that it's very small for a full range accordion, so being a very big guy I decided to get a full sized accordion next, still looking for something of a short term accordion to see if I stick with it.

I found a used accordion at a shop next for $500, full sized, 120 bass, etc. This thing looks like it's been around the block, but it does sound great, it's full sized (oh my LORD is the bass side more comfortable), and it's extremely heavy, but that's fine honestly. However, I am having some issues with it, gonna take it to the shop I bought it from and see what they say, and the issues don't seem major (loose bellows pin and some intermittently sticky keys that seem to actually be improving the more I play it), but at this point I am wondering if I made a mistake and should have bought new. The brand seems to be Acordani? I can't really read the font and the A seems to be on top of the C.

Anyways, I have a 12 week sabbatical coming up that I am at least partly making my "play a crap ton of accordion and get real familiar with the instrument sabbatical". If by then I don't have my current one working without issues, or I am just so proud of myself for continuing to practice it, I would like to look into buying myself a new accordion.

For a guy that doesn't need anything close to a master instrument, but wants something reliable and well playing, where is a good place to start?
I'm guessing you're in the USA, if so, try the Libertybellows site for vdos of various boxes.
Then a local shop with the list of questions you've already asked here.
Good luck with your search
I dont think a 'NEW' is a good idea until you're sure - unless you got money to burn. You'll drop load$ if you give up and then try to sell it used.
Have you played something before? Read music? Where are you in the US?

And welcome to the board. Have a look at the newby's stuff, got some useful recource in there to get up & running quick (ish).
Soulsaver said:
I dont think a NEW is a good idea until youre sure - unless you got money to burn. Youll drop load$ if you give up and then try to sell it used.
Have you played something before? Read music? Where are you in the US?

And welcome to the board. Have a look at the newbys stuff, got some useful recource in there to get up & running quick (ish).
I live in the state of Arizona in the US. I have a lot of musical background, my accordion level right now is pretty much what I'd call "easy fakebook". The hardest parts so far have been the entire left hand, bellows phrasing, and learning to never look at what I am doing, but it's improving.

I am already $700 deep on buying used accordions, though I do think the $500 one I recently got might be ok for a while without any major repairs. But I would say I also have some money to burn if it will make for a better experience, be easier to play and even lighter, and might get me an accordion I can get deeply attached to long term. Really I am mostly second guessing my decision to blow $500 on a used one versus @1500 on a new one, but I am not sure if a $1500 new full size accordion is a pile of garbage or not.

For my old accordion, the only gamebreaking issue right now is the bellows pins are falling out. Reading online I have seen three suggestions:

- Beeswax - Some people said don't do this because then you can't waterswell.
- Waterswelling holes - This seems irreversible and scary to me.
- Redo "weatherstripping" or whatever it is called. This seems fairly easy and safe, and what's on there is pretty flattened, so I thought I might try that. Though it's been done before on this accordion for sure, but this accordion looks so old it could have been 15 years ago.

I am gonna contact the store though before I do anything, they might just want me to bring it in and have them deal with it.

However, if they offer a return I wanted to make a decision on whether I should buy a new one instead. Thanks for all the help! Great forum, glad I found it.

Hello and welcome from another Ben in a state North of you (Utah).

I am not sure what type you were looking at for a new one at $1500, but for that price and if it is really brand new; it was probably made in china and has a bad reputation on this board.

When you are just starting out, you don't really know what you want; At least I didn't. It has taken me 6 years to figure out that I want a full sized (19" or better) keyboard, non converter, dry tuned beauty (still unsure of a tone chamber or not). Saving money for a professional level accordion has taken me at least 3 years and I still am not quite there. (11K was the most recent quote on what I want)

So my recommendation would be to take the one you have back and see if they want to rectify it. I am not sure who you are working with, but if it is a reputable seller they should be able to help out. If not there is an accordion shop in SLC, UT that would not be too far to ship it to and have them fix it.

If it is just the bellows pins, the water trick is the easiest and safest fix.

A $500 used italian accordion will play better than a new $1500 accordion and is a better starting instrument, in my opinion.

Brand names would help a lot around here to help you make a better decision. Based on what is around me locally the Titano's seem to be a dime a dozen around here and are usually a bargain if you can find a good used one.

1500 doesn't go far for a new accordion but for a well loved second hand one you can probably find something rather tasty.
Glenn said:
1500 doesnt go far for a new accordion but for a well loved second hand one you can porobably find something rather tasty.

There is a lot of truth to that. Here is a tasty example that is local to me:

I have not gone and looked at it (dismissed because it is a converter), but after talking with her it was purchased in the late 80s (for around 5k) and has been stored since.

Disclaimer - I have no relationship with the seller, just using it as an example.
So good news, the shop I bought it from was super nice, fixed the bellows pin, and offered to do a full keyboard disassemble and clean if the keys get sticky again, but they are fine for now. And in having the issues I learned how to disassemble it to some degree, one day if I read enough maybe i can be ok at my own repairs.

So for now it seems great, it certainly sounds excellent, I think I have resigned myself to needing at least a few weeks of lessons to help avoid bad habits, also my physical exertion in pumping the bellows seems way too much, but I think adjusting my straps some last night improved that significantly, and I need to watch some videos on how to position my left hand with that strap, etc.

That is good news.. and a good plan.:tup: I'm a firm believer in lessons with a teacher, but I didn't have musical instrument experience before accordion...
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