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Changing Reed Switch from M1M3 to M3 only

Scuromondo

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My new accordion is LMMM with cassotto. At the factory, the L and M1 reedsets were tuned to 440Hz. (Incidentally, according to the free tuning app on my phone, the L and M1 reedsets were actually tuned much more precisely near to 440Hz that I expected them to be, and in fact spot-on in nearly all cases.) The M2 and M3 are detuned by +15/-15 cents.

I find that having both the M2M1 and M1M3 register selection options (circled in the photo) is of little practical use to me. Instead, I think I would like to keep one of the options (probably the M2M1, +15 cent) but have the other switch changed to select only the M3 (-15 cent) reedset by itself (without M1). I like the sound of the in-cassotto M1 in most cases, but I do think that there are times when having the ability to choose an out-of-cassotto M might be desirable. I have three questions about this, if someone would be so kind to respond:

1. Is this even worth doing? While I know that an out-of-cassotto M will have a much different character than the in-cassotto M by itself, will an out-of-cassotto M reedset detuned by -15 cents even be usable and practical?

2. Can this be done? I know that, in principle, anything can be done. I guess what I really mean is, is this something that should only be attempted by an experienced repair person, or is it reasonable to think that a novice could do it successfully (and without damage)?

3. Assuming the answer to the first two questions is YES, then...how would it be done?

Thank you!
Best regards.

IMG_1721.jpg
 
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colinm

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I am going to give you a novices answer to this, the repairmen will correct me.
I think its the flute sound on some accordions which are only detuned a few cents.
I think you will need to have all or some of the coupler slides changed, each coupler has its own slide, take the front off and have a look at how they work, do you fancy trying to obtain the correct slides and then taking them apart and putting them back together ?
cost $300 to $500
 

debra

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When you remove the grille you can move the register sliders in order to try the sound of a non-cassotto M (and decide whether you prefer M2 or M3). Because these M reeds are 15 cents out of tune you may be somewhat disappointed when this sound is combined with something else, like the bass side of the accordion. The sound of an out-of-cassotto M is quite useful to simulate an oboe (with a bit of a sharp nasal sound), but I only find it really useful when it is "detuned". Generally having MM with 0 and +15 is all that I would use, so I would tune the M3 up to 0 and then you can indeed use M3 alone as out-of-cassotto M, and the M1-M2 will give you tremolo, M1-M3 will give you a dry-tuned MM and M2-M3 will give you a tremolo with two M's out of cassotto. In this case it makes sense to change registers, but all the ones you have are already useful, so it will become hard to decide which one to change into a single out-of-cassotto M...
The process of changing what a register does is technically not very hard, but you need to have some spare thin aluminium and also some small rivets... (It is something that is taught in the Accordion Craft Academy courses.)
 

Scuromondo

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Thank you Mr. DeBra for your thoughtful reply. From your description, it sounds more invasive than I was bargaining for. I suppose that I imagined that perhaps there was some sort of dedicated mechanical linkage from the register switch to each of the two reed banks and the process of disabling one of those linkages might be more straightforward.
 

JIM D.

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You will have to modify the teeth on (2 or more shift slides). It will require removing & replacing the teeth on the slides. I have many used shift slides
that I cut up for parts but you will have to make your own. You will have to obtain some aluminum sheets to work with, a supply of shift
machine washers & spacers, and small copper brads that can be cut and used for rivets. And once the slides have been modified the shift reed
markings will have to be changed.

Please note; Altering a shift machine requires technical knowledge and a considerable labor time. There are some fine accordion
tech's out there but unfortunately there are few that offer this modification.
 
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Scuromondo

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You will have to modify the teeth 2 or more shift slides. It will require removing & replacing the teeth on the slides. I have many used shift slides
that I cut up for parts but you will have to make your own. You will have to obtain some aluminum sheets to work with, a supply of shift
machine washers & spacers, and small copper brads that can be cut and used for rivets. And once the slides have been modified the shift reed
markings will have to be changed.

Please note; Altering a shift machine requires technical knowledge and a considerable labor time. There are some fine accordion
tech's out there but unfortunately there are few that offer this modification.
Thank you, Jim. After Paul DeBra's input, I had already abandoned the idea of taking on this job; hearing your cautionary description has only reinforced that decision!
 

debra

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Thank you, Jim. After Paul DeBra's input, I had already abandoned the idea of taking on this job; hearing your cautionary description has only reinforced that decision!
There is an alternative approach used for 5 voice instruments, but it is for enabling/disabling the 5-th voice (typically your M3) with a separate switch. I have modified a few 5 voice Hohner Morino accordions to enable/disable the M3 voice. (A Morino does not offer registers that include M2 and not M3.) Sadly this technique is not useful for your specific case where you want M3 to just play by itself.
 

Ventura

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first of all, aside from it being a criminal offense to neuter a perfectly fine
and very Italian sounding Scandalli...

it would make a lot more sense to buy/order/rent/borrow a Jazz style accordion
and find out how much or how little usefulness you would get from shift sounds
that take advantage of two middle reeds which are both tuned A-440

the (Victoria built) quint i have is straight tuned, and i do find i enjoy the subtle
differences in the tones when the L is coupled with the out of chamber M as
compared to the LM both in chamber, as well as the difference between
M solo chambered vs M solo out of chamber, and the ways it changes
LMH choices as well

the difference also defines the repertoire suitable for use on the accordion, as it would be
ridiculous to play a Parisienne Meusette or an Italian Madzurka on it, but if you want
to play Lead Lines and Melodies and quick improvizations all day long you can't beat it

this is the rationale when convincing a Spouse that you do in fact need another accordion

it is also worth noting that you can tune (up to) 3 middle reeds on an FR7 / FR7x
with any spread (including none) any frequency you desire and have dozens of tuning
variations saved in User sets for specific styles of Music and songs

the first bit of programming i did when i learned how to tame the ROLAND Beast
was to emulate as perfectly as possible my Excelsior 960 (Jazz tuned) and i can assure
you the Roland tuning CAN be finessed to a fare-thee-well... someone up your way
had been trying to sell a Red FR7 on Craigslist... it may still be available or rentable

ciao

Ventura
 

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