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Chinese Manufactured Accordion Model List

Dingo40

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"What I find unique is that all these brand names are from only the 4 accordion makers in China !
Phew, I'm glad you mentioned that, Jim!
I was beginning to think every other Chinese was making accordions!!😳
 

Scuromondo

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The following is a list of accordion models/makers thought to originate in China.
This is not an attempt to qualify the good or bad - just inform of the country of manufacture.
How you use the info. will be down to your own interpretation and research - and possibly the input from the members on the board.
The list has been gathered from previous posts by the members; often from memory so there is room for error.

Corrections/enhancements/additions welcomed.

Ill edit it to include info from later following posts or from the discussion here: http://www.accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1526&hilit=pearl+river .

And a big THANKS to JimD who provided much of the info. Much appreciated JIm. :tup: :tup:


Aidi
Aliante
Aileen
Baidi
Baile (or sometimes listed as Balie, or Bailie)
Baronelli (Barronelli?)
Bellini http://www.accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584&start=100
Belmont
Black Diamond
Bonetti
Brandelli
Canarino
Cantibile (18/09/15)
Cavalier
Chanson
Cipelino/Cipalino
Cotati
Del Sol
DLuca
E. Soprani (Circus model range) but Italian manufactured models still being sold. (April 2018)
Elane
Estrella (18/09/15)
Excalibur (most models)
Fenix/Michael/Veneza (not Venezia which is Italian)
Fever
Firotti (old models are east German but new models are likely Chinese using the now defunct brand name; see page 10)
First Act
Firston
Gallini Pic added page 11; 09/12/16
Gararda (M. Gararda - seen listed on eBay Australia Feb 2016)
Giovanni (There are older Italian Giovanni accordions. Chinese I have seen have the typical Parrot like, 70s Scandalli like, register switches).
Golden Cup
Golden Lion
Goldstar
Heimond
Hohner (German, but some models, recent and lower end, inc Nova & Bravo, are produced in China, Ed)
Honica / Hohnica - see post 07 Aug 15
Hsinghai
J.Meister
Jessy
Jinbao
Jixing
KGD
M. Gararda - seen listed on eBay Australia Feb 2016
Meister, J (J.Meister)
Michael/Fenix/Veneza (not Venezia which is Italian)
Mirage
Morelli /Mirelli
OEM
Padova
Paganini
Parrot
Pearl River
Peredie
Primo
Rizatti
Revel
Rossetti
Rossini
Scarlatti (some models, maybe all)
Serenelli (was a quality Castelfidardo maker from the 30s until 1963; recent branded product is likely Chinese - Page 11, post 01 June)
Sila (Pic posted Sat Feb 27, 2016)
Skyline
SofiaMari
Sonantti (see link added 16 Nov 2016, page 11)
Sonata
Songlin
Sonor
Soprani (see post 16Sept15)
Startone
Starwave
Stella (not to be confused with Weltmeister Stella which is German manufacture, see pic in thread, July 9 2014)
Stephanelli
Stewart
Studio http://www.accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584&start=100
Sunrise
Talents
Tombo (think Japanese but believe mostly made in China), also seen as Tombo Soprano.
Tslents
Veneza/Michael/Fenix (not Venezia which is Italian)
Yingjie
Yuewie
Is anyone familiar with the brand name Castellani? I’m not certain, but it appears that they may be another brand to add to the list. It is difficult to tell from their website. They say they are located in Castelfidardo and they strangely highlight the history of the building in Castelfidardo that they use, but nothing about their own business or history. They also market their accordions as “hand finished in Italy” which, reading between the lines, seems to imply that they are actually built elsewhere.
 
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debra

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Is anyone familiar with the brand name Castellani? I’m not certain, but it appears that they may be another brand to add to the list. It is difficult to tell from their website. They say they are located in Castelfidardo and they strangely highlight the history of the building in Castelfidardo that they use, but nothing about their own business or history. They also market their accordions as “hand finished in Italy” which, reading between the lines, seems to imply that they are actually built elsewhere.
This store is located in the building of the old Paolo Soprani factory. They sell all kinds of accordions made locally (by different factories), but those they sell under the real factory name. The "Castellani" brand is a name they use for other accordions of what I would call "unknown" origin. The store has their own repairers and tuners, so when they "hand finish" an accordion it probably means they do a quality control of these accordions, which look like Chinese accordions, maybe models made to their specification. I think (but don't know) that what they do is similar to E.Soprani which also gets accordions built in China which they then "hand finish" in Italy. All I can say to prospective buyers of accordions is to go through very reputable channels, get certificates of origin, and check carefully whether an accordion really looks 100% like what it is advertised to be.
 

ArtMustel

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It is so sad that italian brands are being actually built elsewhere and then shipped to Italy and sold as italian accordions, when they were only fine tuned and checked in Italy. Must be difficult then to find and actual instrument 100% manufactured in Italy. :mad:
 
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Must be difficult then to find and actual instrument 100% manufactured in Italy. :mad:

Stocco in Stradella (near old Dallape factory) are made right there in Italy. I got to visit the store and play a couple of them in late 2019 while in Italy with friends. Sounded great but wife said no to me buying one :confused:. Great to be able to walk into a shop full of accordions though, like a little bit of heaven!
 

Scuromondo

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It is so sad that italian brands are being actually built elsewhere and then shipped to Italy and sold as italian accordions, when they were only fine tuned and checked in Italy. Must be difficult then to find and actual instrument 100% manufactured in Italy. :mad:
Perhaps I am a bit naive. But prior to the emergence of this “Castellano” house-brand accordion, the only other verifiable example of a “Castelfidardo” accordion likely to have been manufactured outside of Italy was the “E. Soprani-Circus”

But I suspect that this may become a trend. The low-price / high-volume market must be very difficult for many builders to ignore.
 
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debra

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It is so sad that italian brands are being actually built elsewhere and then shipped to Italy and sold as italian accordions, when they were only fine tuned and checked in Italy. Must be difficult then to find and actual instrument 100% manufactured in Italy. :mad:
This vendor does not claim that the accordions are made in Italy. They are "hand-finished" in Italy. It's entirely unclear what this means. The company employs accordion repairers and tuners but does not state whether these accordions are being thoroughly checked inside and out, repaired if needed, and tuned. We can only guess what the term means. That the name of the accordion sounds Italian is very common among Chinese brands. It's almost the case that if an accordion has an Italian brand name it's already suspect...
That said, it is not difficult to find an actual instrument that is really manufactured in Italy, especially if you go to Italy and visit the factories, or if you go through a reputable dealer who goes to Italy to get the instruments. If you order an accordion on-line through some channel other than a reputable dealer (think of Ebay, Catawiki, etc.) you have essentially no way of knowing whether what you will get is actually an Italian accordion, a Chinese accordion with an Italian name, A Chinese or Russian or North-Korean accordion with a fake label of a real Italian brand is also possible... It's a minefield and a true adventure to get a real italian accordion without intimate knowledge of real Italian accordion manufacturers. But when you do a bit of research on Internet to find contact info from accordion manufacturers in Italy and personally travel there to place an order and later also to collect the instrument then it's not all that adventurous. It's just a lot of work.
And as far as the store in Castelfidardo that sells Castellani and other accordions, I heard these are actually friendly and experienced people that are not trying to fool their customers. But you have to go to the store in Castelfidardo to have the best experience.
 

Ventura

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this link should take you to the actual "old" Paolo Soprani factory building
(now re-built as a home for pensioneers)

it lay fallow for several decades after paolo Soprani
(the original, the old and only, that Paolo built)
went entirely and completely out of business and dissapeared

not to be confused with the
"new old" paolo factory referenced a few posts above
which is not very old at all unless you are counting in Dog years

regarding the sadness and despair mentioned in other posts
regarding "sort of kind of italian but built who knows where"
please realise that the E Soprani name came about ENTIRELY
from the frenzy that always surrounded a famous factory death
when the sharks and unscrupulous swarm the water seeking to
rape the reputation in any way possible for financial gain

this is the Italian way, unfortunately

E Soprani pretty much came into existence because there were not enough
variations on the Soprani name to go around

btw... originally E. Soprani and Paolo Soprani had absolutely ZERO legal connection

while it took many decades to bleed Paolo Soprani of it's reputation, and
the rights to use/abuse the name passing through numerous hands
and usually brief Corporations in the process, the E. Soprani name
never had a reputation, and so it always was a joke

the first fake Italian accordions imported from Asia and secretly
re-branded as Italian AND made in Italy marks added as well was
under the name E. Soprani and believed done in the old Moreschi dungeon
up on the hill

the Italian Govt. famously stepped in and wrote new regulations and laws
to prevent such complete deception from continuing
(you now must be very vague, and also swap out the reeds for Italian made)

however, there being no actual high volume cheap accordion market in the
West (there actually is a big low-price market in Asia.. go figure)
one wonders why the deceptions and disingenuous legerdermain continue

more than ever, caveat aemptor... on the high boutique end, we continue
to see the depths that (now ancient) old brand names and reputations STILL
have in the West, with a still steady line of people willing to spend @ $10,000
on some shiny bauble f they are given a good story (and assured they
are getting Hand Made reeds) along with very nice photographs and
long winded histories that have no actual connection in any way, shape, or form
(or engineering or scale design or tooling) to the brand name being Boutiqued to you...

having repeated all that, we also have heard that there seems to be some effort
by possibly halfway respectable people to rejuvenate the Scandalli name and the Paolo name
to some extent (only time will tell) but let us not forget that less than 5
years ago you could buy a brand new (asian body) Paolo Soprani built to resemble
the "hubcap grille" models of the famous old days... looked very nice in the
pictures but the shiny chrome looking hub-caps actually were really cheap plastic
and actually didn't even open like the originals

as long as Accordion buyers put a premium on the "Sizzle" rather than the "Substance"
these business practices will continue

ciao

Ventura
 

Tom

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Can't wait for my brand new E. Paolo Scandalli to be shipped directly from Castelfidardo with those nice mano a mano reeds.
 

debra

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Buy a Parrot and you won't miss, no chance it was made in Italy...
Same for Baile, or Scarlatti or Paganini and most of the rest of the list...
They are not all bad though. There are reasonable Chinese-made accordions that are quite usable, including Parrot, Baile and Hohner (lower end models), but there is also absolute rubbish, like Golden Cup... and it's hard to know which are reasonable ones and which are rubbish.
 

Scuromondo

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Can't wait for my brand new E. Paolo Scandalli to be shipped directly from Castelfidardo with those nice mano a mano reeds.
Actually I am very pleased with my new Paolo Soprani and I am quite sure that it is not a rebranded Chinese instrument. Now that I have had it for a couple months, I can confirm that it was an ideal choice for me. It is a much better instrument than I have ever owned. At the same time, as the owner of a 60-year-old Paolo, I can confirm that the new one does not sound the same as the old one. But “not the same as” certainly does not mean “not as good as.” In fact, for my taste, the new one is actually considerably better in most (though not all) aspects. It’s a trade off. For example, the old one is considerably brighter and louder, but it is not capable of playing very quietly. The low frequency response of the old one is more up-front and impressive, but the tone of the new one is much more pure and clean-sounding all-around. Of course it’s quite likely that the new one won’t be as durable, but I won’t be around in 60 years to know!

Anyway, despite their marketing silliness of romanticizing the Paolo Soprani “story” (they even include a manga comic book which attempts to make old Paolo look like a Superhero!) I would not hesitate to recommend that anyone with a comparable budget and experience level to mine give them serious consideration. While a similarly equipped Beltuna (another brand I looked at) would offer better performance, it would be at nearly twice the price and, given my current skill level, I believe that I would scarcely appreciate the difference sufficient to justify the expense. ...the adage “you get what you pay for” is certainly true, but I also think that, as one pays more and more, the returns are generally nonlinear!
 
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Ventura

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other friends have also reported good results by researching
and dealing with real people... i particularly like when you pay a
reasonable amount for a just plain good instrument

Piatanesi has also been put into this "reasonable" category
of price and quality and being fairly represented

while we note that several of these companies may actually
deal somewhat differently out of the "side door" and in fact
some of these locations may work under several different
layers of ownership/dealership/representation while underneath
there is just one builder who is (perhaps) contractually obligated
to these various names or quality levels

(one does have to pay the bills and keep the lights on)

but if you deal with (or close to) the Principal and get the
instrument/brand they are trying to be proud of... well you
can still have a very good experience and value it seems...

for longevity, i personally feel the brands/locations who most completely
control the building of the bodies or who have special arrangements with
an Italian Sister company who makes their bodies for them under very
specific engineering and specifications will have the best candidates
for high value instruments

the Asian bodies, simply put, rely upon Asian Mahogany as their principle
underlying wood, and while it looks pretty, and has incredibly uniform grain,
it also grows extremely fast and so does not have the depth of strength,
nor do they have access to other woods typically available in the West

look closely at the main baffle between the Keys and the Reeds... no aluminum
plates in most of the asian bodies.. just a thin Mahoghany sandwich of cross plies with
the holes cleanly cut out and everything looking very nice and holding together
quite well TODAY

IMHO it just does not have the stability and strength to hold it's plane dead flat over
a long period of time and is pretty much guaranteed to bow, then start to leak
air, then have cross-flow and alien notes sounding eventually

even if the importer takes the time to moisture proof the bare wood surfaces
and tape the insides of the bellows (which Anders used to do with the Baile's
he imported into Florida years back...)

i first encountered the E. Soprani asian fakes in a Music store in Rome, where
the owner was stuck with two of them, and had relegated them to a dark upper shelf...

i was informed the "Warranty period" was 48 hours

i kid you not !

he also had a bunch of Dino Bafetti's and inexpensive small Paolo's
which were all ready to play, ready to go, so he did have a clue about accordions
but his specialty was not in full sized PA's, so i guess that was how he got snookered
on the E

that was long ago and far away
 
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