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Compact Chromatic Accordion Recommendation

cderv99

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Hi everyone!

I am a piano accordion player looking into moving over to the chromatic keyboard layout and I was wondering if anyone could help me out.

I am looking for a 5-row accordion that I can use to play Irish Traditional music in cramped locations such as pubs where such sessions take place! For this reason, I would need something lightweight and compact in size, however I would still like to have access to 120 bass keys...

This is probably a silly request but if there is any model out there which fits this description I'd be very helpful if anyone could offer a recommendation.

Thanks!

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M

maugein96

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cderv99 said:
Hi everyone!

I am a piano accordion player looking into moving over to the chromatic keyboard layout and I was wondering if anyone could help me out.

I am looking for a 5-row accordion that I can use to play Irish Traditional music in cramped locations such as pubs where such sessions take place! For this reason, I would need something lightweight and compact in size, however I would still like to have access to 120 bass keys...

This is probably a silly request but if there is any model out there which fits this description I'd be very helpful if anyone could offer a recommendation.

Thanks!

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk

Hi, and welcome to the forum. 

I think you're going to have a hard job finding a lightweight/compact CBA with 120 bass buttons. 

If you would be using swing tuning you could go down to a two voice MM, but most of those tend to have only 80 basses (96 bass minus the dim7 row).

If you are using the older three voice musette then it gets a bit harder, as anything in MMM or LMMM will be pretty heavy, and probably not very compact at all.

One thing you might find with CBA is if you do manage to get a compact instrument the short body can cause the box to bounce around a bit when you play, unless you loosen the straps right off and rest it on your knee. Some of them are more manageable like that, but not all. 

There were a fair number of CBAs in NI for a time, but they were nearly all big LMMM boxes. I haven't been to Ireland for a very long time, and last time I was there I never played accordion, or indeed took any interest in it. 

Don't know what the situation is with CBAs in Ireland these days. Fintan Stanley and one or two others used French CBA accordions for a while, might have been Piermarias, but they would have been pretty heavy. 

One option I can think of for you is a Hohner Nova LMM, but it only has 96 basses. Weight is about 7.5kg. They are made in China and quality checked in Germany. If you can find one in Ireland they cost about €2000 brand new, but that high M reed is pretty wide out of the factory, maybe up about 18 cents, so it might not do for Irish, unless it is retuned. Personally, I'm not all that keen on them, but they do the job for not a lot of money. 

You really can't beat Italian made, but even the Scandalli Air Junior C, in their lightweight range, weighs in at 8.8kg. It is a very compact instrument with 4 voice treble, with tuning to customer's spec, but it will cost about €3500 new, maybe slightly more. It too is only 96 bass.  

As you already play accordion I would definitely try before you buy, if possible. Light and compact usually has some trade offs. I'm sure that Scandalli Air only has 37 playing notes with some of the treble buttons being dummies.  

I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions. All my CBA boxes are LMM, and aged between 30 and 70 years old. As such, none of them is particularly light or compact. Lightest one, a 96 bass Maugein Mini Sonora, is 10kg and heaviest is a 120 bass Cavagnolo Vedette 5 at 12.5kg. It has 56 playable notes in the treble which makes it a bit of a monster to lug around, yet it is only a three voice LMM with a tone chamber and just 5 register combinations. 


Good luck, I think you're going to need it!
 

Dingo40

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As John may be hinting, there's almost as much variety among CBAs as among  Heinz Beans!
A five-row/120 bass would be a giant :p

Your best bet could be to take time out and study (hear and handle, if possible) what's available on offer.

I seem to remember handy, compact three- row. CBAs designed for playing thumbless ( there being a special groove along the edge of the treble button board for the thumb to slide along) designated as "Irish " models: just the thing in a pub! :)

As the advertisement says: "Oils ain't oils" :)
 

oldbayan

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Roland FR-4xb! This is the perfect gigging accordion, on-board speakers and plugs into a PA directly, 100 accordion sets and 14 registers. Also orchestral sounds, and you can even record yourself playing, and use that as sound tracks. 55 treble notes on 92 buttons, 120 bass, all configurable (including free bass). Weights 8.6 kg (19 pounds). 

Why play one accordion when you can play 100 :D
 

cderv99

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Thank you all for you time and advice. I had suspected that I may have been thinking wishfully... my suspicions have been confirmed!

I will look into the models you have all suggested- the Roland appears to be a particularly intriguing one!

Thanks again.

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debra

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cderv99 said:
Thank you all for you time and advice. I had suspected that I may have been thinking wishfully... my suspicions have been confirmed!

I will look into the models you have all suggested- the Roland appears to be a particularly intriguing one!

Thanks again.

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk

IMHO the error in your thinking is the need for 120 bass. Do you actually use the basses all the way up or down? 96 bass is a nice compromise: you get two rows more than the minimum of 12 both at the top and at the bottom and that's plenty.
The main reason why a piano-accordion player always wants a 120 bass accordion is to have 41 treble notes. But here is where button accordions are different a 96 bass CBA typically has a minimum of 41 treble notes already. Some even already come with 46 notes.
If you really want 120 bass and acoustic, look at French style accordions. They are compact in length (but have more width) and a compact 120 bass one typically comes with even more notes, 49 or even 52. You do have to get used to the register switches being behind the keyboard though.
 

oldbayan

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debra said:
IMHO the error in your thinking is the need for 120 bass. (...)

I completely agree! 96 (or even 80) is plenty.

The note density on a CBA is much higher than a PA. Usually one octave and more.

I have a little Maugein Export CBA, 80 bass (16x5) with 46 treble notes. If it would be a PA it would only have thirty something treble keys. More useful than repeat bass buttons, IMHO!
 

stickista

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losthobos pid=71825 dateline=1588683474 said:
Not wishing to appear like a used car salesman but Ive one on ebay at the moment... If you want anymore details feel free to pm me
Hope thats of help... Best wishes Terry 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/193445834140

I see it is sold as of this morning.
Did cderv99 take you up on it?
Looks like a wonderful little instrument!
 

losthobos

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stickista pid=71947 dateline=1588951971 said:
I see it is sold as of this morning.
Did cderv99 take you up on it?
Looks like a wonderful little instrument!

Yep SOLD yesterday.. Going to Ireland but i dont think to cderv99.... Hopefully i dont end up kicking myself and regretting sale in a couple of months... Was a sweet box that punched well above its weight... 
Heres a clip so you can hear it.. https://www.accordionists.info/showthread.php?tid=6210
Best wishes Terry 
 

stickista

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losthobos pid=71955 dateline=1589004116 said:
stickista pid=71947 dateline=1588951971 said:
I see it is sold as of this morning.
Did cderv99 take you up on it?
Looks like a wonderful little instrument!

Yep SOLD yesterday.. Going to Ireland but i dont think to cderv99.... Hopefully i dont end up kicking myself and regretting sale in a couple of months... Was a sweet box that punched well above its weight... 
Heres a clip so you can hear it.. https://www.accordionists.info/showthread.php?tid=6210
Best wishes Terry 
I always end up regretting sale of an instrument.  :dodgy:
 

TomBR

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Id agree with others above, 80 or 96 bass is a good compromise size, and youll have as many notes on the treble end as a 120 bass pianobox. An 80/96 may well be the same sized instrument as a 60/72

Nigel in Birmingham is listing a good selection at the moment and Ive been very happy with the box I bought from him.
https://www.fairdealaccordions.com/button-accordions.html
 

donn

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Just a reminder - a 72 bass accordion has the same reeds in that side as 96 bass, as a 120 bass. The difference is just some more wire and buttons. The weight of an accordion is more a function of the notes on the treble side, and even more the number of registers. I'm glad I'm a 120 bass guy, because otherwise I wouldn't have an accordion. The affordable options being used, the selection is already rather limited without cutting it by a couple orders of magnitude by insisting on 96 bases.

I was thinking about this general subject yesterday, while being so silly as to play in my high range. I really have no use whatever for a couple octaves at the top, even with the low register in the mix, and I wondered what it would feel like with a shorter treble side that omits that frivolous baggage. Oh well, I guess I also get more air per stroke this way - no replacement for displacement.
 

losthobos

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As Donn says.... Don't forget the joy a bigger lung capacity brings....
 

OuijaBoard

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Yes, increased number of basses may not be a significant weight increase.

But there isn't only weight. There is size and dimensions.

Don't forget the joy of holding, playing, and moving with an instrument, as opposed to a refrigerator.
 

godgi

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I have a Maugein export.
One nice one for sale in uk at the moment at a fair price i think.
The reeds are fab I would say "a mano" its a light as a feather base response strong and sensitive you can play effortless for hours on end - but it has some peculiarities which I could chat about on PM.
Godgi
 

losthobos

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Do you have a link for uk sale one olease... Thanks Terry
 

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