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Help need to identify Sonola piano accordion

GeoffV

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Hi

Ive recently acquired this Sonola piano accordion, which has rekindled my interest in playing.

I used to play a bit, as a kid, 50 years ago, but drifted away as other instruments came along.

I now love it, and cant put the thing down :D

Anyway, my real question is, do any of you knowledgeable folk know what model number, or name, this particular Sonola accordion is?

I was told that it originally was bought new from Bell accordions in Surbiton, sometime in the 1970s, but that may not be completely accurate. To me it seems like quite a good instrument, but thats really only basing it on my experience with a 12 bass Bell and an old, and very worn Settimio Soprani, that belonged to my uncle, years ago

It has 3 sets of reeds on the treble side and 2 on the bass side, with 7 couplers on the treble side, and 3 on the bass.
The inside is stamped in various places with the number 26.
Made in Italy is embossed on the casing.

Ive added a link to some higher resolution pictures and would be grateful for any information as to what model this is.

Sonola accordion
 
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maugein96

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Geoff,


Short answer is I dont know, but hopefully somebody on here will recognise it. From memory Bell mainly had their own brand accordions built by Paolo Soprani, but Im led to believe it was a large shop over two floors, and they stocked quite a few makes.

If you browse this list of Italian accordion makers youll see that Sonola started off in Castelfidardo in 1935 and were taken over by Guerrini & Figli in 1973. That particular Guerrini company (there appear to have been no less than 11 others over the years) was listed as current in 2010, but I have no idea if they are still on the go. The list was current as at 2010 as you can see. 

http://www.accordions.com/articles/chronology.aspx

A new company named Sonola started up again in Castelfidardo in 2013, but whether they have any connection with the original company is beyond my knowledge. 

Ive just browsed through the Italian site Kijiji and there are over 400 used accordions listed there. Not a single one is a Sonola, although I came across what was described as a Sonola Guerrini (badged Sonola, but probably made by Guerrini), which bears no resemblance to yours at all.
 

GeoffV

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maugein96 pid=63589 dateline=1548620143 said:
Geoff,


Short answer is I dont know, but hopefully somebody on here will recognise it. From memory Bell mainly had their own brand accordions built by Paolo Soprani, but Im led to believe it was a large shop over two floors, and they stocked quite a few makes.

If you browse this list of Italian accordion makers youll see that Sonola started off in Castelfidardo in 1935 and were taken over by Guerrini & Figli in 1973. That particular Guerrini company (there appear to have been no less than 11 others over the years) was listed as current in 2010, but I have no idea if they are still on the go. The list was current as at 2010 as you can see. 

http://www.accordions.com/articles/chronology.aspx

A new company named Sonola started up again in Castelfidardo in 2013, but whether they have any connection with the original company is beyond my knowledge. 

Ive just browsed through the Italian site Kijiji and there are over 400 used accordions listed there. Not a single one is a Sonola, although I came across what was described as a Sonola Guerrini (badged Sonola, but probably made by Guerrini), which bears no resemblance to yours at all.

Thanks for the reply and link.

Ive spent a bit of time trawling the web, but without much luck really.
Ive found a few pictures of similar accordions, but some have the name Sonola in a block font, others in script, similar to my one.  Im not sure if that indicates anything.

Bell accordions were indeed a large shop (there were two shops in fact.  Accordions one side of the road, and guitars keyboards amplifiers etc. the other side).  I lived fairly close to them when growing up, and often used to look longingly through their window at the accordions, even though by then, I wasnt playing anymore.

I think that the sound stays with you, and you always come back to it in the end.
Im really loving playing this Sonola, and although when I look on YouTube I realise that Im really only scratching the surface of playing it, its a lot of fun trying, and a completely different discipline to my other instruments (trumpet and guitar)

Thanks again for the reply and as you say, hopefully someone will recognise this accordion.  Its only for interests sake, but it just would be nice to know what Ive got.
 

Tom

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Sorry I can't help with the origin of this accordion, Geoff but it looks pretty nice and I hope you enjoy the heck out of it!

I've restored a couple "Rivoli by Sonola" accordions that seem fairly common. As you say, the brand font is different but they were decent, well made and sounding instruments.

Good luck! Tom
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hello Geoff,

I have always liked the sound of Sonola Accordions, though I have never owned one myself. Still, from all that I have heard, they are very decent machines.

Good luck with it, and please keep us informed of your progress.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Dingo40

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Dingo40 Stephen Hawkins said:
Hello Geoff,

I have always liked the sound of Sonola Accordions, though I have never owned one myself.  Still, from all that I have heard, they are very decent machines.

Good luck with it, and please keep us informed of your progress.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

I have a Sonora 17” keyboard with this script logo.
When I got it, used, one reed wasn’t sounding. The technician claimed it wasn’t a “genuine” Sonola, whatever that means( I must ask him, when next I see him)! :huh:
But, seeing he has had the Australian Sonola dealership for decades, he should know what’s what! :)
(On that occasion, I got the message via the salesperson, not the dealer/technician himself, and he was  not available for more detailed discussion  :s )
I have seen a busker with a full sized 4 voiced model of the same logo and general style, but he also had thought it was the “real” thing!
Personally, I feel it must be a much later than a 1970s made model, which have the other kind of lettering in the logo  :shy:
 
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maugein96

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Here is a link to an auction site where a Norwegian seller recently listed a Sonola accordion from 1981. It is clearly described as a Sonola Guerrini, so it wouldnt have been a genuine Sonola in the eyes of some. The logo then consisted of a small plate screwed to the accordion body, whereas earlier models had the Sonola logo in large block capitals. 

I would imagine that as the years progressed the boxes would have become more and more Guerrini like, but whether they eventually dropped the Sonola logo is way beyond my expertise. 

Faced with the study of nuclear physics or Italian accordion history, I reckon the former would be less troublesome, as the formulae wouldnt have changed much since their inception. From the content of posts on here, it would appear that legions of small manufacturers appear to have all worked together to manufacture the completed article, and how would anybody, except they themselves, have any idea over what brand an instrument actually was? 

Crucianelli used to make accordions in France under licence, and the name of the factory Codec was (usually) fixed somewhere on the instrument. It got worse than that, as some component parts in the top of the range models were supplied by Piermaria, so they carried both Crucianelli and Piermaria makers names. At least they took the trouble to tell us that.

https://reverb.com/uk/item/5591758-...ardo-harmonika-dragspel-fisarmonica-akkordeon
 

GeoffV

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Thanks for all the replies so far. 
It really is a bit of minefield.

I'm naturally a very curious person, and normally once I've bought something I need to find out everything about it. :D   I really should research things "before" buying, but it wasn't my intention to buy an accordion, it just came along at the right moment (of weakness :blush: ) and at what I think was a good price.

It won't help me play any better, I'm sure, but it's always nice to know exactly what you've got.

As I mentioned before, to me this seems like a nice accordion, but I haven't really had much experience with anything else that actually played before. 
All other accordions that have had the misfortune to have me attempt to play them, have leaked like a sieve, or some or all of the notes were stuck down.

This Sonola has all the notes working, and to my ears a good sound, so any untoward noises are definitely the fault of the player, rather than the instrument. :shy:
 
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This is interesting. I love seeing a mystery tracked down. I see another variation between instruments is the script S on the master bass switch.
 

JIM D.

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I have an old Sonola in my shop stored for parts.
It's a 3 reed treble & 5 reed bass with 7 treble shifts.
The box was made in the late 50's and the model is R350
 
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maugein96

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JIM D. said:
I have an old Sonola in my shop stored for parts.
It's a 3 reed treble & 5 reed bass with 7 treble shifts.
The box was made in the late 50's and the model is R350

Jim,

The one for sale in Norway was 4 voice and the model number was R460. It's possible that the "3" and "4" refer to three and four voice respectively, although I wouldn't really know.
 

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