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Horses for courses?

Longshore

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A bit of background...

I have earned my living as a professional ornithologist in many parts of the world.
I always used my Zeiss Dialyt 7x42B binoculars as they were (and would be still) one of the finest binoculars ever made.
They're heavy though and not that pocketable for 'just in case' moments.

I wanted lighter, smaller, and ended up with a pair of Kowa BD11 32x6.5 XD.

The general wisdom of the 'community' was to go for high end binoculars costing three times the price. This was based on endorsement by high profile birders (many of whom I know and are consultants for those companies), advertising and general 'one-upmanship'.

The Kowa's are remarkable considering price and size, and more than capable of performing within their designed perimeters.

Obviously, I would never part with my Zeiss Dialyt binoculars as they've served me well for over 30 years.

I wonder if there are any analogies to be drawn with the accordion world?
 

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debra

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Besides money size and weight are the most common reasons for people getting a smaller and lighter accordion.
My wife and I even moved from PA to CBA in order to go smaller. We did not yet manage to go much lighter and cheaper (because we still want lots of notes, cassotto, convertor...) but many others do also go lighter and cheaper.
Accordions can certainly become so large and heavy that they become unusable as you get older. It's hard to sell a Hohner Morino VI N nowadays because it is so large and heavy. I have the button version (an Artiste X S, 5 voice, 56 notes, MIII bass... and it weighs in at around 18kg, so I cannot use only that accordion as it is a back and shoulder breaker)... My wife now mostly plays the Bugari 540/ARS/C which is only 41cm tall (in the playing orientation) and still gives her 52 notes, 4 voice, cassotto, convertor with 49 notes... and we wouldn't mind one like that without convertor to reduce the weight even further...
Smaller and lighter is also important when you play standing up on stage. Richard Galliano did that for decades with a rather heavy (convertor) accordion and has now moved on to playing mostly sitting down. It was either sitting down or a lighter accordion...
 

Longshore

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Besides money size and weight are the most common reasons for people getting a smaller and lighter accordion.
My wife and I even moved from PA to CBA in order to go smaller. We did not yet manage to go much lighter and cheaper (because we still want lots of notes, cassotto, convertor...) but many others do also go lighter and cheaper.
Accordions can certainly become so large and heavy that they become unusable as you get older. It's hard to sell a Hohner Morino VI N nowadays because it is so large and heavy. I have the button version (an Artiste X S, 5 voice, 56 notes, MIII bass... and it weighs in at around 18kg, so I cannot use only that accordion as it is a back and shoulder breaker)... My wife now mostly plays the Bugari 540/ARS/C which is only 41cm tall (in the playing orientation) and still gives her 52 notes, 4 voice, cassotto, convertor with 49 notes... and we wouldn't mind one like that without convertor to reduce the weight even further...
Smaller and lighter is also important when you play standing up on stage. Richard Galliano did that for decades with a rather heavy (convertor) accordion and has now moved on to playing mostly sitting down. It was either sitting down or a lighter accordion...
I do agree Paul.

It's not much use having a top of the range Accordion of it's to heavy and unwieldy to play comfortably for any period of time.

Lightness and good quality comes at a price in accordions especially, and as ever it's about marginal gains versus financial outlay.

But in my experience (especially in the folk world) there are average players (nothing wrong with that) with boxes costing thousands which begs the question why - perhaps peer pressure and 'looking the part'.

In the birding world it's very common too, with birders (new to the hobby) spending thousands of pounds on optical equipment with no more than rudimentary bird ID skills, and unsure if birding is really for them.

Again, perhaps salesmanship and peer pressure to look the part.
 

Tom

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Certainly marketing and "the cool factor" play a part in accordion purchases. As an average player myself, I played "vintage" accordions for many years but finally bought new because I am not an expert repairman and all older accordions need repairs sooner or later. The new accordions provide a quality sound without worry. It's easy to get caught up in the hype and pay more than you need to. Like you with the Zeiss, I purchased a qood quality accordion for a fair price without all the bells and whistles. It is possible. It's also possible to buy new and get poor quality. It takes sufficient knowledge to make the right purchase. In my (not so humble) opinion, the perfect new (acoustic) accordion for the serious non professional is in the $2500 range. Thousands, yes, but not "thousands!" For a less well heeled, or not as serious player, a good used instrument can be found for much less, although more care is necessary in the research and repair department.
 

jozz

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one-upmanship is an old sentiment

i believe today's generations lean more and more towards minimalism

see the tiny houses stuff, second hand apps and business and the wish to reduce (pollution) in general

how this translates to the accordionworld I don't know 🕵️‍♂️
 

Ben-jammin

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With any marketed product the law of diminishing returns applies. Everyone will look at that value/price equation slightly different. For most non professional musicians the purchase of an instrument is an investment in their passion. Usually that means getting the nicest instrument they can justify to themselves. Some of us are better at justifying things to ourselves than others, it’s a question of where someone sits on the passion vs practical continuum. There’s a few assumptions that feed into this:

-An inferior instrument can slow progress
-a nicer accordion sounds better and can give more joy, even for an non advanced player
-nicer instruments maintain their value better

I think in broad strokes we can agree those are fundamentally true statements, but we all see the knee of the price vs quality chart a little differently.

Personally I am satisfied that my current accordions are good enough that I’m not inhibited in learning but think I could get more joy playing a nicer accordion.
 

Longshore

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Certainly marketing and "the cool factor" play a part in accordion purchases. As an average player myself, I played "vintage" accordions for many years but finally bought new because I am not an expert repairman and all older accordions need repairs sooner or later. The new accordions provide a quality sound without worry. It's easy to get caught up in the hype and pay more than you need to. Like you with the Zeiss, I purchased a qood quality accordion for a fair price without all the bells and whistles. It is possible. It's also possible to buy new and get poor quality. It takes sufficient knowledge to make the right purchase. In my (not so humble) opinion, the perfect new (acoustic) accordion for the serious non professional is in the $2500 range. Thousands, yes, but not "thousands!" For a less well heeled, or not as serious player, a good used instrument can be found for much less, although more care is necessary in the research and repair department.
I suppose it's all relative and dependent on circumstance and budget Tom.
I do agree there are many fine older accordions out there but always the chance of eventually needing repair is a factor.
 
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Longshore

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one-upmanship is an old sentiment

i believe today's generations lean more and more towards minimalism

see the tiny houses stuff, second hand apps and business and the wish to reduce (pollution) in general

how this translates to the accordionworld I don't know 🕵️‍♂️
I'm not sure how this translates to the accordion world either. I'm not sure minimalism has quite arrived with many players owning many boxes.
I have a tiny house (on wheels), it's call a van and I live off-grid in it full time...
 
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Longshore

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With any marketed product the law of diminishing returns applies. Everyone will look at that value/price equation slightly different. For most non professional musicians the purchase of an instrument is an investment in their passion. Usually that means getting the nicest instrument they can justify to themselves. Some of us are better at justifying things to ourselves than others, it’s a question of where someone sits on the passion vs prac continuum. There’s a few assumptions that feed into this:

-An inferior instrument can slow progress
-a nicer accordion sounds better and can give more joy, even for an non advanced player
-nicer instruments maintain their value better

I think in broad strokes we can agree those are fundamentally true statements, but we all see the knee of the price vs quality chart a little differently.

Personally I am satisfied that my current accordions are good enough that I’m not inhibited in learning but think I could get more joy playing a nicer accordion.
We all justify our passion Ben-jammin and there's nothing wrong with that.

What's an extravagance to one person is pin money to somebody else.
Budget ultimately determines purchase but nobody should be put off this absorbing pastime because they believe one cannot be competent with a modestly priced box.

Hence - horses for courses.
 

Tom

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We all justify our passion Ben-jammin and there's nothing wrong with that.

What's an extravagance to one person is pin money to somebody else.
Budget ultimately determines purchase but nobody should be put off this absorbing pastime because they believe one cannot be competent with a modestly priced box.

Hence - horses for courses.
Good point, Longshore. I know plenty of people with modest, used accordions who are doing just fine, and having a ball doing it.
 

godgi

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10k is my personal cut off point now.
above this toooo heavy.
godgie
 

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