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I finally got a Tiger! (and I have questions)

JeffJetton

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I lucked into an absolute bargain on a Tiger accordion this week and just had to give in to Accordion Acquisition Syndrome and buy it!

[img=476x333]http://jeffjetton.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-05-25-12.01.16-1024x768.jpg[/img]

I posted about it on my blog if you want to see some more pictures, and I played a bit of it on Instagram if you want to hear it.

Anyway, the instrument brings a few mysteries with it. Perhaps some of the fine folks of this forum may have answers?

  • The plastic left-hand palm rest has some damage on it. The sort of melty/bubbly/scarring consistent with heat or flame, right under the hand strap. Is this common on Tigers? Is it some weird thing that just happens to them when played for years by sweaty-palmed musicians? Or did a previous owner do it on purpose, maybe? (To get a less-slippery surface? Is that a thing?)
  • The badge on it is not the usual Titano or Pancordion but rather United. Thats a new one to me! Anyone know anything about United and why they wouldve been selling re-branded Tigers? Were they a manufacturer or maybe a store or school?
  • The whole instrument is sharp by a noticeable amount. I know that some older accordions were tuned to A > 440 on purpose, but Im surprised that an accordion specifically designed to play in a rock combo would be. Is it just age thats thrown off the tuning, or did they really come tuned like that?
Thanks,

 - Jeff
 

jozz

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that looks very nice

so what was the idea behind havng the keyboard like that?
 

Eddy Yates

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Beauty, Jeff. Be happy I didn’t find it before you! Here’s mine:

FE340348-2474-4F6C-8CEF-4CA35874E72D.jpeg

My wife found it at Smythe’s in Oakland. It was new/old stock, never sold until she bought it and gave it to me. I’ve put a few dents in it, but that marred finish you point out hasn’t happened.
Yeah, mine is also tuned to 444. That may be part of why it didn’t catch on, but I still love it.
I actually played it with a few bands, but they never mentioned the tuning. I don’t have perfect pitch, but discovered how sharp it is when I tried to record it with piano.
Congratulations! The quint tuning is so cool.
A few questions for you:
Did it have the zebra stripe case?
Does it have a Bellows pad? Mine doesn’t, and I’m trying to find one to fit.
 

JerryPH

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They sound surprisingly good, and that was an awesome find! I've seen them before a couple of times in real life, but never heard one and the way one looks when playing it... it looks awkward, but after seeing it being played, looks quite comfortable. Too bad they weren't more popular than they were. :)

Great find Jeff!
 

JeffJetton

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jozz pid=65425 dateline=1559029700 said:
that looks very nice

so what was the idea behind having the keyboard like that?

According to interviews with one of the designers, and the ad copy at the time, the keyboard was supposed to show off the accordionists flying fingers.

That mightve been part of it. But really though, I suspect they did the angled keyboard simply because it looked cool. :cool: 

And the flipped-colors? My guess is they took a look at the Vox Continental electric organ (which wouldve been very popular in rock combos at that time and was all over the radio in the mid-60s) and thought oooh... lets do that!


Eddy Yates pid=65432 dateline=1559038302 said:
Congratulations! The quint tuning is so cool.
A few questions for you:
Did it have the zebra stripe case?
Does it have a Bellows pad? Mine doesn’t, and I’m trying to find one to fit.

Nice Sand colored Tiger, Eddy! That particular color seems like it was really susceptible to fading (judging by photos Ive seen on eBay), so youre lucky to get one thats been pampered.

Nice to know mine isnt the only one tuned sharp.

Alas, it came with a regular case (probably one from another, older accordion, judging by the rust on the clasps).

No back pad either. Yeah, it could probably could use one. Maybe one designed for a 96 or 72-bass would work?
 

Eddy Yates

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Found this in Wisconsin for $3000! Yikes!

Another question: does anyone know what that little metal hood- like thing is above the strap bracket?
 

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JerryPH

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Eddy Yates said:
Found this in Wisconsin for $3000! Yikes!

Another question: does anyone know what that little metal hood- like thing is above the strap bracket?

Eddy, that's the cover for the rod that holds all the right hand keys in place.  :)
 

jozz

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I would love to have those flipped colors on my white Unisella
 

Eddy Yates

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jozz: “I would love to have those flipped colors on my white Unisella.”

That leads to another ignorant question: Some makers still offer the flipped colors on their keyboards.
Like this Ottavienelli. Are there just a few companies who make keys for all the accordions? Or do accordion makers specify their particular key sizes? Okay....there are a few questions there.
One reason I’m asking, other than for Jozz, is that my Bugari has some chipped and cracked keys, and I wonder if it’s possible to replace them.


JerryPH pid=65446 dateline=1559084603 said:
Eddy Yates pid=65444 dateline=1559071550 said:
Found this in Wisconsin for $3000! Yikes!

Another question: does anyone know what that little metal hood- like thing is above the strap bracket?

Eddy, thats the cover for the rod that holds all the right hand keys in place.  :)
Thanks, JerryPH!
 

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OuijaBoard

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My Tiger is also "United" rather than "Titano."  It's royal blue, red bellows, the more compact 36/72.   It's just good ole' mid-century re-badging, same accordion.  That wasn't the only Tiger re-badge, I believe.  

I do have 2 Titanos, the Titano Titan LM in a really compact 30/50, one in black, one in white pearl.  I adore them.  Like bandoneons.  The 50-bass is fab, a 10X5 configuration that gives you your diminished chords with 2 more tonic rows than a 48, so you get the Ab row and the B row.
 

AccordionUprising

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I'd never heard that about the sharp tuning. That would be another barrier for a lot of uses now. The accordion world just never quite had the chance/inclination to figure out what would work with rock/pop bands. I always think of Leo Fender and his squads of young players taking his guitars and amps out every weekend to play surf music, and then coming back to tell him what they liked/didn't. The electric instruments were developing like crazy with that. 

Maybe accordions were growing like that in the 1920s-1950s? Lots of innovation then. But when amplification came along, the industry never quite figured out a winning response.
 

stickista

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This actually makes total sense to me. I just spent some time on a traditionally angled CBA this weekend and was struck by how tiring it was to have to hold my elbow so far out in order to maintain a proper wrist angle. This looks brilliant.
It’s one of the reasons I’m about to take delivery of a Geuns Hybrid.
 

Thomas N

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Ive always liked the flipped colors - both on treble and bass. My Cordovox had white bass buttons on a black background and I liked that so much I had it done on my custom Excelsior.

Ive always been intrigued by this Petosa - all black keys on the treble side:

https://www.petosa.com/portfolio-items/petosa-artist-model-am-1100-jazz/

But I wonder if it would make playing difficult? I tend to play almost exclusively without looking at the treble hand now and with 40 years of muscle memory I dont think it would make much of a difference.
 

kimric

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Eddy Yates pid=65432 dateline=1559038302 said:
Beauty, Jeff. Be happy I didn’t find it before you! Here’s mine:



My wife found it at Smythe’s in Oakland. It was new/old stock, never sold until she bought it and gave it to me. I’ve put a few dents in it, but that marred finish you point out hasn’t happened.
Yeah, mine is also tuned to 444. That may be part of why it didn’t catch on, but I still love it.
I actually played it with a few bands, but they never mentioned the tuning. I don’t have perfect pitch, but discovered how sharp it is when I tried to record it with piano.
Congratulations! The quint tuning is so cool.
A few questions for you:
Did it have the zebra stripe case?
Does it have a Bellows pad? Mine doesn’t, and I’m trying to find one to fit.

A regular soft back pad should fit fine. That was one of the instruments I got from Menni-Ketti music. Man that was a long time ago.


Eddy Yates pid=65458 dateline=1559136376 said:
jozz: “I would love to have those flipped colors on my white Unisella.”

That leads to another ignorant question: Some makers still offer the flipped colors on their keyboards.
Like this Ottavienelli. Are there just a few companies who make keys for all the accordions? Or do accordion makers specify their particular key sizes? Okay....there are a few questions there.
One reason I’m asking, other than for Jozz, is that my Bugari has some chipped and cracked keys, and I wonder if it’s possible to replace them.


JerryPH pid=65446 dateline=1559084603 said:
Eddy Yates pid=65444 dateline=1559071550 said:
Found this in Wisconsin for $3000! Yikes!

Another question: does anyone know what that little metal hood- like thing is above the strap bracket?

Eddy, thats the cover for the rod that holds all the right hand keys in place.  :)
Thanks, JerryPH!



I can still get Weltmeisters made with different colored keys. Years ago I had a all black accordion made with the white keys made with a dark smoke swirled black/grey and all the black keys and bass buttons done in red sparkle with the bellows folds done in red with black bellows tape.
 

Eddy Yates

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Kimric said: “That was one of the instruments I got from Menni-Ketti music. Man that was a long time ago.”
Yessir, it was. I didn’t have time to get it over to you for a tuneup when I was in The Town last month. I still love playing this beast. Found a guy in Billings, MT, 4 hours away, who still works on accordions and will see how that goes. From all accounts, he’s the only accordion technician in a 4 state area.
 

kimric

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Eddy Yates said:
Kimric said: “That was one of the instruments I got from Menni-Ketti music. Man that was a long time ago.”
Yessir, it was. I didn’t have time to get it over to you for a tuneup when I was in The Town last month. I still love playing this beast. Found a guy in Billings, MT, 4 hours away, who still works on accordions and will see how that goes. From all accounts, he’s the only accordion technician in a 4 state area.

The quint reeds are interesting since they are a perfect 5th, so tuning them like regular reeds will yield poor results.

The trick was to set my tuner to what the reed was a 5th of and look for the harmonic shadow that would show up on the tuner and tune to that.
 

Eddy Yates

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kimric said:
Eddy Yates said:
Kimric said: “That was one of the instruments I got from Menni-Ketti music. Man that was a long time ago.”
Yessir, it was. I didn’t have time to get it over to you for a tuneup when I was in The Town last month. I still love playing this beast. Found a guy in Billings, MT, 4 hours away, who still works on accordions and will see how that goes. From all accounts, he’s the only accordion technician in a 4 state area.

The quint reeds are interesting since they are a perfect 5th, so tuning them like regular reeds will yield poor results.

The trick was to set my tuner to what the reed was a 5th of and look for the harmonic shadow that would show up on the tuner and tune to that.

Thanks, Kimric. I’ll pass that on to John Schaft in Billings since there are a couple of wild reeds in my Tiger.
 

Eddy Yates

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OuijaBoard pid=65583 dateline=1559945668 said:
Heads-Up, Hepcatz!  Theres a swell red Tiger newly landed on Reverb.  Get it while its hot, it wont be there a week from now---I have no connection, just become dizzy when I see a snazzy Tiger available.  Im looking for a red 36/72 in top condition, or this one would be gone right now:

https://reverb.com/item/23594006-titano-accordion-41-120-combo-cordion-1980-1990-funky-red
Kind of a suspicious listing because the photos show a different instrument than the video. Also, the video is from Liberty Bellows and the listing is from another seller. Price is also too high.
 

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