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If it breaks take it to this "Nice" man

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Thought Id post a link which shows Bonifassis workshop in Nice, France. The shop is known as Accordeons Sud Est, and they probably have just about the biggest selection of used accordions in France. Ive never been there but hope to make a pilgrimage some day, and anybody who is in the area would probably find something of interest in the store. The only thing I would say is they are not the cheapest in France by quite a long way. They import their own brand of instruments from Castelfidardo in Italy, but I dont know who the actual maker is.

Anybody who is into performing surgical operations on their accordion might find something of interest, and I would have to admit a lot of the content is way over my head. Unfortunately youd probably need a fair bit of French under your belt to be able to work out every detail. I love the music, but the only French I know was what I learned at school when they werent bashing us over the head with Latin books.

FWIW the usual tuning found in France these days, where LMM boxes are just about standard fare, is the red and yellow accordion, which youll hear Mr Bonifassi refer to as americain. Musette in two and three voice form is still preferred by many players, but if you were to walk in and buy a new model off the shelf it will probably have americain tuning, which my ears have gotten accustomed to over the years. As the musette repertoire started to be influenced by Latin, jazz, swing, and even pop, most players decided that musette tuning was too coarse and demanded something a bit more refined. Those players who like to mix it between styles will usually take the stage with two instruments, one of which will be a MMM musette pur. 4 and 5 voice treble instruments do exist in relatively small numbers, and tend to be the choice of players who incorporate classical music into their repertoire.

The accordion in France is usually played standing and three voice instruments are generally regarded as being heavy enough for the purpose.



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There are so many small factories and many more brand names for accordions made in Castelfidardo that it's hard to keep track of who is doing what exactly. Plus, these small factories often also do repairs on accordions of other brands. (Business in new instruments can be slow at times.) I have seen this being done at Victoria for instance and I would put complete trust in what they do.



Even Cavagnolo, the most quintessentially French of accordion manufacturers, use Italian Cagnoni reeds, although considering the Cavagnolo family came to France from Italy then that would seem logical.

Bonifassi is yet another Italian "stamp" on the French accordion, same as Crosio, Cavagnolo, Soprani, Mengascini, Baselli, Peguri, Murena, Azzola, Colombo, Zaninetti, Parachini, Corti, Tuveri, Bolognesi, Galliano, and countless others. (I stopped when I had enough for a rugby team).

I would agree with you about Castelfidardo, regardless of who makes what there. I'd certainly buy an accordion in France, to make sure it was tuned the way I wanted it, but only if it had been made in Italy! IMHO Italian makers like Mengascini (who also make the current French Hohner range) do a better job for less money than the "big two" French makers. Cavagnolo was once famous for its unique "French" sound, but in these days of plug in and play that doesn't seem to matter so much. I know there are other small makers in France, but they get next to no exposure outside of their home country, and I'm talking about "full sized" chromatic instruments, that ordinary people can afford.


debra post_id=57705 time=1524935119 user_id=605 said:
There are so many small factories and many more brand names for accordions made in Castelfidardo that its hard to keep track of who is doing what exactly.
It doesnt help that everybody in Castelfidardo is in the accordion making business. Youll see some old geezer carrying a half dozen of bellows he made to some maker like a local farmer might be driving over a bunch of pigs to the butcher. This kind of local produce does not generally make it to the international market governed by large numbers and reproducibility and sales marges. But if you can afford the time and travel to go hunting locally, you might end up finding stuff thats quite hard to get in similar quality with branded identity.

There are a few brands (recently joined by the revived Royal Standard brand) that basically dont do much more than specification and branding to stuff getting actually built without a name attached to it in Castelfidardo or Stradella.
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