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Lightweight accordion project (Karen Tweed and Mike Nelson)

Corinto

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Very interesting, yes ...

Maybe this one fits most of the requirements, but not the price requirement, I guess.
link = http://www.fisart.fr/fr/catalogue/harmony/

Then there is the HOHNER CORNELIA I from the 1930s, although only 48 (4x12) bass, but 37 buttons 3 voice on the treble, small and light, ... how come they did this 80 years ago and now it seems almost impossible to achieve ... ??? Maybe theres no market for these, or too small a market, or maybe I dont know what ... ?
 

Anyanka

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Corinto, the Fisart Harmony is the only accordion I still hanker after! The Cornelia hardly ever comes up for sale, unfortunately, and I've only seen them as B-system. John Spiers has one but he had the right hand converted to melodeon (sacrilege ;) )

For piano accordions, there was the Pigini Wing - it is now listed on the Pigini website as 'Superior' and weighs 8.1kg, but the one I had was considerably lighter, somewhere around 7kg in spite of 120 basses and 4 treble voices. I was very fond of it till I switched to CBA.
 

debra

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I briefly looked at the goals of the project and it is to come up with a 3 voice accordion, at least 34 keys, a high and low bass register and everything no more than 7kg. And it has to be sturdy as well... It is asking a lot given that weight limit. I have seen light instruments but they were all only 2 voices.
 
I

inkyadrian

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I've known Mike for over 30 years. If there's anyone who can succeed in making a lightweight PA/BA, he can.
 

Corinto

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Anyanka post_id=52095 time=1509538243 user_id=74 said:
Corinto, the Fisart Harmony is the only accordion I still hanker after!
Yes, looks like a very very nice lightweight accordion.

Anyanka post_id=52095 time=1509538243 user_id=74 said:
The Cornelia hardly ever comes up for sale, unfortunately, and Ive only seen them as B-system.
Yes, true, one must really pay close attention to all offers to find one. It took me 2 years to find a CORNELIA I, and then it was almost pure luck. And a few months later two HOHNER PIROLs (34 treble 2 voice - 8x3 bass) were for sale almost at the same moment, and after buying the first one then the second one seemed so cheap I also got it ... when it happens it happens, if you let it go youll never see it again ... the little HOHNER LUCIA (37 treble 2 voice - 12x4 bass) is also very complicated to find, and as there are lots of other HOHNER LUCIA one gets every weeks several false tips, but thats how it is ...

Anyanka post_id=52095 time=1509538243 user_id=74 said:
sacrilege ;)
Will PM you about mine, :oops:

Very interesting to see how your project grows.
 

Anyanka

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inkyadrian post_id=52104 time=1509551543 user_id=2577 said:
Ive known Mike for over 30 years. If theres anyone who can succeed in making a lightweight PA/BA, he can.

Ive only heard of him - he has a reputation for genius instrument making. Apparently he made one of the finest sets of Northumbrian Smallpipes ever (for Kathryn Tickell), put the plans up for anyone to copy, and then moved on to other projects!
 

Sebastian Bravo

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I think the keyboard range he wants is not good to make it lightweight (34 keys, F to D). Low F, And F# reeds weighs more than the high D# and E, as for example, the keys on a Hohner Concerto III (34 keys, G to E).

Also, without casotto, that low bassoon reeds will sound weak. I think the Hohner CIII keyboard range is better. But it's a matter of personal preference (as i use much more the high E rather than the low G)

I was thinking about making my own reed blocks, and his idea is really good. I will try it
 

Eddy Yates

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Lighter, cheaper, better? Admirable goals. This links a few other threads, one about the popularity of the accordion and the other about whether or not Accordions sound better if allowed to “break in”. Does a carbon fiber cello sound as good as a Stradivarius? No. Does a carbon fiber piano sound as good as a Yamaha CFX Concert Grand? Hell, no. But here’s hoping the new Tweed Accordion is a winner. I don’t know Karen Tweed, but her playing and reputation make me think this is not a frivolous project.
 
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maugein96

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Eddy Yates said:
Lighter, cheaper, better? Admirable goals. This links a few other threads, one about the popularity of the accordion and the other about whether or not Accordions sound better if allowed to “break in”. Does a carbon fiber cello sound as good as a Stradivarius? No. Does a carbon fiber piano sound as good as a Yamaha CFX Concert Grand? Hell, no. But here’s hoping the new Tweed Accordion is a winner. I don’t know Karen Tweed, but her playing and reputation make me think this is not a frivolous project.

Eddy,

She is currently one of the most popular UK/Irish accordionists, but I live in the UK and had never heard of her until I joined the forum. That in itself gives some indication of how the accordion is doing here. Even the greats can be unknown at times, but she must have been greater than I thought, as they named a major river after her. The River Tweed. She's a very well respected musician, but you'd need to know where to look. I looked at her website and the music mainly appears to be a mixture of folk and classical. Nice to listen to, and it appears she has a "cult" following internationally, but it's not really to my liking. The few clips I listened to were probably best appreciated by people who have studied the finer points of music. It was as though a story was being told, but I'd rather listen to a tune. She can certainly play, but even when she tackled "Indifference" I felt as though I was being led through a forest in a fantasy world full of fairies and elves. I kept waiting for a flame breathing dragon to put an end to it all, but it never appeared, and the track ran for over 7 minutes. That's a hell of a lot of fantasy time!

I hope she manages in her quest. Just when my hair started getting lighter it began to disappear altogether!
 

Eddy Yates

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Yeah, last post was 2017. Takes money for something like that.
Maugein, take yer coffee black, do ya? I’ve seen some videos where Karen would wear out old Phil C., himself.
 

Alan Sharkis

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Light weight?  Since the bulk of the weight in most accordions is the shell, and it's in most cases wood, and most of the experiments with different woods that also have all the properties that are desirable in an accordion shell, maybe it's time to look to other materials.  I believe I read somewhere that Beltuna is/was experimenting with carbon fiber for some shell parts.  That would be great, except that, unlike wood, it doesn't resonate.  

I'm looking forward to new developments in accordions all the time, but I think we've just about hit the end of the search for lightweight accordions as far as shell components are concerned.
 

OuijaBoard

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Saltarelle is already offering an LMM 72b CBA at about 7kg, the Bourroche. Their MM Clifden 72 34-key PA is about 14.5 lbs----given that, they are surely in striking distance of a 3-voice 34\72 at about 7kg.

One can already have an LMM 30/72 (by other makers) at very close to 7kg. Few players of 34k PAs use those 4 high keys anyway. I am an admirer of Karen Tweed, but I dunno if I've ever heard her play above "High C." This is a snob thing with PA players. They think they need more keys to have credibility.

But the truth is, if you play folk or even "art" genres with a folk component, a 30key or, hell, a 26key 85% to 95% of the time, is sufficient and a door to a happy world of lightness and portability. Many Italian makers are now offering extremely nice 30 and 26 key LMM 72bass PAs, and they are a blast.
 

Corinto

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OuijaBoard pid=64006 dateline=1550024020 said:
But the truth is, if you play folk or even art genres with a folk component, a 30key or, hell, a 26key 85% to 95% of the time, is sufficient and a door to a happy world of lightness and portability.

Squeezydoesit.png
http://www.squeezydoesit.com/id18.html


Also look at the Sandy Brechin videos on youtube.
link = https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sandy+brechin

Of course, there will be moments one may need more than 26 or 30 treble keys, or more than 48 (4x12) or 80 bass, yes, of course, but Im not that far at this moment, and also ymmv.
 

jozz

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big factor is also bass side weight

both my 34/72 LMM's are 7.5kg, but one has 4 voices that can start to wear me down (standing)

treble size doesn't bother me
 

craptiger

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One of the main reasons I switched from the more classic looking boxes to a Saltarelle Bourroche CBA was because it was such a small box, and looked more like a melodeon.  Melodeons get by with very few bass buttons and so this made me wonder.... how many players of folk music use more than about 28 bass buttons?


F, C, G, D, A, E, B key notes + counter bass note = 14
same major chords and minor chords = another 14

If size was a problem then cutting down on the metal mechanisms in the bass side would surely reduce some of the weight?  I appreciate the number of actual reeds might not be smaller but the size in general would be.

In my experience of pub session playing, having a smaller box is an absolute must not only for carrying around but when you're in the pub and want to nip out to the bar / loo you can actually put it on the table without obscuring everyone's view!
 

OuijaBoard

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[[[In my experience of pub session playing, having a smaller box is an absolute must]]] Fervent agreement. I am loving small CBAs and small PAs for seshes . . . and gigs, and practice, and travel, and . . .

I loathe the scant bass systems in melodeons. If you are going to play a melodeon smoothly "across the rows" as in, say, B/C Irish accordions when playing in D, G, A, E, and more, plus their relative minors . . . why in the world would you put up with the inconveniences and expressive frustrations of a melodeon rather than a small, compact CBA or PA where you have all notes in both directions, and on the left side a 72 bass, a 60 bass, a 48 bass, or heck, a 40 bass or a 32 bass, gives you exponentially more bass options? I just see no point in playing bisonorics unless you are mad for the "one-row," old-school push-pull sound, which I enjoy only for super-simple dance tunes like polkas.

But having said that, I agree one doesn't need the full 120 or even 96 or 72 to play folk music brilliantly on a small unisonoric. I do like having a chord row for each of the 12 tones, but don't need diminished or even seventh chords. Love a 60-bass or a 72-bass, but find 48, 40, and 32 work great.

36 would really do it: 12 root notes, 12 counter-basses, and one chord button, either with no thirds at all, or with a stop to remove the thirds. Unlike Craptiger, I do like to have Bb, Eb, and Ab--I've seen a 60-bass in a 10X6 config that adds to the classic 8X6 48-bass layout by giving you your "B" at one end and your "Ab" at the other, and really like that. Any C#s or F#s I'd ever need I can get fine using single-note counter-basses and root notes.
 

StargazerTony

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Hi OuijaBoard,

You make fine arguments for a less than 60 bass accordion but do wish to point out that the difference in weight from a 48 to a 72 or even a 120 is minimal. The real increase/decrease in weight comes from the treble side because with less bass buttons you usually get less treble keys, voices, couplers, and reed blocks, etc.

I'm rather eclectic in my tastes for music so I play a bit of just about everything including a bit of folk, pop, classic, rock, standards...anything that's caught my attention except for rap. So, for me, the best solution accordion is a 72 or a 60 bass, configured with all 12 chromatic notes. Don't recall the last time I played s diminished so not having that us not a deal breaker
 

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