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Looking for advice for my Second Accordion

saundersbp

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Hello!

I'm looking for some accordion advice and wondered if anyone had the time to post a quick reply.

I already play piano, organ and drums at a good standard (which probably has given me a co-ordination leg up) and started learning the piano accordion in the summer. I absolutely love it and the wide variety of music it has opened up to me, especially enjoying the French musette repertoire at the moment. I was lucky to get a 1960s Hohner Atlantic Deluxe in great condition extremely cheaply from a local UK saleroom which has been a great start.

In the new year I'd like to invest in a newer instrument and that's what I'm looking for advice in. Ideally it would be:
- As lightweight as possible
- a really mellow tone (LMM where the musette is gentle seems to be what my ear likes)
- 96/120 buttons with a piano keyboard (i love the stradella bass and would also potential be interested in a converter so I can play more classical in the future as my technique improves)
- and ideally voiced to sing as one, like all the best musical instruments do when they've been finished by someone that really knows what they are about.
- I'd also prefer something second hand which has already had its initial depreciation.

Any suggestions of what to look for, and where to look would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks to anyone that cares to reply!
 

Tom

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Hi and welcome Saunders!

Thst's a pretty tall order! I would suggest playing for a while, and with other accordionists to get a better idea of what you like, because it will probably change over time. If you really like the accordion, and especially if you plan to play complex music (like classical) your ideas of what sounds good could lead you to a full size 120 bass with 4 or 5 treble reeds. Since you are interested in the converter, you may even consider an electronic, like a Roland fr8x.

On the other hand, if you find you are mostly accompanying, or jamming in your band, or playing mainly folk, a 96 bass may be your thing.

Basically, what I'm recommending is to take your time, learn on what you have, learn your options, listen and try out different accordions and go from there. As to where to go, I'm in the US so I will leave it up to others to recommend some good shops for you to try different models.

Good luck!
 

Anyanka

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Hi & welcome!

Try out as many boxes as you can get your hands on, and also listen to them being played by other people. One way of doing that is by visiting a good shop - the best one is Allodi's in London (Lewisham). He stocks second-hand instruments as well as new ones. Another way is to go to an accordion meet e.g. a workshop, where you should hopefully meet a lot of different players with different boxes and strong views which they'll happily share with you.

Re mellow tone & a well finished instrument.... go Italian if you can afford it. My vote, as always, is for a Pigini, but you really need to feel & hear it for yourself!
 

debra

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You already got the best advice: to try out as many boxes as you can. A good start is a visit to the Frankfurter Musikmesse (typically in March) but it is a long trip for you.
The main problem with your wishlist is that it has conflicting wishes. Especially the "mellow" sound, which asks for a cassotto, the convertor... these aspects add to the weight, so they conflict with the "as lightweight as possible" wish.
The sound you are looking after is very much a matter of personal taste. There are several good brands of accordions, but each brand and each model has a different sound. You need to try accordions to find out which sound you really want. Nobody can make this choice for you.
 

saundersbp

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Thanks so much everyone for all the really useful advice which I read as don't rush into anything and get more experience playing a wide variety of instruments. That is very sensible.

I also guess if accordions are like any other instrument the brand name only guarantees so much. What matters just as much is the person that does the final tonal finishing. If it's the 70 year old master voicer that does it on a Monday you are probably going to get something indefinably more musical than the new boy that is finishing an instrument off under time pressure on a Friday afternoon! Like everyone rightly says, the only way to hear this is to try the instrument out first to see if it has that extra magic.

I did also try an expensive electronic but found I couldn't have the same musical conversation with it as something that breathes the same air as I do!

Thanks all!
 

colinm

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Good luck with your search, from my experience, and i have had about 20 accordions, you need double cassotto, 96 bass, i have had guerrini, scandalli and vignoni, each cost about £4000, they were all excellent but not light, you probably also need hand made reeds.
If you can try before you buy, you are lucky.
The only acceptable non cassotto accordion i have kept is a busillachio paramount musette which cost me £300 on ebay
Cm


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