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more expensive = better sound?

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A

accordian

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I have quite a few
accordions and
would like to know
if an accordion is
more expensive does
it sound better as so
far I have 5 and I
play them it's not just
for decoration but they
have all been quite
cheap.
 
G

Geronimo

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Accordions are like horses. If you have a good one you care about, you'll end up paying more for its ongoing care and feeding than its acquisition over the years.

Sound quality is less of a one-dimensional measure than expensiveness. More money will allow you more choice, and different instruments fare differently for different music styles and personal playing preferences. A number of key qualities (response, dynamical range, overtone content) of reed plates correlate pretty well to invested amounts of money, but then the reed plates are only part of what constitutes an actual instrument built with them.

You are looking for simple answers to complex questions. Reality is more involved than that.
 

debra

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"Better sound" is very much a subjective notion. There are objective quality differences between accordions, for instance in reeds: higher quality reeds are a tighter fit on the reed plate than cheap ones. The high quality reed can only "just" pass through the opening in the reed plate, meaning that it wastes very little air. A cheap reed has room to spare and uses more air. Other quality issues include for instance how much noise the keys, bass buttons and registers make.
But for the normal "sound" produced by the accordion, some people like a sharper tone (more overtones/harmonics) and some like it more mellow (fewer harmonics, perhaps dampened by means of a cassotto). Some people really prefer the sound of an MMM register, others prefer a lighter tremolo and only MM.
I have a few good accordions: a Hohner Morino (Artiste XS), a Bugari 540/ARS/C and an AKKO Bayan. All three have a very different sound. There is a significant price difference (at least in what I paid), but which sound is best really depends on personal taste. The AKKO is the most expensive of the three, but produces the most key noise, which is generally unwanted. The Morino M reeds in cassotto have the same timbre on the different reed blocks in cassotto, but on the Bugari and the AKKO the notes of the third row of buttons (CBA) are less mellow than those on the first and second row. Does that then make the Morino the best? Well... it depends on which overall sound you prefer. I cannot really say which of the three has the best sound.
 
A

accordian

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debra post_id=54882 time=1517341782 user_id=605 said:
Better sound is very much a subjective notion. There are objective quality differences between accordions, for instance in reeds: higher quality reeds are a tighter fit on the reed plate than cheap ones. The high quality reed can only just pass through the opening in the reed plate, meaning that it wastes very little air. A cheap reed has room to spare and uses more air. Other quality issues include for instance how much noise the keys, bass buttons and registers make.
But for the normal sound produced by the accordion, some people like a sharper tone (more overtones/harmonics) and some like it more mellow (fewer harmonics, perhaps dampened by means of a cassotto). Some people really prefer the sound of an MMM register, others prefer a lighter tremolo and only MM.
I have a few good accordions: a Hohner Morino (Artiste XS), a Bugari 540/ARS/C and an AKKO Bayan. All three have a very different sound. There is a significant price difference (at least in what I paid), but which sound is best really depends on personal taste. The AKKO is the most expensive of the three, but produces the most key noise, which is generally unwanted. The Morino M reeds in cassotto have the same timbre on the different reed blocks in cassotto, but on the Bugari and the AKKO the notes of the third row of buttons (CBA) are less mellow than those on the first and second row. Does that then make the Morino the best? Well... it depends on which overall sound you prefer. I cannot really say which of the three has the best sound.

ah I see so alot of it comes down to personal preference.

what would you say I should look for if id like one like this
<YOUTUBE id=35WM31F1vjE url=></YOUTUBE>

sry I dont mean to be a pain
 
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Geronimo

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accordian post_id=54887 time=1517344637 user_id=2458 said:
what would you say I should look for if id like one like this

sry I dont mean to be a pain
Shrug. Thats a low quality recording of an instrument of the little screamer class played at constant volume. There are a few runs, but at this loudness response should not be much of a problem. No deep bass either. Air usage seems modest for the size, however, but thats sort of all thats noticeable here.

I dont know whether one like this is supposed to refer to the instrument or the particular performance, but this performance doesnt tell a whole lot about the instrument. You can probably hand the same player a whole lot of different instruments without getting much of a change in character for this piece. Its not really much use for decision-making. Except possibly deciding that it would be mostly a waste of money to buy something on the expensive side.
 

Tom

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Yes. Given reputable manufacturers and dealers, you get what you pay for, imho. Not only sound better, easier and more fun to play. If you have decent used accordions that you paid $500 or $1000 for, then you jump to a $5000 model you will be shocked at the difference. Just my simple minded answer, ok.
 

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To me music is like love affair. There's the ones you love, then there's the ones who love you. If lucky, there's mutual love as well. All in a life time :ch {}
 

Morne

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accordian post_id=54887 time=1517344637 user_id=2458 said:
what would you say I should look for if id like one like this

He (Yffisch) is a member on this forum. He has mentioned his small Hohner Nova 2 48 before, but I cannot say for sure if that is the one in the video.

As an aside, perhaps you should save up and/or sell the old boxes and get one in good condition. With some of the issues youve mentioned on the forum before, you might just end up learning bad habits, or get frustrated, if they are bad enough.
 
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Geronimo

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Tom post_id=54892 time=1517347460 user_id=69 said:
Yes. Given reputable manufacturers and dealers, you get what you pay for, imho. Not only sound better, easier and more fun to play. If you have decent used accordions that you paid $500 or $1000 for, then you jump to a $5000 model you will be shocked at the difference. Just my simple minded answer, ok.
Well, coming from the $500 instruments, the shock will be confined because you dont know what you are looking for.

For example, cheap instruments will react to pressure changes by using more air, medium instruments by getting louder, good instruments by having an expressive and pliable tone quality. When coming from a cheap instrument, why would you even be varying the pressure?

For cutting over the bass, cheap instruments have strong tremolo. With expensive instruments, you have different tonal dispositions left and right and a different kind of response to bellows expression that gives you subtler tools to work with.

And so on.
 

george garside

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to me the term ''sounds better'' is fairly meaningless unless accompanied by ''to me''. i.e. a box can only sound better if an individual likes the sound of it more than that of another!

That is very different from asking 'is it better made'' - ''does it have handmade reeds'' - is the action precise and smooth'' etc etc. All these are related to price so the more expensive box will include more of these qualities.

But what it sounds like is totally personal and I have on occasion 'moved on' expensive boxes because I am not entirely keen on the way they sound - somebody else could rightly think they sound brilliant!

A box I play a great deal is a pre war hohner trichord 3 voice 3 row no couplers , hohner T reeds, nothing posh about it - but , to me, that old hohner sound has a quality all of its own!! And I do have more expensive boxes as well

george
 
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Geronimo

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george garside post_id=54918 time=1517390356 user_id=118 said:
to me the term sounds better is fairly meaningless unless accompanied by to me. i.e. a box can only sound better if an individual likes the sound of it more than that of another!
And not even that. Different styles and different uses warrant different instruments, and then there are situations like an accordion ensemble where orchestration would make it downright counterproductive to use instruments with the same sound characteristics in every position (like a Morino orchestra with every instrument having the same signature imprinted by the same cassotto construction, making as much sense as an oboe orchestra).
 

debra

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Geronimo post_id=54923 time=1517392918 user_id=2623 said:
george garside post_id=54918 time=1517390356 user_id=118 said:
to me the term sounds better is fairly meaningless unless accompanied by to me. i.e. a box can only sound better if an individual likes the sound of it more than that of another!
And not even that. Different styles and different uses warrant different instruments, and then there are situations like an accordion ensemble where orchestration would make it downright counterproductive to use instruments with the same sound characteristics in every position (like a Morino orchestra with every instrument having the same signature imprinted by the same cassotto construction, making as much sense as an oboe orchestra).

Without wanting to offend anyone I must admit that I find the expressiveness of a typical German Morino orchestra rather limited indeed, more often than not resorting to the use of a horrible electronium to add additional sound possibilities, and using loud and very dark bass accordions.
I used to lead an ensemble with 6 Bugari accordions (4 Artist-Cassotto, 1 Artist, 1 basson) and also thanks to different levels of tremolo and the one without cassotto there was a reasonable amount of variety.
I now started to make some recordings of a virtual ensemble (all parts played by me) and use at least two different instruments (different brand, plus the bass, yet another brand) so as to have variety in tonal properties.
 

jozz

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More expensive = generally more labor in it = better quality = better sound

If that is better for you, depends on a lot of things. It's so personal and even state of mind matters in music.

A lot of it is how the instrument is played. Good players can make a crap box sound good. I'd say, if you have several, your best sounding accordion is the one you end up playing the most.

But if you have 5 cheapish instruments, I certainly see the logic in making space for one or two better ones.
 

Keymn

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When I decided to go back to accordion playing, I purchased a $300 model at a Pawn Shop. Basic ladies size single reed accordion, some off brand. Did my first couple gigs and got a couple good reviews...
Believe me, I am not virtuoso on the accordion and self taught. So I think it is more attitude and smile <EMOJI seq="1f60a">?</EMOJI>.
 
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Geronimo

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Keymn post_id=54976 time=1517491830 user_id=2502 said:
When I decided to go back to accordion playing, I purchased a $300 model at a Pawn Shop. Basic ladies size single reed accordion, some off brand. Did my first couple gigs and got a couple good reviews...
Believe me, I am not virtuoso on the accordion and self taught. So I think it is more attitude and smile <EMOJI seq=1f60a>?</EMOJI>.
You sing. The instrument then basically determines how much fun you have.

That being said: of a lady-size Contello PA I sold (because I no longer did PA), the main registration as well as the one I used when performing was M. This was a seriously nice-sounding instrument. Now a single-reed accordion still sounds different from playing a single reed on a 4-reed accordion, but this accordion was not really large (in spite of being 41/120) and had only registers L, M, H, LH, and LMH. So clearly M was the intended main registration. And it was a really wonderful M (tipo a mano, leather valves, and very nice and pliable sound quality, mellow but distinctive, matched in volume to the rather weak bass).

It wasnt exactly a $300 buy at a Pawn Shop but could have been. Sometimes you get lucky. I got my main instrument on a flushout sale and have by now invested several multiples of its original price. As a result, I am now a 4-row C system player, used to having the diminished chord row where Russians would expect it, and seriously awkward with register switches (my main instrument has no combination registers but thumb levers on the right and thumb sliders on the left). Also I depend more than other players on using the air button (which extends over the full height of the accordion).

In short: the instrument made the choices for the player rather than the other way round. Basically it had the upper hand with its if you want it differently, you can pay for it yourself attitude.

Having it built on order would have been prohibitively expensive at any point of time. When you have a bunch of money available, you dont need to rely on sifting through leftovers on the hunt for treasures and adapting to them. You get what you pay for gets truer the more standardized what you are looking for is, and the more you know what you want. And of course, it depends on how long you are prepared to wait for luck to come around your parts.
 

JeffJetton

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And beyond any better sounds, you'll also get a better build.

Even if you're satisfied with the sound of a cheap accordion, that's not much solace if playing it is like wresting a bear, and random parts keep falling off of it. :)
 
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Geronimo

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JeffJetton post_id=54981 time=1517496561 user_id=1774 said:
And beyond any better sounds, youll also get a better build.

Even if youre satisfied with the sound of a cheap accordion, thats not much solace if playing it is like wresting a bear, and random parts keep falling off of it. :)
Well, I know someone who sold his old Jupiter bayan when it started falling apart, the keycaps peeling off and other stuff. He hasnt managed getting an instrument of similar sound quality since however and thinks he might have not made the best choice.
 
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