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New accordionist from Oxford

M

maestro

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Hello all
New to retirement - new to the accordion - new to this site !
I hope to make a real start on a learning something of this instrument now that I have more time.....
At present, I'm borrowing a Hohner Student 48 with 2 keyboard couplers (not without some technical problems associated with age, lack of attention and the initial quality of a starter instrument).
I have a couple of books - The Mighty Accordion and You can Teach yourself the Accordion and a lifetime spent in music education to start me off but I hope to be able to access the combined experience of this friendly looking site and really make some progress.
The bewildering choice of instrument, suitable for my needs (I have a passion for, and want to play, French cafe music) is my first hurdle.
I do not want a large symphonic instrument - rather something like a Hohner Concerto 3. I have a budget of about £500. I can see that I'll have to pay a bit more if I approach a dealer with a guaranteed reputation - I guess I want the best of both worlds - a good instrument at a budget price - but I certainly do not want to throw my money away on something un-played and unseen from e-bay...
Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.
Looking forward to being part of this group.
 

dunlustin

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Hello
No connection but to get a feel for whats around you could do worse than look here.

http://www.squeezydoesit.com/ -edited for this omission

Hes an enthusiast for French Café music and for old but beautiful instruments (amongst others).
A chance to hear how instruments sound with quite a lot on Utube.
 
M

maestro

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Hello Dunlustin
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Am I being dense, or should there be a link attached to your message?
 

Soulsaver

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Youll want a bit of tremelo to play French cafe. Strangely nearly every 3 voice German accordion made has at least a mild trem & some designated M indicate a wetter musette than standard German. Why have I suggested German- because there are plenty of cheap ish Hohners around that will do the job well, whilst Italian ones will be fewer & more expensive.

Im not an expert on Concertos but they are well thought of & with some digging on here youll find a recommended model - note youll need a 3 voice LMM - there are 2 voice LM that wont do any kind of Musette.

Personally Id recommend a good Hohner Lucia IV P - great value 4 voice (so really versatile) lightweight accordion. They dont crop up that often but would probably fall somewhere near your budget. To demo heres a standard one (not retuned) showing its strengths ..
 
M

maestro

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Thanks for the info and for the advice Soulsaver.
Yes, I'm in the UK - about 10 miles SW of Oxford. Devon's a bit of a hike from here but well worth the trouble to sort myself out.
I see that there's also an accordion centre in Birmingham. It's probably against site policy to recommend, but I'd be interested to know people's views/experiences.
I certainly like the look of the Lucia IV P (What does the P stand for?) - when you say not re-tuned, do you mean it's 'straight' tuned? I've yet to get to grips with the mysteries of tuning, but am I right in thinking that 'swing', 'musette 'wet' and 'dry' are all methods of tuning producing different effects?
Thanks again for the help.
 

Soulsaver

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The B'ham Accordion Centre has a good reputation on here.
I dont know what the 'P' means- some of Hohners letterings have known meanings, some are guessed and some are unknown. This one falls in the latter for me.
Bunelik tunes accordions as part of his business, so you cant be sure you're hearing an instrument the same as a standard one you'd get elsewhere.

The Lucia is
A) the same tuning as my one.
B) the guy in the video told me in response to an email enquiry (before I bought one) that it has never had the tuning altered - so it is standard and should be the same as any other 'in tune' Lucia IVP.
 

dunlustin

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Me again - S/S guessed right, heres my link again (age yknow!)

http://www.squeezydoesit.com/

Reading his site, it seems he offers either factory tuning or custom.
Re your query about tuning, its a v personal thing. What varies is the degree of tremolo.
Where you have 2 (or 3) reeds of the same size sounding together, the typical accordion sound comes from a slight difference of tuning between the reeds.
A strong tremolo (bigger frequency difference) is probably less fashionable than in the past. An accordion Tech can change this to suit.
 

Soulsaver

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And the Lucia is LMMH tuned, unless you find a Musette one - but I've not seen that in the one like youtube one (but there is an earlier, different looking, model Lucia IVP that does ... very Scottish sounding to my ears tho'...)
 
M

maestro

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Thank you both (Dunlustin and Soulsaver) for your advice.
Little by little, I guess, it'll all become clearer. I take the point about more for your money with a Hohner (rather than an Italian Job).
At present I only want to play alone but if the instrument is not at concert pitch it could be a problem playing with others.
Now that I've made a start, I'll do some web research although it seems to me that my next step may be a trip to Devon or Birmingham....
Thanks again
 

Soulsaver

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Ah - there was a clue in the from Oxford header.... :oops:

Bham accordion centre usually has a good stock, but theres a Coventry accordion shop with a good rep, too http://www.accordionsofcoventry.co.uk/
And Hobgoblins in Bham - that, with Bham AC, should give you a broad choice to try http://www.hobgoblin.com/local/secondhand-musical-instruments#Filter=410&SecondhandPage=1 .
Plus, should you wish to do London, Allodis has a good new & good range of used stock to try and is HIGHLY recommended. http://www.accordions.co.uk/
 

lasvegascolonel

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Hello Maestro: Musette tuning seems to be quite popular here in the U.S., and if you like "French cafe" music, I suspect you'll want an accordion tuned LMMM as they say, where the middle three reeds are present. This is an interesting site with very knowledgeable people. I guess Oxfordshire is my favorite (or favourite) British county; I lived near a village called Bicester, actually RAF Bicester, when I was assigned to RAF Upper Heyford. The Cotswolds were lovely. Anyway, welcome aboard and good hunting for that accordion.
 
M

maestro

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Hi lasvegascolonel. I know Bicester well. I'm just south (about 5 miles) of Witney, near Aston -perhaps you know it?
Anyway, thanks to you all for your welcome and your ideas. The enjoyment will be in the search for a suitable instrument and there seem to be several really strong leads in the above messages.
Thanks again.
 

egarmo

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P in Lucia IV p stands for 'Piccolo' meaning it has a loud reed, a soprano voice...
 

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