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largecrab

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Hello all,
I have been playing piano accordion since 2018 and bayan for about a year. Nice to see a whole forum dedicated to accordions. My first box was a 60 bass "Italian" (probably chinese) instrument I got from a local music store who wasn't entirely knowledgeable about accordions. In April 2019 I picked up a late 50s-early 60s Hohner Tango VM from Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia, and in May 2020 I bought a 120 bass, 5 row bayan locally. Hoping to trade that out very soon for a 3 row, 150 bass bayan with much mellower reeds. Nice to be here!
 

debra

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Welcome "largecrab"! Just a question: why do you expect a 3 row, 150 bass bayan to have a more mellow sound than the 5 row bayan you have? If you want mellow sound, the most effective approach is to go for an accordion that has a tone chamber (cassotto). Costs a bit more, but then you will certainly have mellow sound.
 

largecrab

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Welcome "largecrab"! Just a question: why do you expect a 3 row, 150 bass bayan to have a more mellow sound than the 5 row bayan you have? If you want mellow sound, the most effective approach is to go for an accordion that has a tone chamber (cassotto). Costs a bit more, but then you will certainly have mellow sound.
My bayan is not a professional instrument to say the least. It has 5 rows but it is a beginner's instrument. The bayan I am looking at is a 3 row but has much higher quality reeds, it was made in the "Tula" factory in the late 50s. Here is a video of the person who is selling it: Bayans with tone chambers are rare and incredibly expensive, much more than your standard c system with a tone chamber.
 

oldbayan

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The construction of a genuine large Bayan usually includes some chamber(s) in the treble side, and since the fingerboard is not at the very back of the treble side, there are pallets behind it, and that distributes the sound in a peculiar way. I have a few old Bayans and "garmoshkas"
from the Soviet era, the construction is fine but keep in mind that a 60 years old instrument is likely to have issues that the video will not reveal! I bought one for which the seller made a video, and when I received it one of the bass reed blocks was detached, and a few reeds were broken... So be prepared to have some repairs done.
 

largecrab

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The construction of a genuine large Bayan usually includes some chamber(s) in the treble side, and since the fingerboard is not at the very back of the treble side, there are pallets behind it, and that distributes the sound in a peculiar way. I have a few old Bayans from the Soviet era, the construction is fine but keep in mind that a 60 years old instrument is likely to have issues that the video will not reveal! I bought one for which the seller made a video, and when I received it one of the bass reed blocks was detached, and a few reeds were broken... So be prepared to have some repairs done.
The seller is a good guy, he repairs bayans on the side and says if there is ever a problem I can come right to him. He is fairly local too. But I appreciate the advice and am looking forward to a nicer sounding instrument
 

oldbayan

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The seller is a good guy, he repairs bayans on the side and says if there is ever a problem I can come right to him. He is fairly local too. But I appreciate the advice and am looking forward to a nicer sounding instrument
That's good to know! The bass side on Bayans is impressive, these are fun to play. Some people find the 3-row configuration to be limitative but I never found that. The B-griff works well with 3 rows and is very intuitive.
 

oldbayan

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If you like Russian music and instruments you may also want to look at the "khromka" diatonic boxes.

 

largecrab

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That's good to know! The bass side on Bayans is impressive, these are fun to play. Some people find the 3-row configuration to be limitative but I never found that. The B-griff works well with 3 rows and is very intuitive.
Reflecting on my own playing, I learn all the melodies on the first 3 rows, sometimes if I'm messing around I'll use the other rows to play in different keys and keep the same pattern, but that's about it. I think the 3 row will be just fine, I usually play with my thumb tucked behind anyway.
If you like Russian music and instruments you may also want to look at the "khromka" diatonic boxes.

I have considered picking one up in the future, just would like to get a good quality one. I see myself selling my PA in the future anyway, I don't play it much anymore.
 

dunlustin

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Welcome.
What a find! - an accordion source with an enthusiasm for older instruments.
We hear how reviving old 'boxes' is not 'economical.' - here's to bucking the trend.
You clearly knew what you were looking for .... and have found it.
In the 1960s in the UK, good concertinas could be found for 'a tenner' and now the sky's the limit - £3000+ not unusual.
In 1972 I sold a 1950s BSA 500cc Twin for £38 and a portable typewriter - same story.
And that's to say nothing of the intrinsic value.
Looking forward to following your tales.
 

Ventura

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if you are northern Virginia, stop by and play this (Tula) MECHTA bayan i have
just for fun (and comparison)

there is a fellow in New York who refurbs and sells old Bayans... he adverts
on their local Craigslist regularly and visits the accordion clubs here in our
region once a year or so (anticipating meetings will resume in the Fall)
 

debra

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My bayan is not a professional instrument to say the least. It has 5 rows but it is a beginner's instrument. The bayan I am looking at is a 3 row but has much higher quality reeds, it was made in the "Tula" factory in the late 50s. Here is a video of the person who is selling it: ...
Bayans with tone chambers are rare and incredibly expensive, much more than your standard c system with a tone chamber.
You are mistaken about the price of bayans with tone chambers. While my AKKO bayan (model Super de luxe, with C system) is the most expensive accordion I have, no Italian button accordion with 64 notes, 4 voice LMMH with (LM in) tone chamber, convertor with 58 notes can be had (new) for what I had to pay for the AKKO (also new). One of the reasons for choosing the AKKO bayan was that it was the least expensive way to get a really nice sounding full-size bayan. All similar spec Italian bayan-style accordions are considerably more expensive. (Another reason for choosing the AKKO was of course the sound.)
 

largecrab

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You are mistaken about the price of bayans with tone chambers. While my AKKO bayan (model Super de luxe, with C system) is the most expensive accordion I have, no Italian button accordion with 64 notes, 4 voice LMMH with (LM in) tone chamber, convertor with 58 notes can be had (new) for what I had to pay for the AKKO (also new). One of the reasons for choosing the AKKO bayan was that it was the least expensive way to get a really nice sounding full-size bayan. All similar spec Italian bayan-style accordions are considerably more expensive. (Another reason for choosing the AKKO was of course the sound.)
True, some C-systems are definitely more expensive. For bayans it usually seems that ones with tone chambers also have dozens of registers along with chin switches, bass switches, and bass convertor. Either way, C or B, they are all out of my price range and I simply cannot be spending thousands on an instrument.
 

Dingo40

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Large crab,
"...I simply cannot be spending thousands on an instrument."
Not to mention, the more complicated and esoteric the instrument, the more to go wrong and the harder to find parts, let alone a competent technician!🙂
 

debra

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True, some C-systems are definitely more expensive. For bayans it usually seems that ones with tone chambers also have dozens of registers along with chin switches, bass switches, and bass convertor. Either way, C or B, they are all out of my price range and I simply cannot be spending thousands on an instrument.
Shame that you are in the US where PA is so much more popular than CBA. Around here (the Netherlands) there are lots and lots of cheap B system accordions on the used market. (I don't know if they are any good, but B system has been popular for many decades here.)
 

oldbayan

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Shame that you are in the US where PA is so much more popular than CBA. Around here (the Netherlands) there are lots and lots of cheap B system accordions on the used market. (I don't know if they are any good, but B system has been popular for many decades here.)
In Canada most B-griff boxes were imported by immigrants coming from Eastern-Europe after WWII, so they are usually old and many were left unplayed and stored for a long time. You find them but you need to be patient!
 

oldbayan

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Re: Russian khromka:
I have considered picking one up in the future, just would like to get a good quality one. I see myself selling my PA in the future anyway, I don't play it much anymore.
I actually will have one for sale soon, when I receive the one I ordered from the Tula factory. It came from Ukraine (literally made in Horlivka probably in the 70's). It is in the popular key of C. I put some restoration work in it, had to replace a few broken reeds and retune the bass side, plays well now.
 

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