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new Member from NYC

NYCSTEV

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Hey All, I'm Steve from NYC. I started playing the PA when I was about 7 (1964) and played for a few years. My mother wanted me to learn how to play all these Italian songs. Sent me for lessons ..I think I made it to Book 5 of PH Accordion course!
I then dropped out and got involved in Rock and roll like everyone else.!! Then I took up Jazz Piano even studied with the Bebop Master Barry Harris (RIP). This Christmas My wife bought me an PA from Liberty Bellows as a present . Iwas really surprised with this it's like opening up a time capsule. So that's where I'm at with all this. I have Hohner Tango 11 accordion. Not really sure what to do with this. it has a very good Musette sound LMM, it obviously very good quality to be still around (it must be from 60's?). Any way I'm used to an 8' grand piano, so this is a little different. I would like to upgrade to something new. any ideas???
 

JerryPH

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Welcome!
"I would like to upgrade to a new car, can you help me?" <. Not to poke a little fun, but its basically the same question. Without knowing your budget, desired direction and end game its hard to offer advice on what to upgrade to. Are you looking for a Ferrari, SUV or a Winnebago? each are upgrades over your current station wagon but for totally different chores.

How much money? You could start with something a little newer at around $1500 or you could order a new HOHNER Gola, pay for it now and get it in 1-2 years... yours for only $110,000 US... lol

BTW, there is absolutely nothing wrong sticking to a Tango II, they are work horses and if yours is in good condition could offer you years of good service while you improve your skills and prepare yourself to take the next step.

BTW, not many people are aware, but Tango II's were made from the mid 30's all the way in to the late 70's... that's a heck of a run that very few accordion models can claim. :)
 

Ben-jammin

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I think the best thing to do is start working on identifying what features you need and or want. This won’t be a comprehensive list of things to consider but could be a starting point.

What kinds of music will be your focus?
What reed configuration will suit those styles?
What reed “tuning” will suit those styles?
Do you think those styles would be best served with a tone chamber?
Do you intend to stick with Stradella left hand system or do have interest in “freebass” either as a dedicated free bass accordion or converter?
Is weight or size a concern?
What’s your budget?
Have you considered the digital option?
 

NYCSTEV

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Welcome!
"I would like to upgrade to a new car, can you help me?" <. Not to poke a little fun, but its basically the same question. Without knowing your budget, desired direction and end game its hard to offer advice on what to upgrade to. Are you looking for a Ferrari, SUV or a Winnebago? each are upgrades over your current station wagon but for totally different chores.

How much money? You could start with something a little newer at around $1500 or you could order a new HOHNER Gola, pay for it now and get it in 1-2 years... yours for only $110,000 US... lol

BTW, there is absolutely nothing wrong sticking to a Tango II, they are work horses and if yours is in good condition could offer you years of good service while you improve your skills and prepare yourself to take the next step.

BTW, not many people are aware, but Tango II's were made from the mid 30's all the way in to the late 70's... that's a heck of a run that very few accordion models can claim. :)
I will send a photo possibly you can tell what year its from? If I bought a new one 5-6k wouldn't be a problem
 

NYCSTEV

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I think the best thing to do is start working on identifying what features you need and or want. This won’t be a comprehensive list of things to consider but could be a starting point.

What kinds of music will be your focus? EURO / ITALIAN /FRENCH / TRADITIONAL
What reed configuration will suit those styles? NOT SURE PROBABLY 4
What reed “tuning” will suit those styles? MUSETTE 15-18 C
Do you think those styles would be best served with a tone chamber? NOT NEEDED
Do you intend to stick with Stradella left hand system or do have interest in “freebass” either as a dedicated free bass accordion or converter? STRADELLA!
Is weight or size a concern? NO . I CAN DEADLIFT 500;)
What’s your budget? LESS THAN 6K
Have you considered the digital option? ACOUSTIC ONLY
 

Ben-jammin

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I would take that info to an accordion shop and first see if you prefer LMMH or LMMM configuration and then try a few models from some of the well regarded Italian builders in that configuration and see if you fall in love with something. You have budget for a hell of a nice instrument (especially since you don’t need a tone chamber or freebass converter or midi). I think LMMM has a nicer more complex mussette but LMMH can be more versatile.

Make a checklist of your important characteristics: reed response, keyboard feel, sound…
And try to check out instruments with the different reed types: handmade, hand type and machine made. The general rule is hand made is the best but I suspect a great hand type reed can outperform a mediocre handmade one.
 

NYCSTEV

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I would take that info to an accordion shop and first see if you prefer LMMH or LMMM configuration and then try a few models from some of the well regarded Italian builders in that configuration and see if you fall in love with something. You have budget for a hell of a nice instrument (especially since you don’t need a tone chamber or freebass converter or midi). I think LMMM has a nicer more complex mussette but LMMH can be more versatile.

Make a checklist of your important characteristics: reed response, keyboard feel, sound…
And try to check out instruments with the different reed types: handmade, hand type and machine made. The general rule is hand made is the best but I suspect a great hand type reed can outperform a mediocre handmade one.
Thanks!!. U hit on a point regarding LMMM v LMMH what is exactly the difference ?
 

Ben-jammin

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LMMH has two sets of middle reeds, one set of high reeds (one octave higher than middle) and a set of low reeds (one octave lower than middle). The middle sets can be tuned wet and as in your Hohner can provide a good mussette. But you can have register selections with the high set which gives more sound options. (Maybe you like these additional options and maybe not, I have found I don’t use the registers with the high set much and personally prefer LMMM accordions).

An LMMM has three middle sets. Usually one middle set is at concert pitch, one is lower and one is higher. This gives you two effective tremolo options on the same accordion.

For your styles of music I think either option would work, it’s about your preference.
 

Valski

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An 8 foot concert grand piano is impressive, perhaps not as impressive as the home where it is kept. In any case, good luck in finding your new accordion. You sound very methodical in everything that you pursue and I know that you will make the choice which is best for you. I also started the Palmer-Hughes course in 1964 and hated it, perhaps that explains all of my bad musical habits. :unsure:
 

John M

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I will send a photo possibly you can tell what year its from? If I bought a new one 5-6k wouldn't be a problem
Since $5-$6K is within your budget, have you looked into the Roland FR-8X? You can get some nice Accordion, piano, clarinet, sax, vibraphone, acoustic string bass, etc. tones. I particularly like the Organ mode where the Roland model is identical to a Hammond B3. There is a set of nine drawbars (each adjustable from 0-8), Three levels of vibrato & vibrato chorus. Percussion with 2nd & 3rd harmonics, slow/fast decay, and volume adjust.

I like the different choices of Roland accordion tone selections. If you are an absolute purist and have to have an exact replication of the acoustic accordion sound, then I guess the Roland is out. But if you like to have a wide variety of instruments available, at the press of one of the 14 register switches, the 8X is the one.

John M.
 

NYCSTEV

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Since $5-$6K is within your budget, have you looked into the Roland FR-8X? You can get some nice Accordion, piano, clarinet, sax, vibraphone, acoustic string bass, etc. tones. I particularly like the Organ mode where the Roland model is identical to a Hammond B3. There is a set of nine drawbars (each adjustable from 0-8), Three levels of vibrato & vibrato chorus. Percussion with 2nd & 3rd harmonics, slow/fast decay, and volume adjust.

I like the different choices of Roland accordion tone selections. If you are an absolute purist and have to have an exact replication of the acoustic accordion sound, then I guess the Roland is out. But if you like to have a wide variety of instruments available, at the press of one of the 14 register switches, the 8X is the one.

John M.
Thanks John. Is the keyboard action similar to acoustic or like an electronic keyboard? I
 

John M

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Thanks John. Is the keyboard action similar to acoustic or like an electronic keyboard? I
I have an Excelsior 960 acoustic in great condition. I also have a Hammond B3. I am not an expert on key board action, but I know what the B3 is like. It is lightening fast. A glissando slide is super easy. I notice quite a difference between my 960 and the B3. The action on the 960 is not as quick and I need to exert more pressure on the keys (I suppose part of this is because there are 5 reed blocks on the treble side (LMMMH). I like the action on the 8X a lot better than the Excelsior. The 8X is not quite as fast as the B3, but for me I like it a lot better than my Excelsior. In percentage, I would describe the action of the 8X, 75% faster than the Excelsior and 25% slower than the B3. Another feature on the 8X that is not on the Excelsior, is key action that is velocity sensitive. Makes playing the 8X piano tone very realistic.

John M.
 

NYCSTEV

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LMMH has two sets of middle reeds, one set of high reeds (one octave higher than middle) and a set of low reeds (one octave lower than middle). The middle sets can be tuned wet and as in your Hohner can provide a good mussette. But you can have register selections with the high set which gives more sound options. (Maybe you like these additional options and maybe not, I have found I don’t use the registers with the high set much and personally prefer LMMM accordions).

An LMMM has three middle sets. Usually one middle set is at concert pitch, one is lower and one is higher. This gives you two effective tremolo options on the same accordion.

For your styles of music I think either option would work, it’s about your preference.
This is what I have see photo . Its LMM so I assume the LMMH has this same tuning plus extra?? ( extra H)
 

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Ben-jammin

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This is what I have see photo . Its LMM so I assume the LMMH has this same tuning plus extra?? ( extra H)
The picture didn’t load.

I know some tango II (earlier ones) didn’t have registers to select different combinations of reed sets. Later ones would allow you pick combinations or single reeds L, LM, LMM, MM, M.

An LMMH is like an a LMM with an extra higher sets of reed, so would have more options for combinations of reeds to get different tones. I would call these reed configurations, two accordions could have the same reed configuration but different tunings (here I don’t mean as a deficiency as in out of tune). Usually on accordions when tuning is discussed it is specific the 2nd or 3rd middle sets on accordions with more than one middle set. These are tuned sharp or flat to generate the mussette effect.

The more off these tunings are the wetter the mussette is. Unfortunately the mussette tuning for accordions aren’t universally included in all advertised specs.

The other reed sets should be tuned to standard 440 or 442hz reference. This video shows some different tunings for middle set. Unfortunately I don’t think they show 2 middle sets vs 3 middle sets.

 

Scuromondo

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You might want to consider this Petosa. It’s not new and is at the top of your price range but it has an extra set of reed blocks so you can have both LMMM as well as LMMH, and it has reeds handmade by Guido Baldi.
 

stickista

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A couple of definitions in this discussion were skipped that might be helpful.
‘Wet’ and ‘Dry’ refer to the tuning distance between simultaneously sounded identical reeds (eg usually the MM or 8’ reeds). That distance is measured in ‘cents’ or 100ths of a semitone.
The interference caused by that tuning distance between the 2 reeds produces a third set of vibrations or ‘beats’. If the 2 reeds are very closely tuned to each other, say 5 cents or less, the beats are very small and the resulting sound is a more flat, jazzy sound.
If the distance is greater, say between 5 and 20 cents, you start getting beats that add an audible pulsation, and at the high end, almost a 2nd note. (20 cents is almost a quarter tone.) As this gets more pronounced, towards 20 cents, you start getting into ‘musette’ tuning.
And there are places along that spectrum that fit everyone’s taste and musical style.
An MMM instrument lets you have 2 levels of wet/dry, so you could play with a jazz group or a French Chanson group.
But if you’re dedicated to one style then MM, tuned to your taste, is sufficient.
 
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Dingo40

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It's four months since we've heard from NYC Steve. I wonder how he's getting along?🤔
Please give us an update, Steve: we'd love to hear from you!🙂
 
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