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New old accordion - and new user

IHAccordion

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Hi everyone! Got an older 120 bass "Colleta" keyboard accordion off of you know where for $70 and have had a blast learning it and picked up how to play it pretty fast (I played the piano a lot as a kid, so it really just came down to bellow control and learning the bass button locations. Figured it'd be best to start off with more buttons than I need and I can grow into using the full 120 instead of having to immediately upgrade. 

That being said, there are some issues that I'm going to get into fixing. Some of the higher pitched notes will play on the pull but not push of the bellows, suggesting some reeds need to be fixed (I shook the accordion and heard nothing rattling, so perhaps a valve is stuck?). Secondly, the register switches (on this accordion there's no buttons to go up or down registers, but I think it's all controlled by a single switch, which indexes the number indicators at the top of the accordion) need some attention. The switch for the treble side seems jammed - it's very hard to move and doesn't cause the register to switch. The bass switch isn't connected to anything - I presume that a metal wire would link up to it, and maybe it fell down into the accordion when it disconnected. The buttons used to stick a bit (some of the photos show this early on), but after playing the accordion they started properly sliding back up smoothly. I've not seen this design before, so would like if someone could shed some light on it. I'm pretty handy so it should be fun learning about how to properly repair it to play as it did in the 1940s. The bellows are in great condition and don't leak, which is great. 

Secondly, is there any information regarding Soprani Inc? I believe the Colleta is one of the "Ampliphonic" accordions by Settimio Soprani, but I could always be wrong. Does this accordion have the strange sideways reed block setup?

Any information is appreciated - thanks!
 

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Tom

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Welcome IHA and good luck with your accordion, good find! It seems you will have to open the accordion to get at those repairs. There are some more expert than me on here who will help you out.
 

colinm

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You are in luck because there is a website called accordion revival which has all the information you need.
You need to identify which reeds are not working, then why they are not working , then make any necessary adjustments, You can check which way round the blocks are by looking inside.
Be careful with coupler connections and slides,you may need to do much dismantling
Take photos before you start dismantling and as you progress
Its all in accordion revival.
 

IHAccordion

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Thank you both for your responses. I'll definitely keep pictures handy while I'm working on the accordion. Did all the ampliphonics use the sideways-mounted reed blocks?
 

craptiger

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IHAccordion said:
Thank you both for your responses. I'll definitely keep pictures handy while I'm working on the accordion. Did all the ampliphonics use the sideways-mounted reed blocks?

I'd love to see pictures of these reed blocks...
 

Glug

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You can see some on the Cardinal link above, the bass looks really weird.
I'm wondering how the pallets work, but I guess the reeds are in a different order on the blocks.
 

craptiger

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Glug said:
You can see some on the Cardinal link above, the bass looks really weird.
I'm wondering how the pallets work, but I guess the reeds are in a different order on the blocks.

Accordion insides are complicated enough for me without mixing up all the different reed sizes!  I'm still trying to figure out in my head how my CBA works inside.  I've never taken it apart and a bit scared...I think it works by black magic, the whole key transposing thing...very clever or very spooooky! ha ha

What I really need is a cheap CBA I can dismantle properly and have a look at.  If anyone has one they don't want...?
 

IHAccordion

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Would this setup have a "tone chamber"? Since it is so unconventional, I'm not sure what to look for in the case that it has a tone chamber versus not having a tone chamber.
 

JerryPH

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No, I believe not. Tone chamber accordions are generally much boxier/bigger because a set of reeds is placed 90 degrees opposite to the rest in their own "chamber". Most of the time, you will see the word "Cassotto" on it, denoting a tone chamber accordion.
 

nagant27

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Here is a video concerning the reed blocks With nunzio explaining the design.

Also this is not a tone chamber design as someone already has mentioned.
 

IHAccordion

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Thank you all for the replies. Was Settimio Soprani a quality maker of accordions, especially regarding their Ampliphonic line? Curious about your opinions.
 

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