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Old accordions

Scuromondo

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What happens if an accordion is never played for a long time?
Should one avoid buying such an accordion?
Leather and wax dry out so depending on the quality of the accordion, how carefully it was stored, and how long “a long time” is, it might not need anything. More likely, it might need at least a few hundred dollars in routine maintenance. Possibly, it might also require a full rewaxing, re-leathering and retuning, which (assuming it is a full sized accordion) will easily cost more than $1,000.

Unfortunately, the question of whether or not you should buy any specific accordion is one that never yields a straightforward “yes/no” response. It depends on how much you initially pay for the accordion, how much you will have to spend to make it playable, and what your sentimental attachments to it might be.
 

debra

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People do say that not playing is bad for an accordion, but an accordion also wears out from playing a lot. For instance, reeds do go out of tune more from playing a lot than from not playing at all. On the other hand, leathers benefit from being used and become stiff sooner when not used. For the ageing of wax it doesn't matter. Mechanics also last essentially forever. An accordion that hasn't been used for 10 years should still be good. 50 years... that's another matter of course...
 

oldbayan

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Mechanics also last essentially forever.
Except when the instrument was kept in a place with too much humidity and rust has formed on ferrous parts! Like springs.
I once was given an Atlantic IV to tune. It was played very regularly by a teacher/performer so it was definitely not just stored. The reeds were seriously rusted. The owner was living by the coast (in Holland) and the salty moist hour essentially killed the reeds, whether it was played or not.
 
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debra

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Except when the instrument was kept in a place with too much humidity and rust has formed on ferrous parts! Like springs.
Very true, but the same is true whether the instrument is stored there of just kept there and played for hours every day...
 

JeffJetton

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I think of old accordions like old cars. If an old car is driven now and then and/or if it's stored properly, there's a better chance it's still in good shape. If it's just been sitting in the back of a barn for decades, you're probably in trouble.
 

jozz

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why not buy if the hardware is okay: like bellows and treble and bass action

reeds can be replaced/upgraded and you are always looking at a wax/tune job
 

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