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Old Cavagnolo CBA

oldbayan

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I just acquired a superb 4-row chromatic Cavagnolo that must be from the late 60's or early 70's but I am not sure. It is in pristine condition for its age, and surprisingly enough with a B griff keyboard! It's a 3-voice LMM with 2 register sliders at the back of the keyboard so I get 4 combinations including a nice musette MM. The construction quality is superb.

The only odd thing is that compared to my other boxes with the B system, on this one the 4th row buttons are one position further down than my other boxes. Not sure why they did that. It just requires a bit of time to get used to.
 

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No, I think it's a b-griff 3 row on a C-griff mech. So the 4th row is shifted the wrong way. So it's not really B-griff any more.

My old Massoni was the other way round: it was a c-griff tuning on a B-griff mech. When I opened it up it was obvious that the accordion was converted to C-griff by some philistine. Further digging suggested that the accordion started off as Do2, which makes a bit more sense as to why somebody would want to bastardize it into a C system, but I guess it was unplayable for a C-griff player and only useable for a B or Do2 player if all voices were re-waxed (which is what I did).

PS I'm not sure if there's a standard shift for Do2... My roland offered 2 different layout: one for Do2 shifted the C-way and one for Do2 shifted the B-way. But if Do2 is shifted B-way, it's perfectly playable for a B-griff player without modifications: just remember to transpose.
 
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No, I think it's a b-griff 3 row on a C-griff mech. So the 4th row is shifted the wrong way. So it's not really B-griff any more.
Very likely! The gentleman I bought it from is Ukrainian, it's possibly a conversion
 
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But everyone plays proper B-griff over there, so who would want a "franken-B"...
Not the first time I see a "Franken B"! A few years ago a gentleman in my neighborhood (Toronto, Canada) was selling a 5-row Paolo Soprani that was converted from C to B, so the 4th and 5th rows were a bit messed up for a B! He said he only played on the first 3 rows.
 
It could very well be a repair or conversion gone wrong. My very first accordion repair teacher strongly advised against changing a B-system accordion to C-system or vice versa (unless it's a 3 row). Getting the 4rd (and possibly 5th) rows adapted to the position that is shifted over is a nightmare.
It is unlikely that the error was there from the start, but... the only Kravtsov accordion that I know of here (in the Netherlands) came from the (Zonta) factory with the 4rd row one key over. So the brand new accordion had to be sent back to the factory to get that resolved. I guess they do not have great experience in making Kravtsov keyboards (considering how few people play that system) and it's easy to make a mistake in building an accordion with a system you don't really know well...
 
and it's easy to make a mistake in building an accordion with a system you don't really know well...
If only they knew about this new thing that all the cool kids are talking about...QC.

Shocking story.
 
If only they knew about this new thing that all the cool kids are talking about...QC.

Shocking story.

When looking inside, it seems like the reed blocks are completely original! But since the reed plates are mounted without wax, any swapping can be done without leaving a trace if done carefully, i.e. plates are held with little nails on a leather bed.
 
When looking inside, it seems like the reed blocks are completely original! But since the reed plates are mounted without wax, any swapping can be done without leaving a trace if done carefully, i.e. plates are held with little nails on a leather bed.
There are instruments where you can switch between C and B by swapping reed blocks. Of course that works only for three rows: the helper rows need to get relinked.
 
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