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Old Paolo Soprani PA -How old?

Scuromondo

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Greetings all,

I purchased this Paolo Soprani accordion (used) about 15 years ago. It is a very nice (for me!) instrument. I have no plans to part with it anytime soon, but I have long wondered about its vintage. I expect that it was produced right around the time when Paolo Soprani was transitioning from being a highly reputable and successful manufacturer to one that produced less-than-mediocre instruments for a while before going out of business and then repeatedly re-emerging in various forms ever since. I am curious to know whether this particular beastie was one produced nearer the peak years or in the valley. Does anyone know?

—Paul
 

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oldbayan

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From the shape of the logo letters I would say late 60's to early 70's. Watch the bass buttons: I have seen many that were crumbling and breaking off. Extremely difficult to repair and/or replace.
 

debra

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From the shape of the logo letters I would say late 60's to early 70's. Watch the bass buttons: I have seen many that were crumbling and breaking off. Extremely difficult to repair and/or replace.
Interesting. Why would that be? Bass buttons are normally made of celluloid and are "press fit", so really easy to replace.
 

JIM D.

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Late 50 early 60's - and yes some had bass buttons made of simple plastic in place of celluliod made button tops. In the early 60's
many brands of mediocre models came with these plastic composition button tops. Fortunately this use of plastic buttons ceased in the
mid 60's. These plastic buttons - some black but mostly gold & white with age will crack & shatter & require replacement.
 

Scuromondo

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Late 50 early 60's - and yes some had bass buttons made of simple plastic in place of celluliod made button tops. In the early 60's
many brands of mediocre models came with these plastic composition button tops. Fortunately this use of plastic buttons ceased in the
mid 60's. These plastic buttons - some black but mostly gold & white with age will crack & shatter & require replacement.
Jim,
Did you mean that the practice of using plastic button tops was common in the late 50s through early 60s, or that you would estimate the accordion to be from that era? If it is 60 years old, it is in remarkably good condition. I did not think it was that old.

If the plastic buttons are as brittle and failure prone as you say, I doubt that this accordion has them. I’ve played it for more than 15 years and have only had routine service and spot-tuning performed on it (though I think it will be due to have new wax poured with the next 5-10 years. Thank you!
 

Ventura

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Greetings all,

I purchased this Paolo Soprani accordion (used) about 15 years ago. It is a very nice (for me!) instrument. I have no plans to part with it anytime soon, but I have long wondered about its vintage. I expect that it was produced right around the time when Paolo Soprani was transitioning from being a highly reputable and successful manufacturer to one that produced less-than-mediocre instruments for a while before going out of business and then repeatedly re-emerging in various forms ever since. I am curious to know whether this particular beastie was one produced nearer the peak years or in the valley. Does anyone know?

—Paul
the mic controls are quite 60's looking too

great looking box !
 

Ventura

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regarding the crumbly bass buttons

the plastics came to the factories as a grainy powder, which was then
processed and injected into molds... not everyone got the hang of doing
this correctly, plus adding the Glitter and Color to the clear powders
introduced impurities (as far as the plastic was concerned)

i have never (personally) seen Plain Black bass buttons crumble like that,
though accordions that sat in Music Store windows for a long period of time
often had plastics brittle under the Sun's UV rays, which would then cause keytops
to fracture and some bass buttons to chip an edge more easily as well
as cellulose to shrink considerably

(most modern plastics have additives that limit UV damage)

and one odd mention, an ancient Galeazzi from New York that i
took apart many decades ago... well i still have the Bass section
and the buttons were individually made by hand from either
Bone or Ivory
 

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