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Old Scandalli - why 13 registers ?

Glug

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Hiya Folks,
Happy Xmas etc.

I was idly looking at ebay on boxing day and I saw an old Scandalli for repair/parts for £112. It looked interesting enough to find out what it is, heres the ebay posting:

<ATTACHMENT filename=Scandalli.1.jpg index=0>

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SCANDALL...=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

From looking online I think its a Scandalli Polifonico Brevetto from the late 50s or early 60s with the six mute covers missing. So LMMH with a palm switch, and it may have a-mano reeds (if they havent gone missing). And I think the piano keys come off individually.

But what I cant work out is why 13 registers switches - LMMH needs 11 at most for combinations I could think of.

It eventually went for £310, which is way outside my looks interesting zone :)
Would this be a quality box if restored properly ?

Cheers, Gareth.
 

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maugein96

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Hi Gareth,

If you look closely youll see that some of the registers offer repeats of others. I never counted them, and have no idea why some makers have repeat couplers.

I play French CBAs with the couplers on the rear, and even on LMM boxes there are often repeats of the master coupler. My Maugein Mini Sonora LMM has 6 register switches but the ones at the top and bottom of the row serve the same purpose, and select the master (LMM together). Daft thing is that the master on that box is one of the least seldom used and Ive have preferred two levers for the MM coupler.

I think weve all been tempted by some of the eBay prices at times, and at one stage all I thought you had to do was make sure you bought a well respected make and youd be OK.

However, since I joined the forum Ive discovered that the word minefield isnt quite adequate enough to cover some of the junk that circulates on eBay and other auction sites.

If you have the touch of King Midas and the luck of the Irish you might find something worth restoring, providing you can source any necessary spares.

Id be more inclined to try and restore that particular box to the row of false teeth sticking out of a WW2 gas mask that it reminds me of, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say.

Scandalli is a good make/was a good make/might be a good make again some day. The history of Italian accordion manufacturers is not for the faint of heart, and the acquisition of replacement parts for those old boxes is akin to sorcery.

For those with the knowledge, necessary tools, equipment, and access to spare parts, and the ability to make parts if required, then anything is possible. If any of those boxes arent ticked then try this eBay listing. Its the most effective precision tool Ive ever come across with a 100% success rate on old accordions (but remember to use eye protectors).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SILVERLI...?epid=3015189823&hash=item3f841a214f:g:cm8AAO
 

debra

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My 4 voice cassotto accordion has 15 treble registers without any repeats.
Cassotto makes for more meaningful voice combinations than no cassotto.
 

Glug

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Doh,
I should have spotted that: the two at either end are the same, so its 11 + 2 repeats. The register markings are not as easy to read as some. I dont think its got cassotto, but Im not certain, I think theres usually some indication on the registers.

:) Im well aware that ebay is a minefield. Ive only ever bought one thing on ebay and I went to see that in person twice before I bought it (Lucia IV P). The mute covers are available on ebay, but whether there is actually anything inside the box is another question.

But it was very interesting looking up the history of Scandalli for a couple of hours. The construction looks to be relatively modern so probably quite easy to work on. Ill just have to hope I find one in a junk shop somewhere :)

It would have originally looked like a black version of
Scandalli.2.jpg
 

Glug

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Just for information here's a comment I found on google groups:

rec.music.makers.squeezebox 1998/07/03

Scandallis are probably the easiest accordions to repair. The bass
mechanism comes out easily in one piece and the treble keys come out
indvidually without having to start at one end and remove all the keys
till you get to the one you want. The newer Scandallis are actually
very high end instruments.

-Kimric Smythe
Smythe's Accordion Center
Oakland, CA
 

Tom

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I agree. I like Scandallis. I've restored a few, sold or passed on others, including one like your black one, and have 5 now, including a beautiful small "Cameo" waiting for extensive work.
 

Glug

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I thought it looked interesting and having done some research it seems they're well made and I'd quite like to have a play with one.

Problem is I've got a Hohner Lucia IV P which is also LMMH so I haven't got a good reason to pay lots of money for a fully working one :( I should really get something with MMM to see if I like it, unless I can find something cheap that needs fixing.

But Scandalli is definitely going on my shopping list.
 

Glug

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The weeks pass ... tumbleweed rolls past ..... it's almost Christmas.

Then a similar one shows up on Ebay (the text says it needs a complete rebuild).
It's got 11+2/6 registers and an 18.75" keyboard, so same as the polifonico brevetto without the mutes.

s-l1600.jpg

Nope, I didn't get it, outbid in the last 5 seconds. It went for £480.

But it's a Scandalli model I hadn't seen before, here's a very similar compact version I found online with some details:

Does anybody know how good these '60s Scandalli tipo a mano reeds are ?
 
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Glug

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There really is a Santa Claus :)

I was a bit down after just missing the Scandalli in the previous post, mostly because in retrospect it was ideal for me:

I've wanted to try a Scandalli for a long time.
I haven't tried a full size 41/120 bass accordion yet (just a full size 37/96).
11+2+m / 6 registers.
Tip a mano reeds.
Keys individually removable.
Bass machine comes out as one piece.
Reportedly has a good fast keyboard.
Hasn't got the dustbin lids (and extra weight) of a Scandalli Brevetto.
It needs fixing so it's relatively cheap.
It's almost christmas and I need something to keep me out of trouble.

Then 4 weeks later it's back on Ebay from the same vendor.
I'm guessing the previous buyer just didn't pay (it's sold as 'parts only, not working' so presumably it wasn't returned).
The vendor says it's complete but has been 'in a dry stock' for 20 years, I think that means on a shelf somewhere.

Here's Liberty Bellows demoing a similar 17" (11+m/4) version:


I think the fates meant me to have it, and it's now in the post :)

Happy Christmas (or equivalent) everybody.
 

Ventura

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congrats and good luck !

13 because you can take an L M M+ H box and depending how it gets tuned
L M+ H and L M+ can be interesting tonal combinations, so why not
 

Glug

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That's definitely a thought, I'll have to see how the treble couplers work.
LM+ is sax, no idea what LM+H would be called.
 

Glug

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Would LH+ be alto sax ?

And I'm fairly certain there's no casotto on this machine.

The vendors did email me this morning to confirm I realised it was 'parts or repair' and I really wanted it.
So fairly sure they're decent people.

It's my favourite Dutch ebay accordion shop (vendor *muziek*):
 

Ventura

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the 17" keyboard 4 reed treble in a lightweight is a pleasure to play

post some pics when you recieve it... hopefully the refurbing will
mostly be dried out leathers

the drop out Bass mechanism has one odd issue (with age) when the small
rubbery stops that limit the travel of the 120 Bass arms age ungracefully,
they can desintigrate, so the arm button will actualy come up too high
and then stick sliding back into proper position

we have used various things to fix this, electronic heat shrink tubing being
the handiest... it is tedious but works... or the perfect size rubber grommets
if you can find some
 

Glug

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Yep, I'd read about the bass mechanism rubber grommets problem.
Luckily I've got a temperature controlled soldering iron (90-480C) so the heat shrink should be easy.
And tedious isn't really a problem, as long as I'm achieving something.

One thing I have found is PVC tubing and a craft knife is good for making movement limiting grommets.
And it comes in a wide variety of fairly precise internal diameters. The downside being I don't know how long it will last.
I used that on the treble register mechanism of my Hohner Lucia, so if it fails it's no disaster.

I does need some bellows fixing and a bit of cosmetic celluloid work.

5d90f598eeaa4527d66549599b587c151.jpg

I'm also not sure about the position of that strap bracket. I'm guessing it's original, I just haven't seen that before.

I'll document its condition when it arrives: I've finally learn to photo things before I take them apart :)
 
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Ventura

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that bracket was more common of the 15 1/2" student models, but also used on many 17"
by Crucianelli as well as other brands

mine (a model, from the blue aluminum era)
has the flip-lever bellows latch (instead of bellows straps)
 

Glug

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Well, it turned up yesterday and it's got a few issues but it's not too bad.
It's got "516/3 Made in Italy" on tha back.
Turns out that strap bracket is original - no sign of a removed one at the bottom and it matches the top.

1 view.1.jpg

Bellows: Actually quite good, a couple of corners have failed and resulted in it leaking like a sieve despite the black sticky tape :) But I think they're going to be fine with some replacement corners and a bit of new tape.

Reeds: 5 fell off during transit, but they're all there and all in very good condition:

7 Reed.1.jpg

Registers: Bass works fine, treble is stuck, no palm master. I'm fairly sure the treble is easy to fix - the brass register sliders do move if pushed by hand but one is a bit stiff. The palm master I don't care about, but it could be a sign this is an early model.

Bass: Only obvious issue is it did have a bellows lock but the control bar is missing:

6 Bass.1.jpg

If I could find a new mechanism it would be good, but not a major problem if I can't.

Bass Machine: all the buttons seem to work and they're quite light, but I have't opened up the bass yet.

Keyboard: Not sure about this yet, all the keys works fine and they don't travel far. I think it needs cleaning, new felt, and some PTFE. Haven't checked the keys come out individually yet, but I can't see any axles. I'm not sure those pallets are located very accurately either:

8 Treble Pallets.1.jpg

And the observant will have spotted a crack in the wood (bottom right corner):

9 Crack.1.jpg

That's the only 'serious' issue, and I'm fairly sure it just needs some glue and clamps.
I am wondering what that bracket on the corner is for though, possibly to hold the keyboard tool.

So basically it's all fixable and it's got a full set of very nice reeds. Shame it's not in better condition, but I can fix that.
 

Dingo40

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Glug,
All good!🙂
Personally, I prefer not having a palm switch as I tend to unintentionally activate them with my right knee when seated, and they can be a pest, so all good there too!👍
 

Glug

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Yep, I've never had one. But I almost never use master on the RH anyway so it wouldn't help much.
Only 'intersting' in that some similar 17" models do have one.
 

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