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Petosa am1100 = Scandalli Super 6 and Gola?

craigd

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Wondering how much agreement I would find here with a Petosa salesman's claim that the above instruments are of equal quality and value? I do like what I hear from the am1100, a great sound and well balanced between right and left hands, but have they got as much care and craftsmanship put into them as the Golas? Is the status of the Super 6 exaggerated, mythical? My old teacher had a 45 key Gola with the stradella and three row free bass; I have ever since been in awe of him (now with the angels) and his accordion (now where?).
 

Zevy

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Wondering how much agreement I would find here with a Petosa salesman's claim that the above instruments are of equal quality and value? I do like what I hear from the am1100, a great sound and well balanced between right and left hands, but have they got as much care and craftsmanship put into them as the Golas? Is the status of the Super 6 exaggerated, mythical? My old teacher had a 45 key Gola with the stradella and three row free bass; I have ever since been in awe of him (now with the angels) and his accordion (now where?).
Craig-
I have tried Golas, Scandalli Super 6 (which is the same as Setimio Soprani Artist 6 and BELL 4511), Victorias, etc. I was never blown away with any of them as much as I love my AM 1100. However, I have tried some other AM 1100s and I was not impressed, either. The short answer is that they are in the same league, but it depends on when the instrument was made, and other things as well. The accordion is a very personal instrument, so two models that were made back-to-back can differ. There are different aspects that are better on some and not on others. For instance, the workmanship on those older Scandallis, Golas, and Titanos is very special. But: you MUST play the instrument yourself. There is no substitute.
Here's a plug for Petosa AM 1100 - they (Petosa people) are great to work with. Also, someone wanted to trade his Setimio Soprani Artist 6 with me for my AM 1100 and I said NO! I truly enjoy it.
Good luck!
 

JIM D.

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All quality accordion models. I've worked on and played the Gola, Super 6 and AM 1100. As for yourself you will need to visit
a dealer or dealers that have models of each to find your perfect "Cup Of Tea". Fortunately we are not all robots and have different
likes & dislikes which makes it difficult for me to judge which one of these quality models would suit you perfectly.
If I was offered a choice of these models mentioned I myself would pick the AM 1100 for its build & sound quality.
 
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nagant27

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I’ve also played all three of these great accordions, and I own an 1100. It’s an older model- 60s, but the reeds are so responsive and sensitive, the tone is amazing. It’s probably the best sounding accordion I’ve played.
I’ve played a comparable American bell and both are in the same league in my opinion.
As mentioned all accordions are individual and you can play 2 of the same models and they sound, feel totally different. It would be great be able to try each simultaneously and really compare them. There are certain accordions that just feel “right” and in my opinion are always older and well taken care of classics. I’d rate a Petosa as one of these for certain and one of the best.
 

craigd

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Okay, more agreement than I expected (or do you all work for Petosa? Kidding!). I have an Excelsior 940 and a Titano Cosmopolitan. They are very different from each other. I like the dynamics and vibrancy of the Cosmopolitan, you can really let it rip as there is no tone chamber holding its reeds back. The Excelsior does have that nice tone chambered mellow and round tone. I prefer the ergonomics and feel of the Excelsior - it's about 2 pounds heavier but doesn't feel it. The blending of the bass and treble sides is very important to me, as are responsiveness, ergonomics and build quality. I like the sound of the AM1100 based on high quality recordings. Do you think I would be getting significantly better blending of the bass and treble sides, responsiveness, ergonomics and build quality in the AM1100 compared to the instruments I already have? I would have to travel quite a ways to find out for myself, so I'd like some opinions first. Thanks!
 
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JerryPH

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I'd give almost anything to have a Gola, and not your basic Gola, but a 70's Gola 454 with a few custom touches, more for sentimental purposes than anything else, because that is what my parents ordered for me when I was 13, sadly someone at Hohner dropped the ball at the time.

They say you get what you pay for... if that is true (and I am NOT saying it is), I don't see many accordions that start with a base price of $50,000US and go up based on options, which is another thing I don't see Petosa do (what does the Cathedral Bayan Piano cost? It looks amazing!).

There is no such thing as a pre-made Gola... each one is made to order by the owner and is fully paid IN ADVANCE before they even begin building. If I asked Hohner for a 47 key 185 bass with custom tuning double Cassotto 7/7 reeds and specific registration along with 7chin switches that have 3 selectable registers and 30 main registers in custom colors and 18K gold inlays, Hohner would build it for you because that is what they do. It would cost like $75,000 or more, take 1-3 years to build, but they'd do it happily for you. I don't see Petosa doing that at all. Based on being the most outrageous out there, the Gola has my vote, and I'm likely the only one here with that opinion, but that's ok... because I don't have $75,000 to place on an accordion! :)
 

JIM D.

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I'm having a problem making an exact & truthful evaluation of your 940 & Cosmopolitan verses a new AM1100.
Maybe you can assist me with my problem. You see that there are 2 different 940's & 2 different Cosmopolitan's out there.
As for the Excelsior 940's there are early models made up to the middle 60's that were EXCELSIOR MADE. Later 940's are
PIGINI MADE and although a fine instrument will not equal in material & build of an Excelsior made model.
The same goes for your Titano, Titano's made up to the later 60's were VICTORIA MADE. The newer Titano's are
PIGINI MADE. Again although fine instruments are not the same quality of Victoria.
Both of the original Excelsiors & Titanos will give a new AM1100 a run for the money.
If you happen to know the age of your 2 Accordion models please post it here for an more truthful evaluation.
I you are unsure of their ages, post some Pic's .
 
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JerryPH

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The blending of the bass and treble sides is very important to me, as are ergonomics and build quality. I like the sound of the AM1100 based on high quality recordings. Do you think I would be getting significantly better blending of the bass and treble sides, ergonomics and build quality in the AM1100 compared to the instruments I already have?
Key word here being "high quality recordings"? Blending of the L/R sides? I think you can make a $1500 accordion sound very close to a AM11000 or Gola with a good sound engineer, good studio and quality editing. :)

The rest is personal preference... especially where ergonomics are concerned! Bottom line is... I don't think there is a bad choice in any of these high end names, the only opinion that matters to you... or that *should* matter... is yours!
 
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Ventura

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legendary accordions are in a class by themselves,
there simply is no comparison

the legendary period was powered by Empiric design, which meant
masters in their houses and fanatic close friends and co-workers
time and again trying new ideas and constantly tweaking old ones

many of those skills, insights, and the finesse that were gained from
these efforts are now LOST as well as the machines and resources are
no longer available due to loss of Scale in Manufacturing and raw material depletion.

example: Giovanni Gola's reeds, and their installation and fine tuning...
only Silvio ever managed to match his temper (meaning custom temper of the steel)
and even at that, only Gola mastered the equalization of reedsets L vs M vs H

no-one before or since has ever matched his reedwork.. therefore no other
accordion nor a new one bearing his name can even be compared in the same breath

example: the last independant accordion factory that owned and operated a working Kiln
was CEMEX/Excelsior... this factory was also capable of making every EVERY part of an
accordion from RAW MATERIALS on premises

EVERY single tiny PART

this gave an incredible manufacturing advantage that they did not squander... it allowed them
to control quality like no-one else... it afforded them the luxury of always being able to use
the optimum type of wood ar other material for each design need
(there are up to 28 types of wood in a Pro line excelsior from this period)

Excelsoir even had it's own electronics design and manufacturing department, which
is why you will find Excelsior Bass mechanisms had small switching actuators built in to
the aluminum parts before assembly (all other accordions had to have actuators glued
on to some part of their mechanism)

also one thing shared by Scandalli and and Excelsior... they enjoyed
MORE THAN ONE period of "legendary" production

in Scandalli's case, two generations of Factory Masters who exerted a dedication
and control and gifted understanding of accordion design. This resulted in the
Super Six, which was merely the confluence of everything Scandalli ever learned
during one moment in time and one perfect scale design

anyone who has ever had a True Super Six from the legendary period would
laugh at the comparison to a AM1100 or any Modern Boutique brand of accordion

and there are a LOT of not really quite Super Sixes out there, including the Settimo
and the American Brands fulfilled under private branding contracts...
a Scandalli Super Six was uniquely finished and owed a part of it's
oersonality to the Master Provino to which it was FIRST TUNED, and to
it's hand finishing and final inspection BY THE MASTER before delivery

the Settimo version was built by a different set of workers on the overnight shift
and who were managed by the S Soprani organization (originally)
and of course after the LEAR SIEGLER ownership period, the Camerano
Factory as well as the new Farfisa Factory were totally abandoned, and all the
machines were left to rust and rot... once BonTiempi purchased the
brand name and rights all production was moved and merely "look alike"
Super Sixes have existed since then and to this day... there being no
physical connection whatsoever to any of the elements of Scandalli
that made what was "Legendary" possible

and for my money, even fewer Italian Accordions could ever quite match
some of the New York Legends like the Rocker Excelsior, or the
ORIGINAL PanCordion built for Myron Floren and produced for
awhile in New York ( look closely at the vuluptuous shaped Grillework
and you can tell them apart from an Italian Built later model )

no.. sorry boys and girls.. if you want a true Legendary Level accordion you will
need to SEARCH for one likely ReFurbish it to some extent and also be
quite lucky in the first place to even get the opportunity

or you can settle for something nice, quite good, and new

but lets not pretend they are anywhere near the same

ciao

Ventura
 

debra

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A lot of care and craftsmanship goes into all these accordions. But... You cannot compare a 60's Scandalli Super 6 to one from 2000, and likewise a Gola. (I have no experience with Petosa.) A friend of mine has a Scandalli Super 6 from the very best small series ever built (in the 1960's if I'm not mistaken. She also has a Gola from around 2000. Call me picky, but the old Scandalli really sounds so much nicer than the newer Gola. But... another friend (now deceased) had a Gola from the 1960's (45 key, with MIII). That really was a very different beast than the newer one (with convertor). The trouble is that the old reeds that went into these old accordions were just so much better and you cannot buy anything that compares to them today. Only last year I got to do a bit of tuning on an old Guerrini (96 bass, 4 voice, cassotto) and while not nearly as highly regarded as these super-models, the Guerrini with its hand-made Taborrov reeds produces an incredible sound that reminds me of the Scandalli Super 6. These old reeds are so unique, so strong also, giving very powerful yet mellow sound.
 

craigd

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Wow, thanks to all for the in depth replies. I should have specified that my accordions are from the 60s, early I think, and I'm considering an AM1100 of similar vintage. Off to work, so haven't had time to read all replies fully, will do that later. Thanks again
 

craigd

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Thanks Ventura for that historical account. The history and legend of these instruments is important to me too. The AM1100 doesn't quite have this for me, but I'm sure if I spend some more time talking to that salesman, he will provide a legend for the Petosa too. Interesting to hear about the Excelsiors of that period having so much craftsmanship in them. Paul, I have a soft spot for Guerrinis - my first pro box was one and the craftsmanship was obvious. I now have a lady's size Guerrini from the 60s which seems built to the same standard. Is Guerrini still active as a manufacturer? I may yet check out the Petosa, but it sounds like I have very little to gain over what I have.
 

craigd

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I may have the ages wrong, here are some pics.
 

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Ventura

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i too have the highest regard for Guerrini...

last i heard, they had stopped being an active business concern,
but still maintained some private production and repair capacity,
still in the Family owned location (more or less across from the
Hotel Parco on the main road up into the heart of Castlefidardo.

did you know Guerinni maintained production on one pre-WW2
model up through modern times ? it was the coolest looking
box and really had the Vibe from olden times going for it..
f course today several other houses make antique looking
and "woodie" style boxes ( i ended up with a Fisitalia Woodie )

yes their sound has so much depth it seems surprising at first
when you strap one on.. not expecting it but WoW there it is

my visits there are all pleasant memories

cao

Ventura
 

Ventura

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the accordion museum in CastleFi... the one accordion they kept on the last Podium
you walked past as you left the exhibit area... a Super Six

an accordion that was not physically built in CastleFi, yet chosen to represent
the Home... the Heart...

this accordion, if you had been polite and friendly, and which seemed so approachable,
was the one the wonderful old man caring for the Museum would allow YOU to play
( actually, i believe it was his personal box )

my opportunity delighted him something Old, something New, something Borrowed and something Blue

memories of old times...

i hope after the Corona is beaten, some of you will get to Visit that part of Italy

ciao

Ventura
 

Tom

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Great stories, Ventura, grazie.
 

craigd

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i too have the highest regard for Guerrini...

last i heard, they had stopped being an active business concern,
but still maintained some private production and repair capacity,
still in the Family owned location (more or less across from the
Hotel Parco on the main road up into the heart of Castlefidardo.

did you know Guerinni maintained production on one pre-WW2
model up through modern times ? it was the coolest looking
box and really had the Vibe from olden times going for it..
f course today several other houses make antique looking
and "woodie" style boxes ( i ended up with a Fisitalia Woodie )

yes their sound has so much depth it seems surprising at first
when you strap one on.. not expecting it but WoW there it is

my visits there are all pleasant memories

cao

Ventura
Thanks Ventura. I get a real kick out of these stories of the origins of accordions, they add to my appreciation of the ones I own. They have histories in their craftsmanship, in their time with previous owners, even a sense of the times they came from and existed through. I think the main thing is appreciating that they are things skilled people cared enough about to make really well, and now many are nearly forgotten.
 

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