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Replacing buttons on a Stradella bass

oldbayan

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A few years ago I bought a full-size Paolo Soprani CBA that was is very poor shape, the seller did not know what to do with it as it was not playable, and he posted an ad asking for advice. It belonged to his late father who enjoyed it a lot for many years, but many of the bass buttons turned into crumbs... I never saw anything like that before. I bought it for very little money with the intention of fixing it, but it is a C-system and I usually play B, so it stayed in its case for a few more years. Last week I decided to replace the bass buttons. It is a heck of a job! But however complicated the bass side seems, it is feasible if you take your time and take notes as you go. The original buttons are 19mm long, and the few places that sell 19x7mm buttons were asking for a lot of money for them, like £125.00 plus shipping. This is more than what I paid for the accordion! I found a set of common 15x7mm buttons for a reasonable price, and decided to simply extend all the pushrods using 3/32-inch brass tubing and fit the shorter buttons. I completed the root notes and the major 3rd rows already, it looks promising. It was interesting to discover how the pushrods and cams work to actuate the pallets of the 5 voices. This particular accordion has 2 sets of cams, one for the root and 3rd notes, and one for the chords. Once completed I will have (yet) another CBA to enjoy, this one is from 1968 and is LMMM with 46 treble notes.
 

Dingo40

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Crumbling bass buttons (pistons) have been mentioned here before .🙂
 
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debra

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A few years ago I bought a full-size Paolo Soprani CBA that was is very poor shape, the seller did not know what to do with it as it was not playable, and he posted an ad asking for advice. It belonged to his late father who enjoyed it a lot for many years, but many of the bass buttons turned into crumbs... I never saw anything like that before. I bought it for very little money with the intention of fixing it, but it is a C-system and I usually play B, so it stayed in its case for a few more years. Last week I decided to replace the bass buttons. It is a heck of a job! But however complicated the bass side seems, it is feasible if you take your time and take notes as you go. The original buttons are 19mm long, and the few places that sell 19x7mm buttons were asking for a lot of money for them, like £125.00 plus shipping. This is more than what I paid for the accordion! I found a set of common 15x7mm buttons for a reasonable price, and decided to simply extend all the pushrods using 3/32-inch brass tubing and fit the shorter buttons. I completed the root notes and the major 3rd rows already, it looks promising. It was interesting to discover how the pushrods and cams work to actuate the pallets of the 5 voices. This particular accordion has 2 sets of cams, one for the root and 3rd notes, and one for the chords. Once completed I will have (yet) another CBA to enjoy, this one is from 1968 and is LMMM with 46 treble notes.
At Carini you would pay about 20 euro for a bag of 125 buttons that are supposedly 7,5x17,5mm.
You probably pay the same again for shipping... Carini is really only good when you buy a lot of stuff at once.
There site only lists pearly white buttons that are 19mm long and they cost 3 times as much.
The setup with the 3 voices for chords plus 2 voices for base notes (and these also activate the chord voices) is standard on almost all accordions. (Some low end accordions have only 4 voices and then it's 2+2.)
 

oldbayan

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At Carini you would pay about 20 euro for a bag of 125 buttons that are supposedly 7,5x17,5mm.
You probably pay the same again for shipping... Carini is really only good when you buy a lot of stuff at once.
There site only lists pearly white buttons that are 19mm long and they cost 3 times as much.
The setup with the 3 voices for chords plus 2 voices for base notes (and these also activate the chord voices) is standard on almost all accordions. (Some low end accordions have only 4 voices and then it's 2+2.)
Yes, many suppliers have prices for large quantities, when we only need 1 set the prices are ridiculous. The 19mm size seems to be very expensive everywhere. The installation of shorter buttons on a longer pushrod seems to have advantages over the original size after all! Some buttons in the inner row are really in a tight spot due to pallet mounts and springs that restrict their movement. I have completed the first two inner rows and adjusted the buttons, that requires lots of patience and "forming" of the rods.
 

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debra

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Yes, many suppliers have prices for large quantities, when we only need 1 set the prices are ridiculous. The 19mm size seems to be very expensive everywhere. The installation of shorter buttons on a longer pushrod seems to have advantages over the original size after all! Some buttons in the inner row are really in a tight spot due to pallet mounts and springs that restrict their movement. I have completed the first two inner rows and adjusted the buttons, that requires lots of patience and "forming" of the rods.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. When you get 125 buttons it means that for a normal 120 bass accordion + 1 air vent button you only have 4 spare buttons to cover an accidental mishap. So I consider 125 buttons to be "one set".
 

oldbayan

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. When you get 125 buttons it means that for a normal 120 bass accordion + 1 air vent button you only have 4 spare buttons to cover an accidental mishap. So I consider 125 buttons to be "one set".
Some suppliers sell wholesale and will only do large quantities, like 1000.
 

oldbayan

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The before and after pictures. Before replacing all the buttons, I temporarily replaced a few broken ones with pieces of wood dowels.
 

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