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Reputable online dealer recommendation? (UK)

Q

QuaverRest

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Hello folks!

Having become jaded and enervated by ebay and gumtree (You know the drill "accordion! Good working order! Only been played once in its 100 year history! Fantastic bargain at £650!) ahem...

Can anybody recommend a reputable online dealer who specialises in selling restored accordions in the UK?

I was originally out on a bargain hunt, but now I realise that the accordion is not an instrument to be sniffed at (unless you're inspecting it for mould).

I'm going to sell one of my guitars, and invest in a good quality model, but I want to be sure I'm buying from someone who really cares about these instruments.

Any advice will be met with a reply laden with smilie faces, here is a preview - :)

Jon
 
R

rbs

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I can recomment Emilio Allodi. His website is http://www.accordions.co.uk
 
M

maugein96

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Hi,

Glad somebody brought this up, as I reckon we have all considered buying an accordion on-line. Up until about 20 years ago just about every large town in the UK would have a music shop where you could walk in and try out a handful of accordions. Most of them would have been lying on the shelf for a considerable time and any interest in them would trigger a salesperson to appear at your side. They have never been cheap to buy new, and any used "bargain" instruments generally showed signs of wear and tear. Inevitably they would also have a few reeds out of tune, and maybe other issues that were not apparent to a beginner. The current "bargain" instruments offered for sale online will generally tend to be in this latter category. Expect to spend about £200 at a reputable repairer (if you can find one local to you) to bring them up to scratch, provided that there are no issues with the bellows or any mechanical problems with the keys or couplers.

If you are old enough to remember the pleasures of browsing one of the very few well stocked accordion shops, you'd find exactly the same situation, but with a better choice. However, even then there would have been instruments on display that required attention to bring them up to standard. The dealer would not be prepared to have the work carried out until someone had made a firm purchase. When these shops still existed you'd find people who had travelled all day to try out their wares, as there weren't all that many of them even then.

Accordions have never been cheap during my lifetime of 60 odd years, and they are not cheap to repair either. Also, their popularity tended to decline to the point where you'll need to look very hard indeed to find a specialist dealer these days. It seems to be the case that they are becoming more popular, and many interesting attic finds are being launched onto the general online market.

I've never bought an instrument online and therefore cannot recommend any particular online seller. I've seen some beautiful looking instruments that made me want to part with loads of cash on an impulse, but I then realised that if I've made the wrong choice I'm likely to be stuck with something I don't want for a very long time. You have to apply the logic that "An accordion is not just for Christmas" and you might get the picture.

On two occasions I almost bought an accordion online. The first experience concerned a secondhand instrument, and involved a lengthy telephone conversation with a pushy salesman. All of my questions received ambiguous answers, and ended with him suggesting that I should just buy the accordion anyway and return it for a refund, if it wasn't suitable. I suppose that was the best option I was going to get, and perhaps you might consider that option if it is available. All you'll lose is the carriage costs both ways, and in these days of courier service you won't have to take a fortnight off work to re-package it if you decide to return it. However, please bear in mind that you will actually have bought the instrument and the money will be with the seller. You might need to work hard to get your money back, as some of them will try and sell you the paint off the shop walls rather than give you a refund.

On the second occasion I placed a firm order for a bog standard Italian made French specification instrument that would have been available off the shelf, if I had gone across to France to buy it. Just under 20 years ago I paid a deposit of £400 to a supposedly reputable dealer in England (I'd better not identify the shop here as it's still apparently trading), who advised me that they would order one for me. 6 months later nothing had happened and despite regular telephone contact I was variously advised that it was being made as a special order, and they now had it with the wrong bass configuration etc., etc. A whole year later I went through a divorce and had to cancel the order. Guess what, I lost my £400. I should have driven the 250 miles to the shop and taken issue with them, but the way I was feeling at the time I decided just to write it off. It now appears obvious that somebody at the shop was up to some scam, but I couldn't prove anything.

Basically, unless you're buying an instrument that is guaranteed to be in stock and with some sort of warranty, then I'd be very wary indeed.
 

dunlustin

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Your first purchase is unlikely to be your last.
Maybe its best not to go for your ideal box because your ideas will probably change.
Maybe go for a fairly basic PA like this:
He s also not too far from you - see also his page
http://www.squeezydoesit.com/id18.html
for more guidance.
Caution: you will not necessarily get what you want by spending lots because accordions are such variable beasts.
Think of the variations when choosing a guitar:
nylon string - classical or flamenco. steel string - acoustic/ electro - 12 or 14 frets to the neck, scale length. electric - semi or solid, humbuckers or not ......
And accordions are much worse.
Listen to lots of accordions - unlike a guitar, unless you buy a Roland V-accordion, there is not usually an amp to tweek the sound. So what you hear is what you get.
Oh, and before you get too far in, are you sure you want a piano keyboard, chromatic button accordions are also a possibility?
PS I think you have made an excellent (and realistic) choice in parking the bargain hunt.
 

Soulsaver

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There may be such a thing... but there is no substitute for handling the instrument. If its going to be a relatively big buy for you, you need to try it out.
If you were near me in Cheshire Id ley you try out any of my 13 (all but one bought without problem on line...) any one of which I could sell cos Im not totally set on any of them - (and would be happy to not sell any, too)underscoring Dunlustins comment... a few of which may fit your budgie.

bierkeller on ebay is reputed to be ok by his feedback - but hes not usually cheap and its south Birmingham (Longbridge).

There are a couple of reputable dealers in the midlands - Accordions of Coventry, Birmingham Accordion Centre
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/oceanrain/BhamAccCen/home.htm
- both have a very good rep. and have been used by buyers on here.

Seconded:
Allodi - great service & great range, not usually cheap but does have ones that need work before he offers them for sale, but will do a deal to sell without it, dunno if you still get warranty.
Accordions SW which is the squeezy does it/bunelik link - great but limited range of used instruments.

And you may find an hour or 2 on a quiet day in your nearest HobGobs useful..
 
G

goldtopia

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What we really need is a list of dealers who are untrustworthy, but we cant do that because it could cause us more trouble than its worth with comompensation costs for loss of business and slander. The only way is by private email.
 
Q

QuaverRest

Guest
Thank you so much to everyone! - Here are the smily faces as promised - :) :) :) :)

Its been very difficult to know what to buy, and who to buy from- especially as I am brand new to the accordion- and so your advice is hugely appreciated! I have set my mind on a keyboard accordion as I am somewhat familiar with the piano, so exploring the harmony would be more intuitive. I have seen some astonishing playing on the button accordions however.

I remember during my music degree we had a visit from a player by the name of stian carstensen - he was an absolute wonder. Some 7 years hence that masterclass has stuck with me, and now that I have made a start on the accordion, albeit on a tiny 12 bass, I am greatly enthused and hope one day to be moderately proficient. There is such a rich and diverse repertoire! I'm finding many pieces that are simply impossible to play on the 12 bass, so it's certainly time for an upgrade..

My ideal instrument at this stage would be one that is reasonably cheap (me being a healthcare student!), can cover all keys, play reasonably well and also be moderately in tune. My current 12bass is quite badly out of tune, but I still enjoy playing it!

Soulsaver, if you have anything that fits that criteria, I would love to see/hear it! You are quite far away, but we could use the magic of youtube and email. I'm just itching to get started, as my university course restarts in november, so the time to practise is now :p

I would just like to add, playing a variety of instruments and being a member of a variety of forums, this is by far and away the most friendly and helpful :) you guys rock!

Jon
 

JIM D.

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Hi Jon: I've been reading your post's and your new found interest in what some of us call a "Stomach Steinway". I most certainly agree with your discovery that THIS IS THE MOST INFORMATIVE, ENTERTAINING, FRIENDLY, and EDUCATIONAL accordion forum on the web today. The members here are simply lovers of a family of free reed musical instrument players that range from small concertina's to full size pro models and the new Virtual design's. As you may know I'm from across the pond and the trend here for very many years has been the use of a full size PA box that has a 120 bass stradella (which is now changing) and thought of as the proper design to use for our music venue. The various designs of these entertaining instruments you may need will depend on your musical venue and your ultimate goal (and of course what you can afford). I hope to see your posts with questions on your need for a future box and will be glad to reply ( as most of us here will). Musically yours: JIM D. :tup:
 
Q

QuaverRest

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goldtopia said:
What we really need is a list of dealers who are untrustworthy, but we cant do that because it could cause us more trouble than its worth with comompensation costs for loss of business and slander. The only way is by private email.

One could also create a subreddit on reddit.com with a code-name (known only to us through PMs) to list less than reputable dealers..
 

Glenn

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I'd rather see a white list rather than black list. We live in the real world and any dealer (or employees of) can have a bad day. If we praise the positive experience this is a good indicator that a good service can be obtained from that dealer. If we highlight negatives then we can only say that once it didn't go well.
 
Q

QuaverRest

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If anybody here has a 72-120 bass they think would be suitable for a beginner and is more or less in tune, I have a budget of about £150 :)

Of course given time, I can save up, if this is an unrealistically low figure :)
 

Soulsaver

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QuaverRest said:
If anybody here has a 72-120 bass they think would be suitable for a beginner and is more or less in tune, I have a budget of about £150 :)

Of course given time, I can save up, if this is an unrealistically low figure :)

You may want to add it in the wanted dead or alive section, too. May get a different/additional audience...
And great to see a really active newby.
 
Q

QuaverRest

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I shall do that! It would be fab to get started. I haven't felt this degree of enthusiasm for a new instrument in a long time, its great to have discovered it, and to have found such a friendly forum :)
 
Q

QuaverRest

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Les from squeezydoesit.com has given me a fantastic bargain on a 72 bass budget beginner model with no technical faults, and in tune to boot! To say Im excited is an understatement :) I never thought Id have access to an instrument of this size on a student budget :)

Thank you accordionists.co.uk for recommending his website! Woohoo!

>n7P4mpO.jpg
 

Soulsaver

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Bargain? How much was it? MYOB is ok. It isn't new, is it?
 
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QuaverRest

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No its not new, but little used, no faults and nicely in tune :) £150

He's taken my enthusiam and student status into account. I know its hardly the rolls royce of PAs, but it more than suits my needs :)
 

Soulsaver

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It's Chinese but one of the better ones, he'll have sorted it if he wants to keep his rep. Have a great time with it... and, even if you decide it aint up to it, or you quickly outgrow it, you'd get that dosh back on t'ebay & maybe a bit more on a good day.... and you'll get support from Les if it goes wrong - so good move. Health to wear..as they say in Ireland (albeit about new clothes)!
 

dunlustin

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I'm pleased for you.
It's just possible that Les is even more enthusiastic about accordions than you are.
Just noticed it's a 72 bass - that's a bonus and will keep you busy for a while.
Fun project - work out how easy it is to play chromatic runs on the left hand!
 
P

Puxto

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Ah good ol Les! Yeah from my experience with him he seems to be very much in it for the love not the profit, and is honest about what he is selling. I got one of my first boxes from him too, and a couple of starter lessons which really helped set me in the right direction, just with the basics on posture and stuff. If you're not too far from him, that might be worth doing too.
Also that is a bargain for £150. Over time as your ears become more attuned from listening to more accordions and as you progress you'll probably start to crave something fancier, but to learn on that's ideal. And it makes good sense to do that, because by the time you do upgrade, you will have much clearer idea by then of what you actually want out of an accordion, which kind of tuning you most like the sound of for example, and what suits your style. It takes time to work that out as there's quite a range of sounds out there as I'm still discovering!
Good find! Happy Squeezing! :b {}
 

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