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Review of Saltarelle Arcadia

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Review of the Saltarelle Arcadia B system CBA. Tuned demi-swing with French basses (on request).
I promised this a while ago and have had a couple of months playing the box in so here are my first impressions.
Cherry Wood: requested, visually gorgeous is not an understatement, while larger and heavier than the Saltarelle bourroche it packs a punch in sound and vision. Action on both the treble and bass sides is everything that I expect from saltarelle, and the curved bass side helps to get the hand round the front without cutting off the blood supply..Treble side couplers behind the fingerboard giving ranges from single reed at concert to all in.. easy to use.
The sound is smooth and sweet on all registers. IT is obvious that I need to run the reeds in. Even in the sort time that I have had it the sound has improved.
Also I need to re-learn how to play the bellows as they are larger and I need to learn the fine control to keep even pressure throughout the phrases. The demi swing musette is in my opinion mouth-watering- even one of my teachers prefers it to their musette.
Basses: French Stradella minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Major note, major bass chord, Minor bass, 7th chord. Couplers
The couplers are a great improvement on the bourroche as it gives the ability to easily paly pedal note/chords without drowning out the single reed on the treble side or using up gallons of air.. This has enabled me to play a lot more material more easily e.g. some interpretations of the Playford repertoire.
As with the treble side some of the bass reeds have taken some time to fire properly. I achieved this by playing bass scales- a lot and just moving air through the reeds. They are now starting to really sound well but I suspect it will take a couple of years playing to run them in properly, especially thye really low ones.
I am surprised at teh range of teh bass sounds and need top explorte what I can do with the range... another review in a years time?
The extra minor 3rd row is really interesting as I can play some nice minor runs.. albeit slowly at the moment, but he ability to counter minor bass is very useful and easier with this layout
In terms of size/weight and playability it is larger than the bourroche and heavier, so I play it less like a melodeon and more like an accordion ( less bouncy and more smooth). I can see that I would use the bouuroche for sessions and ceilidhs and the arcadia for playford, airs and concerts – and definitely sitting down!
Overall for me it’s a dream box, not too heavy, in weight or sound (I don’t like wet heavy tunings that drown everything) and it is very good looking.

Happy to answer any questions.


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Nov 1, 2013
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SE. Gloucestershire UK
Thanks Eric, nice to read a detailed review and glad to hear you're pleased with it.
Obviously it's a bigger box than the Bourrouche, what were the limits you were hitting that made you want the larger one?
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