• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Rivoli by Sonola Repair

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
501
Location
USA
Finally decided to start on this 2 treble (Clarinet/Bassoon) Rivoli by Sonola.

I've had a few of these and always liked them. This one is a nice, lightweight full sized accordion I plan to keep in the garage/shop so perfect. It's model # R 2411 and there's a "69" stamped inside and also "Nor L" written, maybe one of the workers? Maybe from 1969 vintage?

Not a professional accordion by any means but decent Sonola reeds and build. Anyway, my goal at this point was just to make it playable. There were 6 or 8 sticking and/or greatly uneven keys (like 1/2 inch high). I faced the dreaded axle pull (there are 2), all the way to the highest, sticking keys. Sanded, bent the levers and reassembled, after taping the keys to keep them in place. What a battle! Only one mysterious spring that I still have not identified.

Put some straps on and it plays with minimal leakage and no keys that play by themselves. I'm sure the leather, felt, wax and tuning are a disaster but you won't hear it from Chicago. Interestingly enough, the Master switch is on top, I believe I have always seen them in the middle. Was this common on some models from back in the day?

20201029_233951.jpg

20201029_194448.jpg
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
665
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Interesting approach. When you have some trouble keys I would recommend to take all of them out so you can give the whole keyboard section a good cleaning while you have it disassembled. I never even thought of taping the non-problematic keys in place to just deal with the sticky ones.
 

JIM D.

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
4,822
Reaction score
318
Taping the keys down is a practice I've done in the past when attention is only needed on one or a few keys. Taping the keys
down saves time in reassembly.
 

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
501
Location
USA
Thanks Paul and Jim. I agree, Paul, taking all the keys out and cleaning them, as well as the full assembly would have been better, but the thought of threading the axle through every individual key was too much for this beater accordion. If I ever decide to fully restore it, then I will.
 

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
501
Location
USA
Hey Jim, 1969 with master on top seem about right? Thanks!
 

JIM D.

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
4,822
Reaction score
318
The reed blocks selected are determined by the slides in the shift machine. In the day many times with student models produced had
the same shift machine used for 2 and 3 reed models. Your shift machine was used in both 2 and 3 reed models. Your accordion
was assembled with the master slide triggered by the top switch. If you feel your up to it remove the shift machine, remove the shift
pin, remove the slides taking care to remember the placement of the washers & shims and observe the slides. One of the slides
opens all the reed blocks. Replace the slides in the order of - The top switch will open the bassoon block & close the clarinet block,
The middle shift to open both blocks, and the bottom shift open the clarinet block & close the bassoon block -- replace & pin
the shifts to read Top-bassoon Middle master and bottom clarinet. If this is your first effort at working on a shift machine
carefully observe how it operates before disassembly.

Your accordion was made within "The Golden Age Of The Accordion" and at the time most US towns & city's had at least 2 or
more music studios offering lessons and the sale of student model accordions here in the US. At the time many Italian
accordion factories were going full force to met the demand and required 2 or 3 shifts a day to met the demand.
The quality of the models didn't suffer but assembly of parts varied and many in house parts such as reeds and mechanical
parts were outsourced to meet demand. Many times the shift patterns varied in their assembly and although not lacking
in quality but observed by some as an Oddball design.
Your Rivoli looks very well taken care of and with very low mileage. May I ask, is it an 18" or 19" keyboard ??? Many were
made with 19" keyboards and tend to fetch more in resale value because of their sound volume & quality. If I had yours
I would price it at $495 with a 17" keyboard, $595 with an 18" keyboard and $695 with a 19" keyboard. If equipped
with a pickup add $100. This model was an late 1958 to mid 1960's vintage. That number you observe usually will appear
on the treble section & bass section of the accordion. You see your accordion body was made in one piece and then cut
in half before the covering was applied. The number will appear on the bass section, bass plate & treble section as the parts
went to different positions of the factory for interior parts assembly, and then matched for the bellows fitting &
final assembly.
 
Last edited:

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
501
Location
USA
Thanks so much for your great information and follow-up Jim! It all makes sense, and I will probably leave the shifters as original. The keyboard is 19". You are right, it is in good shape, except for the vagaries of age. I bought it from the wife of an older (even older than me) gentleman who may have been the sole owner, having stored it "under the bed" after playing it in that golden age. It will be a long term restoration project.
 

Similar threads

Top