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Roland accordion prices in United States?

JerryPH

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Guess that I am lucky that all those V-Accordion parts came to the Toronto Ontario Roland repair center, it's where they fixed my issue and it is a good drive away from where I live, but I can (and did once already), make that drive there and back in one day.

When I purchased my practically new 8X (used only twice, and was still on it's first original charge when I picked it up), I walked in KNOWING that nothing lasts forever and that electronics either moves on/advances or dies and requires repairs. That and the fact that I paid a price that was ridiculously low for an accordion that had less use on it than any demonstrator just really made it something not to pass up on. It was fully paid for upon purchase, and in my eyes has paid for itself 10 times over already. If it exploded tomorrow, I'd miss it, but would not be concerned with whatever money I invested in it and would likely search for another one like it.

I really enjoy the digital experience, but sadly do not think that Roland is coming out with a next gen... and unless something super-revolutionary comes out that absolutely grabs and pulls on my heart strings, I will stick with it because I don't mind eventually getting this one repaired, if it needs it. Batteries... well I am on my 2nd OEM battery and I have a nice long life battery that I made myself that works just as well, but lasts 75% longer, so that's no issue at all.

I'll enjoy it for as long as I can and when that completely dies, I hope to be so old that I will have sucked the juice out of that orange and left only a dry pulp. I also still enjoy my acoustic accordions that give me an equal amount of pleasure so I won't ever be without it in one form or another for as long as I draw breath. :)

Regarding service manuals... they're out there if you look hard enough. I have one for my late 70's Iorio, Elka 83 and 8X. ;)
 

pentaprism

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Thanks for the insight, Ventura. I don't know much about music instrument industry, but seeing what has been happening with the V-Accordion series, I have the same feeling that Roland would drop it (if they haven't done already).

To counter that, I bought whatever V-accordion that I could find inexpensive. Currently I have in my possession an FR-7b (upstair in my bedroom), an FR-1xb (downstair in the family room), and an FR-2b (in my office, currently closed because of the shelter-in-place order), all bought used. Those will last my lifetime and with my limited use and capabilities, any one of them will serve me fine.
 

John M

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So, how many Roland accordions have been produced? It seems to me if there are enough of them out there and if there is no longer any factory support, third party businesses would spring up to repair and supply parts. Hammond stopped manufacture of their tonewheel organs in 1975. Today parts are available from third party companies. There is Goff Professional, BB Organ, Tonewheel General Hospital and many more. Trek II is a company that designs new products for the old tonewheel Hammonds. They even have designed a new solid state preamp to replace the old tube amp.

Maybe something like this will develop for the Roland FR series accordions?

John M.
 

pentaprism

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Maybe something like this will develop for the Roland FR series accordions?
I seriously doubt it, John. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is sufficient demand out there.
 

JerryPH

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Sadly, that's my belief too. For example, the screens on the FR-7 have a strong chance of going bad, I really doubt the man that took the time to find and develop a replacement screen shipped more than a dozen, if that at all. That's not even enough to pay for his time, much less justify anything more than a meager profit, which would be the main reason for putting that kind of effort in to anything.
 

knobby

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I sent an email to Roland UK asking about parts availability for the V-Accordion range and this is what they said:

"I have just seen your enquiry, and can hopefully put your mind at ease. When someone purchases a Roland V-Accordion from an official dealer, we offer a UK warranty which covers you against mechanical faults and in some cases this includes the replacement of parts that may have become faulty as a result of honest use. Once the Accordion falls outside its warranty period, Roland are able to offer spare parts through dealers such as PMT, GAK, and Andertons. These tend to take a few weeks to arrive, as in most cases they will need to be special ordered from our manufacturers overseas."
 

dunlustin

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Good move Knobby - I kept out for fear of going off-topic.
Worth saying that pricing seems more open in Europe and I hear no mutterings about absence of support
at least for current/ recent models. It's a pity the latest UK consumer legislation no longer provides the guarantees that existed before.
 

JIM D.

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Just finished with a few calls to Music instrument dealers I occasionally source parts from and do minor cosmetic repairs for.
It seems the problems in obtaining parts & service for "V" accordions is not unique in the musical industry. Yamaha for one
has been similarly affected among others requiring parts made overseas. The Covid problem has caused many outlets to
temporarily close down or cease some production. I suppose we all will have to hurry up and wait for this situation to
subside and resume normal production.
 

wayneeckman

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Just finished with a few calls to Music instrument dealers I occasionally source parts from and do minor cosmetic repairs for.
It seems the problems in obtaining parts & service for "V" accordions is not unique in the musical industry. Yamaha for one
has been similarly affected among others requiring parts made overseas. The Covid problem has caused many outlets to
temporarily close down or cease some production. I suppose we all will have to hurry up and wait for this situation to
subside and resume normal production.
Hello,
I have a Roland FR-8X currently on order from the Roland authorized dealer in Salt Lake City. It has been on order since September 4th and I was aware that it would take a couple of months to arrive due to Covid-19 issues in Italy. As I have been reading this thread, am I understanding correctly that there is no ongoing production of the FR-8X?
Wayne Eckman, Utah
 

Ventura

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the Covid situation in Italy is getting bad again.. i feel sad for our
friends in Europe and hope they all stay safe somehow...

but it has no bearing on avilability of the FR8 ordered from the Utah dealer

Roland has no factory in Italy or any other Euro country to build anything anymore
nor do they have any leftover warehousing in Europe

anything marked both "Roland" and "Made in Italia" would be old "new stock"
merchandse, or something built in it's entirety by a Subcontractor in Italy

we know Roland has NOT made an arrangement with Bugari to provide
a finished product to be sold under the Roland brand, and they were
the only company in Italy that showed an interest in building a finished
product of any type based on the FR8 body and electronics and engineering
 

dunlustin

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There must be a lot of old Fr8X stock.
The FR4X is more of a mystery as it appeared 2 years after Roland Europe disappeared unless my dates are all adrift:
April 2013 FR8X is launched ( https://www.roland.com/us/company/press_releases/2013/1675/ )
July 2014 Roland management buyout ( https://www.synthtopia.com/content/...lanned-by-current-ceo-taiyo-pacific-partners/ )
Sep 2014 Fatar takes on V-accordion ( https://www.roland.com/us/company/press_releases/2014/30022/ )
2016 FR4X is launched (

Simpler version:
Roland Corp got into finance troubles - got bought out - as it shrank, dumped Roland Europe inc V-accordion, sold lock/ stock etc to Fatar (Italian gov. support?) - production continues.
See Knobby's post re support in UK.
Aside: Covid's bad here in UK too. If I there's somewhere I feel for on Covid, Europe isn't top of my list.
 
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wayneeckman

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Thank you Ventura, Dingo40, and dunlustin for your replies to my post. So, when an authorized Roland dealer orders an FR-8X V-accordion, where does it come from? It is a "new" old accordion in a warehouse somewhere? Several USA dealers are still ordering the FR-8X accordions. Are you sure, Ventura, that current production of the FR-8X V-accordions is not happening, unless they are being manufactured outside of Europe by an unknown sub-contractor? Dunlustin referred me to Knobby's post which, as I reread it, seemed to suggest that Roland dealers are still getting "new" accordions. Does anybody have any additional thoughts? I really want to purchase an FR-8X, ideally a new one. I appreciate all of your comments.

P.S. We are battling with Covid-19 in the USA as well. I hope all of you are able to stay healthy and that the entire world can work toward a vaccine and better medical treatment for those who have been exposed to the virus.
 

dunlustin

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To simplify my over-detailed post:
Roland V-accordions are made in Europe and always were. The production was taken on by Fatar and I have never heard they were sub-contracting.
I believe after Roland Corp 'dumped' Roland Europe there was a determination to keep production in Italy.
If it's not too late and unless you really need the extra functions of an 8X you may want to research the 4X which, as I mentioned was not in production until 2016. Any possible languishing in a theoretical warehouse is very unlikely.
If you had a look at UK and French sites, you would see that the 4X and 8X are currently available as they have been since their launch. I think the 1Xis no longer made( ?? ) Support for earlier models seems more 'dodgy.'
Sorry to go on a bit but the people who continue to support the V-accordions can probably do without any more uncertainty.

My interest: I had a FR1X-B for about 6 years before trading it in for a 4X about a year ago.
 

Ventura

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Roland was not in financial trouble

even though he had given day to day control over to a new team,
Mr. Kakehashi still controlled the direction and dreams of Roland
simply through the respect he had earned... when he died the new
management finally had their >freedom< so to speak... a leveraged
buyout directed by the CEO and other insiders took Roland into
private ownership, specifically to avoid the scrutiny of investors
and outsiders.

the new CEO saw many of Mr K's pet projects as having no future
for the kind of profitability he wanted to achieve, notably the Virtual
Instruments which cost a huge amount of R&D in comparison to
typical products. Focus now is leveraging the Patents and exclusive
intellectual property owned directly by Roland into new and more
profitable products

after the dissolution of Italian assetts, there was a brief period of
"non-competitive" agreement regarding the flagship level model,
so as to allow Bugari the chance for success (obviously) but this has
since deteriorated (again, obviously)

the FR 4 was "in the can" technologically years and years ago.. likely
before the FR8 was released, but Roland saw no value of competing
with it's own stock of FR3x. the FR3 body was also more widely
sold to subcontractors who were allowed a certain freedom to do
custom programming and re-branding, and it's basic assembly is
more akin to normal Synth type keyboard products. so this is a simple
device to keep on the market (and it is still provided to SubContractors)

that level is do-able from any of Rolands factories, with shells provided
by Fatar, but bear in mind there is no R&D continuing, and the company
does NOT want to continue carrying debt from outside Patent olders, as
this is a burden on retail pricing that is not variable or controllable.

FATAR is not equipped, nor capable, of the level of electronic expertise
needed for a fully integrated sophisticated and complex device such as
the FR8... they are a physically focused builder and provider of OEM component
keyboards and sub-assemblies. You need to have a fully controlled
electronics specialty environment to completely build, test, quality control, as well as
the need for people to staff it in order to consistently produce a reliable high
end product selling for upwards of a $5000 price point. Roland has factories
for plastics, Metalwork, Keyboards, micro electronics, chips, circuit boards and such
but they couldn't make a physical Bellows right now if their future depended on it

because Roland is now a private company, finding out what they are
actually doing and where is next to impossible and guessing what they intend
to do (or support) is ouiga board territory at best

the only guaranteed thing you can take is, as i said earlier, only spend an
amount of money you can affordably and without regret kiss goodbye, as the
investment MAY or may NOT work out (in the way we once relied upon Roland
Virtual Instrument initiative to support their products... which in the case of
Accordions was never very good to start with)

ciao

Ventura
 

dunlustin

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Los Angeles, CA, October 24, 2014 — Roland is pleased to announce a significant “Version 2.0” system update for the flagship FR-8x V-Accordion. This free, user-installable upgrade adds many new improvements and enhancements designed to make the FR-8x even more versatile in any musical situation...
Roland has recently announced a manufacturing agreement with FATAR Srl that will ensure that production of the V-Accordion series remains in Italy. A dedicated team of Roland staff based at FATAR, together with FATAR’s world-renowned craftsmanship and quality standards, will ensure that Roland remains dedicated to the ongoing development of these specialized instruments.
(from: https://www.roland.com/us/company/press_releases/2014/30024/ )

That's all I have to say except:
I am sure this opaque tale is no accident and is definitely not in the interest of consumers.
I really enjoy my FR4X. It is still available from stock in Europe including a 3-year warranty. UK position has already been mentioned.

Edit to add:
I've just discovered how little I knew about Italian involvement in the inception and dev't of V-accordions - and that from the very beginnings with the FR7. I had believed it was all about Japanese electronics skills. Apparently not - I had never even heard mention of Luigi Bruti:
See here: http://www.accordions.com/interviews/bruti/bruti2.htm
 
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wayneeckman

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Thank you, again, Ventura and dunlustin, for your comments. I'll just "hang tight" to see if a new FR-8X will be delivered to the Roland dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have played with a 41 treble key acoustic accordion for over 50 years and I can't imagine using an accordion (4X) with fewer keys on the treble side of the instrument. I have owned an Excelsior MIDI accordion for about 20 years and am excited to branch into the world of a wireless instrument, including the virtual world of a reed-less accordion. After researching all options, the FR-8X seems to be the best "bang for the buck" (which may be a saying unique to the USA) for what I want to accomplish with a digital accordion in the future. I'll let you know how my adventure goes when I finally get my FR-8X and start the programming process and its associate learning curve. I am fairly techno-savvy, so it should be fun to learn and apply the various capabilities of the 8X.
 

JerryPH

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Today there is a LOT MORE info available than when I picked up my 8X in 2016 (one yahoo group and YouTube, and you were done). Back then, there were only a couple of meagre places and perhaps a total of 4 YouTube videos online about anything remotely technical concerning the 8X, and they were really basic and massively incomplete. That was kind of why I started my FR-8X Mild to Wild videos, but work, life and a battle with cancer that I won, were an amazing block and slowed down that sharing after I made 2 videos and started a 3rd that's about 75% complete at this point, but as yet unreleased (I did this for FREE and on my own time). Once I get that done, eventually, I plan to not make anymore big videos and restrict myself to making more videos that are targeted to a topic and shorter.

GR8 Ideas on Facebook and their related symposiums are a good source of info, however, I find the concept of needing to travel hundreds of miles and paying thousands of dollars to attend a symposium to teach me how to use my 8X, fairly a fairly negative financial experience overall, and even this year, they are going online and I was seriously considering paying the $500US fee and "attending" their virtual classes, however I was luckily faced with the pleasant decision of doing either the symposium or purchasing a Hohner Imperator V and have money left over... I decided to invest in myself and get the Imperator V.

My logic was that I can learn all I need by myself about the 8X, but I can't "learn" myself a new-to-me lovely acoustic accordion. :)

Jerry
 

JerryPH

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That's all I have to say except:
I am sure this opaque tale is no accident and is definitely not in the interest of consumers.
Well, if that's to in some way hint that there is the new Proxima digital accordion that is coming out in a reported manner of days... it's made by the same man who made the Bugari Evo, and *that* is a man that would need to make some EXTREME business practice changes as he basically came out with a crippled 8X, slapped some paint on it and charged you $2000-$4500 more than an 8X, sold a good amount of them then proceeded to screw over each purchaser that ever bought one, leaving them with ZERO support, as he closed the company... all in less than a few years!
 

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