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Roland accordion prices in United States?

wayneeckman

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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
I just spoke with a gentleman named Steve at Roland USA in California and he confirmed that there is a division of FATAR in Italy that is still producing new Roland Fr-8X V-Accordions. Since I have one on order through the Salt Lake City, Utah dealer, that was great news!
Wayne Eckman
 

dunlustin

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Moral: Just because someone tells you something in a very confident manner does not mean it is true.
Congratulations for very sensibly taking the matter into your own hands.
By the way I believed that Roland were the big innovators of the V-accordion until I discovered what Luigi Bruti had contributed.
It's odd how we love to rubbish the Italians. Who knows that they took over GB's failing helicopter industry and most of the 'White Goods' sector.
Then of course there was GM in Italy, Gucci etc not to mention Ferrari, Lamborghini ......
 

Ventura

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Moral: Just because someone tells you something in a very confident manner does not mean it is true.
what is also true and logical, is that an independant and highly successful company (FATAR)
which specifically and with extreme care positioned itself from origin as an OEM supplier of
critical specialty sub-assemblies, would NOT, after decades of following their business model
with great care and diligence, suddenly change tack and become a COMPETITOR to their
well extablished customer base.

and of course decide for yourself what you think is real

but obviously FATAR is not going to risk what they have built for the sake of
some Japanese company who has already shown their loyalty (or lack thereof)
to Italian associates

it is a very fine line being an OEM supplier, as you must rely upon the marketing
and success of your customers (if their finished products do not sell, there is
nothing more for you to supply to them) and it is difficult enough to be successful
without having to compete or have a fear of competition from a supplier you
rely on for critical components of your supply chain (and who knows your secrets)...
this 2 way street is not something to be taken lightly or risked on some short lived adventure
into an area your company has religiously avoided through the decades.

having recieved the specific tooling for the last series of the V-Accordions and
bring contracted to supply those physical components (even if they look like finished
products) is different than manufacturing a fully assembled, finished, working, tested
product and having responsibility for it's merchantability

ciao

Ventura
 

JerryPH

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I don't know what Ventura is going to say but the Proxima is out less than 2 weeks and unless you were at the GR8 Ideas Symposium, won't have any idea what they sound like or how good/bad they are. I am sure that someone somewhere will start to post a vid or 2... eventually.
 

Alan Sharkis

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I was there, Jerry. There’s a prototype. They hope to get distribution going sometime around the end of March — IF Covid doesn’t interfere. Nothing like a firm price has been announced, but Petosa estimates it will be something short of $5500 American. It’s going to be a 37/96 for the PA and the equivalent thereof for a CBA. Every, and I do mean EVERY aspect of the beast will be configurable from an app that runs on a tablet or phone. The iOS version of the app was demo’d. Just as an example, in Stradella bass, every individual chord button can be configured with up to five pitches. Say you want a Cm6 and a GM7, you can have it. The electronics are all Italian, the wood body will be made in Italy by accordion manufacturers, and the keyboards hand-assembled out of traditional materials. Sound samples will be sourced from various quality companies.

It looks like it’s going to be real, but it ain’t there yet.
 

Tom

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I wonder why someone doesn't make a "low tech" $300 midi accordion. 3d printed 2 piece body. Lower panel holds cba and Stradella keyboard (keyboard technology is ubiquitous) and ciruit boards. Usb midi out, line in and out. Onboard speakers. Selection of standard midi voice on both sides, maybe a few extra accordion voices. Standard bellows with air pressure sensitive volume. No frills software. No wood, no celluloid, no keys with axles, no fancy screen interface. Yeah, it's not an $8000 fr8x but an entry point to the instrument, a silent alternative and easily pluginable. Kickstart?
 

Alan Sharkis

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I wonder why someone doesn't make a "low tech" $300 midi accordion. 3d printed 2 piece body. Lower panel holds cba and Stradella keyboard (keyboard technology is ubiquitous) and ciruit boards. Usb midi out, line in and out. Onboard speakers. Selection of standard midi voice on both sides, maybe a few extra accordion voices. Standard bellows with air pressure sensitive volume. No frills software. No wood, no celluloid, no keys with axles, no fancy screen interface. Yeah, it's not an $8000 fr8x but an entry point to the instrument, a silent alternative and easily pluginable. Kickstart?
If we’re to assume midi from an existing midi-for-accordion supplier, we’re already talking way more than $300 without considering the rest of the accordion at all. So, the midi, at least, would have to be done in house, with parts sourced in quantity to get the discount that would be necessary. The instrument would have to attract tons of paid pre-orders to make this possible..
 

pentaprism

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... a "low tech" $300 midi accordion.... Standard bellows with air pressure sensitive volume.
I wonder how much this item alone costs.

I realize that accordion bellows are different from those of concertina. But a "standard" replacement set for Anglo Concertina is somewhere north of US$ 500. I think a set for accordion is not far behind.
 

Tom

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Ok, we'll just have to go with a standard general midi, which includes accordion, custom midi can be accessed through the midi out. Can't imagine bellows being $500, maybe that's the custom replacement cost. Programming the stradella and treble should be a one time task, making use of general midi. The bellows sensor seems like the only non - ubiquitous component, but air pressure sensitive switches should not be rocket science. It will happen, I'm sure someone's thinking about it.....
 

JeffJetton

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@Tom I've long thought about the usefulness of a similar product. Basically, exactly what you described, but without any bellows at all.

It would essentially just be a weird electronic keyboard with extra buttons, that you wear on your chest, and shouldn't cost much more than the hobby keyboards you see at Target or Wal-Mart.

It's the accordion equivalent of a bagpiper's "practice canter" (the pipe part without the the bag). Something a beginner buys to see if the full, expensive, complex instrument is right for them, and also something smaller, cheaper, and more portable that even experienced players could use to quietly/conveniently practice.
 

Tom

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@JeffJetton yeah, that's what I'm talking about, so, you can buy 2 midi keyboards with outputs for $150, bellows for $100, figure $100 for body, sensor and speakers, $25 for straps, you've got $375. Of course the big costs are the upfront programming, 3d printing engineering, etc. Problem is you would have to guarentee 1 million sales to justify, could be trouble!
 

JerryPH

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- There’s a prototype.
- They hope to get distribution going sometime around the end of March
- Nothing like a firm price has been announced
- The electronics are all Italian, the wood body will be made in Italy by accordion manufacturers, and the keyboards hand-assembled out of traditional materials.
-Sound samples will be sourced from various quality companies.
- It looks like it’s going to be real, but it ain’t there yet.
Shades of repetition... change the word Proxima to Evo, and it is really close to the same story these people used once before. The electronics are hardly going to be from Italian manufacturers... they may be assembled there, but not made there. Why? Simple logic. One of Proxima's financial partners are ASIAN located electronics companies that already make digital instruments. This partnership likely started 3-4 years ago while they were selling the Evo to the Asian market. This very accordion was announced before the Evo was discontinued and promised as a coming 2nd offering. under the Evo banner.

My personal predictions:
COVID aside, if they stay true to form and follow the same path as they did with the Evo:
- no Proxmia website until late 2021 or early 2022.
- no final price list until 2023 or 2024.
- one big change I predict... Petosa will be the ONLY North American dealer for Proxima, so at least there will be ONE place to buy them in this part of the world, unlike the first time, where 2 years after being released, there was nowhere in North America to get one.
 

Ventura

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well, regarding USA distro...

last time there were two burdens, the heavy cost of getting the product
UL listed and all the other hurdles before an electronic device can be legally
imported and sold here

and the costs of the royalty, which were also steep and convoluted
because of Roland controlling the administration of several key patents
and ongoing patents controlled by Mr. Bruti...

Roland gave zero assistance to the EVO certification process
so it never hd a chance to be sold in the USA

if Petosa is truly an investor and marginal partner (this time) this is
a necessity of business they may have to absorb directly

only time will tell

regarding the boards, PROXIMA actually has (and offers) manufacturing
facilities for fluxing circuitboards on a commercial scale, so they can
make them

the software and chipsets are a different matter, do you try and design
eveything from scratch of do you buy a readily available and affordable
GM solution for the orchestral voices ? do you use simple Virtal Instrument
tech based on archived and affordable samples from Ketron, for instance,
then build it around a Logic Core similar to what is used in a Cell Phone
or Tablet ? or do you go ape and try to make some kind of Accordion
sound engine from scratch (and give the royalties to yourself)

i wish them lots of luck and success

i hope it also causes MusicTech to re-invigorate their Digital Accordion line

the more the merrier
 

Alan Sharkis

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Nothing like a little competition to stir up that sleeping giant? I wonder. Getting back to Tom’s question about a beginner’s accordion for under $300, there was a little discussion yesterday about what it would take to get American kids into accordion and the subject of price came up. It was revealed that years ago the Castelfidardo manufacturers were approached about making an inexpensive accordion that would still sound good. They wouldn’t touch it. They said they were afraid it wouldn’t sell. But that was then, before digital came along. Does digital by itself imply that we could get a beginner accordion for under, say, $500? That’s still a lot more than a beginner flat keyboard, or a beginner guitar, or even a beginner drum kit. Of course, there was a lot more to that discussion than the hurdle of price, and I won’t go into it here, except that I heard most of it ten, twenty, even forty years ago.
 

Ventura

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the accordion companies would work together during times
of stress in the industry (federfisa for example)

so a few decades ago (before SEM went under) there was an agreement
among the makers to collaborate on an inexpensive entry level accordion...
the body was an injection plastic design/ The agreement was their wholesale
price was fixed, and as orders needed to be fulfiled they would go round robin
between the group to finish them with reeds etc. so everyone shared in the effort.

(mentioned SEM because that was where i saw them, and was informed of the arrangement)

as the companies crashed so did the agreement, recently someone here in a thread
mentioned Pigini has a plastic accordion in their offerings, and i wonder if
that is a leftover from the original plan

so it is not impossible to get something going like this, historically, but
you still have to get the world to give you students, and you need
a program and method of teaching that will compete with all the
modern things vying for their interest and attention. The civilized world
seems to want instant gratification with everyting they do, and no matter
how you dress it up, learning an instrument like ours is a grind.

personally, i would rather do something like pool our money, get grants
and create a not for profit that purchased DECENT student accordions
and LOANED THEM for free to interested parties as long as they took
LESSONS from an approved teacher

i say this because i have bought, re-furbed, and placed instruments
of all types into the hands of interested kids and adults over the years...
it often works, taking root in part because someone believed in them
and handed them an instrument with no strings attached except
they use and enjoy it

and ok it is easy for me to say/do because i can always find good,
waaaay underpriced instruments in this huge metropolitan market, and i can
fix most things if they don't need too much and i would rather
contribute directly to the world than in the Sunday Collection basket
 

Alan Sharkis

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the accordion companies would work together during times
of stress in the industry (federfisa for example)

so a few decades ago (before SEM went under) there was an agreement
among the makers to collaborate on an inexpensive entry level accordion...
the body was an injection plastic design/ The agreement was their wholesale
price was fixed, and as orders needed to be fulfiled they would go round robin
between the group to finish them with reeds etc. so everyone shared in the effort.

(mentioned SEM because that was where i saw them, and was informed of the arrangement)

as the companies crashed so did the agreement, recently someone here in a thread
mentioned Pigini has a plastic accordion in their offerings, and i wonder if
that is a leftover from the original plan

so it is not impossible to get something going like this, historically, but
you still have to get the world to give you students, and you need
a program and method of teaching that will compete with all the
modern things vying for their interest and attention. The civilized world
seems to want instant gratification with everyting they do, and no matter
how you dress it up, learning an instrument like ours is a grind.

personally, i would rather do something like pool our money, get grants
and create a not for profit that purchased DECENT student accordions
and LOANED THEM for free to interested parties as long as they took
LESSONS from an approved teacher

i say this because i have bought, re-furbed, and placed instruments
of all types into the hands of interested kids and adults over the years...
it often works, taking root in part because someone believed in them
and handed them an instrument with no strings attached except
they use and enjoy it

and ok it is easy for me to say/do because i can always find good,
waaaay underpriced instruments in this huge metropolitan market, and i can
fix most things if they don't need too much and i would rather
contribute directly to the world than in the Sunday Collection basket
I know where you're coming from with this, and I appreciate your attitude and willingness to help. But you did bring up a couple of points that were also part of that discussion I referenced.

One is getting students in quantity, and it ties into what you said about instant gratification. A well known, youngish accordionist was part of that discussion. He recently played for a middle-school audience and got their enthusiasm up until they requested a song he didn't know. He could feel the excitement leave the room, so he whipped out his phone, listened to the tune, learned it quickly, and played it. The enthusiasm came back. How many potential students it made is an open question.

The other point that was made is that our government, unlike others around the world, gives zero financial support to music education. Getting grants is always a possibility, but in this country of ours, good as it is, the money must come from private sources.

There were other points raised about the difficulties in attracting young people to accordions, such as single-parent families and families where both parents must work, in which cases parents are not free to take kids to lessons or to make sure kids are practicing. All of this was discussed two days ago, and, as I said, years ago as well. Answers keep getting knocked down by other contributing problems.

So, the question remains. Can digital make a difference as far as providing low-cost, good sounding beginner accordions is concerned?
 

Ventura

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lets extrapolate from a comonly available technology...
Casio keyboards
light up keys that you can follow to learn to play
multiple easy play assist functions and backgrounds
100's of songs built in
great sound from interal speakers and amps
true to life orchestral tones and drums
ridiculously inexpensive ($99 - $150)

just put these guts into a accordion shaped object that can be
squeezed for volume/intensity of the treble sounds
 

Tom

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Pretty much what I was saying. The technology is existent, the profit is not. Kickstart model is probably the only hope.

I would pay $500 for a basic midi accordion, but am so leery of the $5000 - $8000 Roland with no good repair options. Because everything put together falls apart and I live in the middle of nowhere. I can pretty much figure out how to fix anything on an acoustic, but get a circuit board that doesn't light up and I'm dead in the water.
 

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