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Patrick Yves

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Hi, I'm wondering if I could get some advice? I'm thinking of buying a Serenellini Solo 96 343MW.

I see you can upgrade the hand made 'a mano' reeds to special hand made 'a mano speciali' reeds. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with either/both and what the differences between them might be? I've had a chance to play one with the a mano reeds and loved it but unfortunately I've not been able to try the a mano speciali's. Put simply what makes them special and are they worth it! Also does anyone know what reeds are used, I've been told either Voci Armoniche or Binci?

Thanks for your time, all help and knowledge is much appreciated.
 

debra

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There are too many meaningless terms like "speciali" or "turbo" to make out what the difference could be. These are all marketing terms and the buyer is none the wiser about what is so special. (Sometimes the opposite is true: when an accordion is called "professional" it often means it is not suitable for professional concert players. Similar things hold true for other products called "professional".)
The only meaningful term I know to make a mano reeds really special is when they are "bombate" (which means they have a concave curved surface. But "speciali"... it's anyone's guess.
 

Ventura

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Ventura

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according to the catalog and site, the model is available in
Cherry or Mahogany, and simply comes with Hand Made Reeds

no other reed options are offered

it appears the top model in the series, tone chamber full size,
(cassotto Opera 41)
has an option for a "special" hand made reed, which is likely the concave reed
Debra mentioned and is likely marked "special" in the documentation merely to
keep things simple, but i am sure they would explain in more detail
in a phone call or e-mail

some of the builders only like using the curved reeds on chambered models
as there is some feeling their "specialness" is kind of wasted in a straight box

one should realize a builder like Serenellini has goals and specifics in mind
when he first crafts a model or series like this... he is not setting up a mix-or-match
to satisfy every whim in the imagination of vague customers, but is putting
together all the elements so that when he is done HE smiles as he holds
up the finished, well thought out product...

then sometimes, we get to have an opportunity to own one, which is
nice that people like him share their efforts with people like us

perhaps when your friend purchased theirs, specifications were different,
but if it is at a dealer (where you tried it out) then they are mistaken
and did not realize it has the standard hand made reeds included...
a dealership should be better informed, but in reality some are not
really any more knowledgeable that any of us

the only options appear to be the number of Bass buttons, choice of wood,
and the depth of the musette tuning

i quite like the Keyboard, wood Sharps and the naturals keytops
are "grained" which is a nice old fashioned design touch...

and this model is quite lightweight

now if you establish a personal connection with a builder, i suppose you
could request special preferences, some of which they might accomodate
(as example, if i ordered one at this point in my life, would likely prefer
a M M M model rather than the L M M that is offered)

he certainly COULD make such an accomodation, but it is not certain that he WOULD
until you reach that sort of point of understanding and trust
(believe me, people could waste a lot of your time asking for what-if's they
are not actually serious about, and a builder could have a lot of his time wasted
figuring out prices for things)

at an rate, you can't go wrong owning one of these,
and it will probably last you the rest of your life
 
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debra

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There is one other option for "special" reeds besides "bombate" (concave reed surface): "parallel reeds". These reeds (pretty recent in italy but common in Russia) have a mostly rectangular shape, versus the trapezoid shape of regular reeds. Italian reeds (except for large bass reeds) are wider at the base than at the tip. Russian reeds (except for high notes) have reeds that are just as wide at the tip as at the base. This means that the part that's important for the sound (the part that vibrates) is wider, causing more air to go through the hole to produce sound. Parallel reeds have been introduced to give accordions more volume (more like the loud sound produced by Russian bayans). As an owner of a Russian bayan I can objectively confirm that with the same effort the bayan is louder than an Italian accordion with trapezoid reeds. (I do recordings and mixing so I see the "envelope" on my computer display. Roughly speaking the bayan is about 3dB louder than loud Italian accordions (Bugari in my case) and these are again about 3dB louder than a Hohner Morino (in my case an Artiste X S).
 

Patrick Yves

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Thank you both for your help, that's very interesting about the "bombate" and "parallel reeds" debra, thank you for sharing your knowledge, I feel like I have a much better understanding.
Ventura, although at the end of the catalogue we are told that "by request we can install a different kind of reeds than the standard ones" I take your point that the reeds "specialness" might be wasted on a non chambered model and appreciate that the maker has chosen the specifics of the model for good reason. I'm glad you also feel that this is a good choice, it makes my decision easier, thank you.
I've also been in touch and found out that this model has been recently updated compared to what's currently shown online and by the picture and description it looks to be even better! My only decision now is cherry or mahogany! Thanks again. Pat.
 

debra

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Thank you both for your help, that's very interesting about the "bombate" and "parallel reeds" debra, thank you for sharing your knowledge, I feel like I have a much better understanding.
Ventura, although at the end of the catalogue we are told that "by request we can install a different kind of reeds than the standard ones" I take your point that the reeds "specialness" might be wasted on a non chambered model and appreciate that the maker has chosen the specifics of the model for good reason. I'm glad you also feel that this is a good choice, it makes my decision easier, thank you.
I've also been in touch and found out that this model has been recently updated compared to what's currently shown online and by the picture and description it looks to be even better! My only decision now is cherry or mahogany! Thanks again. Pat.
It is most certainly not true that very good (or "special") reeds are wasted on non-cassotto accordions. They make a difference in any accordion. When I still had my own small accordion group we had one non-cassotto Bugari 504/ARS/C (all the others except the bass accordion being Bugari Artist Cassotto). The non-cassotto accordion did not have the same sound as the cassotto ones of course, but it had the best sound I ever heard from a non-cassotto accordion, thanks to using the same good reeds as the Artist-Cassotto accordions (and it obviously also had very good other construction materials to help with the sound).
 

Ventura

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specifically, the curved reeds are extremely expensive

most non-chambered accordions are in the less expensive category

so the equation is reasonable in general

then there is a tonality and behavioral difference between these highest level reedsets
that are available, and if the Master Builder chose one specific hand made reed in a non-chambered
model he designed, it is likely for good empiric behavioral reasons

there is no reason NOT to have a hand made quality level reed in a
non-chambered accordion, and there is no reason to waste an extra 1000 dollars
where the main benefit may be bragging rights

the model in question will also need to be tuned to the requested Meusette

how would you do that ? on a curved reed ? do you have a diamond
sanding belt available ?

it would be a crime to scratch a bombate reed or file off a flat spot

perhaps it makes sense sometimes to use a hand made reed that has a flat surface

there was a brand of accordion here in the USA that was marketed and designed
specifically to the target audience of Women who played accordion when young,
then became housewives. It was a luxury brand with artistic tweaks, but the main
difference was, (they were sourced from Excelsior and were all lightweight
non-chambered standard models in body) Hand Made Reeds standard

their main focus in advertisements was the LMM 3/4 size, and it is a nice
playing box indeed... you can FEEL and HEAR the difference between it and
a typical dural/export reed from a common Accordiana of the same body...
the reeds start easily and are warmer sounding
 

nagant27

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I don’t want to get off topic here, but does anyone gave a pic of the bambate reed? Is the concavity on the outside, inside, or both sides? Also is it in the center of the reed? I’m just interested. I’ve heard of these but didn’t know that’s what they were.
thanks
 

nagant27

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I’m looking at this pic and just not sure where it’s concave? It almost looks convex to me, but I’m not sure what I should be looking at?
 

Dingo40

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Nagant,
"It almost looks convex to me, but I’m not sure what I should be looking at?"
If it's been stamped into shape, one side (the one you're seeing) could be convex, the other (hidden) concave: like a shoe horn?🤔
The thing that puzzles me is how would such a shape vibrate, as adding a covexity should act to stiffen it along the longitudinal axis?🤔
Any engineers in the forum?
Hang on,
Dunlustin's got it!👍
Nagant, you're right as well 🙂👍
There is no "concavity" only convexity: it's rounded on one side, including three of the edges (two long, one short).
This would not affect vibration but should mellow the resulting sound 🤔
 
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debra

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Nagant,
"It almost looks convex to me, but I’m not sure what I should be looking at?"
If it's been stamped into shape, one side (the one you're seeing) could be convex, the other (hidden) concave: like a shoe horn?🤔
The thing that puzzles me is how would such a shape vibrate, as adding a covexity should act to stiffen it along the longitudinal axis?🤔
Any engineers in the forum?
Not an engineer here (some people mistakenly think that I am). I believe that bombate reeds are really flat on the underside (the blue side) and only bulged (convex) on the shiny top side, being thinner on the sides than in the center. So they must be sanded into that shape, not bent. For the same total average thickness of the reed the center will thus be thicker and the sides thinner and the thicker center should give the reed a bit of added stiffness. And stiffness is good for making reeds produce a louder sound.
 

bluesette

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Bombata reed are not stamped into shape.
They are at first "normal a mano reed" (flat on both side, rectangular section shape).
Before riveting the reed : while bottom side of reed remains untouched flat, top side is then made convex by removing material by filing/grinding along both reed side (somehow half rounded section shape, both reed side are thiner als reed middle section).
This explain the extra cost of bombata versus straith "a mano".

I don't know if filing/grinding work is/was entirely manual or if some specific filing/grinding machine tool was developped at purpose. I can imagine Hohner made their own machine tool for bombata reed during the fifties because "Hohner Artist" reed were in fact machine made (the huge rivet head is abolutely flat => machine riveted and not hammer riveted by hand).

I suppose the bombata reed shape does influence the reed flexion modes and thereafter the harmonic content of sound produced.
 

Dingo40

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Paul, and bluesette,
Thanks for clarifying the matter regarding the bombata reeds!
It all makes sense now!
I was just coming to the same conclusion ( your posts and my edit crossed paths), but I was only speculating 🤔 while both of you had the definitive information 🙂👍
 
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debra

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Georges Pellegrini site provides a huge amount of information about accordions.
This Hohner Morino Artiste VI D has german gold eloxed "Artiste" bombata reeds on the right hand (look at the huge rivet maintaining the reed).
...
I'm not a huge fan of these Artiste reeds. An old repairer friend of mine likes them very much, but I have found especially the piccolo reeds to be fairly rubbish compared to modern Italian piccolo reeds. Of course everyone is entitled to their own preferences.
 

nagant27

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Thanks guys. I get it now. I wasn’t quite sure what to look for.
I have never seen one of these reeds in person. I see now about the tuning of them would need to be modified also.
Great information! Now I can think about this for a while.
 

NickC

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Interesting thread. It seems that a lot of work goes into reeds and I can see why the pricing can get so high. I played an accordion with bombate reeds and I remember it being loud. I didn't know what it meant at the time though.
 

craigd

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Reeds and all the other aspects of accordion building are fascinating and somewhat mysterious! My favourite accordion is a non-cassotto Titano Cosmopolitan. Excellent build quality throughout and I would think the reed quality has something to do with the sound quality and expressiveness. My Excelsior 940 sounds great too, but less interesting and expressive to my ear, less rewarding to play. So I don't think high quality reeds are wasted on a non-cassotto instrument. I'm curious about how lesser reeds would sound in a tone chamber.
 
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