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Siwa & Figli Quattro Super Artist

Eddy Yates

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Does anyone have experience with the Siwa & Figli Quattro Super Artist? I’ve listened to the YouTube videos and read the hype, but have not seen photos of the interior or heard reports of build quality.Thanks.
 

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JIM D.

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debra

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JIM D. post_id=65180 time=1545426809 user_id=63 said:
If you can recall a quote from the Shakespeare play Romeo & Juliet - A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
There are quite a few quality accordions made by one maker & sold with different badges.
If you cant find any info on Siwa & Figlis Quattro, look up Scandalli Super 6 - same box different badge & grill.

https://reverb.com/item/13669817-ne...qbiK9b6_UnhlRoC9igQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&pla=1

Ha! Thanks. The box looked so familiar already, considering the register switches, especially the bass ones...
I have expressed my lack of understanding before, of why one would disguise a famous brand accordion under a much less familiar name...
 
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maugein96

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The company SIWA & FIGLI di Stanojlovic Ivan was formed by Ivan Stanojlovic, a Serbian, in 1983, to manufacture accordions specifically for the Balkan market. They have been made by Scandalli in Castelfidardo since 2005, although I have no idea who made them prior to that date.

As the brand name Siwa & Figli had been known and respected in the Balkans since 1983, Ivan Stanojlovic probably wished to keep the name and Scandalli appear to have obliged.

Id seen quite a few Siwa & Figli boxes being played by Balkan players but had no idea who actually made them.

Apparently they are registered as a company in Italy even although they supply almost exclusively to the Balkan market. Their most popular model is the 6 row Dugmetara Serbian CBA. Ive no idea whether Siwa & Figli are in fact a long established Italian maker, or whether the name was coined by Stanojlovic in conjunction with one or more Italian makers.

Here is a link to the English version of their website, which also mentions a connection with the USA Accordion Gallery?:-

https://www.siwafigli.com/en/siwa-figli-accordions-craftmanship-contacts/
 

Eddy Yates

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I just read a very in-depth article about the history of Cordovox that veers into the history of electronic accordions and even over to the Scandalli Super VI.

PDF File
It’s such a convoluted and confusing trail of companies, inventors, builders, players, and takeovers that it does make you wonder, as Paul implied, why accordions seem so susceptible to such a soap opera history.
The hype for the Siwa & Figli Super Quattro Artist seems to imply that it’s a totally newly developed machine incorporating all the traits of every golden age accordion ever made. From the Accordion Gallery blurb:  “A classic beauty available with special hand made Binci reeds or proprietary Siwa hand made reeds. Whether you prefer the piercing Dallape sound, or the powerful Guerrini/Giulietti tone, or the smooth heart warming Excelsior/Bell sweet ringing effect we have the solution for you. You doubt it? Well, be our guest and experience the difference.”
It’s no wonder Annie Proulx wrote “Accordion Crimes.”
So, has anyone in the forum played or owned a Siwa & Figli Super Quattro Artist, and what do you think of it?
 
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maugein96

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Eddy,

Never played or owned one, as they are virtually unknown in western Europe.

They are one of the most popular makes in the Balkan countries of Eastern Europe, where Dallape, Guerrini, Giulietti, are also common makes. I read somewhere recently that the Balkan countries are now the main customers globally for Italian made accordions, so Scandalli have obviously cashed in.

I know nothing at all about Castelfidardo, and consequently have never really taken much interest in who makes what, after I discovered that you can get the same accordion, more or less, with about a dozen different badges on it. Now, I don't know how long that has been happening, but I did notice that Siwa & Figli is a make that also has a presence in Brazil. In Brazil, you can buy a new accordion with the brand name "Pampiana", which on the face of it appears to be just a re-badged Piermaria that was made in Italy. The "made in Italy" part appears to be correct, but whether the same parts are used in construction, as with "real" Piermarias, is unknown to those who do not work in the trade.

A few years ago I bought a little Hohner accordion to carry around with me to and from the family holiday home, and it arrived complete with a German "Trossingen" quality control tag. The accordion flew over Germany maybe once or twice, but I've never been to Trossingen, and neither has the accordion.

A lot of top Balkan players use Siwa & Figli, and some of them look like the one in the photo. They are superb sounding instruments, at least for Balkan music. I also saw a selection of US players with them on the Accordion Gallery site. If you recognised one of them you could maybe ask?

Cavagnolo have used reeds from more than one Italian maker over the years, and I wouldn't have the first notion of whose reeds were in mine. Whoever made them never made as good a job as the ones I have in my Maugein, but my repairer found plywood in the Maugein, in a box that currently retails for about 8000 Euros.

Japanese cars are reliable so I bought one. Doesn't matter that it was made in Hungary and has an Italian Fiat engine, the badge is what it's all about, isn't it?

All I can say is if a brand name is virtually unknown in a certain country, then there is probably good reason for that. If it can be ascertained that a Siwa & Figli is precisely the same as a Scandalli in all respects (and who can confirm that it is?), then there isn't a problem, unless you want to sell it.

Good luck.
 

pitzelberger

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maugein96 post_id=65187 time=1545483600 user_id=607 said:
They have been made by Scandalli in Castelfidardo since 2005

Would you have any reference to proof this?

I would be kind of surprised, as I have seen various videos on YouTube of people visiting their showroom in Castelfidard. There has been no reference to Scandalli. I have even read some comments in the web of people comparing them to Scandalli and mentioning how much better they are than Scandalli, so it would really surprise me if they in the end are built by the same factory.

BTW, one US artist who is playing a Siwa & Figli is Dallas Vietty https://www.dallasvietty.com/
Many of us might know him from his appearance in the liberty bellows videos.
 

Eddy Yates

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One of the reasons I turn to this forum is that I trust the opinions of the members, or I can at least get a good sense of the truth from a number of answers. I might ask Guy Klusevsek about Siwa & Figli, but I think artists who are sponsored by companies can’t necessarily give a straight answer, any more than a dealer who is heavily invested in one brand can offer a straight answer.
I just can’t yet make a good judgment of S&F from what I’ve seen and heard.
Now, if they gave me an artist discount of 50% I’d think it was the greatest accordion in the world.....
 
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maugein96

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pitzelberger post_id=65197 time=1545507956 user_id=1444 said:
maugein96 post_id=65187 time=1545483600 user_id=607 said:
They have been made by Scandalli in Castelfidardo since 2005

Would you have any reference to proof this?

Sorry, I shouldnt have typed that. Should have read According to their website their accordions have been made in Castelfidardo since 2005.

One or more members had suggested that Scandalli and Siwa & Figli instruments appeared to be identical, and I obviously got carried away.

As I mentioned in another post in the thread, I know absolutely nothing about Castefidardo, and all of the makers that have occupied premises there, for either a day or two, or for generations.

Thanks for noticing the mistake. I play French accordions and the many mysteries of Castelfidardo have never really captivated my interest.

In hindsight I should have just posted the link to the Siwa & Figli website and left it at that.

I did note that the the contact details for Siwa & Figli are in fact different from those for Scandalli, and the offices are in different streets, but very near to each other. Doesnt say where their respective factories are though. Ive lost all faith in where anything is sourced these days.
 

StargazerTony

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maugein96 post_id=65193 time=1545501615 user_id=607 said:
Eddy,


A few years ago I bought a little Hohner accordion to carry around with me to and from the family holiday home...

Hi Eddie,

Im curious as to which model Hohner you bought?
 

Zevy

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BTW, one US artist who is playing a Siwa & Figli is Dallas Vietty https://www.dallasvietty.com/
Many of us might know him from his appearance in the liberty bellows videos.

Dallas sold his Siwa & Figli a while ago. He plays his (older) Borsini and just got into the Moschino free bass.
 
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maugein96

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Hi,

It was a French spec Hohner Nova MM, which I knew had been manufactured in China and sent to the US for sale there.

I bought it on eBay to save a few hundred of whatever currency you like, and ended up saving maybe £400 GBP on the West European retail price by the time I had paid all the various taxes and import duty.

I was a bit surprised to find that it had a Hohner, Trossingen, Quality Control tag on it. Somebody told me that they were all sent to Germany to be checked, but I just didnt buy that at all.


Cute little boxes, but reeds pretty unresponsive and one or two of the bass buttons on mine have stripped threads which Ill need to stick on with superglue, as finding tiny black bass buttons on the floor can be a bit of a bind. The action of the treble buttons is also a bit slow, and I get cramp in my right hand if I play it too long, on account of that.

At least the one in the clip is in decent tune. Mine wasnt. Id offer $500 tops for it. Probably OK as a first accordion, or for a PA player to try before committing a lot of money to a bigger CBA, but I dont think many would keep it for long.
 

StargazerTony

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maugein96 post_id=65210 time=1545566151 user_id=607 said:
Hi,

It was a French spec Hohner Nova MM, which I knew had been manufactured in China and sent to the US for sale there.

I bought it on eBay to save a few hundred of whatever currency you like, and ended up saving maybe £400 GBP on the West European retail price by the time I had paid all the various taxes and import duty.

I was a bit surprised to find that it had a Hohner, Trossingen, Quality Control tag on it. Somebody told me that they were all sent to Germany to be checked, but I just didnt buy that at all.


Cute little boxes, but reeds pretty unresponsive and one or two of the bass buttons on mine have stripped threads which Ill need to stick on with superglue, as finding tiny black bass buttons on the floor can be a bit of a bind. The action of the treble buttons is also a bit slow, and I get cramp in my right hand if I play it too long, on account of that.

At least the one in the clip is in decent tune. Mine wasnt. Id offer $500 tops for it. Probably OK as a first accordion, or for a PA player to try before committing a lot of money to a bigger CBA, but I dont think many would keep it for long.

Thanks for the information, maugein96
 

OuijaBoard

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I'll throw in a different perspective on the Hohner Nova MMs. I'm not saying the experience already described here on this thread isn't valid, I'm saying there are other experiences. I have more than one of them--

---A new Hohner Nova II 60A 60-bass acquired nearly 10 years ago, before the Nova's prices rose ridiculously
---A new-old-stock Hohner Nova "Fun Light" MM 80-bass acquired about 2 years ago at a bargain price (the lightest,
Asian-made MM entry in Hohner's otherwise very pricey 3 and 4-voice European-made "Fun" line)
----An as-new 80-bass MM in the regular Nova line in a fabulous blue pearloid, also at a very good price
(didn't need this, but price for its mint condition was too good to pass up in a country [US] where CBAs are
thin on the ground, particularly lightweight CBAs)

The reeds in these accordions are not Italian handmade, and that is quite obvious. But in all three that I own, the reeds respond quickly and easily to a fine and dandy standard for the instrumental dance-derived world folk-musette-tango genres I play, with an also very well-suited bright, expressive voice personality. You can see demo clips on youtube where players at Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia are saying how responsive and lovely both the Nova II 60A and the "Fun Light" 80-bass are to play.

I have it on good authority from a master tech here in the US that the reeds in the Hohner Nova CBAs/Bravo PAs are identical to the East German/Czech reeds in the Weltmeister workhorse (not Supita) models. Those reeds have their own voice personality that is quite charming for folk genres, though I'm also a big lover of voice character of good Italian reeds.

The button mechanism is easy and responsive, with spacing/size that suits my hands very well. I do find something kind of stiff in the bellows/chassis of the two 80-basses, but they are new, and the chassis on these instruments is very sturdy and well-built---the proverbial brick ****-house in each instance.

The deficits I've experienced are 1) the 10-year-old Nova II 60-bass has lost numerous tops to the bass buttons and a couple on unused notes at the far ends of the treble soundboard; 2) both 80-basses needed fine-tuning at the high end--on 2/3 notes, the musette was disproportionately wet and even sharp. I would not pay the full price most dealers are charging for these instruments, and picked them up at substantial discount. But for what I paid or them, they are wonderful to have around for practice, for sessions and playing out in knockabout settings--people comment at how nice they sound and look, and all 3 weigh under 15 pounds. IMHO, these CBAs are well worth watching for in new, near mint, or excellent condition, at closeout/bargain prices. Actually, I'm not even sure how many models in the Nova line Hohner is still producing.
 
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maugein96

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I'll have to put my hands up and say that my main two instruments are a Cavagnolo Vedette 5 and a Maugein Mini Sonora.

Both instruments have tone chambers and are at the expensive end of dear. The Cavagnolo treble side has to be played to be believed, and the tonal qualities of the Maugein are outstanding.

It is therefore probably unfair of me to compare a Hohner Nova, in any of its variants, with either of them.

Suffice to say I don't like Hohner Novas, but accept the fact that many other people do.
 

Tor

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Back to the original topic here, I have a Siwa & Figli accordion, though I forget just which one. Bought it at the beginning of June, and have been very happy with it. I don't have all that much experience to compare to, living where I do, but I fully expect the instrument to serve me well for years to come. A few reeds have wandered in pitch a few cents over the course of my months of playing, which I suspect is largely a case of new construction working out minor issues.

Regarding the specific instrument shown in the picture, I had the opportunity to visit the Accordion Gallery in person and tried one with that bass register switch design. Neat in theory, but my brief trial found it annoying to work with. In the end, a single button for each register without the overhanging levers seems to work better.
 

OuijaBoard

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Here are a couple of clips showing the wonderful PA sorceress Karen Tweed playing a compact S&F, and there are quite a few more findable there as well--S&F seems to be her box in more recent clips; older footage shows her playing Pigini, among others...


 

Eddy Yates

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Thanks, TorC and Ouija. I’ve been thinking of summoning up some courage to take some Skype lessons from Karen, so will take the opportunity to ask about S&F.
 
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