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So you want a French sound?

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maugein96

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Geoff de Limousin post_id=62470 time=1535894394 user_id=1371 said:
Well John ,
I guess your man is more reasonable, but in fairness I asked my repairer to give me a rough idea , sight unseen, and he quoted me a just in case of difficulties price and said that every reed would have to be taken off the blocks to do the job properly and his price looks like 3 to 4 euros per reed to tune each down to 440.. Im sure there is VAT and a garantee in that quote as well. But yes it is a sizeable chunk of money and I assume many other accordionists just play their aquisitions and plead ignorance regarding the diapason. Of course a good chunk of musette wetness will cover many disparities.

Geoff,

I suppose labour costs are probably dearer in France. The guy who does mine has been a pro player for a long time. Hes an engineer to trade and taught himself to tune and repair all types of boxes, so I suppose hes not a dedicated repairer/tuner, and therefore doesnt charge high prices. Its a struggle here to find anybody at all that is prepared to tackle a French box, but hes done one or two before and made a decent job of mine. We had a little issue when I wanted it tuned americain, as hes had no experience of that. However, all went well. Probably not as precise a job as your local man would have done, but I suppose you get what you pay for. Ill put the brick away!
 

Corsaire

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I don't think good accordion repairers/technicians are two a penny, even in France. We were fortunate to have an excellent one in Saumur when we lived near there. The one I use near Rennes charges around 50€ an hour so it looks as if prices here are about the same as Geoff's repairer. No wonder people do their own work but you have to know what you're about !

I can well imagine why someone might want to use a stand, but doesn't the playing look wooden. Imagine a violinist using a stand !!! With you accordion perched on a stand, you would have to be careful how you moved in case you, the accordion and the stand collapsed into a heap on the stage !
I'd love to play the bigger boxes, but can't cope with the weight. The 72 bass (about 7kg) is just fine for me, although a compromise. But it means I can play for an hour and a half gig standing/walking about, with no aches at the end of it.

The CBA really is beckoning - I'm looking after our group's Roland FR3X CBA which they want to sell as no-one can play it. No, it's not for me, but maybe I can learn a thing or two about the right hand .......

What is it about an accordion that makes us want to get yet another ?
 
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maugein96

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Corsaire post_id=62472 time=1535898623 user_id=2107 said:
The CBA really is beckoning - Im looking after our groups Roland FR3X CBA which they want to sell as no-one can play it. No, its not for me, but maybe I can learn a thing or two about the right hand .......

What is it about an accordion that makes us want to get yet another ?

Sally,

When I heard the song 10 Guitars I decided Id need to get 10, although I never liked the song. I got near it but Im now down to 3.

My wife is glad they never made a record called 10 accordions. Ive had 4 for quite a time, but only two of them are now worth squeezing. My old Marinucci is needing work that would cost more than it is worth, but I need it to put on top of my little Hohner Nova to stop it blowing away when the window is open!

I always want another accordion. It is the one that will turn me from being a shambling amateur into a virtuoso. Wish I could remember the name of it now!
 

Geoff de Limousin

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OuijaBoard post_id=62474 time=1535906239 user_id=1746 said:
This is a great thread!

I too find the typical 72-bass sizes/weights the max bearable, or would be after this Beltuna Euro IV C system at a wonderful price, like a shot. No weight noted in the listing, but research elsewhere indicates it the Euro IV is about 23 pounds:

http://www.petosa.com/product/beltuna-euro-iv-c-griff/

Nice Accordion!!

But surely this should be listed as having 46 treble notes, not 39 .... unless there are several dummy buttons ?
 
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maugein96

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Here we have the Roll Royce or Cadillac of French accordion tuning, even if the player is Italian. They dont make boxes like that any more. Sounds like americain tuning with the middle M in a tone chamber. Cavagnolo couldnt make them sound like this one.

That would be one heavy box, as I had an identical one without the tone chambers and wouldnt have liked to have dropped it on my toe. A very heavy box indeed. I never weighed it as nobody bothered about that years ago. Mine was LMMM but unfortunately somebody tried to alter the musette tuning to Scottish and made a hash of it. I traded it back for a new French box (bad idea).

Crosios were made in both Italy and France, and the reeds on this one sound identical to the accordions they assembled in Paris. The Belgian bass is actually Daniele Donadellis preferred Modenese bass, but I believe the two systems are identical.

 

Corsaire

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It's funny, but up to now I've never thought about having different accordions for different purposes - I knew I should never have joined this forum ......

I accompany a group of male sea shanty singers and it's surprising what a difference it makes image-wise if I play standing up (it makes us look less like a group of oldies). I only got up the courage to do it recently and I've been astonished by the positive reaction. The 72 bass is brilliant but I certainly couldn't do it with anything heavier.

However ...... with the thought of a CBA niggling away in the background, there's no reason why I can't go for something slightly bigger to play at home or if it doesn't have to be carried far. Certainly, if I went back to a 96 bass, I wouldn't go back to a PA though I dearly loved my Excelsior.

Like you, John, I'm hoping to wake up one morning and suddenly find the buttons and keys just float under my fingers. How the heck do you decide which box you want ? There's such an incredible choice.
 
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maugein96

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Geoff de Limousin post_id=62475 time=1535908912 user_id=1371 said:
OuijaBoard post_id=62474 time=1535906239 user_id=1746 said:
This is a great thread!

I too find the typical 72-bass sizes/weights the max bearable, or would be after this Beltuna Euro IV C system at a wonderful price, like a shot. No weight noted in the listing, but research elsewhere indicates it the Euro IV is about 23 pounds:

http://www.petosa.com/product/beltuna-euro-iv-c-griff/

Nice Accordion!!

But surely this should be listed as having 46 treble notes, not 39 .... unless there are several dummy buttons ?

Agreed Geoff.

Being a 4 voice LMMM the box is quite a heavy wee guy for somebody looking for a light box. There is a demo of what it sounds like it on You Tube, but it appears the player isnt really familiar with the type. Cant make my mind up about it due to that, but its not my type of sound.


If I was looking for a box the same size and weight, heres what Id go for. All you need to do is go to Denmark and hand over $6700 for a used accordion! Listen to the tone. Demo not the best, and you can buy them new in Italy for just over 7,200 Euros. Youd be saving 1500 Euros over the price of a new one. It must be a fairly new instrument as prices in Denmark tend to nosedive after a box is a few years old. Listen to that tone! LMM with bassoon reeds in tone chamber.

 

Corsaire

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I love the sound of the Beltuna - that is my kind of sound ! Lightness !

I thought the very first part of the recording of the Pigini was terrible, but liked the next bit ! The player seemed to have rather a heavy touch. The tone is nice and rich though.
 

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RE the Beltuna having a light sound--I agree. They DO make a lighter LMM 96. Its still a bit heavy for me, but wonderful:



RE seeking the weight/size of the Belutuna IV used in Denmark:
But the Beltuna is less than half that price in like-new condition, and you could tune the Ms to taste.

I have to wait for Beltuna and the others to get with the program and give us choice of 15/16 pound 72-bass LMM CBAs. Right now I count Saltarelle Bourroche, Castagnari, and Weltmeister Romance 603 as the only entries. Oh, perhaps theres a Cooperfisa as well. The Jolly 72. Everybody elses lightest CBA LMMs are lightweight 18-20-pound 96-bassers.
 

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Nice, OuijaBoard ! Shame about the weight though. If 72 bass are becoming more popular, perhaps Beltuna will male one. We can always hope ...
 
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maugein96

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Corsaire post_id=62479 time=1535912635 user_id=2107 said:
I love the sound of the Beltuna - that is my kind of sound ! Lightness !

I thought the very first part of the recording of the Pigini was terrible, but liked the next bit ! The player seemed to have rather a heavy touch. The tone is nice and rich though.

Sally,

As they say in Strabane, How come people can have different tastes if they only have the one tongue each!

The Pigini does it for me. Im sure the player is a PA man, who has probably done the usual trick of learning a few demo tunes on CBA. Jimmy Clinkscale had a large accordion shop here in the Borders, but most of his staff could only manage one demo tune on CBA.

I like Beltunas, and it may just be the way the sound clip comes through my headphones. Mine are of the older type that run on gas! I wouldnt buy it on the strength of that demo, but Id gamble on an older model of the Pigini Jazz 3. Probably sounds too jazzy for a lot of people, but it would do me.
 
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maugein96

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OuijaBoard post_id=62480 time=1535913022 user_id=1746 said:
RE the Beltuna having a light sound--I agree. They DO make a lighter LMM 96. Its still a bit heavy for me, but wonderful:



RE seeking the weight/size of the Belutuna IV used in Denmark:
But the Beltuna is less than half that price in like-new condition, and you could tune the Ms to taste.

I have to wait for Beltuna and the others to get with the program and give us choice of 15/16 pound 72-bass LMM CBAs. Right now I count Saltarelle Bourroche, Castagnari, and Weltmeister Romance 603 as the only entries. Oh, perhaps theres a Cooperfisa as well. The Jolly 72. Everybody elses lightest CBA LMMs are lightweight 18-20-pound 96-bassers.

The Beltuna IV in the Danish store is a Pigini Jazz 3. Sorry for muddying the waters, and yes it is expensive.

That little blue Beltuna is probably all Id need now. beautiful box and sound.

A UK store lists the Excelsior 673, LMM, 72 bass, as being 7.5kg (16.5lbs) New price is just over £3000GBP. If you could pick a fairly new one of those up your side it may be a consideration. Their boxes have a great reputation in Europe. Probably made in the Czech Republic by Delicia for Excelsior. The cheap price is the give away. Ive heard the PA version and its OK. 1st prize still goes to that blue Beltuna, and I wouldnt care where it was made.

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Geoff de Limousin

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Lots of nice ideas!

I am trying to find the time, and excuses, to visit a second hand Beltuna Prestige 1050 as I'm sure I would like the sound and the 5 voice Basses . Not that it would have any compass advantage over my current Fisitalia Compact 49 which at 8.2kg ( 18 pounds) is really light enough. I found the reduced range of the Bourroche and even the larger Saltarelle were a slight disadvantage... ho hum.
 
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maugein96

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Geoff,

Beltuna Prestige 1050 is a cracking box. I've heard at least one with quite a wide MM tuning and it sounds as though it could compete with a cabrette, if you had Desperate Dan working the bellows for you. Still haven't found a clip where the accordionist is the winner vs cabrette.
 
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maugein96

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Geoff,

My ears are obviously shot to hell. I can obviously hear the cabrette, and just occasionally a very slight whiff of accordion. The bass on the red Accordiola seems to be getting through, although I appreciate Im not really tuned in to the music. On another clip I could hear a guy playing a banjo over the same two boxes.

I used to occasionally play a mandolin in a folk type band. If a box player turned up it went back in its case. If a cabrette player had turned up Id have thrown the mandolin in the fire!

Reckon Ive solved your problem. Forget the boxes and just get a banjo (but a load bugger!)

 

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[[[A UK store lists the Excelsior 673, LMM, 72 bass, as being 7.5kg (16.5lbs) New price is just over £3000GBP. If you could pick a fairly new one of those up your side it may be a consideration. Their boxes have a great reputation in Europe. Probably made in the Czech Republic by Delicia for Excelsior. The "cheap" price is the give away. I've heard the PA version and it's "OK". 1st prize still goes to that blue Beltuna, and I wouldn't care where it was made. ]]]

I forgot the Excelsior 673, did know about that because it is on the Castiglione pages in the US. Is it here at this forum that I read some time past that Excelsior is now owned and overseen by Pigini? Perhaps one could order the 673 with HF/TAM. I agree that price looks low for Italian-made. I've seen it priced significantly higher elsewhere, but that was a few years ago. Maybe there's been a restructuring at Excelsior that brought some outsourcing . . .
 

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maugein96 post_id=62488 time=1535921764 user_id=607 said:
Geoff,

My ears are obviously shot to hell. I can obviously hear the cabrette, and just occasionally a very slight whiff of accordion. The bass on the red Accordiola seems to be getting through, although I appreciate Im not really tuned in to the music. On another clip I could hear a guy playing a banjo over the same two boxes.

I used to occasionally play a mandolin in a folk type band. If a box player turned up it went back in its case. If a cabrette player had turned up Id have thrown the mandolin in the fire!

Reckon Ive solved your problem. Forget the boxes and just get a banjo (but a load bugger!)


John,
the problem with this track is that all three are micd up, and the audience is making more racket than the instruments, But Claude Quintards Accordeola has built -in mics and the bass does come through well. Often it can depend on the mood of the players; I heard these boys playing accoustic in the open air during the summer, and there were two other cabrette players in the mix, but Tiennet Simonnins Cavagnolo played with exuberance won the day.

My ears are shot too John, and all Im looking for is an accordion I can hear myself playing with the Cabrette... well I do have one but it is nearly 90 years old and probably should not be subjected to the type of abuse it gets.
 

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Finally got around to listen (and watch) to some of the clips here to see what that "french sound" is really about.
The first thing that sounds quite obvious to my ears is that the "musette" is that these accordions do not have M in cassotto. They use a non-cassotto MM with low tremolo, somewhere between 4 and 8 cents (around 1.5Hz tremolo). The "sharper" sounding version uses MMH. These instruments may have only L in cassotto or LH in cassotto (so the H is not sounding too overpowering).
The main difficulty in producing and maintaining such instruments is that when the tremolo is so low (closer to dry tuning but not quite) any deviation (small bit of out of tune) is much more noticeable than when the tuning is very wet. The difference in tuning between 5 and 7 cents is so perceptible (around the same note) that it would be distracting, but when an MM register is supposed to have 24 cents tremolo a deviation like 23 to 25 cents is negligible. An accordion with very wet tuning thus never sounds out of tune whereas the french musette closer to dry tuning has to be kept very well tuned.
This is even more a problem with completely dry tuned accordions (typicall on conservatory models and bayans nowadays) where you can clearly hear the difference between completely dry and 1 cent off, on long notes. Of course the "easiest" way to hide tuning errors is to play single notes very fast and to use chords for longer notes (which always have tremolo in the well-tempered tuning). And lo and behold, this is how french musette is often played: fast notes and long notes with chords.
 
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maugein96

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Geoff de Limousin post_id=62498 time=1535955645 user_id=1371 said:
John,
the problem with this track is that all three are micd up, and the audience is making more racket than the instruments, But Claude Quintards Accordeola has built -in mics and the bass does come through well. Often it can depend on the mood of the players; I heard these boys playing accoustic in the open air during the summer, and there were two other cabrette players in the mix, but Tiennet Simonnins Cavagnolo played with exuberance won the day.

Hi Geoff,

Like it says in that little summary re the number of posts we make, I should probably get out more. Any folk music played in this rural backwater is usually in smallish venues with an audience of about 50 if theyre lucky. Ive heard people complain that a singer was too loud without a microphone! On the very rare occasion that a box is heard, there is usually no need for amplification at all, so it is an alien concept for me.

I think the issue is Im just not used to hearing live music played in front of noisy audiences, and my listening pleasure over the years has all been produced in recording studios. Dont remember ever being at a Ceilidh, as my Presbyterian family would just say that we were not of that culture and that was the end of the matter. To be honest I cannot remember there being many such events in our little culturally isolated part of Scotland. To this day Id still feel out of place at such a venue, even although we are in the 21st century.

Anyway, I wish you well in your quest to find a loud and proud box. The Fisitalia Compact 49 you mention looks to be a very decent box, and I like the style of the French model. I think Ive mentioned it before, but generally speaking Id prefer an Italian francese box to a French one. Only mistake Ive come across in that respect was a friend of mine ordered a Ballone Burini sistema francese. A beautiful box in just about every respect, but the tuning was very Italian. He asked my opinion on it and when I agreed with him about the Italian sound he traded it in within a few months and lost a fortune! Hed ordered a French 3x3 bass arrangement on it which would have made resale very difficult here, and I dont know where it ended up. Somebody would have picked up a cracking instrument regardless.
 

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