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So you want a French sound?

M

maugein96

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OuijaBoard post_id=62492 time=1535929675 user_id=1746 said:
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. Ive seen it priced significantly higher elsewhere, but that was a few years ago. Maybe theres been a restructuring at Excelsior that brought some outsourcing . . .

Hi,

Ive seen some adverts that declare that Pigini and Excelsior are now part of the same company. I think youd need to read the Italian music press daily in an effort to keep up with the latest merges and closures. It was only after I posted the photo of the Excelsior I saw a PA box for sale in the UK that was advertised as Made by Delicia in the Czech Republic for Excelsior, and I had to go back in and amend the post to include that. I dont actually know where they are made, but thought Id better mention that it may not be Italy.

I know almost nothing at all about the accordion industry, other than the fact that there is a dire need to cut the cost of production, and I wouldnt be surprised if a lot of component parts are shared between makers from wherever they can get their hands on them.

The confusion as to who makes what is not a new concept, and badge engineering has been taking place for a very long time. Some top of the range Crucianellis were made by Piermaria, but in those days they had the honesty to tell us that, by putting little logos and/or stickers on the accordions.

I think most reputable dealers will tell you where their instruments for sale are made these days, but there will always be those little lies by omission that we all have to look out for. I bought a little Hohner Nova brand new from the US, and I saw a You Tube clip of a US accordion fair where the stallholder professed that they were made in Germany. Now, I happened to know they are made in China, but ordered one anyway. Sure enough it came complete with German language quality control tags which inferred it had either been made, or subjected to a quality control check in Trossingen. Somehow I doubt that happens, but again I dont know.

One or two bass buttons keep falling off. Fortunately they are of the screw in mushroom type and the odd cross threaded button seems not to be a cause for concern, so long as it happens after the buyer starts playing it. The rear of the bellows is starting to wear and I hardly ever play it.

Inside, youll see a very flimsy looking bass mechanism, and you need semaphore to tell the treble reeds when you want them to play, as there is a built in delay between the time you press the treble buttons and when the reeds actually sound. Nice and light to carry around, but you need the strength of Hercules in your right hand fingers to get it all to work (and good eyesight to find those little black bass button heads when they fall off). In case youre wondering, I dont recommend the Hohner Novas built for the French market, based on my own experience, and theyre not exactly cheap either. The sound isnt too bad when all the reeds are working as they should, and Im sure another member took issue with me over my opinions of them some time ago.
 

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I bought my Excelsior 1304 96 Bass PA about 22 years ago. Its like this one :
The clip starts off with a musette sound which I didnt have on mine - I had one stop adjusted to make a more musette sound.
Its a cracker of an accordion but I only had one derisory offer for it in 18 months of it being for sale. If it werent for the weight, I wouldnt hesitate to keep it. Ive brought it back to try and sell in France, though being a PA, it mght not be easy. If it sits in the shop for too long, I may as well keep it as its worth nothing to anyone sitting on a shelf.

I always assumed it was made in Italy but never looked for any stamp ! I certainly didnt know Delicia made them - Im a fan of Delicia, good value for money though not perhaps as robust as some. Having compared the innards of my 72 bass with a couple of other makes, the material is lighter and not as strong. But you (sometimes) get what you pay for.
Ive also heard that Excelsior and Pigini are linked. Its difficult to tell today as parts seem to be made in all sorts of different countries. Didnt Hohner go through a Chinese phase - are they made in China or did some of the work come back to Germany ?

Ive just seen an ad in the US for an Excelsior 1304 96 Bass PA saying its made in Italy !
 
M

maugein96

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Corsaire post_id=62508 time=1535965229 user_id=2107 said:
Ive brought it back to try and sell in France, though being a PA, it might not be easy.

Its difficult to tell today as parts seem to be made in all sorts of different countries. Didnt Hohner go through a Chinese phase - are they made in China or did some of the work come back to Germany ?

Ive just seen an ad in the US for an Excelsior 1304 96 Bass PA saying its made in Italy !

Sally,

Half of the problem is we rely too much on brand names and associate them with the three Cs:-

Commendable, credible, and crap. As with every category there are crossovers, good and bad versions of everything, and the old Friday afternoon jobs. I recently read an Australian repairers take on Chinese made accordions. He opines that one out of three will be OK, and the other two are only sold on the back of the decent one. Therefore if we apply that logic, person A will tell us he/she got a great deal, but B and C will say they are wrong.

He also says there is no such thing as a poorly made Italian accordion, and any defect on it can be easily rectified.

If it turns out that my Hohner Nova was actually made in Germany Ill eat it with chopsticks. I need to tie weights onto it when Im playing it to stop it bouncing off the walls. I was going to say it was nothing more than a toy, but I used to get pleasure out of playing with my toys. If person A is reading this and disagrees with me, just remember Im person B, or maybe C.

With regard to PAs in France, the only big name PA musette player ever was Louis Ferrari, and he was an Italian. I have seen PAs for sale in France, but as you say it could take a while.

A far as I know the bigger Excelsiors are still made in Italy, but that may only apply to people who believe in Santa Claus, I just dont know any more. Theyre selling pizzas in the local supermarkets with delicious Italian sounding names, but when you read the small print it turns out they are made in Germany.

Im not saying that there are no good accordions to have come out of China. Baile was a fairly respected make at one time, and there were probably one or two others. A few Italian enterprises are honest enough to tell us that at least part of their accordion components are sourced in Asia, but exactly what components they are talking about will be known to only a few.

I would imagine construction techniques are improving all the time, and you never know, some day I might actually find a decent supermarket pizza that proudly proclaims to have been made in Italy!

Im off out in my Japanese branded Suzuki car, that has an Italian Fiat engine, and was made in Esztergom, Hungary. Wonder how many people just think Esztergom is in Japan? At least they tell us where everything was made in the car industry. Well almost everything. Those slick plastic interiors are probably made next door to where my Hohner Nova was created. Plastic just looks like plastic, doesnt matter where its made.

I have the same general opinion about accordions these days, as Ill probably never really know exactly what bit was made where.

Good luck selling your Excelsior. Tell them to advertise it as a one off customised job, made in Uzbekistan, for a short sighted long distance lorry driver from Bangkok, and you might just pull it off.

Ive seen less credible sounding adverts for accordions than that!
 

debra

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maugein96 post_id=62507 time=1535963344 user_id=607 said:
...
Inside, youll see a very flimsy looking bass mechanism, and you need semaphore to tell the treble reeds when you want them to play, as there is a built in delay between the time you press the treble buttons and when the reeds actually sound. Nice and light to carry around, but you need the strength of Hercules in your right hand fingers to get it all to work (and good eyesight to find those little black bass button heads when they fall off). ...

To make reeds respond immediately when you press the treble buttons or keys (while opening or closing the bellows of course) the voicing needs to be adjusted properly. I heard (strong) rumors that Hohner deliberately did not do correct voicing on their less expensive models in order to entice the more critical players towards there more expensive models (especially the Morino). An honest dealer would make sure the voicing is adjusted properly before delivering any accordion to the customer. That takes time, but it at least means that you get something in return for the profit they make.
 

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[[[In case youre wondering, I dont recommend the Hohner Novas built for the French market, based on my own experience, and theyre not exactly cheap either. The sound isnt too bad when all the reeds are working as they should, and Im sure another member took issue with me over my opinions of them some time ago.]]]

Ha, ha, ha, that was me, actually. I wasnt taking issue with you per se, Im sure your experience is completely valid. Just adding my voice to the mix, to the effect that my own Hohner Nova experience has been that for folk playing they are quite fast enough, responsive enough, and ergonomically easy enough to play, to do a very sweet job indeed in all sorts of traditional world genres. And they sound nice. I now own a 60-bass and 2 80s, picked up new or as-new in all cases at bargain prices. I believe you cant have too many playable, responsive, compact MMs laying around if you get great deals on them, particularly if good colors are involved. Theyre quite under-sung as session or folk dance music instruments, I believe. I do think the full-retail prices on the Novas now (or where the prices last reached, not sure if Hohner stopped making them) got pretty darn high from a value standpoint, and would not go there.

I do intend to go Italian for the LMM CBA, and may not be able to resist a Beltuna MM one day as well.
 
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maugein96

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debra post_id=62514 time=1535990910 user_id=605 said:
To make reeds respond immediately when you press the treble buttons or keys (while opening or closing the bellows of course) the voicing needs to be adjusted properly. I heard (strong) rumors that Hohner deliberately did not do correct voicing on their less expensive models in order to entice the more critical players towards there more expensive models (especially the Morino). An honest dealer would make sure the voicing is adjusted properly before delivering any accordion to the customer. That takes time, but it at least means that you get something in return for the profit they make.

Hi Paul,

The action of the treble buttons is not too bad, but there is a definite lag between the button being depressed and the note sounding. It gets a bit tiring on the fingers, but I suppose there will be players who are used to that. Ive had one or two awful boxes, but none as bad as that one.

I know a pro player who has a Borsini Orfeo VII, and a Paolo Soprani, both of which have flat treble keyboards. He tells me the button action on them is a bit slower than those on stepped keyboards, but Ive never tried any of them to compare with the Hohner Nova. Maybe Im being a bit too harsh. Ive seen one or two Swiss CBAs with flat keyboards, where that layout seems to be popular, as well as the odd Serbian dugmetara 6 rows, but Scottish players dont seem to like the flat keyboards at all.

That info about Hohner is very interesting, but it does not surprise me at all.
 

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The more expensive Asian Hohners--Bravo for PA and Nova for CBA--notoriously arrive from the factory needing spot-tuning. This is like, a known "thing." My observation has been it's in the highest notes. But this probably indicates they could use voicing as well. Though the ones I've played did not display a marked "lag" issue (though of course not responding like hand reeds do). There is a liberty bellows demo of a Nova 60 in which the player comments at how responsive it is, and another of an 80-bass with the player remarking how wonderful it was. This has been my own experience at a certain price point, and for certain genres of music. I am delighted by accordions that fly if not tied with weights, and have a blast with these little guys, same with the petit Weltmeister PA models. I'm actually having the 2nd set of bass voices taken out of the 80-bass Nova now, while it's having that spot tuning I mentioned at the high notes.
 
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maugein96

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OuijaBoard post_id=62515 time=1535992267 user_id=1746 said:
Ha, ha, ha, that was me, actually. I do intend to go Italian for the LMM CBA, and may not be able to resist a Beltuna MM one day as well.

I couldnt remember who it was, and I can well understand why people who are looking for a lightweight box would be interested. Sometimes I forget its there in between tunes. Mine needs spot tuning as well but I just batter on with it as it is. Two of the sharp tuned M reeds are wonky and Ill probably get them fixed some day. I have seen the Liberty Bellows clip youre talking about, but I think the model was of the standard type with couplers on the grille, and not a French model like mine. The non-French boxes seem to get better reviews. It is possible Im just used to faster response on the reeds on my two French and one Italian boxes.

The essentials of a half decent box are all there. IMHO they just needed a bit of refinement, and maybe a bit beefing up. I do take it out now and again, to check nothing else has fallen off it, and it still has that new smell to it even if it is a couple of years old. I got the gold sparkled version with the black buttons. Looks great when I wear my gold jacket with it! I was going through a phase of needing a light box, but reversed that totally after I became acquainted with Mr Hohners lightweight Nova, which is the Fun Light 80 bass French model. .

I suddenly remembered that myself and another 15 year old kid used to manhandle cast iron enamelled baths weighing 280lbs up four flights of stairs at a time. As I was the taller kid I was inside the bath and he steadied the bottom of it in case I slipped and put it through a plasterboard wall. We were both boy labourers on a construction site, something which is now illegal. The theory was if a tradesman handled the baths he could be off work for a long time through injury, and 15 year old school leaving kids were ten a penny. To this day my head and shoulders are sort of bath shaped, and Im still 511, same as I was when I was 15. Thats what happens when you take too many baths!

I thought Why the hell am I worrying about the weight of an accordion? My latest purchase was a 27 pounder, but if I was honest Im not a 15 year old kid any more, and a lighter box would be preferable at times. I suppose I could always stack two MMs on top of each other and try that! :)
 
M

maugein96

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debra post_id=62500 time=1535956862 user_id=605 said:
And lo and behold, this is how french musette is often played: fast notes and long notes with chords.

Paul,

Once again you are correct. This guy, Luc Harvet, was one of my favourites way back before I took the notion to play. Tiny little guy with big sound. Also played piano and electric organ when he defected to the pop scene.

When you got a reasonable sounding musette with a decent player it was well worth listening to. However, as the musette sounds become experimental and the players stopped playing the musette classics for accordeon pop, I sort of lost interest in musette pur.

If I could get a box like the one in this clip (sounds like a Crosio) I could be persuaded to take an interest again. They just dont make them like this any more. I know youre not keen on the big musette sound, but the reeds on this one are pretty special. Or is that the reverb Im hearing?

 
M

maugein96

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OuijaBoard post_id=62518 time=1535999175 user_id=1746 said:
Im actually having the 2nd set of bass voices taken out of the 80-bass Nova now, while its having that spot tuning I mentioned at the high notes.

Have you seen the Gadji Circlo at 6kg?

A real French accordion, made in Orval, France, but its only MM, and would cost about $3300 new (you wouldnt have to pay French TTC tax). I doubt youd pick up a used one anywhere, as not very many have been made. The bigger models go up to around 13000 Euros and maybe beyond. Youll hear sound samples on the site (link below)

Havent actually heard a Circlo, but it should have the French manouche tuning like all their other instruments, and the reeds are hand made. Maybe too much of a one trick pony, but youre talking quality and class.

https://www.gadji.fr/accordeons/circlo/
 

debra

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maugein96 post_id=62517 time=1535998331 user_id=607 said:
...
I know a pro player who has a Borsini Orfeo VII, and a Paolo Soprani, both of which have flat treble keyboards. He tells me the button action on them is a bit slower than those on stepped keyboards, but Ive never tried any of them to compare with the Hohner Nova. Maybe Im being a bit too harsh. Ive seen one or two Swiss CBAs with flat keyboards, where that layout seems to be popular, as well as the odd Serbian dugmetara 6 rows, but Scottish players dont seem to like the flat keyboards at all.
...

Faster or slower action has nothing (or very little) to do with the difference between a flat or stepped keyboard.
My Hohner Morino Artiste XS has a flat keyboard but it has very fast action. Its a matter of correct voicing, nothing else.
The keys do not go down as far as on a stepped keyboard and as a result especially in the cassotto the pallets do not open very far, causing the frequency of the notes to be lower than on other instruments. So you need to make sure (but that holds for all cassotto instruments in fact) to ignore the tuning of the reeds when outside of the accordion.
I like the flat keyboard of the Artiste. (I do not like that the A, C# and G# are textured instead of the more common C and F, and as the buttons are glued, not screwed, its hard to change that.)
 
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maugein96

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debra post_id=62545 time=1536078589 user_id=605 said:
Faster or slower action has nothing (or very little) to do with the difference between a flat or stepped keyboard.
I like the flat keyboard of the Artiste. (I do not like that the A, C# and G# are textured instead of the more common C and F, and as the buttons are glued, not screwed, its hard to change that.)

Thanks Paul.

Thats a bit clearer. He plays both types as well as PA, piano, and bass guitar, and its possible I misinterpreted what he told me. Im currently taking lessons from him and I was curious as to why he had two boxes with flat keyboards. Ive only ever seen three of them in Scotland, and two of them are his. The other one lay in a now defunct accordion shop for years and the owner advised me that nobody who tried it out had a good word to say about the treble keyboard.
 

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maugein96 post_id=62547 time=1536083233 user_id=607 said:
...
Thats a bit clearer. He plays both types as well as PA, piano, and bass guitar, and its possible I misinterpreted what he told me. Im currently taking lessons from him and I was curious as to why he had two boxes with flat keyboards. Ive only ever seen three of them in Scotland, and two of them are his. The other one lay in a now defunct accordion shop for years and the owner advised me that nobody who tried it out had a good word to say about the treble keyboard.

Interesting. I play both types as well as PA and piano, but no bass guitar.
I wonder how hard it would be to change the flat keyboard into a stepped one. Since I want to change the textured keys anyway, and since a flat keyboard is not at all popular around here, I might as well try to change the keyboard...
 
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maugein96

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debra post_id=62548 time=1536094673 user_id=605 said:
Interesting. I play both types as well as PA and piano, but no bass guitar.
I wonder how hard it would be to change the flat keyboard into a stepped one. Since I want to change the textured keys anyway, and since a flat keyboard is not at all popular around here, I might as well try to change the keyboard...

Looking at the treble buttons on flat keyboards they appear to be raked at a near, if not identical angle, to the buttons on stepped keyboards, i.e. it looks as though the treble buttons are fitted as normal, and its just the keyboard surface thats different. Maybe if you could find a stepped treble keyboard to fit your Artiste that would be a start. You might need to do a bit of packing or cutting out the aperture so that the stepped keyboard would fit snugly, but on the other hand it might just be a straight swop. Ive never seen glued on buttons before though, and wouldnt relish pulling them all off and sticking them back on again. Youll probably know already whether the treble buttons on flat keyboards have felt dampers underneath them. I have no experience of them at all.

Dont know why the Swiss and Serbians go for flat CBA keyboards. They were also common on Hagström, Zerosette, and other boxes in Sweden.
 

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maugein96 post_id=62550 time=1536097791 user_id=607 said:
...
Looking at the treble buttons on flat keyboards they appear to be raked at a near, if not identical angle, to the buttons on stepped keyboards, i.e. it looks as though the treble buttons are fitted as normal, and its just the keyboard surface thats different. Maybe if you could find a stepped treble keyboard to fit your Artiste that would be a start. You might need to do a bit of packing or cutting out the aperture so that the stepped keyboard would fit snugly, but on the other hand it might just be a straight swop. Ive never seen glued on buttons before though, and wouldnt relish pulling them all off and sticking them back on again. Youll probably know already whether the treble buttons on flat keyboards have felt dampers underneath them. I have no experience of them at all.
...

The flat keyboards have buttons that (partly) pass through a hole as wide as the button top, so there are no felt dampers underneath each button, only beneath the whole keyboard mechanism. On a button keyboard the buttons are screwed into or glued on black support sticks (for lack of a better word) that are fixed (glued?) to the actual mechanism. With a stepped keyboard the sticks go through holes in the cover plate and the button movement is limited by the felt dampers hitting the plate. When a stepped keyboard has the buttons glued to the sticks it means that the only way to remove the keyboard is all in one go because the buttons cannot go through the plate. This is a maintenance nightmare waiting to happen, It is simply stupid to use this type of construction, but even a large manufacturer like Pigini does it. (I would never buy a Pigini if I can avoid it. Sadly, for my three voice bass accordion with registers it was unavoidable.) With a flat keyboard you can remove the plate and then remove the button mechanism one note at the time.
I would love to just find an Artiste (XS) stepped keyboard from an otherwise total loss instrument, but that is unlikely to happen as these instruments are quite rare. But I do think that getting all new sticks and then screw-in buttons is a possibility and would give me good training in accordion repair. I would also need to get a new cover plate. Note that the distances between the buttons are standard (for this size accordion) because the basics of the mechanism are standard as well.
Like you I have mostly seen flat keyboards on diatonics and other less common instruments. A regular CBA with a flat keyboard is used in Switzerland and maybe a few other places only.
 
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maugein96

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debra post_id=62558 time=1536132289 user_id=605 said:
I would love to just find an Artiste (XS) stepped keyboard from an otherwise total loss instrument, but that is unlikely to happen as these instruments are quite rare.

Paul,

Dont think Ive ever seen a Hohner Artiste XS in Scotland. You may know that CBAs arent very popular here at all these days. I had an idea that the treble mechanism would be the same (same button spacings) on both flat and stepped keyboards, but the height of those sticks may be different, as you suspect.
 

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maugein96 pid=59984 dateline=1535796014 said:
OuijaBoard said:
So Joss Basellis box in those clips sounds quite sharp NOT because of sharp tremolo, but why?  Because it is 442?    Wonderful player, and one new to me . . .

442 tuning should be avoided in all cases.  The world tunes to 440 for pop and jazz music.  Only for classical in Europe they will tune to 443.
The French accordions sounds brighter because they are mostly chromatic (CBA) not piano keyboards.  Piano keyboards will always sound duller than chromatic button keyboards.  Also because the reeds plate are nailed/screwed to the reedblocks NOT waxed.  Nails will always give a brighter sound with more harmonics (overtones)

(Quote from somebody here...)
I can get a similar sound to him if I select LMM, but my ears arent good enough to tell whether he has his bassoon reeds on or off in Apollo Valse. He may be playing MMH, but I just dont know.

It is definitely LMM Joss plays on Apollo

Tor wrote:

Anyone else notice the odd difference in bellows timing push/pull on maugein96s last clip? It sure looks like his accordion has a one way automatic valve in it to me. Interesting idea, in that it may be easier on the left arm, in that its less time lifting the bass side of the instrument.

Two reasons why some accordionists push the open valve button on left hand to close the bellows:
1. Its easier on the shoulder to let the weight of the internals reedblocks pull the bellows as it is to push up the bellows.
2. The sound is better and brighter when pulling the bellows on any accordion.

The French musette can be describe as so:

MM with very little beats per seconds like 1.5 b/sec the most to emulate the modern French musette. 
Reed plates nailed and screwed instead of waxed.  Mostly chromatic models.
MMM with fast beating rates to emulate the old French musette.  Retro sound.
 
M

maugein96

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HiTechBiniou pid=70560 dateline=1584652390 said:
maugein96 pid=59984 dateline=1535796014 said:
OuijaBoard said:
So Joss Basellis box in those clips sounds quite sharp NOT because of sharp tremolo, but why?  Because it is 442?    Wonderful player, and one new to me . . .

442 tuning should be avoided in all cases.  The world tunes to 440 for pop and jazz music.  Only for classical in Europe they will tune to 443.
The French accordions sounds brighter because they are mostly chromatic (CBA) not piano keyboards.  Piano keyboards will always sound duller than chromatic button keyboards.  Also because the reeds plate are nailed/screwed to the reedblocks NOT waxed.  Nails will always give a brighter sound with more harmonics (overtones)

(Quote from somebody here...)
I can get a similar sound to him if I select LMM, but my ears arent good enough to tell whether he has his bassoon reeds on or off in Apollo Valse. He may be playing MMH, but I just dont know.

It is definitely LMM Joss plays on Apollo

Tor wrote:

Anyone else notice the odd difference in bellows timing push/pull on maugein96s last clip? It sure looks like his accordion has a one way automatic valve in it to me. Interesting idea, in that it may be easier on the left arm, in that its less time lifting the bass side of the instrument.

Two reasons why some accordionists push the open valve button on left hand to close the bellows:
1. Its easier on the shoulder to let the weight of the internals reedblocks pull the bellows as it is to push up the bellows.
2. The sound is better and brighter when pulling the bellows on any accordion.

The French musette can be describe as so:

MM with very little beats per seconds like 1.5 b/sec the most to emulate the modern French musette. 
Reed plates nailed and screwed instead of waxed.  Mostly chromatic models.
MMM with fast beating rates to emulate the old French musette.  Retro sound.

Hi Mario,

Thanks for the insight from a pro players perspective. There has been a fair amount of discussion on some of the matters raised, but a lot of us on here are enthusiastic amateurs and often have to resort to guesswork. 

All of my French made CBA accordions have been 442Hz, as that has been the standard turned out by Cavagnolo, and Maugein for many years. Also, I believe that accordions made in Italy for the French market by Crosio, Piermaria, Crucianelli, and others are/were all tuned to 442Hz. I do believe that it may be very rare to find an accordion tuned to anything other than 440Hz in North America, but as usual fin Europe, you often get something different every few miles. 

For instance, accordions intended for the western part of Switzerland are (usually) 441Hz, unless they have just ended up there from France. When I lived in Scotland my current two French made accordions were detuned by a Scottish tuner from 442Hz to 441Hz so that they were a closer match to the 440Hz accordions found there. He was also my teacher for a while and he played along with me during lessons. 

The actual diapason makes no difference to me as I dont play along with others and never quite made the pro league! 

My Cavagnolo Vedette 5 LMM is tuned 4.4 cents, but IMHO if I was honest that tuning doesnt quite somehow suit the instrument, and it would probably sound better with a bit more of an edge to it. It has had a hard life in the hands of its previous owner and the reeds are a bit tired. Still I got it cheap on account of that, so cannot really complain. It will do an amateur, as they say.   


Similarly, my Maugein Mini Sonora LMM is at 8 cents, and on that accordion another 1 or 2 cents higher would probably not go amiss either. It is a very loud little instrument, and the originals as used in folk music in the Auvergne were often tuned nearer 20 cents, or more. I suppose personal preferences come into it, and I wouldnt want anything near 20 cents these days.   

I think most of us prefer to play mostly on the draw, unless the player is in a formal examination setting where bellows movement is being watched by the examiners. 

So many different ways to do the same thing. Maybe thats one of the attractions of the accordion.
 

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John,
I have a Bugari Armando "Special Musette"
marked A438,440,442.
What would you call that? :huh:
 
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maugein96

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Dingo,

I'd call it a mystery!

Never heard of that at all. Are the marks on the reed blocks or elsewhere?

If indeed that's what you have, then your low and high reeds will be tuned 8 cents lower and 8 cents higher respectively than the straight tuned middle reed at 440Hz. 2hz = 8 cents (approximately).

If you select the straight and sharp tuned reeds together you have what the French call "americain" tuning. I don't know what that register would be called on an Italian PA. "Musette" on all three treble reeds configured like yours appears to be is a sound I don't think I've heard before. It will be a fairly "dry" musette sound, although I would imagine that it would be very easy on the ear.

Problem I have is I only really know about French boxes, and they don't make them like your Bugari.

Student models are MM with "vibration", usually with the high reeds at 8 cents like your box, or the less common LM, with both bassoon and flute reeds straight tuned (bandoneon).

"Standard" French accordion is LMM, with high reeds at 8 cents.

"Retro" Standard is MMM, with high reeds about 20 cents or more. Don't know how flat the low reeds will be, as I've never bought such an accordion for a long time.

All 4 voice boxes are usually LMMH these days, or even LLMM with double bassoon. The older combination often had LMMM, but although they still make them, those are pretty rare these days.

5 voice instruments are normally LMMMH, although they aren't very common.

In Europe there is Irish, Scottish, Italian, and German "musette" in order of strength, although most Irish players now use swing tuning. Scotland is the last outpost of the "out of tune accordion", as they are referred to in France. An article in the now defunct only French accordion magazine in circulation featured an article entitled "Stars of the out of tune accordion".

An unkind reference perhaps to the time when most of the players in the French charts played "musette pur" or 3 voice musette. It is still played to this day, but most modern players want a jazzier sound on an LMM.
 

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