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Three row chromatic fingering?

M

maugein96

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Dingo40 said:
Great clip, John!
Thanks  :)

Hi Dingo,

I've no idea what the guy in the clip is actually playing, but wish I could do the same. Playing basses towards the top of the instrument in the sharp keys appears to be fairly common, unless my lack of music theory has failed me again. 

The "three finger trick" on the bass side is possibly in keeping with Brazilian tempos and rhythms. You do get the odd player who occasionally uses the pinky, but most of the "cool" players I've seen prefer to keep it off the keyboard. 

Do they learn it from books? I just don't know. The general impression I get is that only "natural" players are capable of tackling Brazilian accordion. IMHO you cannot learn that stuff from books or sheet music. Hardly any two of them play a tune the same way, and that's the appeal of the music for me.
 
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maugein96 said:
Most Crucianelli 3 rows are two voice (one bank of reeds tuned to pitch, and the other bank higher to give an element of vibration to the sound of the two reeds together). 

You'll probably find a switch on the rear of the treble keyboard that switches between single reed and two reeds together. You'll also probably find that switch useful, especially in the early days before you have the confidence to play at full volume. 

You might be right about the switch on the back. After looking at the photos again, it looks like there may be a sliding bar which could be the voice selection. I should find out on Monday, as that's when its due to arrive.
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
maugein96 said:
Most Crucianelli 3 rows are two voice (one bank of reeds tuned to pitch, and the other bank higher to give an element of vibration to the sound of the two reeds together). 

You'll probably find a switch on the rear of the treble keyboard that switches between single reed and two reeds together. You'll also probably find that switch useful, especially in the early days before you have the confidence to play at full volume. 

You might be right about the switch on the back. After looking at the photos again, it looks like there may be a sliding bar which could be the voice selection. I should find out on Monday, as that's when its due to arrive.

Hi,

It will be a small stud button, and it will serve to switch from one voice to two. If you are planning to sort any reeds out yourself the one voice should be tuned to whatever the diapason of the instrument is. If the seller is advising you that one or two reeds need attention then that will be the fun bit. 

You need to find out what that diapason is first. Standard for UK is 440Hz, but if the originated elsewhere it could be different. If you have a guitar tuner you might be able to use that. The 440Hz will be relative to the A button below bottom C, which on your Crucianelli should be the third button on row 1 (outside row if it is a C system).

I know nothing at all about the finer points of tuning and how to alter the pitch of the reeds, although there are several members on here who are very knowledgeable on the subject. 

Good luck!
 
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maugein96 said:
AimlessWanderer said:
maugein96 said:
Most Crucianelli 3 rows are two voice (one bank of reeds tuned to pitch, and the other bank higher to give an element of vibration to the sound of the two reeds together). 

You'll probably find a switch on the rear of the treble keyboard that switches between single reed and two reeds together. You'll also probably find that switch useful, especially in the early days before you have the confidence to play at full volume. 

You might be right about the switch on the back. After looking at the photos again, it looks like there may be a sliding bar which could be the voice selection. I should find out on Monday, as that's when its due to arrive.

Hi,

It will be a small stud button, and it will serve to switch from one voice to two. If you are planning to sort any reeds out yourself the one voice should be tuned to whatever the diapason of the instrument is. If the seller is advising you that one or two reeds need attention then that will be the fun bit. 

You need to find out what that diapason is first. Standard for UK is 440Hz, but if the originated elsewhere it could be different. If you have a guitar tuner you might be able to use that. The 440Hz will be relative to the A button below bottom C, which on your Crucianelli should be the third button on row 1 (outside row if it is a C system).

I know nothing at all about the finer points of tuning and how to alter the pitch of the reeds, although there are several members on here who are very knowledgeable on the subject. 

Good luck!

I've been told some reeds might (not will) need adjusting, probably more as a disclaimer, and them not getting demands for refunds if any of the many reeds sound a little off. I'm assuming the process will be similar to tuning harmonica reeds, in which case I have a reasonable chance of doing it. However, I've also read that reeds should be adjusted last, and attention should be paid to general cleaning internally and condition/seating of valves first, before diving into scraping metal away. I'll not jump straight into stripping it down though, and will only start removing covers if anything feels "off" mechanically, or anything sounds really off to my untrained ear.

I haven't seen a small stud button, but there's a metal strip almost full length with "feet" on. It looks like that whole thing might slide (to change voice in any hand position maybe?). There may also be a smaller part that slides too, but obscured by the straps in the pic. I'll have a closer look on Monday.

I'll probably start a new thread with pics, and let people jump in with comments, hints, suggestions, and warnings of things to look out for. I haven't figured out which sub-forum would be best for that yet though. Makes and models, or accordion chat?
 

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Stephen pid=68967 dateline=1578003096 said:
Hello Wanderer,

The buttons on your CBA being all the same colour is an advantage, once you progress with your CBA study youll notice monocolour buttons free your mind. 
If you stick to white and black buttons on the CBA, you tend to think there is only one basic key, C major. Because the white buttons happen to be the ones of the C major scale.

Having a monocolour buttonboard on your CBA is an advantage, not an obstacle.
I know this may sound strange to a CBA beginner. Im in favour of monocolour buttons on the CBA.
In the late 19th and early 20th century most CBAs only had monocolour buttons. The children and beginners didnt need two different colours for the buttons.

In my humble opinion, having two different colours for the buttons will slow you down with your CBA study. 
Monocolour buttonboards ensure you of thinking in shapes, intervals, directions, orientations, ... 

This German music forum topic is about fast runs on (a five rows) CBA. Scroll for the pictures with the red and green markers on the CBA buttonboard. The red one shows a scale over three rows, the green one shows a scale over four rows (with another angle of your wrist !).

The link to the pictures with the red and green markings for the scales on the CBA:
https://www.musiker-board.de/thread...laeufe-auf-ein-c-griff-knopfakkordeon.698073/

There’s currently a very active thread under Accordion chat on monocolor that’s a lot of fun.
https://www.accordionists.info/showthread.php?tid=6516

My advise on 3 row is similarly to embrace it and not see it as a limitation.
While probably judgemental to call 5 rows ‘cheating’, really learning to do everything with 3 rows accomplishes something very musically important... it forces you to come up with 3 different kinds of ideas when composing and particularly when improvising.
While 5 row allows easy transposition, it’s difficult not to let this crutch lead you to always using the same licks, ideas, and fingerings in all keys.
 
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stickista said:
My advise on 3 row is similarly to embrace it and not see it as a limitation.
While probably judgemental to call 5 rows ‘cheating’, really learning to do everything with 3 rows accomplishes something very musically important... it forces you to come up with 3 different kinds of ideas when composing and particularly when improvising.
While 5 row allows easy transposition, it’s difficult not to let this crutch lead you to always using the same licks, ideas, and fingerings in all keys.

That's exactly what I intend to do :) I'm in it for the challenge anyway, so having to shift chord shapes/arpeggios etc as they fall on different lines doesn't phase me, in and of itself. I'm just surprised at how little info/guidance already exists for the three row compared to the five row. Likewise with the monocolour, that doesn't worry me either, it just would have been nice to know what system I was getting. I'll find out tomorrow though :D
 
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The noisy typewriter is here :D

5RvpXCf.jpg

It does appear to have two voices via the large slide bar underneath

xIefVwe.jpg

However, it also needs some mechanical attention (which wasnt unexpected at the price I paid). Some of the bass keys are sunken, and if I lift it at one end, it slowly opens and reeds are sounding, so I have some sticky keys to fix.

2p2ZSll.jpg

Aside from that, the only other niggle that Ive noticed, is the stud for the upper bellows strap seems slightly displaced, and I cant close that strap, even though the bellows close fully (the stud for clipping the strap open is in the right place).

SmTd51T.jpg

Apologies for the dark images. Rather overcast here today, so natural light was somewhat lacking.
 
M

maugein96

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AimlessWanderer pid=69302 dateline=1578928776 said:
The noisy typewriter is here :D

5RvpXCf.jpg

It does appear to have two voices via the large slide bar underneath

xIefVwe.jpg

However, it also needs some mechanical attention (which wasnt unexpected at the price I paid). Some of the bass keys are sunken, and if I lift it at one end, it slowly opens and reeds are sounding, so I have some sticky keys to fix.

2p2ZSll.jpg

Aside from that, the only other niggle that Ive noticed, is the stud for the upper bellows strap seems slightly displaced, and I cant close that strap, even though the bellows close fully (the stud for clipping the strap open is in the right place).

SmTd51T.jpg

Apologies for the dark images. Rather overcast here today, so natural light was somewhat lacking.

Hi,

You have some issues there with your Belgian bass system, and the sound you are hearing when lifting it up will probably be because one or more of the bass buttons are partially stuck down. 

Where do we begin? Regardless of what system you have on the treble side, you are probably now a member of the smallest accordion club in the UK. Belgian bass in the UK is very rare indeed, and that one needs fixing. 

Youll need to separate the entire bass side of your accordion from the bellows by removing the bellows pins on the front and rear of the bass side casing. As with many things accordion, a special tool makes that easier, but you should be able to get the (usually 6) pins out by carefully pulling them with smallish pliers. Try and remember what pin goes where for reassembly, as they say the same pin should go back in the same hole for the sake of airtightness. 

You can then rest the bass side on a flat surface for the difficult bit. All of your 96 bass button heads need to be unscrewed so that you can remove the small screws on bass side keyboard plate. When you lift the keyboard plate off take a photo of the entire bass mechanism, in case you run into difficulties with what goes where on reassembly. 

Seems your bass side has sustained a bit of a bashing and some of the control levers have either been displaced or knocked out of alignment. Ideally, you would want to remove the bass control system in its entirety, but that may not be possible on your instrument. 

You then need to fix all the control levers to the affected buttons so that the buttons are all roughly at the same height. The control levers run from the buttons to the mechanism used to activate the pallets, and each one will be more or less unique in its configuration. Without expensive special tools youll not get them spot on, but if you can get the sunken buttons back to roughly the same height as their original positions then youll do well. It may be necessary to bend the wonky rods back to their original configuration, taking care not to overbend or break the rods. Bending or otherwise altering them has to be done with extreme care, as if you get it wrong the affected button(s) will simply drop back down again the next time the box gats a slight knock. 

I have done such a job on two separate occasions on a Cavagnolo 120 bass accordion and it isnt for the faint of heart. I cut a cardboard strip for each of the six rows of buttons and pushed each control lever through it to keep them in the correct order (no mobile phones in those days).   

Until youve managed to resolve the bass side issue there will be no point in trying to attend to any of the reeds. Belgian basses usually have 3 rows of chords and 3 rows of single bass notes. Looking at the photos, it seems that all of your affected buttons will only control a single note each.  

If you run into difficulties, or decide repair is a bit of a tall order, it may be a good idea to contact a repairer, if only for advice. I doubt there will be any spare parts available for Belgian bass accordions in the UK, but you never know.  

If your luck was really in you may be able to source an entire bass side to match the treble side you have, and hopefully it will have a standard Stradella 96 bass. 

If you manage to fix the bass side, learning Belgian bass in the UK could be difficult. If you Google Hamelrijk in Brussels, it is an accordion shop dealing in all sorts of bass systems, and they may be able to advise you where you could obtain a method book that covers the Belgian bass system. It is usually described as an upside down Stradella system, which is an approximation. The sharps are at the bottom of the keyboard and the flats are at the top.  

It is a bit of a project, but not insurmountable. Any broken parts can occasionally be replaced by home made substitutes if you are able to make them yourself. Bellows straps of the type you have are easy enough to source. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]There are a few Belgian members on the forum, and several others with detailed technical knowledge with regard to the workings of your noisy typewriter. [/font]
 

Chrisrayner

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Hmm. What you saved in purchase price you may well spend in repair and restoration. Best of luck. Is it B or C, or possibly some other variant? The bass end looks a bit odd, those half rows at the top and bottom are something I’ve not seen before.
 
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maugein96 pid=69305 dateline=1578936995 said:
Hi,

You have some issues there with your Belgian bass system, and the sound you are hearing when lifting it up will probably be because one or more of the bass buttons are partially stuck down. 

Where do we begin? Regardless of what system you have on the treble side, you are probably now a member of the smallest accordion club in the UK. Belgian bass in the UK is very rare indeed, and that one needs fixing. 

Youll need to separate the entire bass side of your accordion from the bellows by removing the bellows pins on the front and rear of the bass side casing. As with many things accordion, a special tool makes that easier, but you should be able to get the (usually 6) pins out by carefully pulling them with smallish pliers. Try and remember what pin goes where for reassembly, as they say the same pin should go back in the same hole for the sake of airtightness. 

You can then rest the bass side on a flat surface for the difficult bit. All of your 96 bass button heads need to be unscrewed so that you can remove the small screws on bass side keyboard plate. When you lift the keyboard plate off take a photo of the entire bass mechanism, in case you run into difficulties with what goes where on reassembly. 

Seems your bass side has sustained a bit of a bashing and some of the control levers have either been displaced or knocked out of alignment. Ideally, you would want to remove the bass control system in its entirety, but that may not be possible on your instrument. 

You then need to fix all the control levers to the affected buttons so that the buttons are all roughly at the same height. The control levers run from the buttons to the mechanism used to activate the pallets, and each one will be more or less unique in its configuration. Without expensive special tools youll not get them spot on, but if you can get the sunken buttons back to roughly the same height as their original positions then youll do well. It may be necessary to bend the wonky rods back to their original configuration, taking care not to overbend or break the rods. Bending or otherwise altering them has to be done with extreme care, as if you get it wrong the affected button(s) will simply drop back down again the next time the box gats a slight knock. 

I have done such a job on two separate occasions on a Cavagnolo 120 bass accordion and it isnt for the faint of heart. I cut a cardboard strip for each of the six rows of buttons and pushed each control lever through it to keep them in the correct order (no mobile phones in those days).   

Until youve managed to resolve the bass side issue there will be no point in trying to attend to any of the reeds. Belgian basses usually have 3 rows of chords and 3 rows of single bass notes. Looking at the photos, it seems that all of your affected buttons will only control a single note each.  

If you run into difficulties, or decide repair is a bit of a tall order, it may be a good idea to contact a repairer, if only for advice. I doubt there will be any spare parts available for Belgian bass accordions in the UK, but you never know.  

If your luck was really in you may be able to source an entire bass side to match the treble side you have, and hopefully it will have a standard Stradella 96 bass. 

If you manage to fix the bass side, learning Belgian bass in the UK could be difficult. If you Google Hamelrijk in Brussels, it is an accordion shop dealing in all sorts of bass systems, and they may be able to advise you where you could obtain a method book that covers the Belgian bass system. It is usually described as an upside down Stradella system, which is an approximation. The sharps are at the bottom of the keyboard and the flats are at the top.  

It is a bit of a project, but not insurmountable. Any broken parts can occasionally be replaced by home made substitutes if you are able to make them yourself. Bellows straps of the type you have are easy enough to source. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]There are a few Belgian members on the forum, and several others with detailed technical knowledge with regard to the workings of your noisy typewriter. [/font]

Fantastic reply!!! Thank you so much.

Yes, Belgian (or some other obscure) bass does seem to me what this is, judging by how buttons in three rows are linked together - sometimes! Some depress four or more buttons, others, just one! As to the repairs, Im hoping that theres something bent which is causing one part of the mechanism to jam, and that it can be easily remedied - or even better, just a bit of dirt that needs clearing.

Wow - its even more unusual than I thought, and Im quite happy with that :)

As to figuring out the single note rows, Im pretty confident I can suss out what the note layout is, and come up with a schematic and fingering charts to determine how to play chords manually. Its determining what the chord rows are that might be more challenging. My ear isnt that great, but I could try to figure it out by trying to match the sound with chords played on an electric keyboard if I cant find any schematics.

Do each of the buttons unscrew from the lever just like taking the top off a bottle, or have I misunderstood something? They arent turning freely, and dont want to force them. Do I even need to do that at all? It looks like I can drop this end plate off without removing anything else.




Chrisrayner pid=69306 dateline=1578937142 said:
Hmm.  What you saved in purchase price you may well spend in repair and restoration.  Best of luck.  Is it B or C, or possibly some other variant?  The bass end looks a bit odd, those half rows at the top and bottom are something I’ve not seen before.

It seems to be B system, judging how the semitones run, but Ive not explored that side much yet, as Im focusing on the bass side. That bass side is two staggered banks of three from what I can tell, not two half rows at each end
 

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OK, so it's definitely B system, and definitely the row that's nearest the bellows that's sticking. Maybe something has shifted inside in transit (loose reed block?), and is putting pressure on the levers. I'll need to take the cover off in the next day or two, and give things a bit of a prod.
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer pid=69308 dateline=1578940695 said:
maugein96 pid=69305 dateline=1578936995 said:
Hi,

You have some issues there with your Belgian bass system, and the sound you are hearing when lifting it up will probably be because one or more of the bass buttons are partially stuck down. 

Where do we begin? Regardless of what system you have on the treble side, you are probably now a member of the smallest accordion club in the UK. Belgian bass in the UK is very rare indeed, and that one needs fixing. 

Youll need to separate the entire bass side of your accordion from the bellows by removing the bellows pins on the front and rear of the bass side casing. As with many things accordion, a special tool makes that easier, but you should be able to get the (usually 6) pins out by carefully pulling them with smallish pliers. Try and remember what pin goes where for reassembly, as they say the same pin should go back in the same hole for the sake of airtightness. 

You can then rest the bass side on a flat surface for the difficult bit. All of your 96 bass button heads need to be unscrewed so that you can remove the small screws on bass side keyboard plate. When you lift the keyboard plate off take a photo of the entire bass mechanism, in case you run into difficulties with what goes where on reassembly. 

Seems your bass side has sustained a bit of a bashing and some of the control levers have either been displaced or knocked out of alignment. Ideally, you would want to remove the bass control system in its entirety, but that may not be possible on your instrument. 

You then need to fix all the control levers to the affected buttons so that the buttons are all roughly at the same height. The control levers run from the buttons to the mechanism used to activate the pallets, and each one will be more or less unique in its configuration. Without expensive special tools youll not get them spot on, but if you can get the sunken buttons back to roughly the same height as their original positions then youll do well. It may be necessary to bend the wonky rods back to their original configuration, taking care not to overbend or break the rods. Bending or otherwise altering them has to be done with extreme care, as if you get it wrong the affected button(s) will simply drop back down again the next time the box gats a slight knock. 

I have done such a job on two separate occasions on a Cavagnolo 120 bass accordion and it isnt for the faint of heart. I cut a cardboard strip for each of the six rows of buttons and pushed each control lever through it to keep them in the correct order (no mobile phones in those days).   

Until youve managed to resolve the bass side issue there will be no point in trying to attend to any of the reeds. Belgian basses usually have 3 rows of chords and 3 rows of single bass notes. Looking at the photos, it seems that all of your affected buttons will only control a single note each.  

If you run into difficulties, or decide repair is a bit of a tall order, it may be a good idea to contact a repairer, if only for advice. I doubt there will be any spare parts available for Belgian bass accordions in the UK, but you never know.  

If your luck was really in you may be able to source an entire bass side to match the treble side you have, and hopefully it will have a standard Stradella 96 bass. 

If you manage to fix the bass side, learning Belgian bass in the UK could be difficult. If you Google Hamelrijk in Brussels, it is an accordion shop dealing in all sorts of bass systems, and they may be able to advise you where you could obtain a method book that covers the Belgian bass system. It is usually described as an upside down Stradella system, which is an approximation. The sharps are at the bottom of the keyboard and the flats are at the top.  

It is a bit of a project, but not insurmountable. Any broken parts can occasionally be replaced by home made substitutes if you are able to make them yourself. Bellows straps of the type you have are easy enough to source. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]There are a few Belgian members on the forum, and several others with detailed technical knowledge with regard to the workings of your noisy typewriter. [/font]

Fantastic reply!!! Thank you so much.

Yes, Belgian (or some other obscure) bass does seem to me what this is, judging by how buttons in three rows are linked together - sometimes! Some depress four or more buttons, others, just one! As to the repairs, Im hoping that theres something bent which is causing one part of the mechanism to jam, and that it can be easily remedied - or even better, just a bit of dirt that needs clearing.

Wow - its even more unusual than I thought, and Im quite happy with that :)

As to figuring out the single note rows, Im pretty confident I can suss out what the note layout is, and come up with a schematic and fingering charts to determine how to play chords manually. Its determining what the chord rows are that might be more challenging. My ear isnt that great, but I could try to figure it out by trying to match the sound with chords played on an electric keyboard if I cant find any schematics.

Do each of the buttons unscrew from the lever just like taking the top off a bottle, or have I misunderstood something? They arent turning freely, and dont want to force them. Do I even need to do that at all? It looks like I can drop this end plate off without removing anything else.




Chrisrayner pid=69306 dateline=1578937142 said:
Hmm.  What you saved in purchase price you may well spend in repair and restoration.  Best of luck.  Is it B or C, or possibly some other variant?  The bass end looks a bit odd, those half rows at the top and bottom are something I’ve not seen before.

It seems to be B system, judging how the semitones run, but Ive not explored that side much yet, as Im focusing on the bass side. That bass side is two staggered banks of three from what I can tell, not two half rows at each end



Hi,

You could try taking the end panel off and with luck you may be able to access the levers from there. From memory, although I could see the issue on my Cavagnolo, I couldnt get access to sort the levers out from that side panel. I forgot about that aspect, and well spotted, as it could save you a lot of time, if you can reach them from there.  

The buttons do unscrew on threads, but the pros use yet another special tool that isnt easy to come by:- 

https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Outil-pour-...ns-clef-pour-visser-les-boutons-/362212405597

If you do go down that road please be aware that separate tools exist for the bass and treble buttons. You can get them cheaper than that (if you can find them). If unscrewing them manually the buttons do need a bit of pressure to remove them (unscrew anticlockwise as normal), and your fingertips will be on fire after the process of removing and replacing them all. 

It is rare to find a C system with Belgian basses, and it will most probably be a B system. There are two B systems in Belgium. Do2 (Charleroi) has the C button in the second row, and Do3 (Liege) has the C button in the third row. Most common type is Do3 Liege. Youll also find Do1 (Bruxelles), and those are in fact C system instruments. Occasionally Bruxelles boxes will have a Belgian bass, but Stradella is more normal.

With regard to the bass buttons. The inside three rows of 48 bass buttons only sound 12 notes between them, so there are in effect 36 buttons that are repeaters of the other 12. If you depress any button on the inside three rows, another three will automatically depress. If they dont then something is wrong.

The outer three rows give major, minor, and 7th chords, but I have to confess I dont know what buttons do what in those rows. My knowledge of chords on accordions is pretty ropey, and the Belgian bass is something I have never had the chance to play.

A lot of the old French musette players used Belgian basses (Andre Verchuren, Edouard Duleu, Maurice Larcange, Gilbert Roussel, etc.). Belgian bass was very common in France in some areas near to the Belgian border until fairly recently, but Im led to believe most young players now use Stradella.
 
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Hi maugein96, I don't know if you saw this post ...

AimlessWanderer said:
OK, so it's definitely B system, and definitely the row that's nearest the bellows that's sticking. Maybe something has shifted inside in transit (loose reed block?), and is putting pressure on the levers. I'll need to take the cover off in the next day or two, and give things a bit of a prod.

B is on the outer row, C is on the inner, and semitones run diagonally down and out (with the instrument being worn) as per the most common B system.

On the bass, I have determined that the end four notes are repeated at the other end, but the intermediate notes don't always link directly to the others. Fore example, one button might depress several others (depending if any are repeated again at the ends or not), but pressing a different one of those same linked buttons, might just see that one button depress on its own. Or in a row, the central ones might be individual, but the end ones depress four. It's definitely going to need "a few coats of looking at", as there might be linkages that need repairs.

It's certainly going to be an interesting project :D

I'll drop that end panel off tomorrow, and shine a light inside. If I can't see any obvious obstructions/breakages I'll take the end cover off as per your instructions.

... oh, and I think there's a French System that's 3+3 as well ...
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
Hi maugein96, I don't know if you saw this post ...

AimlessWanderer said:
OK, so it's definitely B system, and definitely the row that's nearest the bellows that's sticking. Maybe something has shifted inside in transit (loose reed block?), and is putting pressure on the levers. I'll need to take the cover off in the next day or two, and give things a bit of a prod.

B is on the outer row, C is on the inner, and semitones run diagonally down and out (with the instrument being worn) as per the most common B system.

On the bass, I have determined that the end four notes are repeated at the other end, but the intermediate notes don't always link directly to the others. Fore example, one button might depress several others (depending if any are repeated again at the ends or not), but pressing a different one of those same linked buttons, might just see that one button depress on its own. Or in a row, the central ones might be individual, but the end ones depress four. It's definitely going to need "a few coats of looking at", as there might be linkages that need repairs.

It's certainly going to be an interesting project :D

I'll drop that end panel off tomorrow, and shine a light inside. If I can't see any obvious obstructions/breakages I'll take the end cover off as per your instructions.

... oh, and I think there's a French System that's 3+3 as well ...

Hello again,

3+3 is the most common bass configuration on CBA accordions in France and Portugal, although these days particularly you can also get them in the more usual 2+4. 

On 3+3 there is an extra row of "counterbass" buttons nearest the bellows and the row of dim7 chords is absent. Such accordions are also pretty rare in the UK, although I have played one or two, without using the enigmatic inner row. 

Over the years I've seen maybe 20 French accordion method books, and I've never yet seen one that covers the inside row of a 3+3. On French made accordions the three notes sounded for a 7th chord is different from those on a "standard" Stradella accordion. It has been explained to me several times over the years, but I'm sorry to say that it has gone right over my head on every occasion. Essentially the French version makes playing a dim7 chord possible by playing the 7th chord on the row above or below, but as I say I have very little knowledge of chords and their composition. I'm led to believe the Belgian system offers a similar facility, but I don't know enough about it to attempt a logical explanation. 

On instruments like the guitar my ear can pick up the subtle differences between chords, but with an accordion there is so much "grunt" going on in the bass side my ear takes the day off!   

Not sure why the inner row on your treble side is playing up. As you say, you'll probably need to remove the treble side as well and have a look at the reed blocks, and lever mechanism. Your treble buttons appear to be of uniform height, which is generally a good sign. Could be a pallet has become dislodged and the reeds are sounding constantly.

If you hit any problems post any questions in the "How do I" board and somebody will pick it up there. Unfortunately I don't have sufficient knowledge or experience to advise on the finer points of repair and tuning.
 

dunlustin

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I hesitate to sound a negative note but:
Did you buy from a dealer or an individual?
Were you told it was Belgian Bass?
Were you told if it was B or C system?
Was the bass machine protected by the seller when packing the instrument?
Are you unbothered to find/were you aware that you were buying a broken accordion?
Sorry to be a bit brutal but on the face of it this seems like mis-selling.
 

Dingo40

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John, AW,
This thread has been a highly interesting exploration of the amazing variety of regional accordion configurations that exist out there!

It seems AW's bases are configured 3+3 ( minor counterbass, counterbass, fundamental bass: major, minor, and seventh chords), with the chords deviating from the three notes customarily  used to construct them in the Stradella system. Fascinating! :)

I have an example of still another regional variant in a 140/41 LMH PA, 3+4 bass Stradella system, which I purchased, not for the extra column of minor counterbasses ( evidently handy in playing Balkan (Serbian) Music, but because I liked the sound of the Giuletti  tuning in the treble :)

Dunlustin,
Maintenance issues with used accordions bought sight unseen are almost guaranteed.
My own accordion teacher bough a CBA (a Paolo Soprani) with 120 Stradella peg bases off (bass and treble buttons both identical peg style) an interstate  "Trading Post " advertisement (pre internet days).
This one had a groove for the thumb built into the side of the treble board and was evidently meant to be played without using the thumb.
When it arrived, it was  a B system (don't ask which one) and in far worse shape than expected from either the ad or the pre-purchase phone call :(
Luckily, our local very skilled accordion repairman was able to fix it pretty well  :)
 
M

maugein96

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Dingo40 said:
John, AW,
This thread has been a highly interesting exploration of the amazing variety of regional accordion configurations that exist out there!

It seems AW's bases are configured 3+3 ( minor counterbass, counterbass, fundamental bass: major, minor, and seventh chords), with the chords deviating from the three notes customarily  used to construct them in the Stradella system. Fascinating! :)

I have an example of still another regional variant in a 140/41 LMMM Scandalli PA, 3+4 bass Stradella system, which I purchased, not for the extra column of minor counterbasses ( evidently handy in playing Balkan (Serbian) Music, but because I liked the sound of the "quint" tuning in the treble :)

Dunlustin,
Maintenance issues with used accordions bought sight unseen are almost guaranteed.
My own accordion teacher bough a CBA (a Paolo Soprani) with 120 Stradella peg bases off (bass and treble buttons both identical peg style) an interstate  "Trading Post " advertisement (pre internet days).
When it arrived, it was  a B system (don't ask which one) and in far worse shape than expected from either the ad or the pre-purchase phone call :(
Luckily, our local very skilled accordion repairman was able to fix it pretty well  :)

Dingo,

I love the sound of Balkan accordions, although the 6 row B system and 140 bass is a very expensive rarity in the UK. The PA version is presumably much the same with regard to cost, sound, and rarity outside of Serbia. 

Another take on the Belgian system is the Italian Modenese, which adds another row of what you describe as minor counterbass to give 140 buttons. 

Only accordion I've ever bought online was a brand new French spec Hohner Nova from the US, and it had a couple of reeds that needed work. 

In days gone by in the UK it was normal to order any instrument (new or used) from abroad via a dealer, as the chance of the instrument needing attention after being in transit was almost 100%, even if it was only a "spot tune". 

However, in the current climate it can be difficult to source anything here other than a standard PA, and I would imagine it is the same over your way. 

In this case AW has ended up with what we unceremoniously refer to in Scotland as a "bag of spanners", but as you say it will probably be fixable to give an unusual instrument. 

In Scotland, the usual box is an LMMM PA tuned for Scottish music, and your sanity will be questioned if you walk into a music shop and ask for anything else. Despite that, unusual boxes do occasionally turn up, and people like myself frequently buy them, just to ensure we don't fit in with any stereotyping. 

About 20 years ago I fancied having a go on a Belgian B system box, to be told by a dealer there were less than a handful in the whole of the UK. Then AW goes and buys one online. What were the odds of that happening?


It's OK, AW, my notion for Belgian basses wore off years ago! I don't think I could really master any accordion bass system, so I'm better off making mistakes on the boxes I have.
 

Dingo40

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John,
I was astonished to see a used 140 bass (3+4) Giuletti, exactly like mine, advertised for several thousand Australian dollars, recently, by a major Melbourne accordion dealer. I certainly didn't pay the equivalent price some forty  years ago, when I got mine ( used, but as new condition ).
I can only imagine it wasn't considered a big deal then! Perhaps the extra bases were seen as a turn-off by local criteria at the time  :huh:
As I said, I very much like the sound of it and, what's more, it's the one accordion that's never needed any attention of any kind, not even new straps! :)
It came without a box, but now lives in an adopted "Cordovox " case which suits it well :)
 
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dunlustin said:
I hesitate to sound a negative note but:
Did you buy from a dealer or an individual?
Were you told it was Belgian Bass?
Were you told if it was B or C system?
Was the bass machine protected by the seller when packing the instrument?
Are you unbothered to find/were you aware that you were buying a broken accordion?
Sorry to be a bit brutal but on the face of it this seems like mis-selling.

I totally understand where you're coming from with this, but I have no hard feelings towards the seller. They are an individual, and i've bought from them before. The other two instruments that arrived with this (different types) were as described. I've no reason to doubt that all the buttons worked when it left them, just as they said. As to the description of the systems etc, they aren't an accordion specialist, so they made no attempt to specify.

I genuinely like that it's ususual. Most of my instruments are, for one reason or another. As I only intend on learning and owning one accordion, I'm not going to be personally wrestling with multiple systems anyway, so an unusual system is of no detriment to me. I just need to find and fix the internal obstruction on this, check/fix any subsequent linkage issues, unscrew one bellows strap stud, and move it 2mm nearer. Bellows seem good. Body seems good, even the straps are in good condition. It was very well packaged externally, no internal packaging. There's no case, but I'll only be using it at home anyway. 

Maugein96, Dingo40, great conversation guys
 

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