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(Vintage) Dalapé

Dingo40

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The one make that ( in my opinion) can give the Barinov Jupiter Bayan a run for its money!?
An example:
A different example:
Finally:
 
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debra

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Dallapé made excellent accordions. (It's a shame there are so many fakes, which makes buying a genuine one harder.)
But of course to give the Jupiter a run for its money you first need to make the keyboard go over a full octave lower and then see how good the response remains...
 

Walker

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But of course to give the Jupiter a run for its money you first need to make the keyboard go over a full octave lower and then see how good the response remains...
Hi Paul, Jupiters are impressive. 🙂(y)

But Dallape makes the sweetest of music to my ears.🤩


I respect Jupiter accordions BUT I love Dallape accordions.

This is one of the very first classical pieces I ever heard on the accordion (ignore the cover photo, Mr. Ugarte played a Dallape Supermaestro IV, 41/120 Stradella only):


Does anyone remember the first accordion or tune that really struck a chord with them?
 
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Tom

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Hi Paul, Jupiters are impressive. 🙂(y)

But Dallape makes the sweetest of music to my ears.🤩


I respect Jupiter accordions BUT I love Dallape accordions.

This is one of the very first classical pieces I ever heard on the accordion (ignore the cover photo, Mr. Ugarte played a Dallape Supermaestro IV, 41/120 Stradella only):


Does anyone remember the first accordion or tune that really struck a chord with them?
Gino Carbonaro's Bugari is right up there, but again, I hate to be repetitive, but my first accordion, acquired totally randomly, never having seen one up close, or having any desire whatsoever before that moment, a Lira ladies model. As soon as it made a sound in my hands I was hooked, the rest is destiny. Although I have purchased many accordions, of greater and lesser "value," it really struck thst first chord. Once I figured out how....
 

Walker

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I know what you mean Tom. Some instruments are evergreen and just stay in your heart. For me, it's all down to the recordings I heard of Ugarte well over 25 years ago. I never hear of him any more, I think he might be a conductor these days... Very shortly after, I heard Oleg Sharov for the first time at the City Halls in Perth, Scotland. I was mesmerised by his rendition of the Blue Danube, by Johann Strauss II. I met and spoke to Mr. Sharov, a great experience. He played a Jupiter. So it's funny that I associate Dallape and Jupiter despite them being totally different instruments.

Bugari accordions are cool, I have always owned one but it never captured my heart like Dallape accordions.
 

Tom

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I know what you mean Tom. Some instruments are evergreen and just stay in your heart. For me, it's all down to the recordings I heard of Ugarte well over 25 years ago. I never hear of him any more, I think he might be a conductor these days... Very shortly after, I heard Oleg Sharov for the first time at the City Halls in Perth, Scotland. I was mesmerised by his rendition of the Blue Danube, by Johann Strauss II. I met and spoke to Mr. Sharov, a great experience. He played a Jupiter. So it's funny that I associate Dallape and Jupiter despite them being totally different instruments.

Bugari accordions are cool, I have always owned one but it never captured my heart like Dallape accordions.
Thanks Walker, cool story. I know I'll never buy one of those top of the line accordions so I don't pay much attention, even though I understand the quest. As we all know, you can spin plates or make beautiful music with a range of tools, or as our old friend the other Walker used to say, different strokes for different horses.
 
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luckykit

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Wow, the Dallape is so bright and warm. Question: what does inside and outside of chamber mean? Also, how does one guard against buying fakes? Is there something obvious that is easily spotted? Do fakes ever sound as nice as the original? Thanks.
 

Walker

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I bought a Dallape once from the factory in Stradella, after visiting many moons ago. There was no place on earth quite like Fabbrica Armoniche Mariano Dallapé e Figlio. The walls heaved with the weight of tradition. The Stradella bass system was named after the town where Dallape founded an accordion industry and reigned supreme for many years. There was a street and a museum named after Dallape. They were the original classic accordion to me and many, many others. Without Dallape, where would the great Giovanni Gola have learned his trade? Would the Hohner Gola even exist if it were not for the Dallape training? These were instruments for great maestri and even a Pope - and Dallape knew it, for lo Stradivari delle fisarmoniche was often stamped on a badge at the back of many instruments.

However, since 2010 that famous old factory closed its doors. But the story of Dallape is a long one and from 1876 to 2010 there were many instruments of varying designs created. Dallape accordions with the aluminium grill (1960s etc.) were famous. But there is so much more to Dallape than that. You see Dallape had an old way of constructing instruments, they were extra solid and sturdy, but in the passing of ages they were finally left behind as people searched for the next big thing. Once they were ahead, but near the end they faded softly. Eventually they became like many other normal accordion manufacturers and had to rely on Castelfidardo more in the production of accordions.

But wow, there were some accordions from the 1950s to 1970s that were majestic. Dallape in the 1950s made their own artisan reeds, not just some vague a mano title - but truly beautiful reeds. They had their own keyboard makers too. A few years ago, after Mr. Dallape and Mr. Beltrami restored my Gola, I was offered a beautiful Supermaestro with interesting Chicago grill design. I did not purchase it as I had an eye on taking up free bass. Mr. Dallape understood and was good humoured. He had sent me a vintage advert of the exact accordion model.​

Dallape.jpeg
Dallape were also loved in many other traditional kinds of music. Perhaps some individual somewhere might try to flog a random instrument with a Dallape badge, on an online marketplace. It's possible. But anyone who actually knows about Dallape would surely tell... There were different era's of Dallape from antique to vintage, modern and finally digital (Roland sounds). I don't think any old accordion can sound as good as a vintage Dallape. However, if I were to look for a good Dallape, I would probably stay away from online marketplaces. I would contact someone in Stradella that I trusted and ask if they knew of anyone in the town with a good example to sell. That's what I would do personally, it is not intended as advice.

Everything has it's time. At one time Dallape was the Rolls Royce. But times change and there are other Italian greats now.

Note: Your question regarding inside and outside of chamber - this is about the internal architecture that some accordions have. It refers to tone chamber or cassotto. Reed blocks fitted inside the tone chamber develop a mellower tone. In piano accordions the bassoon and clarinet voices are typically (though other configurations exist) placed within the chamber. Full details are available on a number of other threads.

See: Cassotto Accordions - Inefficient Musical Technology?​

 
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John M

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Walker--Your background and history of Dallape (the person and the accordion) is amazing. I just started playing again after 70 years--first an acoustic and then now Roland FR-8X. When I was in the market for a FR-8X, I came across a used Roland FR-8X, one they called the Dallape, of which I never heard of. Functionally, it is the same as the 8X, however, it was a limited edition of which there were 500 made. Mine is No. 255. I think it looks better than the 8X, has a nicer grill that is more subdued--not as shiny. The accordion straps are nice and thick as well as the bass strap. It is basically a fancy version of the 8X.

I wondered where Roland came up with this name that I wasn't aware of. Obviously, it is a well respected name. Thanks to you, I have much more information now and can appreciate my accordion more.

John M.
 

Walker

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Thank you @John M for your kind words. It's great to hear you are playing again.

Dallape were quite something. And yes, you got the luxury version FR-8X. Nice one!
 

Tom

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Wow, great story, Stewart, thanks! And thanks Dingo, for another great version of O Que Tem a Rosa (your second video). One of these days I've got to start playing that one.....
 

Walker

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@Lucio76 You have a Dallape Centenario. Amazing! That's you playing the accordion. Wow, great music! Lovely Supermaestro. I love this grill design, like the Cathedral model grill.

Do you know the work of the experimental accordionist Piero Mortara? He is a Dallape man too...

 
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Lucio76

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@Lucio76 You have a Dallape Centenario. Amazing! That's you playing the accordion. Wow, great music! Lovely Supermaestro. I love this grill design, like the Cathedral model grill.

Do you know the work of the experimental accordionist Piero Mortara? He is a Dallape man too...
Thanks Walker! I play my Dallapè since I was 12 and it has my same age.
My father bought it from my first teacher, I think it came from the Lucchini shop in Stradella. I found a ByMarco signature inside which suggests that was sold as used by Lucchini where Marco Cagiada (ByMarco) was employed in those years. Who knows who was the first owner?

It's a powerful instrument and I love its compact design.
I didn't like the tuning on the violin/musette so I lowered a few cents of pitch on one set of reeds (well...Beltrami did it actually).
My favorite registers are: Basson, Harmonium, Flute (dry), Bandoneon, Violin, Clarinet and Piccolo.

I didn't know Pietro Mortara, interesting! Thank you for sharing!
 

Walker

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@Lucio76 Thank you for sharing. I have seen this model before, they are beautiful. I expect Mr. Cagiada must have tuned the accordion at some time. He worked at Dallape for a while, but that was in 1981. He could not have been the original tuner for a 1976 model. Indeed, I have heard Mr. Cagiada often autographs the inside of accordions. That's his 'thing'.

Anyway, more importantly, Beltrami is a great tuner so that was a good decision. I would love to see some photographs of your Dallape! Please share some for posterity 🙂.

By the way - do you know the legend of the Centenario?

Well, keep this to yourself Lucio76 🤫, but I once heard, I cannot remember the source at this time, doesn't matter anyway... Well when Giovanni Gola retired from Hohner in 1972 he returned to his home town of Stradella. It was in good time for the Dallape centenary. Well the great man, may have visited his old employer and watched the creation of the centenary models. I once heard that he may have shared some of his special insights, those golden nuggets that only he knew. I heard that a few of the Centenario's incorporated some of his wisdom to create a super-accordion (that's 1 level above mega-accordion)🤣. Who knows if any of that is true. I don't suppose it matters. The legendary Mr. Gola passed away only two years later, in 1978.

Anyway, Lucio76, keep and enjoy your 1976 Supermaestro in good health, it is one of the world's great accordions (and most people have never even heard about it 😜). I would personally love to own the 5 voice version with the sweetest sounding musette your ears ever did hear. It's out there somewhere in the depths of the Oltrepo Pavese - it waits for me, maybe one day I will find it.

By the way, I once saw a video of a Supermaetro V with the same grill design as yours but it incorporated a 32' voice. So it literally had an equal compass of notes to a 64 note bayan treble. The sound was awesome. It was configured 32', 16', 8', 8', 4'. If I can find the video on Youtube I will share it...​
 
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Walker

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There are many great Dallape videos on Youtube but I think this one is quite lovely.

At time 5.38 (min) we are introduced to a Dallape Cathedral model. It looks like it might be centenary badged. It is a five voice instrument and has a most impressive tone. With the 21 treble switches (and having heard a limited selection of registers) I believe this instrument may have a 32' reed register. I have seen a couple of similar specified instruments online, and they are sometimes referred to as Organfisa.

 
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Lucio76

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Thank you Walker! Your knowledge is impressive, I didn't know anything about that!
Currently, my Dallapè is not in great shape, unfortunately, during these last 2 years I've neglected to play it regularly as before and now some notes need a fix.
I should make some repairs even on the outside, the centenary badge came off many years ago and to avoid losing it I chose to keep it in a drawer.

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Many years ago...
 
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