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Weak high F# &G# in my modern Scarlatti

CJ1942

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The weak high notes are the same on pull or push. The 48 bass 30 key Scarlatti accordion although purchased as used is like new with very little playing by the original from new owner. He told me that it was about 7 years old. Maybe Scarlatti have improved their reeds or perhaps the reeds just need freeing.? My plan is to upgrade as my playing improves maybe to a 72 bass. CJ.
 

Scuromondo

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I think Scarlatti are Chinese boxes, and so I would not expect them to have a particularly robust sound even when new.
 

debra

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When you have two weak but playing notes in an accordion it normally indicates a problem with voicing. Years of playing cause the opening (height) between reed tip and reed plate to decrease, causing the sound to weaken and the reeds becoming more prone to choking.
Whether Chinese rubbish reeds behave like good Italian reeds I don't know. But an accordion repairer should be able to fix this, maybe with the original reeds, but maybe by replacing the reeds.
A Scarlatti is a cheap Chinese accordion, acceptable for initial practicing for maybe a few years. If this accordion already survived for 7 years without falling apart, count yourself lucky. The problem can certainly be fixed, but you have to consider whether the repair cost is worth it considering the value of the accordion. You may get lucky as it's just two notes that are a problem now, but who knows how it will go in the future...
 

CJ1942

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I think Scarlatti are Chinese boxes, and so I would not expect them to have a particularly robust sound even when new.
Thank you for your reply and yes it is Chinese. I will trade it in fairly soon but in the meantime much enjoyment learning and playing CJ
 

CJ1942

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I think Scarlatti are Chinese boxes, and so I would not expect them to have a particularly robust sound even when new.
Thank you for your reply and yes it is Chinese. I will trade it in fairly soon but in the meantime much enjoyment learning and playing C
When you have two weak but playing notes in an accordion it normally indicates a problem with voicing. Years of playing cause the opening (height) between reed tip and reed plate to decrease, causing the sound to weaken and the reeds becoming more prone to choking.
Whether Chinese rubbish reeds behave like good Italian reeds I don't know. But an accordion repairer should be able to fix this, maybe with the original reeds, but maybe by replacing the reeds.
A Scarlatti is a cheap Chinese accordion, acceptable for initial practicing for maybe a few years. If this accordion already survived for 7 years without falling apart, count yourself lucky. The problem can certainly be fixed, but you have to consider whether the repair cost is worth it considering the value of the accordion. You may get lucky as it's just two notes that are a problem now, but who knows how it will go in the future...
Thank you Debra and no doubt the lack of playing by the original owner helped a lot to preserve the instrument. I will trade it in fairly soon buying from a fairly local accordion shop. It looks so good and the bass and most of the treble notes are fine for a relative beginner like me. The forum is such a good and honest site. CJ
 

debra

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Thank you for your reply and yes it is Chinese. I will trade it in fairly soon but in the meantime much enjoyment learning and playing C

Thank you Debra and no doubt the lack of playing by the original owner helped a lot to preserve the instrument. I will trade it in fairly soon buying from a fairly local accordion shop. It looks so good and the bass and most of the treble notes are fine for a relative beginner like me. The forum is such a good and honest site. CJ
The Chinese are getting better and better... but their raw materials like steel are still poor. Hohner started making lower-end accordions in China a long time ago, and while these accordions are technically identical to the older ones made in Germany they suffer from bad steel. For instance, springs break (whereas the identical looking German springs do not)... so people who want a Student or Verdi accordion all want an old German one and not the newer ones made in China...
Some things the Chinese are still learning is to make accordions that require the same amount of (push) force for all the keys and that have correctly voiced reeds. You can feel and hear that older brands like Parrot and Baile are already better than newer ones like Golden Cup, Scarlatti, Paganinil...
 

CJ1942

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Thank you and yes I did have a Baile accordion that had tuning problems but the higher reeds were better than my much newer Scarlatti. It is so good to receive advice from forum members thank you to everyone. CJ
 

boxplayer4000

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In a reed not sounding properly it may be worth checking that the reeds are sitting squarely in their slots; if they're not they will not play well. Though it's an occasional problem more associated with larger reeds sometimes reed rivets benefit from a gentle tap with hammer to tighten them and properly secure the reed.
 

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If they're the highest reeds, in addition to what others have suggested, they might also have valves when they shouldn't. This can make them sound weaker. And sometimes the highest reedplates need to be flipped, ideally with a piece of angled wood in the block to help direct the majority of airflow to the tip of the tongue.
 

Pipemajor

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If they're the highest reeds, in addition to what others have suggested, they might also have valves when they shouldn't. This can make them sound weaker. And sometimes the highest reedplates need to be flipped, ideally with a piece of angled wood in the block to help direct the majority of airflow to the tip of the tongue.
I wondered why the high reeds were reversed and had angled blocks. Now I know 👍
 

debra

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I wondered why the high reeds were reversed and had angled blocks. Now I know 👍
The very high reeds are reversed to make it easier for the air to directly go "through" the tip of the reed. But there is an added benefit, enough to make it worth to reverse the reed: when tuning an inside high (piccolo ) reed you can access the tip of the reed through the hole in the reed block, to support the tip (with a very thin piece of metal or even plastic between the tip and the reed plate so that you can then file it (with a very small fine file, of even with sandpaper) to raise the pitch. This would be virtually impossible if the reed was not reversed.
 

boxplayer4000

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My understanding of the small angled wooden wedges fitted under the smaller reeds is that this is intended to simulate the fluted shape of a trumpet or horn mouth which has the effect of better connecting the sound source sound waves to the outside world. Alpine horns are a supreme example. There is an Italian word for this feature which I’ve seen on this forum but have promptly forgotten.
 

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