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Well now ain't that quint...

Mr Mark

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In temporary lieu of acquiring new bellows for my old verdi ii and also in the post survival haze of a nasty covid contraction - I stumbled on this interesting unit and shelled out pretty quick. It is a Titano Combo Cordion with quint tuning on one set of treble reeds and quint tuning on the bass side with no selector. I did a bit of poking around before purchase, and was partly sold on the fact a comment somewhere along the way aluded to this being about as close to a rock organ in accordion form as one could get. The internal microphone setup and great condition were other factors.

This thing sounds pretty amazing so far, I cant wait to plug it into my rotary speaker amp and see what comes out with a little overdrive...but unfortunately for now one of the bass buttons has gotten itself stuck and I think one of the tines has slipped in the bass mechanism so that'll be more time than I have right now to sort out, given what I can see of how the mechanism is attached.

Oh well, stoked on this, and just thought I'd share. It would be really cool to try one of the Tiger versions of things for the angled keyboard, but for now this is still pretty neat!
 

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debra

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Nice reminder of why I don't like the quint register: it is too loud compared to the other reeds. The master kinda works, but using just one reed + fifth has the fifth being too loud. It definitely does not work at all with the middle reed. The whole idea of the fifth is that it is the second harmonic. So when you play the L reed the M reed is the first harmonic and the fifth above that M reed is the second harmonic of the L reed. When you hear LMF it starts to make sense. LF misses the first harmonic and MF has the fifth an octave too low and too loud.
Same I find also holds for the quint in the bass (first time I heard a fifth in the bass). The fifth is too loud there too.
 

JeffJetton

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Nice reminder of why I don't like the quint register: it is too loud compared to the other reeds. The master kinda works, but using just one reed + fifth has the fifth being too loud. It definitely does not work at all with the middle reed. The whole idea of the fifth is that it is the second harmonic. So when you play the L reed the M reed is the first harmonic and the fifth above that M reed is the second harmonic of the L reed. When you hear LMF it starts to make sense. LF misses the first harmonic and MF has the fifth an octave too low and too loud.

Actually I think LF is the best-sounding option among them. Since the reeds aren't pure sine waves, you're getting plenty of first harmonic from the L already. Anyway, that's what I'm using here, and I think it sounds alright.

That said, I do agree that the quint register works best as an additional harmonic and not as an additional distinct note. I see a lot of hype about it along the lines that "you can play complex chords with just a few key presses!", but that's not much of a selling point for me. Like the "Blues Bend" register on my Tiger, the MF "lead" register is a fun effect to goof around with, but not something that I've yet found to be super-practical.

...unless, I suppose, you need to play the synth part to "Abacab". :)
 
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Gonk

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Mark, I just urged my partner to buy the same box - exactly the same, in fact. She did, and she's happy with it. It's a big step up from her little 25-key Hohner Concerto. I was excited as well, to try the quint setting. My favorite setting is LMQ - probably because the L/M dilute it enough to make it a flavor rather than a main ingredient. If possible, I would mute it even further...if these instruments were to be developed seriously, a chambered quint reed would probably be the way to go! But most would probably find that too great a sacrifice, when they could have a chambered L or M reed.

I have an odd Sonola that features blocks covered in velvet, placed in between each of the treble reedblocks. The idea was to soften the timbre of the sounds before they left the box. It's a bit of a strange idea, and some might say gimmick, up there with Titano's "tube chamber" -- but I do love that accordion. It also features a thin wooden box built over all of the bass reedblocks, like a faux chamber. Very odd beast.

So this gets me thinking about ways to mess with the sound and reduce the quint a bit. The first easy, reversible, slightly bodgy thing that occurs to me is to put a piece of painter's masking tape across the bottom of the quint block, so that it half-blocks the airways. Permission to invade accordion pending...

By the way, I like the slightly increased rake of the Combo's keyboard. I can't say that I'd want it angled any further than that, because I think it would require that I draw my right elbow back to an awkward degree. For my arm to be at a relaxed position, I think for me the keyboard would have to be mounted right up at the grill. But then, I haven't tried a Tiger.
 

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Ventura

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i do believe it would please Faithe greatly to know that
after all these decades, her "rock and roll" accordions
still inspire some excitement in the accordion world
as some of you re-discover these interesting and fun models

enjoy !
 

Alan Sharkis

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Some years ago, the late Gary Dahl specified an accordion that had, among other things, a quint-tuned reed-set. If I recall correctly, Beltuna built it for him and advertised it for other potential buyers as “The Gary Dahl Model.”
 

Ventura

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yes Gary was a beltuna endorser and they made him a special model, also sold to the public, but my recollection is it was a Jazz accordion with an LLMM configuration

prior to that, he had a longtime association with Spano accordion company, and the awesome Tonaveri line as far as i know..
 

Sebastian Bravo

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Quint register works better on LMMH + Hq, quint piccolo register doesn't feel loud (as Paul mentioned in quint clarinet)
This tuning is found in some 45 key accordions
 

Mr Mark

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Dingo - Yes that is the one!

debra - I hear what you are saying...the only register I am really interested in is the fifth (literally the fifth switch ha)...and the tuning certainly does limit things in terms of style of music. I find the single bassoon reeds don't interest me much, wouldn't mind to swap that for a rich musette somehow but I know that isn't going to happen. The bass side is the most challenging because I cannot actually change it to anything else. This may become my main rock box, if the fifth is overpowering I am fairly certain I can find away to sordina that!

jozz - Yes! Finally something that looks as good as it sounds! I particularly like the F holes in the grill!

jeff- Nice video post...sounds applicable for the tuning! This is definitely an instrument applicable to some things and not others! I feel it has a lot of potential possibly routed through some effects, we shall yet see.

Gonk - Cool, yea, the thought of painters tape in there came to mind pretty quick, or something to that effect. I love how the accordion world is so full of unique and different ways to make and modify sounds with analogue methods, such as the velvet or boxed in bass reeds you have mentioned. I like the increased rake of the keyboard as well but I actually think the Tiger rake would be more fitting for me, admittedly my form isn't the best and it can be a challenge elbows out in some very tight and small stage situations with a lot of members in my band. It'd be cool to hear of any further endeavors on your wife's instrument, permission pending of course!

Venture - Maybe its just me and/or the eclectics among eclectics but it somehow feels strange these interesting instruments would be lost as a result of rock n roll, especially considering their intent!


Wow talk about chasing the dragon with tuning and tones! Just when I thought I was figuring stuff out, along comes this. Hopefully I can get around to fixing the bass today...I am also really curious as to the mic system in here, it sounds better than anything I have played with yet.
 

Ventura

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I find the single bassoon reeds don't interest me much, wouldn't mind to swap
though it is not optimum
(ratio of size of the individual reed cavities in the reedblock vs: reed)
it will work

simply take a set of (M) reeds from a different accordion reedblock
and get a bag of flat wood shims and a lot of reeedwax... you will
have a bit of whttling to do, but it is easy.

of course set the smaller reed to the base of the reedblock when you wax it in
and wax the wood shim across the top where the M reed is too short to cover
the entire space (M reeds are about the same width, just shorter)

in other words remove and replace the originally L reed set with a set of M reeds
in the original reedblock that held the L reeds

i had two Giulietti's, one black that was a wreck, but had good reeds,
one cream colored that had a great body,
and used parts from both to make one good stroller

the cream colored Giulietti WAS
LMM and is now
MMM
and only took a weekend to do the reedwork
 

Mr Mark

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Finally got around to fixing the stuck button today, turns out one of the tines in the bass mechanism was catching on the cross brace on the bottom of the accordion. Easy fix.
Also adjusted the 1/4" inputs top and bottom so they aren't so tight for cables cables going in and out.
I have installed some tape approximately halfway over the 'fifth' holes on the bass side, I may seal those off entirely as they seem to distracting for my ear.
Perhaps if I stay with this unit and have time for an adventure I will swap those bassoon reeds out for some musette.

The tone knob also seems to function as a volume knob...not sure if there is a problem with the pot or its just wired that way. The volume knob is also a volume knob. These units have a 1/4" input at the top for an external microphone input (for vocals apparently), and a 1/4" output at the bottom. When I plug into the top 1/4" (with an external microphone), it mutes the internal accordion mic. I'm not sure if this was intentional or if it is also part of a potential wiring issue. I'm not terribly concerned with it as I doubt I will ever use it - it is a strange sort of feature in my opinion, routing ones vocals through the accordion.

I'm really curious to know if anyone knows what kind of microphone is inside this beast, it sounds pretty fantastic and I would like more of these for my other boxes ha.
 

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Gonk

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Mark, is your bass mechanism covered in some kind of thick grease? That was the case with this one. Especially the prongs from the pistons. It took a while to remove it all (rubbing alcohol and many cotton swabs) and the refuse looked like I'd cleaned out a crank case. The bass buttons had been releasing slowly until this was done, because this goo was keeping the pistons from returning. You could actually watch it stranding like bubblegum on a shoe...

I'll stop in case you're eating. But it might be worth a check!

And I'm curious to know whether the tape works out.
 

Mr Mark

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Mark, is your bass mechanism covered in some kind of thick grease? That was the case with this one. Especially the prongs from the pistons. It took a while to remove it all (rubbing alcohol and many cotton swabs) and the refuse looked like I'd cleaned out a crank case. The bass buttons had been releasing slowly until this was done, because this goo was keeping the pistons from returning. You could actually watch it stranding like bubblegum on a shoe... I'll stop in case you're eating. But it might be worth a check! And I'm curious to know whether the tape works out.
Gonk,

Not really greasy no. I was happy not to get too far into it as these bass mechanisms are removed piece by piece as far as I could tell. Sounds like maybe somebody sprayed some lubricant in there? One of the end plates holding down the rods had been bent and had some effect on things...I’m no Sherlock but I’m guessing that was to try and fix my stuck button issue. I’d be curious on yours because with mine as mentioned above there was a wire crossmember installed too close to the bass mechanism that was the culprit and seemed a factory issue.

I have succeeded in sealing off the quint on the bass side, it is a lot more functional now. Of note I would recommend taping the reed block, not the felt. Also interesting to note the bass block has three sets of reeds in two blocks that are joined as one Big Block haha.

Had some jams with my friend on viola last night until the wee hours. There are definitely some things this tuning is not suited for...mostly a lot of chords on the right side, it seems much better suited to single note lead playing. We had a very medieval sound happening...pretty much a hurdy gurdy.

Cant wait to put this through some pedals today!
 
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Gonk

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Re: pedals (and Leslie) - cool! As for playing nicely with others... A=444Hz on this one! I'll retune it. It's a several day project and I'm not really looking forward to it.
 
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