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Whatca beautiful tone....

Geoff de Limousin

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Hmmm, yes nice tone BUT how much is due to the electrical modification of the sound ? When I watched the video the following offering from youtube was a Libertybellows advert for the same model of Castagnari. The tone comparison was striking. I think most of us would produce a tone more like the Libertybellows video.

I have tried a new Magica and would very much like to own one.
 

losthobos

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I too have tried the Magika K3, was lovely to play... And the tone was something special even in my hamfists... However out my price range... But if a 3x3 bass one appears used I'll probably snap it up...
 

jozz

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wirralaccordion pid=69981 dateline=1582017052 said:
jozz pid=69977 dateline=1582010475 said:
indeed!

nice box (and then you find out about the price)

Which is?

something in the neighborhood of 6000 euros...(new that is)


Geoff de Limousin pid=69982 dateline=1582017799 said:
Hmmm, yes nice tone BUT how much is due to the electrical modification of the sound ? When I watched the video the following offering from youtube was a Libertybellows advert for the same model of Castagnari. The tone comparison was striking. I think most of us would produce a tone more like the Libertybellows video.

I have tried a new Magica and would very much like to own one.

The recording of the live player has some coloring done to it, but not a lot. Its just clean with very subtle EQ, mostly close mike and a bit of room. The liberty bellows recordings all have echo problems.
 

Chrisrayner

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I have recently acquired a 4 row 60 bass version of this box. It sounds terrific. Probably better if almost anybody else played it?.
 
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maugein96

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losthobos pid=69974 dateline=1581966166 said:

Terry,

Beautiful instrument and tone as you say, and in a folk setting it would probably be top notch.

Not often we disagree, but listen to this clip. Two brilliant players, two first class accordions, but OMG, what a din!

I dont like this one bit. 

Maybe its just me with old ears, but I suppose if I was 25% as good as either I would have the justification to be critical. 

I cant play like either of them, but I can listen like everybody else, and that just doesnt do it for me at all. If it is down to effects then I am prepared to consider that, but why do either of them need such effects when they have the ability that they do?



On my laptop the mute button is the second button on the left in the top row. I think I managed about 34 seconds before I hit it hard!
 
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maugein96

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Terry,

I know tone can be a personal thing, but if I were to pick what is IMHO real French jazzy tone, this would be one of the better examples:-


That box of Marcs introduces sounds that seem out of kilter with the music he is playing. The duo with Ludovic Beier might just have been a mismatch, but everything somehow sounded very disjointed.

Yes I know that clip of Marcel Azzola is pretty ancient, but French accordion tone in the jazzier sense never really got any better than it was in the 60s. 

Gallianos Victoria box has great tone, but at times to my ears it sounds about as French as Parmesan cheese. 

Maybe I need to get up to date with my choice of listening, but I believe it is the case that the French accordion I knew and loved was over and done with many years ago. If new players are continually being inspired to take up the instrument by todays offerings then I suppose thats all that really matters, and we dinosaurs will also be over and done with fairly soon.
 

losthobos

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Thanks for links John, indeed the Beier collaboration is a train crash... Never really got on with LB anyways,,, guys mastered technique so much he only plays masterful technique at the expense of losing all sense of melody... Pointless exercise. Quelle Horreur..
I've listened to the original Dont know why solo track again and i still find it a gorgeous tone... Can't see why it should be just confined to folk... So smooth and rich... Almost hums the tune without a rasp to be heard... And when i played one the feel was a cut above anything id played before... Just breathed the tune for you
Funny the guy selling wouldn't shut up about how the box could always out play the speed of your fingers... People in the folk circle would be constantly trying to Beat The Box... So shows stuoid behaviour transcends all musical styles. Never mind... Marcel Azzola had the right idea... Stick to the melody, embellish the melody but never exchange flash for song... Still listen to his later albums now with as much joy as his earlier recordings.... And i don't care whether any sound is decidedly french or martian.. So long as its sweet and smooth
I'll be sticking with my Piermaria a good while yet... I'm not actively searching any holy grails but if a 3x3 K3 appears used I'm gonna have to try..
Other than that the route would probably be to consider quitting the faffing about and get a box custom built.. 3x3, bassoon and clarinet in cassotto 96 bass.. Dreamland...
 

debra

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jozz pid=69989 dateline=1582025448 said:
something in the neighborhood of 6000 euros...(new that is)

Thats very expensive for a 3 voice 96 bass instrument. At the prices you see at some dealers it is no surprise that more and more people around here just travel to Italy to buy an accordion direct from one of the factories. Of course dealers need to make a profit and need to offer service and warranty repair if needed, but there has to be a balance between the profit a dealer makes and the effort that dealer needs to put in to deliver the instruments and service. When I was looking for a new instrument 20 years ago I compared prices for the exact same instrument and found about a 20% difference between different dealers. Considering that the least expensive dealer still needed to make a profit on top of the cost of round-trips to Italy to collect instruments that 20% on top of that was really excessive.
I am not saying that the price you refer to means that this particular dealer is excessively expensive, but for an instrument of this type I would currently expect to pay considerably less than 6.000 euro, more something between 4.000 and 4.500...
 
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maugein96

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Hi Terry,

As I say, different people have different ideas as to what tones best suit certain types of music, and I respect the fact that my opinions are just that.

To my ears most wooden bodied CBAs derived from French folk diatonics have a sound that I associate with folk music, but that's just my own observation. Maybe it's their appearance as much as anything, and I do realise that various folk styles worldwide play a major part in keeping the accordion alive with whatever tuning they use.  

I suppose that Azzola wasn't a jazz player in the true sense of the word. Along with Astier, Baselli et al, he was a bit of an all rounder. As you mention their jazz work largely stuck to the melodies, but that was the way it was then (in France). I never used to like their material at first, and initially preferred the more raucous sounds of the old fashioned three voice musette. However, it sort of grew on me, and after I watched an interview with Bruno Lorenzoni, who described how swing tuning had been incorporated into French accordion, I too made the switch from three voice musette to swing and americain tuned accordions. 

No need to blow the windows out if you just want to play tunes without dancers. Certain genres rely on strong musette, but Mr Lorenzoni reminded the interviewer that by the 80s most "modern" French players had no use for it. 

These days I just play my Cavagnolo Vedette 5 and Maugein Mini Sonora, and it wouldn't matter what else they brought out, as I've never heard anything of late that would cause me to want to change. My Cavagnolo would probably benefit from a complete new set of reeds, as it has seen more clubs than ten generations of cavemen, and it appears the last owner smoked 80 a day, but I'd be worried that new reeds wouldn't sound like the originals. My old horn teacher used to regularly blow  cigarette smoke through his instrument, as he believed it gave it the type of sound he wanted. 

The trick would therefore seem to be to buy a brand new Cavagnolo for about £10,000, then blow about £10,000 of nicotine through it so that any rough edges to the reeds are mellowed. Consistent with the unpopularity of French boxes in the UK, I bought mine for £1000, so I've saved about £19,000 and have the sound I like!
 

Geoff de Limousin

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A quick browse through the accordion dealers in France , seaking the price of the Castagnari Magica 3, suggests a new price of anything between €6525 and €7470 (sales tax inc.)....!
 
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maugein96

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Geoff de Limousin said:
A  quick  browse  through the  accordion dealers in France ,   seaking  the  price of the Castagnari  Magica 3,  suggests  a new price of  anything between  €6525 and €7470  (sales  tax  inc.)....!

Geoff,

All four of my accordions together never cost that much. Last time I bought a new accordion was about 1985, and it was a dog of a Cavagnolo "Bal Musette" model. Cost me £1665 way back then, and was the biggest waste of money ever. Outstanding reeds, but the rest was a typical Friday afternoon job. I vowed never to buy new again after that one. 

Looks like Castagnari are capitalising on the relative popularity of these instruments. They do look and sound great, but I'd rather buy five or six clapped out old Crosios for that money. If you've ever heard my playing you'd know why!
 

Geoff de Limousin

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maugein96 said:
Geoff,

All four of my accordions together never cost that much. Last time I bought a new accordion was about 1985, and it was a dog of a Cavagnolo "Bal Musette" model. Cost me £1665 way back then, and was the biggest waste of money ever. Outstanding reeds, but the rest was a typical Friday afternoon job. I vowed never to buy new again after that one. 

Looks like Castagnari are capitalising on the relative popularity of these instruments. They do look and sound great, but I'd rather buy five or six clapped out old Crosios for that money. If you've ever heard my playing you'd know why!

John,  

my own playing  is  probably  in the clapped out Crosio  bracket  too,  but as an instrument maker by profession  I  need  to  support the  hypothesis  that  a  new instrument will make you a better player..... :cool:... even if I  don't  believe  it. ( My current stable includes the 1931 Cooperativa Armoniche three voice musette with Basson, ditto a 1949 and 1951 Buzzi Frères, a 122 year old Concertina and a second one seven years short of the century... .)

So far I  have  baulked  at  spending that much   on any  instrument even though I  expect my customers  to  do  so. :D
 
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maugein96

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John said:
my own playing  is  probably  in the clapped out Crosio  bracket  too,  but as an instrument maker by profession  I  need  to  support the  hypothesis  that  a  new instrument will make you a better player..... :cool:... even if I  don't  believe  it. ( My  current  stable  includes  the   1931  Cooperativa Armoniche three voice musette with Basson,  ditto  a 1949  and 1951 Buzzi  Frères, a  122 year old Concertina and a second  one seven years short of the century... .)

So far I  have  baulked  at  spending that much   on any  instrument even though I  expect my customers  to  do  so. :D

Geoff,


As you have mentioned previously, there are loads of older unwanted CBAs in France, so who is buying new? 

Most French shops now offer the Hohner Nova as the beginners' choice, so Maugein and Cava must be losing out on new sales. I can remember the day when beginners were all urged to buy those very pricey student models offered by the big makers, on the basis that they could always be traded in for bigger instruments when the student was ready. 

Don't know how many new boxes the big two are currently turning over in a year, maybe a tenth of what they were doing 25 years ago? 


As an instrument maker you must be able to see the difference between what was and what is, and I suppose if buyers even wish to get anything approaching the quality of old then they need to dig deep. 

If I can remember correctly what I was earning in 1980s, that brand new Cavagnolo accordion probably represented about 6 months mortgage payments, so it seems that new accordions were actually considerably cheaper then. The same model is now €8000, so that would probably equate to at least 12 months' average UK mortgage payments in today's "money". 

That said, it is obvious that construction costs and materials have escalated considerably in recent years, and companies like Hohner will be cashing it in. 

When I committed to buy that new Cavagnolo I almost baulked at the price, as I had a big mortgage and a very young family. These days I wouldn't even have been able to consider it. Did it make me a better player? Well, considering I found out years later that row 4 was 3mm too close to row 3, I always did wonder why it was such a b*****d to play!


I hope your order books are full, as pros will always seek out the best, regardless!
 

Geoff de Limousin

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Yes John my order books are full to overflowing and I am able to select from the list just who I make an instrument for. making a 'real' living from it all is quite another matter.

At a Salon d'Accordéon in Paris, a couple of years ago, it was interesting to see which factory had the biggest display; hardly any presence from Maugein but THE display of the day was from Cavagnolo.

Back on topic, sort of:

The really fine diatonic accordeon player in our band, who cut her teeth on a top of the range Castagnari, has recently had a small independant maker from Poitier produce a new box for her. We all think this is a superb instrument and the Casta is now a spare for this professional player /teacher. At a Bal last saturday I was sitting next to her, playing my old concertina and greatly enjoying the tone quality of both instruments.... quality will out !!
 

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