• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Wooden Piano Accordions

wirralaccordion

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
378
Reaction score
9
On a like for like basis are wooden accordions lighter or heavier in weight?
What, if any, are their advantages?
 

losthobos

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
53
Location
Essex UK
As far as I'm aware all accordions are wooden accordions.... Just seems to be quite fashionable these days to miss the cellulose coat...
Ive heard rumours that this could be more to do with health and safety working regs that aesthetics or sound response
Some older players i know say disaster waiting to happen sime time in future as cellulose protects wood very well....and to their ears sounds preferable...
Don't know wether i should have written any of that as i can't verify... Being rumours... So hope it jogs conversation along and someone has stronger answers...
 

Glug

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
382
Reaction score
32
Location
London UK
Non-wooden includes Hohner "Atlantic" construction - Hohner Atlantic, Lucia, and Pirola from around 1953.
It's also called 'metallbauweise' = 'metal construction'.

My 1959 Lucia (37/96 LMMH) is 8.4kg + straps, which is lighter than wooden equivalent model I think.atlantic.1.jpg
 

Dingo40

Prolific poster
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,353
Reaction score
124
Location
South Australia
I have some experience of a variety of accoustic accordions, newer and older, and my impressions are that pre WW2 accordions were largely made of wood but postwar, as time went on, an increasingly greater proportion of metal (aluminium chiefly, but also pressed steel) entered into the construction: the framework, treble board/key bed, treble keys, pallets, bass board, grill, sounding board, all exterior bits being covered with celluloid. Scandalli, Settimio Soprani being early examples.
To my ear, accoustic accordions with a lot of metal in them have distinctly metallic/ tinny overtones as all the metal bits resonate, even the multitude of treble key springs/bass mechanism reverberate, even squeak . This can be quite noticeable, especially in the cheaper models.
A particularly annoying problem where external body work made of pressed metal is concerned, especially treble grills and their surrounds (the Armando Bugari Champion being one such example of many), is that, in cold weather, the accordionist's breath tends to condense and moisture collects on this portion of the instrument (similar to the moisture that collects in brass and bagpipes). This does not happen with older instruments where the relevant structure is actually celluloid covered wood.
 
Last edited:

JIM D.

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
4,552
Reaction score
115
I've had 4 wood finished accordions in the shop for pickup installation. 1 Serenelli, 1 Bulgari Armando & 2 Siwa & Figli accordions
The accordions were purchased in Europe without pickups. In all the cases the accordions were absolutely gorgeous and performed
flawlessly. Also in all cases they came with the same remarks ( The volume is much less than the cellulose covered models that they have
had or now have ) I played and compared them to similar size accordions I own and yes they sounded flawless but somewhat muted.
With amplification the sound volume made a dramatic change in volume. I now recommend to every buyer of a wooden finish accordion
to consider pickups installed when purchased.
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
2,905
Reaction score
20
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Non-wooden includes Hohner "Atlantic" construction - Hohner Atlantic, Lucia, and Pirola from around 1953.
It's also called 'metallbauweise' = 'metal construction'.

The Imperator is also a member of the 'metallbauweise' family!

imperator.JPG

In terms of advantages here, there is what I feel is a valid *minor* weight savings, and I find the accordion quite loud. With the sordino opened, the tone is punchier on the higher pitched registers compared to my other accordions.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
129
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
The Imperator is also a member of the 'metallbauweise' family!

...

In terms of advantages here, there is what I feel is a valid *minor* weight savings, and I find the accordion quite loud. With the sordino opened, the tone is punchier on the higher pitched registers compared to my other accordions.
That strength with the higher pitched registers is the reason why people I know with an old Atlantic kept the sordino closed all the time. And it's also the reason why I don't like the Atlantic N series: it no longer has a sordino.
 

Alan Sharkis

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
269
Reaction score
8
Location
East Meadow, New York, USA
There's wood, and then, there's wood. I've heard that hardwood lasts longest without warping, but I also know that its more dense (read: "heavy for the same size chunk') than soft wood. So, in an accordion, a variety of woods might very well be suited to particular structures and functions. I've even heard that plywood was (is?) used in some accordions. Metals, as you've just read, are also used in a variety of applications. Plastics are extensively used in digital accordions from one manufacturer, but not from others. A few years ago, one manufacturer started experimenting with carbon fiber for grilles, and now one person is constructing entire bodies with it. As far as finishes are concerned, celluloid is beginning to be phased out for reasons already mentioned, painted finishes have gained some traction, and natural (clear) finishes -- well -- that takes us back to wood :).
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top