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Zero Sette - wow!

saundersbp

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Well despite saying I'd never buy an accordion off ebay I did last week with change from a grand. I've not come across this make before but I have to say it has the most musical and mellow sound I've ever heard from a non-cassotto accordion with lovely reed voicing and bang in tune- its a bit 'un-put-downloadable' at the moment. I've got a couple of Pigini converters but I haven't touched them this week.

I'm guessing its from a long defunct company and wondered if anyone knew much about them - were they considered to be as good as my ears are telling me this one is? The converter is unusual but works a treat with a great balance between right and left hands.
 

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debra

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Zero Sette is actually very much alive and shares its factory with Bugari. So in essence what you bought is a Bugari accordion. Bugari and Zero Sette do present themselves as separate, but for instance at the Frankfurter Musikmesse Bugari will have a large stand and then "around the corner" will be Zero Sette, in fact sharing the same stand, but presented as separate. It has not always been like that. Seven people started an accordion company many decades ago. (So it goes that neither could build a whole accordion but the seven people together could, and in fact did.) Zero Sette was also the actual manufacturer of Giulietti accordions too. (Giulietti accordions are now no longer made.)
 

saundersbp

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Thank you for the information Paul - I had assumed they were bust when looking at http://www.zerosetteaccordions.com/ Certainly I think their marketing department has gone awol! Still they make amazing accordions despite being well hidden on the internet at least!. Thanks again
 

debra

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losthobos

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John Leslie was a respected player in London..... Unfortunately he wasn't a respected salesman and rubbed a lot of people i know up the wrong way... His store was Accordions of London... His son's a good player now..
And ZeroSette has always been regarded highly in the jazz circles...
 

Giovanni

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John Leslie also has a Daughter Lisa a very good accordionist and also a teacher .......
It goes without saying that John Leslie was a fine accordionist ,teacher and lectured at university level music and session musician ......... I met him several times he was a one off character without shadow of doubt ...........spoke his mind !!! i Will not say anymore !!................may he rest in peace !
 

Ventura

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Zero was awesome.. i had visited their old factory once upon a time..
glad they have survived

in the old days, Zero made a ton of private brand labels for the USA market
(the most famous being Giulietti of course) and as a result they pretty much
never really marketed their own branded models in this country

i understood some regions of Europe were marketed by Zero directly like
the scandinavian countries and some eastern europe areas

because of their contract and arrangement with the Giulietti family,
they were allowed/liscenced to build and sell the brand in specific
areas of the world (that would not cause competition) and is
why you could still find New "G's" offered for internet sale after the
American company had been completely liquidated, as the licence
and Zero outlived the American company

there was a difference in them, basically, bearing in mind that
reedmaking was one of the specialties that set the Guilietti family
and american factory apart from all their competition on
the professional models
 

saundersbp

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Thanks everyone for all the information - definitely a top quality musical instrument maker up there with the best!
 

Brian K W Lightowler

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It's now 2yrs ago that I ordered (and parted with a very substantial deposit) for a Petosa cathedral 160 bass quint converter. Petosa is another brand assembled at the Zero sette factory. Had the opportunity of visiting the Zero sette factory last year on a trip to Castelfidardo and they seemed to be doing something with a small work force at benches in the same building as Bugari, as Paul remarked. I am advised by Petosa that there is at least another 7 months to completion of my order. I agree with saudersbp that Zero sette instruments have a lovely feel and tone, whatever the badge. I am pleased to hear they still appear to be in business but sometimes wonder what their craftsmen do in their day at work that their production time to assemble an accordion is measured in years! Admittedly an instrument of above average complexity but I hope they don't go bust during their lengthy creative period, a fate of some notable high end Italian firms fallen from glory.
Brian
 

JIM D.

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In the 'Golden Age Of Accordions' 1940 to the middle 70's the then Italian factories had many employees and production lines.
They had sections that built their student models & sections that built their semi & pro models. Well this is 2020 and many accordion firms
are no longer active. You've seen the the result of makers downsizing in the merger of Zero Sette & bugari. The production is now very similar
to today's auto production. The production line is supplied with parts for a specific model and production continues until are orders are filled.
The production line then will continue with parts supplied with for another model.
The Model you wish is a rare order and of course will wait for orders of models with the same parts such as box size, reed block size, and mechanical's.
You have a unique and fine instrument coming and and sorry for your wait.
 

debra

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It's now 2yrs ago that I ordered (and parted with a very substantial deposit) for a Petosa cathedral 160 bass quint converter. ...
A 160 bass quint convertor is a big problem. It is a giant and very complex instrument (I have seen a Titano one at Victoria.) It will most certainly be a "one off" and that makes production take longer as nothing you want can be produced in a small series for a few customers. I'm sure the average production time at Zero Sette is much shorter.

The situation is even worse at Pigini. Waiting times of over 2 years are now common, for most of the normal instruments, listed in their catalog . But what is even worse is that when you order a Pigini you cannot get a fixed price quote. They will only tell you what the accordion would cost if it were ready now, but the price you pay will go up with their yearly inflation price increase... I got this info from a reliable source (store keeper selling Bugari, Pigini, Mengascini, etc.) and it appears Pigini is the only company doing this. Very hard to do business this way. It's bad enough that the waiting time is so long, but the unknown price I consider unacceptable.

I hope that you will find your instrument worth the wait when you finally get it!
 

Brian K W Lightowler

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Thanks for the encouraging replies, Paul and Jim. As far as I can tell Petosa will honour their original invoice on which I've paid half as a deposit. Interestingly Petosa and ZeroSette call their quint converter a 'Galla-Rini'; presumably they must have had some promotional connection with the said celebrity accordionist whom I understand was an accomplished exponent of the quint FB system. I've likewise heard the names of Palmer and Hughes linked with the system, presumably on the same basis.
I hope I'm still in a fit state to play the 160 when it arrives.
B
 

NickC

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It looks like a nice instrument. Congrats.
 

Ventura

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it is, of course, interesting in that the Quint system "lost" the battle of
the competing FreeBass concepts to the Giulietti backed "Bassetti" system.
and so more or less dissapeared along with BETAMAX and other
interesting but losing competing systems that lost market share leading to their demise.

There are, as a result, quite a large number of slightly overweight and bulky Quint system
accordions still available in the used marketspace, and many are Professional,
performance Level instruments with hand made or finished reeds

part of the reason for the long delay may be Patent permission, as well as
specifications and associated engineering, were developed in the USA
(and are still held by Titano/Busso.. successor to Titano/E.Deffner)
only a few Italian Accordion factories were ever capable of building the mechanism,
one burned to the ground... and whether the others who WERE capable retain any
of the special tooling or parts or documentation only GOD knows for sure...

the patents may be expired by now

certainly, most anything can be re-created with enough time and engineering chops
and a laser controlled Lathe but OMG if i received an order for such a beast of an instrument,
I would simply find one of the long forgotten leftovers for sale somewhere in the world and
take the entire Mechanical Quint Bass section, shine and lube it up, and install it into
the new Accordion (far far easier than trying to craft one from scratch i imagine)

Here in the Mid-Atlantic we see plenty of old Titano's with both versions of Quint
(160 and 120) and the several knock-offs branded NOBLE or some other jobber label
that came out the back door of the Factory... there is actually one for sale on the
Craigslist in the New York area but it is rather overpriced

the reason so many of these sit unused, is that any equally built professional
accordion is lighter in weight and more reliable in mechanism than the same (sic) model...
actually i wouldn't be surprised that most have been butchered for their reeds...

also, nowadays, anyone curious about learning Freebass has the option of a Roland, which
can give you the fun of experimenting with various 120 Bass layouts without having to find
and spend money on "one of each" (though the 160 is still unique to a traditional accordion)

nevetheless, i wish you all the best with getting your special accordion built and finished and delivered...
it is quite likely it will be the LAST quint 160 ever built on earth, unless somehow you personally
fire up the interest of the Accordion World and inspire acolytes to follow in your footsteps !

ciao

Ventura
 

Brian K W Lightowler

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I have to say that I don't really understand why the quint lost the battle and I do appreciate that manufacturers do not seem minded to produce this system. I find the freebass converter of any system an invaluable addition to the instrument's musical repertoire, particularly in the classical genre but for me there is no contest between the layouts on offer. I own (and play) both a Scandelli 120 quint converter and also a Bugari 120 C system chromatic converter. Of course there are pros & cons for each system and I could elaborate. However the huge advantage of the quint is the ability to seamlessly change between the stradella mode and the quint FB on the hoof. The notes under the LH fingers are fundamentally the same and particularly in jazz music and playing with the band, I can at a flick put in a more melodic LH and then return to chords without having to "relocate". The only thing to watch is awareness of the break point in the octaves between the pairs of rows; the standard is on Eb/E. The answer to that is like any musical instrument...practice and practice to become intuitively aware of the jump. With the C system chromatic layout in my case, I have to stop and rethink the "conversion". I hope that make sense and I shall likely sell on the Bugari which is probably spreading my efforts too widely. I anticipate that the 160 quint will be even better in its scope and the layout of the instrument I have custom ordered (I think) will dispense with the minor 3rd and augmented rows, so the position of the notes and the tactile locators on the keyboard in the stradella and quint modes will be aligned, thus enabling a smooth switch during the piece. Regrettably, unlike many luminaries in the accordion world, I haven't made the leap away from the piano RH as I come from a piano background and most of my gigs I am playing both piano or organ and accordion; weak excuse I know. My advice is to ignore advice and explore your instincts yourself.
 

Ventura

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i applaud you for knowing what will suit you and what you want
and likely being able to use it to it's fullest
(once you get your hands on it)

also being brave enough to make the investment

btw, have you played a professional Petosa ?
one of their hallmarks is they set-up the treble keyboard in house
for feel and evenness and pressure (which tends to be somewhat light for my tastes)
and i wonder if the classical music you will play on it would benefit from a
bit more resistance on the touch ?

also, i like that it will bear the Galla-Rini name.. we should remember and honor those
who really spent enormous effort over many decades to promote Classical and
Competitive (serious) accordion opportunities and events where knowledge
was shared and taught. Faithe Deffner, while not being an accordionist, was also
instrumental over many decades in this country sponsoring design research, Patents,
commissioning the composition of music specific for Accordion and accordion orchestra
and competition at festivals (even through decades when the popularity of Accordion waned)

She, as do you, truly believed in the Quint system and promoted it tirelessly,
although as a business decision she also paid the Royalties and eventually offered
her beloved Titano's in the customers choice of Quint or Bassetti
(though it was galling, she shrugged it off and once mentioned to me that
fulfilling the wishes and needs of her customers was of primary importance to her)
and yes, you are correct, the mechanical smoothness behind the QUint shifting was quite
superior and trouble free by comparison.

well i hope the Virus problem has been solved in time for Delivery and
that you can take a nice vacation in the Upper Northwest USA
to pick it up in person sometime during 2021

ciao

Ventura
 

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