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Searching for a Piano Accordion

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GUEST,Scott 05 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Nov 04 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Nov 04 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Scott 05 Nov 04 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Nov 04 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Nov 04 - 12:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Nov 04 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,Scott 06 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM
Little Robyn 06 Nov 04 - 04:05 PM
Zany Mouse 06 Nov 04 - 04:28 PM
The Unicorn Man 06 Nov 04 - 04:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Nov 04 - 06:25 PM
Zany Mouse 06 Nov 04 - 07:14 PM
Peter T. 07 Nov 04 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Scott 07 Nov 04 - 11:45 AM
Zany Mouse 07 Nov 04 - 12:35 PM
English Jon 07 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Scott 07 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Scott 07 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Nov 04 - 07:32 PM
English Jon 08 Nov 04 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Spot the Dog 08 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM
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Subject: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM

Hey. I'm just starting to learn the piano accordion with a 120 bass accordion my grandmother had given me. It's out of tune and very heavy. I'm sure it was very good in its prime years, but I'm looking to buy another one that would be lighter, less clunky, and easier to push and pull the bellows. I think either a 48, 60 or 72 bass accordion would be sufficient for me, but, as usual, I don't want to spend a whole lot. What would be the best piano accordion I could get for about $400? I know buying used is often the best route, but I don't have any stores near me that sells accordions and I'm hesitant to buy a used accordion online because of the uncertainty of its condition. Can anyone direct me to any brands, models, or stores that are good deals? I know that sometimes, as with other instruments, there are some models that give you a lot of bang for your buck. Thanks in advance for any help...it's greatly appreciated!

Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 09:01 PM

Are you infantile or infirm?

The wieght of the accordian is easily accomodated on your left thigh.

Clean the reeds and restore the tone.

Stick with the real thing and your family's heirloom. To learn...find a copy of "Sheldon's Accordian Method."

Don't be a wimp! Lift some weights.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

BTW - What does the nameplate say on "g-ma's piece of trash," and is there a second plate and name attached somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 09:06 PM

If G-ma's trash is the right one - some of us may do an exchange - for 48/60 that "is right for you."

Scott - this is puzzeling - news-reports state that the younger generations are "out of shape - physically unfit" -is this thread validation? Your grandmother, at your age, was able to heft this thing around but it is too much for you?

<

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for the response.

I wouldn't mind the bigger size and extra weight if it was necessary, but I don't use more than half the bass buttons. I can't imagine I would need anything more than the four rows...I don't think I'll ever be at a pro level - or even close to it.

I also thought the cost to overhaul an accordion was comparable to buying a new one. Maybe I was misinformed about that.

I'm not interested in trading/selling my grandmother's accordion. I don't hate it, I just thought there'd be something out there easier to play, easier to carry (I like to stand when I play), and more importantly, something with a cleaner tone and quicker key response.

And yes, I am physically unfit.

Thanks again for any help!


Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:24 PM

Lazy, cheap, easy....Consider a "contertina" (aka squeez-box)

I begged my parents for one....they had the good sense to procure the "real thing" which you now possess.

Considering that you consider your current possession "trash." Please post the two plate "signitures."

What country are you in? Have you played ANY sort of keyboards before? (Bells included) Guitar? (How far?)

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM

Remove the four screws on the (probably) plastic covering plate.



OK.... you are cheap like me....(Remove the four tiny screws over the plastic (probably) covering examine your reeds, are they green? Then they are probably brass (tin/copper)swab- then immediately whipe the lower (non-used) ones with a mixture of vinegar and salt. They should sparkle clean....see if that improves the tone....if so....continue through the entire instrument and then wipe with a solvent oil like WD40 or Solv-All.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 12:38 AM

Well Gargoyle is very helpful, but he does have a sense of humour! I would strongly recommend against any such viciously drastic treatment treatment if you are not experienced - you will totally destroy the instrument! Application of such a corrosive mess will need to be rinsed off immediately with water! - and you will have to remove the reeds to do that! - unless you really want to put a garden hose inside the wood casing which will utterly destroy it! And it most likely is not the reeds themselves, but the tiny flaps of leather which may be stuck - and they abhor moisture! If the instrument has not been stored in the proper orientation they may be bent out of shape and need replacing - a relatively cheap and minor operation for the experienced - only if it has been stored in a very humid environment tout of a case may the reeds be rusted.

I would first recommend you to read the thread Technique: Piano Accordion for The Recycled Muso which answers some of your queries.

Most of us don't use all the rows all the time! You don't worry about not using all the keys on the keyboard of a piano all the time do you? The reason for using such bigger instruments is not the bass buttons, but they usually have many extra sets of reeds which give extra tone.

Please

1) count the black and white keys on the keyboard

2) count the number of tone controlling switches on that side

3) count the number of similar effecting switches on the buttons side

4) look for any writing on the instrument - brand name, model numbers etc.

We would seriously be interested in helping you identify it.

A 'new' instrument basic 120 bass in Australia is AU$10,000.00 starters - 'smaller' boxes are not much cheaper - for a couple of hundred dollars you can get most instruments restored to playability easily from a reputable repairer - most of the charm of older boxes is their particular tone - if you don't like the tone - get another one - someone else will take the box off your hands!

Robin


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 12:44 AM

BTW, to get at the reeds, you usually have to take off the bellows, as the reed assemblies are inside the bellows in most instruments - I I won't advise total beginners how to do that - there are too many delicate things you can break just by touching, especially by putting your fingers on the reeds - the oils in your fingers will etch and destroy the steel (detuning the reeds), just like on good swords and knives...


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM

Gargoyle - I live in America and I have limited keyboard experience. I know how to read music and I know all the scales and chords, but that's about it. I also play the trombone and drums.

I DO NOT consider my accordion trash by any means.

Robin - Thanks for the info and link. I've skimmed the page and I it'll be quite helpful when I have time to sit down and absorb the information. Here's the information you (and Gargoyle) have requested:

1. It has 41 treble keys.
2. The only switch is one operated by the right hand's palm, underneath the keyboard. It runs most of the length of the keybaord.
3. There are no switches on the buttons side.
4. On the button side, the following words appear:
    F. BALLARINI & F. (GLI)CASTELFIDARDO - ITALY

Thanks!

Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: Little Robyn
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:05 PM

Scott, you find youself a smaller (cheap) box to start with and experiment with it until you know how to make it work and your fingers/hands get used to finding keys and buttons.
Pull it apart, see what makes it play and then tackle your grandmother's big one.
I still have my original ancient 24 bass accordion (that lives in a cupboard now) but I have tried several others over the years. My current box is a Hohner Student which is small enough for me to walk with and has sufficient bass for most things I want to play (mainly morris).
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:28 PM

Hey - where do you manage to find a cheap concertina, Gargoyle?

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: The Unicorn Man
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:36 PM

Hello there I got my 48 bass Primo accordion from Bedroom Music in Ampthill Beds England. It cost £350 and it is perfect for what I want. Which is to sit at the back of sessions and play some tunes, or to do some simple backing on songs. If you pm me I will send you their number, if you don't already have it.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 06:25 PM

Your no 2 reveals that to be a palm switch - it cycles between at least two different settings of the reeds.

It sounds like the box is a reasonable quality one.

I forgot to ask if the exterior of the instrument is plastic or wood/metal ends, and do you know roughly how old it is - was it acquired new or second hand by your grandmother and did she play it herself.

Some of us have an affection for old things - rapidly achieving that status ourselves... :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 07:14 PM

Pity you live in the States as I have a 48 bass for sale.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 09:01 AM

I think it depends on what you want an accordion for -- I want mine to accompany singing -- if you want to start polka parties you need the 120 -- the bigger the better, one man army. I have a new Hohner 48 keys Bravo II which weighs nothing, but it did cost me about $1000 dollars (Canadian). Totally worth it because I can carry it anywhere (a good backpack bag is a must) -- carrying around a Buick means that the only time you ever play is when you are in a formal setting, you have to deliberately set out to play. It is certainly true that you miss some of the bass buttons (there are a couple of minors that I miss), but you learn to be creative, to imply the minors, etc. The big thing is that you play a lot more!!!!

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for all the replies...

Robin - It has a plastic covering, and if I had to guess, I'd say it's about 65 years old. A pic can temporarily be found here... http://coyote.ycp.edu/~swestgat/images/accordion.jpg . I believe my grandmother bought it new and she did play it herself. But ever since she gave it up it's been sitting in her house unused...probably for about 40-50 years. She had also given me a beginner's book, "Zordan's Piano Accordion Junior Method" which has a copyright from 1932. I'm using this to learn the basics.

I'd like a smaller accordion for reasons similar to the ones Martin and Peter T. had mentioned...in addition to the sound quality.

Anyone know of any decent 48-72 bass accordions for under $400? I realize the high quality one's are well above that, but I can't afford to spend much more. This is just a hobby for me.

Thanks!
Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 12:35 PM

Like I said - I have a 48 bass for sale.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: English Jon
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM

I have a 120 in Beautiful condition it is fairly heavy, but lighter than many. The problem would be getting it to the states, but PM me if you're interested. I don't really play it much so it should go to someone who'll love it. It's a settimio soprani "grand" and it is DEEPLY fabulous.

Good luck.
Jon


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM

Rhiannon - I am a little hesitant to buy a used accordion, especially if it has to be shipped overseas as that can be quite expensive. But if it's in good condition and reasonably priced, I'd be interested. What is the brand/model? Are the 48 buttons arranged 6x8 or 4x12? How is the condition and how old is it?

Thanks for the offer.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM

Jon - Thanks for the offer, but I'm going to try and stick with the smaller sizes. I looked one up, however, and they do look beautiful.
Thanks though.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 07:32 PM

That's a georgous one Scott.

English Jon,

I'm a Settimo Soprani fan, if you want to give me more info and tell me how much you want for it - I'll think about it...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: English Jon
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 05:12 AM

Robin - send me a PM with an email address and I'll bung some pictures over - It's a fantastic box, but I cant justify keeping it.
If you're in the UK you're very welcome to come over and try it. Best wishes, Jon.


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Subject: RE: Searching for a Piano Accordion
From: GUEST,Spot the Dog
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM

Where's Bernard. What he doesn't know and can't play about accordians isn't worth knowing or playing. He's yer man.

Spot


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