Been sort of slow getting info out about this. One more day on PayPal and I'll probably relist it. Owned previously by another Chiff member. I now have a 3 row that I play most of the time. This is a great accordion. http://www.ebay.com/itm/322422424519?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649
This is a 1950s vintage Paolo Soprani C-System Chromatic Button Accordion, 4 Row, 90 Bass. This is a lovely accordion that I have owned for a few years. I now have a 3 row by Soprani that works better for me and this one needs to be played and loved. She's a grand instrument. I originally traded one of the flutes I make for a living for this instrument. When I got it the tuning was so wet that I should have gone down to Sacramento, sat on the Capital Steps, and played. I would have ended California's drought right then and there!
It was soon after that I met Michael Arralde in Kent WA to dry out the tuning a little. Michael is a national treasure. He is a 4th generation Accordion technician and is one of the best technicians in the country. I brought this accordion to him to dry the tuning considerably, and for other considerations. New straps, a bellows pad, and a rearrangement of the bass strap, and anything else it needed. Originally the bass strap was of the kind that had been outside mounted. Several different places had been used and the filled in holes remain (see 2nd photo). This is the biggest cosmetic flaw. Michael converted it to the kind where the Bass strap comes out of the body which is much better. He addressed any other problems. I never got around to having him tune the bass side, as it was deemed adequate. For any further tuning work (such as to make it wetter) I highly recommend having him do the work.
The tuning is fairly dry. Two reeds, both MM. I wanted a more modern sound useable for jazz and swing music, but also wet enough for the traditional French and Galician music that I play. Slightly wetter would be good for Irish, or for a more Parisian sound. The reeds and leathers (not pictured) are in great shape. The bass side is interesting. It is set up as a 5 row Stradella Bass arrangement with an extra bass row. The mechanism is good and level on both sides. These Soprani Accordions have the right side buttons arranged in steps - which I find to have ergonomic advantages.
The reeds made back in the 1950s are some of the best accordion reeds ever made, according to Michael Arralde. Consider that many of the "old guard" of Italy's accordion manufactury were still around after the war. But the machinery was all destroyed during WW2, and replaced with new as Europe rebuilt itself. All of the tools and dies used to cut the reeds were brand new and sharp. In terms of quality these reeds rival or exceed the ones made today. The accordion is very responsive.
The bellows are in great shape - no tears or leaks etc. They are also nicely broken in and not at all stiff. No smells - no mold and clean inside. There are the usual scratches and a few spots on the cover where the fabric might be torn, or the "weatherstripping" around the treble cover a little loose in a few places. The buttons are all level (see photos) but if anything, could perhaps have a little bit more spring tension (I would have this done if I planned to keep this accordion) but that is my own personal preference. This accordion has been well played, and remains robust. The accordion weighs about 13.5 pounds and is 13.5" wide, 13.5" high, and 7" deep when fully closed and locked. The white buttons on the keyboard are all the white notes (Key of C).
On the 4 row arrangement, the outside rows are more or less identical - that is, they operate the same notes as each other. I have only seen one other 4 row Soprani for sale here, and the 3 row that I snagged last fall. 5 rows are more common. The 3 and 4 are considerably more common in Europe. The 4 row went for cheap, though like many accordions one gets on eBay one can sometimes expect to spend the same amount having it retuned etc. That was the case for my 3 row Soprani - but the type and quality of the reeds are worth the expense and effort! However, on this accordion, much of that work has been done!
The accordion originally came in a cloth gig-bag type case. Its a little undersized, especially with the straps on. I can include this and pack the accordion in this case if you prefer, but with the straps off. I recommend getting a hard case for it purchased elsewhere.
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