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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:05 am 
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Location: Lawrence, KS
I'm considering taking a dive into the realm of piano accordions (mainly because I want the versatility to play other than ITM easily - although I'll likely play ITM as well).

So what size keyboard do I need to have a full range for most music?

Any good brands on the cheap side?

Thanks,

Eric


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:01 pm 
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I sent you an email, check it out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:46 am 
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I play the piano accordion and mine is currently a 120 bass Hohner. Generally speaking, the 120 bass accordion is considered the largest sized piano accordion with 41 black and white keys. Mine weights about 20 lbs and was made in the 1930s.

That being said, I know a number of piano accordion players in the area who use a 72 or 80 bass version. You will lose a few of the piano keys, but you'll still have two octaves to work with and a lot less left hand to worry about. Plus a number of the newer piano accordions are made with a plastic casing and plastic keys, so you won't feel the great weight of 20-25 lbs strapped to your back while you practice of perform.

I think that Craigslist (assuming you have that in your area) or eBay are great places to pick one up. At least with the former you can generally meet up with the person to hear the accordion before you buy it, but even on eBay some people are uploading YouTube videos to show that their instrument is in good working condition so you can buy with greater confidence.

Hope this helps! :D

Matt

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:01 pm 
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[so what size keyboard do i need to have a decent range?]:

that is the maddening thing about compact PAs. really, someone needs to get busy with a new design---it's certainly doable. to wit:

to have a decent range for world folk music genres (classical & post-bepop jazz require more), you need a minimum of 34 keys on the treble side. 36 or 37 are better, but 34 will do it for most folk genres. less than 34, and you are going to go out of your mind with frustration. and for tango and paris musette, though you "can" manage with 34, 36 or 37 is vastly preferable. you can do irish on 34, though if you play flat, you won't have the low F. on the bass side, for folk music, you can do it with 48 or 60 basses.

but there's the rub---the 36 or 37 key PAs run about 18 pounds at a minimum, and the lightest 34 keys 15 pounds.

there are wonderful-sized small, compact PAs, but they have way fewer than the necessary 34. most have 24 or 26. 24/48, as in, 24 treble, 48 bass, is a wonderful compact PA size. but you can not adequately play irish tunes or any other music in more than a kiddie-widdie way on these.

the lightest i've seen would be the saltarelle clifden, which weighs in at about 14.5 pounds, for 35 treble and 60 bass. but it is ludicrously overpriced at list prices ranging from 3700 euro, forget dollars. button box lists at $4800.00 ludicrous, because the ads for this product nowhere specify hand-type reeds, which implies the reeds are factory/export quality, which means people are throwing their money away on the pretty wooden cabinet. alan kelly plays one, but i wonder, i do wonder, if it has custom reeds.....same with jimmy keane and phil cunningham.

actually, this ad is the first and the sole i've ever seen that does say handmade reeds, though i would be insistent on verifying that. saltarelle's diatonic button boxes have extremely resistant, stiff factory/export reeds, but this one clifden ad does say handmade: http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/pr ... cts_id/260

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpRFgBw-b9o (not sure if this is a salt or the castagnari one, which is heavier and even more expensive than the salt)

the world is crying out for a 10-12-pound compact PA with 34 keys and 48 basses. it could be done. but it has not been done.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:49 pm 
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You make some good points, ceemonster. What do you think about a 30 treble key
system (g to c''') and 60 bass for ITM? It looks to me like that range would fit most
ITM, at least in the traditional keys of D,G, and A and their relative minors, or am I missing something.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:29 pm 
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How well does the Roland FR-1B accordion fit the range for ITM music? The piano
version has only 26 treble keys, but the chromatic button version has 62 buttons
in C-Griff arrangement. Also has 72 bass buttons. Requires an amplifier, but only
weighs 12 pounds. Has anybody tried one of these with ITM?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:08 pm 
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The fiddle's 1st position defines the basic range of ITM dance tunes: G3 to B5 - plus a few notes above that, to C6 or D6. Wind-centric tunes won't drop below D4.

So 30 PA keys from G3 to C6 would cover it. The Roland PA range B3 to C6 would be fine for most tunes, but the missing 4 notes on the bottom end could also be frustrating for some tunes, and when doubling with fiddle.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:55 am 
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i don't want one that requires an amplifier.

what i want is, a brilliant-sounding acoustic 9-10 pounds, and it is possible.

you guys' 30-key idea is great. ok, 31 keys---i would like that low "f" for flat-key playing. and---dig this---36 basses:

1) bass row
2) counter-bass row
3) major chord row, WITH REMOVABLE THIRDS....

there's our 9/10-pound folk PA.

natch, you could also do a CBA version of this at the same weight but a few more treble notes as the other poster points out. i have a wonderful 72-bass, 37-note (60-button) five-row, but it is 15 pounds. but a four-row with 36 basses as i mapped out above, could get you in at about the weight of a saltarelle nuage....YES!!!! the current saltarelle "lightweight" cba is just below 13 pounds, 12.5 or 12.75 or something, still too heavy, imho....i want two pounds lopped off that, and a 4-row with 36 basses and a removable-third slider switch would do it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:12 pm 
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The Clifden has absolutely exquisite reeds on the treble end, with are a joy to behold. But the lack of bass couplers on the standard model and the tonal qualities of the relatively small chamber on the bass end make this a far less attractive instrument.

I would have a serious look at a swing tuned Pigini 72 bass, favoured by many traditional artists. I have heard that they will do custom requests e.g. replacing the seventh chord row with an open firth chord etc... These instruments are fantastic.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:18 pm 
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ceemonster wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpRFgBw-b9o (not sure if this is a salt or the castagnari one, which is heavier and even more expensive than the salt)

That's a Clifden. The Castagnari Magica is harder to come by and often has a wetter tuning, destined for the German market.

It does however have 3 sets of reeds on the treble side and 3 bass couplers. Bigger case and less agile.

After a long search for one - I also play Casta melodeons - I got to play one at a festival last summer and was quite underwhelmed...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Here's a clip of the Pigini. They're pretty lightweight too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niXtcaju ... re=related


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:17 pm 
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actually, i came across the sort of thing we were talking about, just forgot that this thread was still going....this weltmeister is the same size dimensions and weight as their 48-bass, 26-key Perle model.......

http://www.buttonbox.com/piano-accordions.html

WELTMEISTER RUBIN 30/60/II/3

Weltmeister Rubin - On Sale!
This lightweight, compact accordion allows you to play in B minor. 60 bass (5x12), 30 treble, 2/3 reeds, 3 switches, 12" keyboard, 12.3 lbs. Available in a variety of colors. With straps and a hard case.
Select Color


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