The Forum Is Changing
Hi folks. Shortly this forum will be migrating to different software and, in addition, we will also have a new website address. To migrate all the posts, users, etc. will take a little time so there will be some downtime on the forum while this is done. I am trying to do this sooner rather than later so it may not be possible to give you prior notice of the downtime.
Once migrated to our new address, visitors to www.accordionists.co.uk will be automatically redirected to the new website address.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but the change to the software has now become really necessary.

Any diatonic players here ?

Any non accordion related chat & banter in here, but try and avoid religion and politics!
User avatar
jozz
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:03 am
Location: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by jozz » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:23 pm

my Hohner clicks like crazy so I suppose he either edited the recording or has his repadded/bushed or something

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:27 pm

He swears he hasn't done anything with the inside of the box. He does have a very light touch which may account for it. Also, it might be fairly new Has Hohner addressed the problem of clicking buttons in its newer models ?

User avatar
jozz
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:03 am
Location: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by jozz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:22 am

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing the clacking anyway. There is a great deal coming from the pallets hitting the soundboard and some of the buttons hitting the sides of their holes. And some of the slack/movement of the mechanism (iron on iron).

I don't know but I guess a newer model will have less problems in those areas.

I have repadded mine and that helps a bit with the soundboard but it's still loud clacking.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:32 am

It's a strange thing and I thought maybe it was a problem with older boxes But this video was posted 10 years ago and there's no clacking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g4UWG- ... gs=pl%2Cwn

Perhaps some boxes do and some don't but it does seem strange. Did you buy yours new, Jazz ? A friend has one he bought secondhand and that clacks from time to time. He's been playing for a couple of years and the box is about 10 years old.

There are some good offers on at the moment and having heard Le Revenant being played so well, I thought it could be a good start. They seem very good value for money for a beginner in diatonic.

User avatar
jozz
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:03 am
Location: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by jozz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:14 am

Yes the Goudbrand (as we call them here) is quite popular, and a whole lot quieter than my stuff, which is from the 1930/40's. But I played one before and it is not dead quiet. But if you are in an untreated room and your harmonica is some distance of your microphone it will be better as well.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:07 pm

The trouble is, I then listen to a wooden box with a less musette tonality and suddenly I'm not so sure.

I've just been told that if the buttons clack, a very thin piece of felt on the underside helps - well that's fine if that's where the clack comes from !

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by maugein96 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:11 pm

Sally,

Thought you'd be playing one of these by now!

That's a really nice sounding two row Hohner in the clip, clacks or no clacks. Makes you wonder why we bother carrying barrel organs around.

Old Chinese proverb:- "If you have big clacks be careful house doesn't fall down!"

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:49 pm

:lol:
I've just had permission to wander down to the accordion shop for a chat ..... ;)

User avatar
jozz
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:03 am
Location: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by jozz » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:12 am

if I were to buy new I would also go for the dryer variety (maybe a Castagnari, the one with the 18 basses)

dunlustin
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by dunlustin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:22 pm

I played a Corona II for years and found that felt did the trick on the melody side while the bass clack just gave a bit of extra percussion.
I was told (by the Hohner technician in Paris – also a Mr Hohner but no relation) that there was a limit as to how dry you could sensibly tune (Hohner) machine reeds.
That said, I’ve noticed several places in France offering a choice of tunings (wet/dry) as well as the standard Hohner tremolo.
Also ‘calage du clavier’ which I’m guessing is an anti-clack measure.
Before going up market it’s probably worth looking for a swing-tuned Pokerwork (ie 2915). After all there are pros who have used them for 50+ years of gigging.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:13 pm

The Hohner 2915 has a sweet vibrato tone and I've not heard it with a drier tuning.
The fact that "calage du clavier" is offered shows that the clacking is a known problem Presumably if you buy one new you can have it sorted straight away - something I will ask at our accordion shop.

I prefer the drier tuning of the Castagnari but the Hohner seems a pretty good bet for a beginner - best value for money and with current reductions in price ....

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:34 pm

I've just spoke to our local accordion shop and apparently the clacking occurs on the older models. The newer ones are fine and apparently the tuning can be changed just as with any other accordion. When I asked about the eventuality of reselling a 2915 with a slightly drier tuning, he said that people who buy them generally have no idea of different tunings. It can't be tuned as dry as swing, but the vibrato can be toned down a little.

So I'm off down there on Tuesday to have a look {}

Before joining this forum, I hadn't realised how little I knew about accordions. Interaction with other accordion players here has opened a whole new world for me - so a big thank you, one and all :)

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by maugein96 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:58 pm

Sally,

This outlet in Caudan has tuning called 1/2 swing for Hohner 2915, which is dubbed "the loudest two row Hohner" in some US stores. Not saying you should buy from there, just to make you aware.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Accordeon-diat ... 0854560726

As they say, most people probably have no idea what tuning they are playing, and diatonics seem to be a lot easier to sell on than full sized boxes in most countries.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:52 pm

I'm going to look a nearly new one in pristine condition for half the price of a new one and as the shop has a very good reputation, it could be the ticket. At least I'll be able to have a feel of it before deciding - and there are plenty of others to try as well, even if I haven't actually played a diatonic before !

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by maugein96 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:29 am

Must be great to just go down to the local accordion shop and browse their selection.

35 years ago when I first had the notion to start playing, I had been touring the handful of Edinburgh music shops in vain. I never realised that even then sourcing an accordion really needed to be done via a specialist dealer. I walked into one posh music shop in Edinburgh and asked about French accordions. There were two PA accordions in the shop window. Staff asked me if I could come back on Saturday morning and speak to the one member of staff who knew about accordions. I declined but phoned the shop. "I think I know what you mean sir, but we'd need to place an order via an associated UK dealer who has a franchise with the manufacturer. We have a beautiful piano accordion in stock that would suit a beginner."

That's like walking into a car showroom, asking to look at a 4x4, and they try and sell you a mini!

The music shop, and hundreds like it, are no more. We do have a little local music shop here. Last time I was there the main customers were schoolkids swapping console games, and I just don't know how the shop survives. Somebody asked if they had a CD with the tune "10 guitars" on it, and were told they only had three guitars in stock in the shop.

Enjoy your day in paradise and I'm sure you won't come away empty handed.

User avatar
StargazerTony
Expert
Expert
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:36 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by StargazerTony » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:07 pm

In the US it's worse. All of the, very few, music stores close to me have only drums, guitars, keyboards, electronics and some ancillary equipment like stands and such for those drums, guitars, keyboards, and electronics. The closest music store to me, that I can walk into that has any accordions is more than 350 miles away and the second is more than twice that distance.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by Corsaire » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Our 'local' accordion shop used to be in Rennes, very difficult for parking but it moved out to a village a couple of years ago or so. It's an hour's easy drive from here so not too far. The two lads that run the shop are very knowledgeable and their workshop is on site. They only sell accordions and have that wonderful manner that makes everyone feel welcome, whatever the level or knowledge. They also sell for people and their 15% fee is much more reasonable that Hobgoblin's 33% !

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by maugein96 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:17 pm

StargazerTony wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:07 pm
In the US it's worse. All of the, very few, music stores close to me have only drums, guitars, keyboards, electronics and some ancillary equipment like stands and such for those drums, guitars, keyboards, and electronics. The closest music store to me, that I can walk into that has any accordions is more than 350 miles away and the second is more than twice that distance.
Tony,

We often forget the vast size of the US. In most parts of England it is rare to go a few miles without being in habitation, but music stores are still folding with all too frequent regularity. In Scotland, distances are greater. My nearest store which stocks accordions is about 60 miles way, but they might only have a handful in stock, and as a CBA player, that would likely be one or even none in stock. Some UK stores which never previously handled accordions now stock Rolands, or rather they have one or two of the smaller ones in stock and you can order the larger models from them.

The giant German "Thomann" music warehouse is usually our cheapest option, and carry just about every type of popular musical instrument there is. They aren't that big on accordions, but you can buy Scandalli accordions from them as well as Rolands, Weltmeisters, and the budget Hohners and Startones (a new presumably Asian brand). With credit facilities, free delivery in a matter of a day or two, and hassle free returns, they have obviously made a huge kill in the European retail music industry.

Things might change shortly when the UK leaves the EU, but I doubt whether many new music stores will spring up as a result. We also have major musical instrument warehouses in the UK. They aren't as cheap as Thomann, and don't tend to do acoustic accordions, but they will fill most of the gaps created by any trading difficulties we might have with Germany.

A local car dealer has just gone bust. They had a franchise selling French Peugeot cars. With the impending Brexit issues local people just stopped buying Peugeots, and they hadn't sold a new car since May 2018. We now have one car dealership in town. They have switched their Renault franchise and now sell "British" Vauxhalls (re-badged Opels) that are made all over Europe, and a lot of former Peugeot customers are now driving Vauxhalls in the belief that they are buying "local". The Vauxhall garage just puts all of the Peugeot trade ins straight to auction and doesn't bother trying to sell them from the garage showroom.

I cannot be certain, but the way the accordion industry is going, in a generation or two the only new accordions available are likely to be digital. Who is going to repair and tune an acoustic accordion in 2050?

User avatar
StargazerTony
Expert
Expert
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:36 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Contact:

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by StargazerTony » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:48 pm

Well, maugein96, you make some very good points. The distances here are vast and a 700 mile, two day round trip to look at accordions is not something I'd do with any regularity. My accordion teacher told me that there has been a steady increase of students he teaches and a general overall increase of interest in accordions. That's all good but it hadn't prompted any local music stores to stock accordions. The accordion stores I follow on line (including Smythes, who I believe is a member of this forum) all have nice product that can by shipped. I am one that believes accordions don't ship very well, but I have little choice. What to do? Its s problem with little solution.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Any diatonic players here ?

Post by maugein96 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:53 pm

Tony,

Although I'm not exactly familiar with the current state of accordion retail in Scotland, the absence of specialist accordion stores which were once there until maybe 20 years ago sort of paints the general picture. One of the things which kept some of them ticking over was the supply and repair of accordions to the various sectarian marching accordion bands in the west of the country. When these bands had sufficient sponsorship they would sometimes be placing orders for upwards of 20 new accordions at a time. I no longer live in the area where those marching bands are/were based but there certainly doesn't appear to be as many of them as there once was. The accordions had a hard life as they were mainly played outdoors in all weathers, and probably had to be replaced and/or repaired on a regular basis.

The other part of the industry was concerned in the supply of instruments to folk players and the once ubiquitous Scottish Country Dance bands. In certain parts of Scotland these bands are still to the fore, although there aren't anywhere near as many of them as there once was. My wife is the same age as I am (65) and was a member of several Country Dance groups in her formative years. She recalls that most of the time they rehearsed to tunes played on a record player, and the only time accordions were used was during competitions. At one time every school in this area had a country dance club, but you'd need to look hard these days to find very many. Similarly, accordion music was usually played daily on the radio. These days you might get a weekly radio programme, depending on where you live.

Scottish accordion and Country dancing were synonymous in older times, and there still exist some accordion clubs, sometimes merging with the folk scene. The local music has never really appealed to me, so I've only been to a handful of these over the years. I felt like a rapper at a classical concert.

I've no idea how many newcomers there are to the instrument here these days, compared with the situation in the 50s and 60s, but the first obstacle any would be player now has is to find a suitable instrument. We don't have the really big distances, but we are usually forced to place orders via dealers who seldom hold much stock, go and view a selection of instruments by appointment in "lock up" premises that do not have regular opening hours, or just chance it and order online. None of those options really appeals to me, but it would appear to be the same in most of Europe.

In my experience I would agree that accordions do not ship very well, and if you order a brand new model one or two reeds will usually be out of tune when it arrives.

The instrument is a victim of its own complexity, but I'm glad they'll still be around for the time that I am likely to be.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests