Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Accordion Shopping Adventures

Related threads:
Continental Accordion? (7)
Royal Accordions (24)
What's your favourite accordion? (47)
Baby Hero/Parrot Piano Accordions (10)
Accordion Info:M.Carli (12)
BCC# three row button accordions (11)
Accordion People Help? Alberto Finzi? (14)
Help! Strange Accordion? What is it? (36)
Japanese Accordions? (20)
Searching for a Piano Accordion (23)
Wheatsone button accordion; help please (23)
british chromatic button accordion (4)
Button accordion choices (13)
Comments: Piano Accordion 4 Recycled Muso (3)
selling an accordion (10)
Antique Store Accordion (Royal Artist) (16)
Salterelle button accordions (5)
b/c accordion: sale/swop/part-ex (6)
Accordion/Melodeon name (63)
S/H 120 Bass accordion (6)
Secondhand accordion (UK)? (7)
accordions galore (5)
Where can I find a Button Accordion? (10)


CarolC 26 Aug 02 - 03:21 PM
MMario 26 Aug 02 - 03:29 PM
CarolC 26 Aug 02 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Skipjack 26 Aug 02 - 06:39 PM
CarolC 27 Aug 02 - 04:40 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM
Jack the Sailor 27 Aug 02 - 06:16 PM
CarolC 29 Aug 02 - 02:22 AM
hesperis 29 Aug 02 - 03:16 AM
CarolC 29 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM
RangerSteve 29 Aug 02 - 06:06 PM
EBarnacle1 30 Aug 02 - 11:04 AM
Jack the Sailor 30 Aug 02 - 01:55 PM
CarolC 31 Aug 02 - 05:56 PM
black walnut 02 Aug 08 - 10:29 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 02 Aug 08 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Guest ( Brandi) 04 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 03:21 PM

The Mastercraft Midget that I picked up at the House of Musical Traditions turned out to be a bad purchase. That was the first time I ever shopped for an accordion, and I did it badly. I fell in love with the sound, but I didn't play all of the notes and check everything out carefully. Instead, I asked the sales person if the instrument was in good working order, and she assured me that it was.

When I had some time to really focus on the instrument with no distractions, I began to notice problems with specific notes in two of the voices (clarinet and violin). I'm pretty sure the problems were related to malfunctioning reed stops. Plus, some of the notes sounded like they weren't properly in tune.

The Mastercraft Midget from HMT was about 40 years old. We were told by another accordion dealer that a 40 year old accordion with problems is basically worthless because it would cost more to fix it than to replace it. So that accordion went back to HMT. After some back and forth stuff with the sales person and some discussion with the store owner, we were able to return it for a full refund. We paid about $740 US for it which, it turns out, was about $500 more than it was worth.

Somewhere in northern New Jersey, we hooked up with an accordion dealer named Alex (the first of two), at Music Magic USA. We learned a lot from this Alex, with Jack the Sailor being the one who learned the most. We didn't find one that either suited or fitted me, but Alex had a fine showroom, and a good selection of new, professional quality accordions. Alex told us that an accordion of the size I needed would probably need to be special ordered from the factory, so we decided to keep looking for a used box.

Alex was incredibly helpful even though we didn't buy anything from him. He showed us all of the different kinds of accordions he had so we could hear all of the different kinds of sounds. He continued to help us even after he knew we would not be buying from him. And he even gave us tips on buying a used accordion.

In New York City, we were getting the grand tour of the city from an acoustic guitarist named Ira Strum. Ira showed us a street at Times Square known affectionately as "Music Store Row" which is at 48th Street and 7th Avenue. I think that street must be the most wonderful street in the world for people buying instruments. It has two stores that sell accordions.

One of the stores with accordions was closed, so we went into a store called "Alex Accordion Guitar", where we met the other accordion Alex. This Alex is a lovely gentleman from Italy who clearly loves accordions as much as I do. He showed me a big red accordion that he was anxious to sell. When I make it clear that this was not the accordion for me, and that I was looking for a much smaller instrument, he reluctantly said "I have just the accordion for you". He went behind the counter and pulled out a tiny black beauty of an Italian accordion that was stashed away from the rest of the accordions that were for sale.

Alex number two told us that this accordion was called a "Super Midget", and that that size is not made any more. It was made at the same factory as my old Crucianelli. The keys are probably about half the width of a full size accordion. It has exactly the kind of sweet sound that I was looking for, the action is as smooth and light as silk, and with the sound and action put together, the instrument plays like butter and velvet.

Nevertheless, I had learned my lesson from the Mastercraft Midget purchase, and I carefully played all of the notes, both while drawing and pushing on the bellows, in both of the voices (clarinet and violin). It was perfect. Alex number two told us this instrument is only seven years old. All of the parts are in great shape. Alex number one told us that any reputable dealer would take an instrument apart and show us the action and the valves. This, Alex number two did for us, and the little Super Midget looked as pristine as a baby's bottom inside.

The Super Midget has a three year warrantee and Alex number two said that if I bring it back once a year to have it serviced, he'll service it for free. He also asked me if he could play it one last time before I took it from the store. It seems that Alex had also fallen in love with the wonderful instrument and hated to part with it. He said he had used it when he played at private parties. He had a wistful look as we left the store.

It's certainly the most beautiful instument I've ever played. It's taking me a little bit of practice to get used to the key spacing, but I actually prefer this key width. I find it is even more suited to my hands than the ladies' size boxes I was playing before. I'm also finding that I can play a much larger repetoire of music than I could on any of my other accordions. Pretty much all of the kinds of music I like to play sound good on this instrument.

For someone like me who doesn't have a very good head for technical details, the accordion buying process is quite daunting. With the help of the two Alex's and Jack the Sailor, the process was made much less difficult, and the end result was successful. I suppose the best accordion buying advice I could give others like me, based on these experiences, is to find good people whom you trust, ask a lot of questions, play all of the notes both ways, and take good advice when it's given.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: MMario
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 03:29 PM

Huzzah! Gonna bring it to getaway and regale us all with music, music, music?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 05:00 PM

Hey, MMario That looks pretty probable right now. Do you know if it's possible to register yet?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: GUEST,Skipjack
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 06:39 PM

That was a great read, Cazza, and a happy ending, too. I know exactly how ecstatic you feel, as I still get that same buzz when I pick up my Guerrini and do that sustained dominant bass stuff on the quiet voice, whilst playing the fast stuff on the right hand. Good luck to you, girl.

Skipjack


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 04:40 PM

Thanks Skipjack!

I was looking for an accordion that would sound as much like yours as possible. In the accordion showroom, when I played Kate Martyn's, I remember getting a big s**t-eating grin on my face, and exclaiming, "That sounds just like Skipjack's!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM

Have a friggin'ball!!!

Oh, do I know 48th street well. Used to go down there once a month after finishing my Toronto gig on Saturday night. Would take the overnight train, stay at the Howard Johnson's (probably not there anymore) check out the Art Galleries and Museums on Sundays and head to the music stores on Monday, where I'd often spend four weeks pay.

Ahhhhh those WERE the days!

Cheers

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 06:16 PM

Cheers all!!

Carol and I had a lot of fun in Manhattan! She is a wonderful person and I really treasure our time together. It was a lot of fun helping her shop but, now, as a guitarist, I know WAY too much about the technology of accordions.

She is the only accordion player I like to listen to, tasteful, calming, not overwhelmingly loud. The new little accordion is the same way. It is the ONLY accordion I've heard that can be played with a full sound in a comfortable volume for a duet with an unamplified guitar.

Here are some snaps of the trip to NY. If you look at the other albums you can see the Acoustic Guitar Magazine gatherings and some of my Newfoundland scenic shots.

Rick, I hope the shots of 48th st bring back some memories. There are LOTS of cool guitars! The pearl accordion with the black diamond on the bellows id the Mastercraft Midget. The Black one with the white diamond is the supermidget.

Enjoy!

NY Photos


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 02:22 AM

That's quite a story Rick. What a life you had indeed. You're a better man than I am ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: hesperis
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 03:16 AM

Awwwwww! When I go visit Susan you're coming, right, Carol? *Very cute pleading face*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 05:49 PM

Hey hesperis! When are you going to visit Susan?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: RangerSteve
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 06:06 PM

Carol, thanks for the tip on the accordian store in New Jersey. I've been looking for a place to trade in my 2 unsatisfactory instruments so I can get a new one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 11:04 AM

If they're unsatisfactory, why are you pawning them off on someone else instead of repairing them? If they cannot be economically repaired, is it ethical to dump them on the world instead of using them as decor?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 01:55 PM

If Ranger Steve goes to Alex in New Jersey, then he won't be pawning the instruments off. Alex will find a home for them and any trade in value will take the condition into account. I've dealt with a lot of vendors in my time, Not accordion vendors thankfully ;), and this guy really knows his stuff.

I almost wish he had had an accordion suitable for Carol. He was so helpful he deserved the business.

Ranger Steve, If you go there, tell him "hello", and "thanks" from us, Carol and Rob, and tell him we found what what we were looking for. But of course I wouldn't endorse any vendor completely, shop carefully!

Cheers

Rob (knows way too much about accordions, thanks to Alex) Dale


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 05:56 PM

What JtS (Rob) said.

Hey Ranger Steve, good luck with the accordion shopping. Let us know what you get, ok?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: black walnut
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 10:29 AM

I'm shopping for my first accordion. Glad to find this thread, Carol!

~b.w.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 10:48 AM

Carol gave me some much-needed accordion advice- I'm enjoying my Guerrini immensely!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Accordion Shopping Adventures
From: GUEST,Guest ( Brandi)
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM

I was wondering if you could help me with some information on an accordion. I have an original Alberto Finzi Custom Made accordion. It has all the original Mother of Pearl keys and only has damage to 2 buttons on the top. I have lots of pictures of it if that would be helpful. It still plays beautifully. I'm trying to figure out what it's worth. I also have a large stack of music that's with it. It's dated from 1941. If you know anything that might be helpful please let me know. my email is bear_cupcake_and_boo_too@hotmail.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 April 3:07 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.