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Author Topic: Saltarelle  (Read 22041 times)

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melodeon

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Saltarelle
« on: May 18, 2010, 02:16:05 PM »

What's the consensus on the quality of Saltarelles current production ?

I have heard not so positive comments from a dealer about the latest Irish Bouebe..
I am curious about their more  expensive units such as the Nuage, Connemara, and
other 2 1/2 and 3 row boxes.

I understand that there are many Saltarelle devotees and many well known pros play them,
but I have inside info that the rich and famous do not get the same off the shelf unit as
you and I might get.

I do like the sound of many of them and the playability,and features,  however I have not been charmed
by the fit, finish and lesser quality innards, and varied reed quality. They seem to age poorly.  I have also
concluded the stepped board boxes seem to be built to another standard than the Sterling range.


A deterrrent to purchase has always been the multi tiered manufacture, distribution, and retail chain
.which adds complexity and profit..Another deterrent has been stories of attempting to get problems
solved during the "warranty" period. Dealers passing the buck to the French source and they passing
the buck back to the dealer or asking  that the box be sent back to France at the owners expense
when there are local sources for repair. Some dealers are simply "box gods" with no real store or facility
for sales , tuning and repair.


Anyone have any other observations or comments.

Thanks


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Ollie

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 03:29:27 PM »

I tried a few 2 1/2 rows off the shelf at a festival last year, and I wasn't impressed at all. They weren't very responsive, and the build quality felt a bit shoddy, especially the stops. If I were to buy a Salterelle, I would look at getting a second hand one.
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Ellison

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 04:00:19 PM »

I've had a really, really good Bouebe for about 18-20 years now (it's old and tired but it's been played to death). Even back then there were quality issues with some of the models I tried - the first one I ordered had to be sent back immediately for a retune, came back worse and then sent back for good.

Over the years I've tried and tried to get another Saltarelle because I thought they were more suited to English music - couldn't get to grips with the more refined, sophistcated Castagnaris, never suited me.
Bought a nuage which had such a tone and volume difference between the two rows that I took it back to the shop twice, had it returned twice with no discernable improvement. Eventually the shop said we've just had a new consignment, have one of these instead.

This one couldn't produce a note in the upper octaves that could be heard above a left hand chord. I know this is probably all reed set up problems but should you really have to sort this yourself when you pay that sort of money? And they are ridiculous prices.

I've tried many and some, I have to say, were very good, but some were dreadful. Agree with Ollie about the lack of response and the stops.

I don't know whether this has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum but Saltarelle has updated the website with videos of instruments too. These sound fine - but they would wouldn't they? Just my opinion but I think Saltarelle should stop concentrating on the diversity, which is becoming bewildering, and concentrate on achieving a consistent quality.

Martin
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Andy Simpson

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 04:34:04 PM »

In my experience they're a bit hit or miss, mostly misses but there's the odd one that's an absolute cracker. Last summer I played two brand new Nuages alongside each other at the Music Room stall at Sidmouth, one was absolutely terrific and the other was a �2700 novelty doorstop. The interesting thing was that the bad one was presumably as it was from the factory and the good one was pending sale and had just come back from across the tent where it had been tuned by Rees to the customer's taste.

I've seen a couple of real clangers that were simply sub-standard boxes for the price and I think everyone agrees that their quality control leaves a lot to be desired, even someone who owns and plays several Saltarelles once voiced his opinion to me that buying a new Saltarelle is, "paying a lot of money for a pretty s**t box, really". I think most of them could be fine instruments with a little professional attention but as Ellison said, all the middlemen push the price higher than it deserves to be and you shouldn't have to fork out a fair bit of cash to get it playing right after you've already paid so much for one.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 04:56:01 PM by Andy Simpson »
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Lars

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 04:46:38 PM »

I've had a Nuage myself years ago, and have recently worked on a couple of different Saltarelles. All had the same thing in common with what the generel consensus appears to be:

Ok box as it is - though no attention has been paid to details and finish; for example the fact that the black paint on the Nuage will wear off the corners in a matter of weeks or months of regular use, and the stops will start to rattle after a while.

But: after a full re-tune and reed setting, they've all sounded very very good. Not just okay, but really good. It's (as always) a matter of finding the right tuning for the individual box, but once you get a nice tremolo and the octaves in tune, I think the sound is superior to that of the majority of new italian-made boxes.

The action also needed attention to the Nuage I had. The springs were much too stiff, and the tension was very uneaven. An afternoon of fettling around with pliers and a pressure gauge, and the thing basically played on its own!

BUT: It depends on the sound you're after.

NOTE: Those saltarelles mentioned have all been the "old" model, with the butterfly-stlicker logo instead of the modern ingraved name. There seems to be a story going that the quality and sound were better back then than the newer (Bafetti-made?) ones. I've nothing to base this on myself, it's just the word around the box community.

I was told that for some years, all Saltarelles sold in Ireland (from Mairtin O'Connor) were tuned and adjusted by John Brosnan, to avoid the problems mentioned above.
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Owen Woods

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 05:18:31 PM »

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EeeJay

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 05:53:38 PM »

Same here... a mixture of piggy and perky...

Currently running a used 'mid era' tin badge (rotella/no LH stop) Irish Bouëbe with more balls than a bull elephant... mainly down to the 'reverse-sprung' rows. Reed quality is very rough and ready though... but it didn't cost a whole heap S/H, so I'm not complaining. Know a couple of folks who own(ed) blue Nuages... one was a basket case (reed quality... urgh...)... both had the 'paint rub' problem, so looked really cruddy after a short time. Wood showing through looked like really cheapo stuff. Not nice.

I can't quite understand how/why these get to market in such rough and ready order. At lest the French (i.e. home market) dealers/agents (Laurent Jarry for one) seem to stress pre-prep as de rigeur...

Neither French cars nor French accordions will make you 100% happy.

Will if it's a Gaillard. 'Nuff said.

Ed J
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 05:44:47 PM by EeeJay »
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Ellison

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 05:56:05 PM »

How French are these boxes?
I find Saltarelle a mystery. Even on this thread there's a question mark after the 'Bafetti made' comment. I've also heard that Serenellini make/made them and another I can't bring to mind at the moment.
Are they French, are they Italian, where are they made and by whom?
I was also taken aback when a 'customised' one was mentioned. I've tried to contact Saltarelle with a view to customising (even just enquiries about various aspects of existing models) but have always had a very curt, unsigned reply back to ask at the UK importers' shop. No pleasantries, no amiability, no 'thanks for the interest in our accordions'.

There doesn't appear to be any pride in the name.

Martin
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Owen Woods

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 05:59:09 PM »

How French are these boxes?
I find Saltarelle a mystery. Even on this thread there's a question mark after the 'Bafetti made' comment. I've also heard that Serenellini make/made them and another I can't bring to mind at the moment.
Are they French, are they Italian, where are they made and by whom?
I was also taken aback when a 'customised' one was mentioned. I've tried to contact Saltarelle with a view to customising (even just enquiries about various aspects of existing models) but have always had a very curt, unsigned reply back to ask at the UK importers' shop. No pleasantries, no amiability, no 'thanks for the interest in our accordions'.

There doesn't appear to be any pride in the name.

Martin


Weird. I have to say that this friend of mine has had problems with it and has had problems getting Saltarelle to deal with it, so maybe you're better off...
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Matthew B

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 06:02:20 PM »

I play a "tin badge" D/G Nuage, which is sadly not faster than my fingers.  And my fingers aren't that fast.  I bought it second-hand about 10 years ago from a reputable dealer.  The same folks retuned it for me last year.  I like the sound, but I find it gets pretty muddy outside the middle range of notes, and the middle range of volume.  The upper range of the M reeds, and the lower range of the L reeds all get a bit soggy and vague at the extremities, particularly if played loudly.  Played softly, they tend to fade out.  It has a sweet spot somewhere in the middle of both volume and tone which sounds fine.  The recent overhaul fixed some problems that had cropped up in the last decade, but didn't transform the thing.  So, when I can find the sweet spot I'm happy.  The rest of the time, I stick to the reliable rattle and honk of the cheap Hohners, which require a far less sensitive touch.  
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Lester

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 06:16:03 PM »

Neither French cars nor French accordions will make you 100% happy.

As the happy owner of a Citroen C4 Picasso and a Salterelle L'Elfique I would not agree with you one iota!

Ellison

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 06:18:31 PM »

Ah Lester! There may be some subliminal shifting of disillusionment - our Renault has just packed up, badly. I blame Saltarelle.
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Theo

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 06:48:38 PM »

Anyone who feels that any car could have the potential to make them 100% happy needs to get a life!! >:E
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Huw

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 06:52:08 PM »

Bought a new Nuage from The Music Room about 3 months ago looking for a replacement for a Castagnari Handry that I sold recently.
I had a Berry years ago and it was a great box never gave a moments trouble after years of hard use.  I like the sound and versatility of the Nuage and on paper it seemed exactly what I wanted. What a disappointment the new Nuage has been, two days after it arrived the high 'a' on the G row one of the reeds stopted sounding. Off to Marcus Music in Newport a round trip 120 miles, as always Marcus sorted it out in about 10 minutes , can't speak too highly of Marcus service I'd be lost without him. Following weekend off to play a ceilidh - two more reeds went down! Phonecall to The Music Room - courier arranged - didn't turn up - eventually got back to the Music Room. To be fair to them they are very helpfull and apologetic and the box was returned within three days "sorted" at least for now. A new melodeon in this price bracket should be better than this. If Dino Baffetti are indeed making these, why such problems as a new Black Pearl II arrived perfectly tuned and has so far given no problem whatsoever (six moths). I'm afraid I still think it could be a great box if only the quality control was better.
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Ellison

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 06:54:58 PM »

That's what frustrated me bearbones  - Nuage, on paper is what I wanted, the reality disappointed (3 times).
Martin
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Andy Simpson

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2010, 09:21:11 PM »

How French are these boxes?
I find Saltarelle a mystery. Even on this thread there's a question mark after the 'Bafetti made' comment. I've also heard that Serenellini make/made them and another I can't bring to mind at the moment.
Are they French, are they Italian, where are they made and by whom

As I understand it, the Saltarelle company is French, owned by a M. Georges Roux, and they design the boxes but have no production facilities of their own and have always contracted the manufacture of them to Italian makers. I'm currently under the impression that in the past Dino Baffetti & Serenellini both made different models for them but some time in the last few years they consolidated all manufacture with Baffetti.

 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 11:11:30 PM by WhatsAMelodeon? »
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ganderbox

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2010, 09:28:52 PM »

Neither French cars nor French accordions will make you 100% happy.

I drive a 12 year old Peugeot 106, and we also have a Peugeot Partner, and they're both excellent cars.
I have two Bernard Loffet accordions, which are superb.
I may not be 100% happy with life in general, but I have no complaints about French cars or accordions.
I've never owned a Saltarelle.
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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2010, 09:55:16 PM »

It's the player not the melodeon (so I keep telling myself) There is some great playing on the videos. Love St Joseph's/Bellechasse/St Stanislas played on the Elfique. I've only ever heard this on the pipes before but sound great on the melodeon. I almost want to buy one!

http://www.saltarelle.com/videos/Elfique/stanislas.m4v.SWF

Neil
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Mike Averill

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2010, 11:53:05 PM »

Neither French cars nor French accordions will make you 100% happy.
I have two Bernard Loffet accordions, which are superb.
I may not be 100% happy with life in general, but I have no complaints about French cars or accordions.

Loffet accordions are breton not french
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smiley

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Re: Saltarelle
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2010, 12:28:33 AM »


Quote
Loffet accordions are breton not french
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