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Author Topic: Loffet, castagnari etc  (Read 5241 times)

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Nick Hudis

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Loffet, castagnari etc
« on: January 28, 2009, 05:56:55 PM »

The prospect of a small legacy, has given me a once in a lifetime chance to buy a top of the range box.  Given that I like big boxes with lots of accidentals and reversals and I'm finding my musical home more and more in French and Nordic music ( in fact in european music generally), I'm thinking about a 3 row, three voice box in G/C with a row of accidentals and reversals customised to reflect my background as a Club layout, cross row style player.  (I already have nice boxes in D/G and C/F).  I want something a bit special that would be lasting reminder of my late father who was a fine artist and craftman.

Obvious first choice would be a Castagnari Handry, or maybe a Mory.  (yes I know I've said before on this forum I'm not a Castagnari type player..... probably just sour grapes, although I do love the Hohner sound).  I'm also interested in Bernard Loffet's Pro boxes.  A Saltarelle Ocean would also fit the bill.

Anyone have any experience of these boxes?

Any ideas how, without a trip to Britanny and Italy, I might get to try them out?

Any other makers worth considering?

I am assuming that Rees would be the first port of call for a Handry.

Any thoughts would be most welcome.

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Nick

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 06:37:37 PM »

I used to play an Ocean. 3 row 33 key A/D/G. The reason I bought that over a Handry was purely because I preferred the sound of the Ocean.

There's not much between them. Size and weight wise they're about the same. The Saltarelle offers one more coupler than the mory (i think?). Obivously the Casta would be a far better made box.

I loved my Ocean, but I then learnt how to play in the keys I was playing in on that on a 2 and a half row. This is the only reason I got rid of it, to the music room in Oxford, June 2006. Anyone playing it? I'd love to know here it is and that it's still in use!
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Martin J

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 08:00:03 PM »

Donning a crash hat and body armour in readiness for the flack I will get for this - if you can afford it buy a Castagnari.  I play all sorts and in my opinion my Dony is head and shoulders above anything else I have ever played.  You can specify the sound you want, mine is in swing moso.  Personally I don't like the Tommy when played with an octave couple but with Castagnari it is your choice, unless you buy off the shelf in a dealers, but I imagine Rees can tickle it up to whatever you choose.

My Dony is 18 years old and the sound of it gives me as much pleasure now as when I first got it.

So, there you go - one vote for Castagnari.
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Rees

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 08:47:20 PM »

This would seem a good opportunity to jump in with some bad news.  :(

As many of you know, Castagnari can take a long time to deliver the goods. Two years is not unknown.
Normally, when a customer places an order for a specific instrument I can guarantee the retail price at the time of order.
Unfortunately, with the Euro exchange rate in a state of flux, this will no longer be possible.
The price would have to be fixed at the time of delivery.
Not an ideal solution but it's the only one I can think of at the moment.

I can of course quote a price based on the exchange rate at the time of order, and who knows, the pound may strengthen against the Euro and the price can come down. Here's hoping.  :)
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Lin Erica

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 09:04:29 PM »

Hello Thrift Music

Thrift Music import Bernard Loffet boxes, down in Suffolk somewhere, there is a link in the mainsite.  He had a stand at M & M .

I bought my BL from them.  It was 2 row DG and was a very nice box, easy to play, lovely to look at, and more importantly sounded great, particularly the warm basses.  The only reason I had to sell it was because I couldnt manage to play the large box due to personal physical disability in my hand, but the person who bought it is a member of this forum.  perhaps he could add his twopennyworth???

Good luck, and hope you end up with your hearts desire
Lin
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Lin

ganderbox

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 09:55:54 AM »

I


My Dony is 18 years old and the sound of it gives me as much pleasure now as when I first got it.


I too have a Dony, (D/G) which is great for playing all sorts of European music on and is a lovely box. I have tried playing Morys and Handrys which are really beautiful, but I couldn't cope with the weight (or the price!)
A few months ago I decided to get myself a good G/C (I already have a 2 row Oakwood which is lovely, but a bit limiting), and I have a Graet e Breizh on order from Bernard Loffet. I thought about the Pro, but as I always play with the thirds removed from the basses I decided to save the weight and some money and go for the G e B instead. I've ordered a 3 row, the inside row being all accidentals based on those on my Dony. I have tried some of his boxes before, and been very impressed.
Whilst waiting for it, I have had all sorts of nightmares watching the pound going into free-fall against the euro, and eventually paid all the money upfront when it briefly rallied. Sadly, Loffet is at present suffering a bout of tendonitis which is causing him problems in doing the tuning, and I am still waiting.
When it arrives (hopefully any day now) I will report back!

Pauline
 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 11:06:18 AM by ganderbox »
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Pauline from Cornwall

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Bill the Farmer

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 10:33:47 AM »

Another vote for Bernard. I bought a Touptit from Bernard last year for my wife, and she loves it. She's been playing a Lilly, which is now nearly ten years old, and finds the Touptit a bit stiff, but the sound is so mellow in comparison. I can't say anything about bigger boxes, the only one I've got is a Club.
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ganderbox

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 11:04:25 AM »

A friend of mine traded in his Lilly for a Touptit a couple of years ago, and it sounds much nicer. Its so mellow that it hardly sounds like its just a single voice.

Pauline
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Pauline from Cornwall

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Andy in Vermont

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 11:50:10 AM »

Since you asked "any other makers worth considering"?
When I think "really special," I think of individual builders from whom you could buy a box directly, to your specs.  Someone like Emmanuel Pariselle, who makes lovely 2 1/2 and 3 row boxes out of fruitwoods like apple and pear -- and his prices seem very reasonable.  You could order a bespoke box from Emmanuel, then take a 2 or 3 day trip to pick it up from him when it is ready!  I think the result would be a very special memory in your father's honor.
-Andy

Martin J

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 02:16:51 PM »

You could order a bespoke box from Emmanuel, then take a 2 or 3 day trip to pick it up from him when it is ready!  I think the result would be a very special memory in your father's honor.
-Andy
Or you could go on his course in Belgium and build your own.
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EeeJay

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2009, 03:47:26 PM »

If you want a craftsman made, perfectionist G/C based three row, there's a very short list of contenders. As far as I'm concerned, Bertrand Gaillard is just about the créme de la créme. His instruments are absolutely glorious, and have a tonal profundity to them that seems to be so utterly specific to his instruments. Here's a video of his workshop.

However, given your penchant for Nordic music, and regarding the current economic situation (I last heard that the Norwegian Kronor is still in, erm, reasonable parity to our worthless wads  :-\ :(), contacting Olav Bergflødt seems a reasonable option... fabulous looking (and sounding) machines...

Someone like Emmanuel Pariselle, who makes lovely 2 1/2 and 3 row boxes out of fruitwoods like apple and pear -- and his prices seem very reasonable.

I'm fairly sure this is one Emmanuel made - and I think it's the self same model he shows folks how to build themselves - really nice piece of kit...

Ed J
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 08:24:30 PM by EeeJay »
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Dazbo

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2009, 04:14:06 PM »

I've not tried some of the more exclusive makes on this thread but I have tried Castagnaris, Loffets (Bernard is an occassional poster here I believe) and Saltarelles although not the specific models you're after.

I'd go for a Castagnari first, then Loffet and last of the three Saltarelle.  If I had enough money I'd be tempted to go for one's like Bergflodt or Gaillard but I'd want to try one before asking.  The only problem being if there are issues with the box it can be a lot harder and expensive returning a box to France or Scandinavia rather than a British dealer.

I know it's not quite what you're after but, if I were a club player, I'd be sorely tempted by a helicon bass styrische (?) box)
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ganderbox

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 01:49:04 PM »

I


My Dony is 18 years old and the sound of it gives me as much pleasure now as when I first got it.


I too have a Dony, (D/G) which is great for playing all sorts of European music on and is a lovely box. I have tried playing Morys and Handrys which are really beautiful, but I couldn't cope with the weight (or the price!)
A few months ago I decided to get myself a good G/C (I already have a 2 row Oakwood which is lovely, but a bit limiting), and I have a Graet e Breizh on order from Bernard Loffet. I thought about the Pro, but as I always play with the thirds removed from the basses I decided to save the weight and some money and go for the G e B instead. I've ordered a 3 row, the inside row being all accidentals based on those on my Dony. I have tried some of his boxes before, and been very impressed.
Whilst waiting for it, I have had all sorts of nightmares watching the pound going into free-fall against the euro, and eventually paid all the money upfront when it briefly rallied. Sadly, Loffet is at present suffering a bout of tendonitis which is causing him problems in doing the tuning, and I am still waiting.
When it arrives (hopefully any day now) I will report back!

Pauline
 



My Graet e Breizh finally arrived last Friday.....and it's gorgeous! The keyboard plays like an upper range Castagnari, it has a strong powerful bass, and all the reeds are set up and tuned to perfection. The box itself is completely plain..no decoration, just the Loffet stamp...but the carpentry is good with the grain of the wood all matching and all properly finished. The tone is just wonderful, bright and precise, and demands to be listened to!
It came with a pair of padded leather straps...with a backstrap built into them. A nice touch,I thought.

It also came with a copy of his CD "Moteur" which is excellent. I don't know how he plays like that, and sings at the same time. He also plays biniou koz and oboe....how can one person have so much talent , as well as making good melodeons? He makes woodwinds too.

As for the original question, Castagnari v Loffet.....I rate my new one as a better box than my Dony, and although I haven't checked current prices I am sure it costs less. If my Dony fell off the pub table and broke into a thousand pieces, I would definitely replace it with a Loffet.

If anybody else out there has a G e B, I'd be interested to hear what you think of them. My impression is that they have succeeded in putting a big box into a medium-sized package (it weighs about a few ounces less than my Dony and is about the same size) without compromising on sound quality, and in doing so kept the cost down (relatively speaking!) 

Now back to that tarantelle I was learning....

Pauline

ps  As my G e B is a 3 row (as opposed to Dony's 2 1/2) and has no thirds in the basses, the weight is better distributed as it is heavier on the keyboard end, but lighter on the bass end, therefore making life easier for my left arm! 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 01:58:10 PM by ganderbox »
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Pauline from Cornwall

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HallelujahAl

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 02:06:32 PM »

Quote
The prospect of a small legacy, has given me a once in a lifetime chance to buy a top of the range box.

A scenario that only my wildest dreams can fulfill. Go for it and get the best! AL
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rileycat

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 02:35:07 PM »

 :||:Sorry to be a bit late with this post - you've probably made up your mind already, but I'd like to put in a word for Marc Serafini ( find his site in the manufacturer lists here on melodeon.net).
I play a 3 row, 18 diatonic bass of his and it is every-bit as good as any of the boxes made by Castagnari IMHO. It is quite light - 10lbs - considering the spec. and very fast. Its relatively compact, certainly smaller than say a Hohner Trichord/Compadre 3 row, more La Boebe sized, and has Catagnari quality cabinet work + sexy black buttons! The playing experience is typical of top-quality Italian reeds - it can be played sensitively ( I use it mainly for song accompaniment) or with great power. Mine is tuned fairly wet and has stops for the the bass reed and thirds, but none for the 2 voice treble. However, Marc makes to order, so anything is possible and you'd have a fine and rare instrument. Hope this helps and enjoy whatever you buy. (:)
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LeFonque

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2009, 01:58:03 AM »

I am new to this instrument but have tried a number of boxes over the last twelve month. After a lot of investigation I bought a Loffet 3 voix, I gotta say I so happy with it I have just ordered a pro from Bernard.
Probably doesn't help other than I wanted to put my bit in saying from experience you can't go wrong if you do decide Loffet.
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2018, 09:11:45 AM »

Another vote for Bernard. I bought a Touptit from Bernard last year for my wife, and she loves it. She's been playing a Lilly, which is now nearly ten years old, and finds the Touptit a bit stiff, but the sound is so mellow in comparison.

As someone who has just bought a pre-loved Le Touptit I'm so happy you said that!
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pete /acorn

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2018, 11:41:21 AM »

Hi Nick
I have a Castagnari Handry 18 GC acc in stock
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2018, 12:07:05 PM »

Pete, this is an old thread that Andy has added too...… the original question goes back to 2009.
It caught me out!
Q
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Re: Loffet, castagnari etc
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2018, 02:13:48 PM »

You could try out a Handry at Acorn Instruments in Yorkshire
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