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Author Topic: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow  (Read 2715 times)

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pgroff

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Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« on: October 09, 2013, 05:12:02 PM »

Hi all,

I have had a couple of little Tombo diatonic accordions, including a very interesting 1 1/2 row semitone box.

But I really like the look of this beautfiul Tombo piano accordion -- has anyone seen one of their diatonic button accordions made in this style and quality?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOMBO-LIRICO-vintage-accordion-1930s-ART-DECO-style-Japan-/111185212383?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19e327b3df

PG
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triskel

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 06:16:50 PM »

Gosh, that looks like a "proper" learners' model PA, but the seller seems to think it's pretty special too - US $1,999.00 + $125.00 Standard Int'l Shipping seems an awful lot of money for a 1930's 18-bass PA....  :o

You going to get it then Paul?  8)

Mind you, with the eBay handle of "thuggin_way777", I'm not surprised the seller has 100% positive feedback!
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pgroff

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 06:58:47 PM »

Hi Stephen,

No, no. Just curious whether they built any of their diatonics up to this level.

PG
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triskel

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 08:48:54 PM »

This small Japanese collection has one the same; http://www.geocities.jp/cato1963/acco-mine.html#lirico; which it describes as a rare model, though they've got an up-market 80-bass too.

But the best they can offer in the way of button boxes are these 1930s Olympic (left) and Olympia (right) models (sound kinda' familiar?  ???):


By the way, it seems Japanese 2-rows are C/C#
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pgroff

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 08:52:48 PM »

Hi Stephen,

Cool! Will add a photo of my little 1 1/2 row Tombo box later in the week.  I think that one may actually be in D#/E.  Brass reeds IIRC.

PG
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triskel

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 12:17:28 AM »

This very German-looking example may be the best that they made;


there are more photos of it here; http://nardingallery.blogspot.ie/2010/10/my-frst-japan-made-tombo.html

According to Yoshiya Watanabe, it seems Tombo only made their first model of piano accordion, a small one called "Paris" that had brass reeds, when it "became popular here when people saw the [1930] French film "Sous les Toits de Paris" (Under the Roofs of Paris)".
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forrest

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 10:52:51 PM »

Tombo is an intersting subject. Here is my 'Miniature Accordion' from them....a project waiting to happen. Has a single reed plate with 20 reeds. Needs a pallet spring, air button repair and new bellows. Shown with a Hero for scale.
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pgroff

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 02:20:25 PM »

Hi forrest, Stephen, and all,

OK, here's my little Tombo Student 13 key box in D#/E.  Stephen has usefully described layouts like these as "1.3 row" boxes.  It was evidently played a lot, and is unrestored.

At first glance the box seems to have some similarities to both German and Italian boxes.  Open button levers, plastic buttons, and "one row plus a few smaller helper keys" are all reminiscent of some little Italian organettos.  The trim pieces, stamped metal grille, and the brass reeds on long plates are reminiscent of some cheap German boxes.  But there are some interesting quirks to the design.

First, the button rows are a full 10 plus 3.  The little Italian organettos I've seen with one and 1/2 rows are much more likely to have just nine buttons in the outside row.  Then, the outside row in D# has what's called a "button 4 start" here on melnet.
The layout is a transposition of the one most often seen at the lower end of the rows on 23-key Irish boxes.  On the Tombo that layout (shown as press/draw for each button) is:

D#/G#  G/C  A#/D  D#/F  G/G#  A#/C  D#/D  G/F  A#/G#  D#/C

In my experience this layout is pretty unusual for the main row of a small box but actually is very useful for melodies that drop below the tonic note of that row. 

For example, the layout of the main D# row on the Tombo is a transposition of exactly the most useful notes I would want for a 10 key box pitched in (high) G (as in the G row of a D/G box), to play the Irish tunes and songs:

G/C    B/E     D/F#   G/A   B/C    D/E    G/F#    B/A    D/C    G/E

The inside helper notes of the Tombo are laid out in the key of E:

E/F#  G#/A  B/C#

Like the Irish American D/C# boxes with 1.3 row layouts, the layout of the Tombo provides one octave that is fully chromatic.

Basically, someone used to playing a C/C# or a D/D# box based on the outside row would find the fingering for this Tombo very familar.  As all the reedplates (4 treble, 2 bass) and the keyboard edge are stamped "D#" we know that that's the intended key reference.  The pitch is around A 444.

PG

« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 05:01:58 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Tombo Lirico 1930s PA -- wow
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 02:27:16 PM »

The melody-side grille of the Tombo is stamped out of a thin piece of very flexible metal, probably german silver.  The pattern is simple enough but as with the colors and other design features there is a charm and harmony in the design that I wish could be more common in today's factory instruments.

Very cute manufacturing idea in making the little metal feet screwed to the bass side.

PG
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