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Author Topic: Mas  (Read 1720 times)

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melodeon

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Mas
« on: February 29, 2016, 02:27:34 PM »

It looks very interesting to me... particularly at   30cm X 17cm and only 4.6 K, with a flat keyboard. Not fond of Wenge but other woods seem available.

http://www.musicalandorra.com/en/diatonic/364-castagnari-benny.html

This link says the box has a muffler, somewhere I read it has something similar to a cassotto, perhaps that is what they meant.
I am wondering if this is true and if there is a switch to engage or remove the "baffle".
The web site say it comes in GCacc but also GCF...

Castagnari's web site is designed specifically for the Milleret/Pignol system.
Apparently the bass has no thirds and the switching will give a "free bass" action.
It has two treble reeds and presumably Bandoneon (L/M) if M/P. This would give low only, medium only of L/M bandoneon.
Another feature not found on other Castagnari three rows is the flat board with "sinking buttons, not mushrooms.

Andy , on his "Melodeon Minutes" blog posted this:

http://melodeonminutes.blogspot.com/2011/08/castagnari-releases-new-3-row-mas.html

He referred to a switch behind the keyboard, but note the two buttons on the grille.
If there is a switch on the back, I am wondering if it is for a cassotto.

It refers to the 2 reed bass with fudamental and fifth and a free bass switch.

Here is a video of Simone Botasso playing a MAS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=celgkK_oQR4


And another with David Munnely who is playing a Van Der AA C#/D:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTdduuK2MSw

Another with violin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMJFTl61NpE

Lately Pascale Rubens of Naragonia has been playing a MAS...
This video shows several players including Bottasso ( grille off the accordion, and Pascale, seated, .. both playing the MAS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wV6KGiToDk


Does anyone have any experience with the Castagnari MAS,  and are any of you playing the Milleret/Pignol three row system?

« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 03:40:02 PM by melodeon »
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Grape Ape

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Re: Mas
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 04:55:39 AM »

Try messaging Cooper, he has a Mas and once emailed me a video of it.  I may even still have it in my inbox...

It is called a Sordina, and it is my understanding that it can fitted (at the factory) to most of their boxes.  I seem to recall Cooper said he didn't find it terribly useful, and to my ear it didn't have an overwhelming effect, but seemed to soften the sound just a bit.

http://www.castagnari.com//index.php?strparam=&language=uk&sz=301&id=59
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 05:01:59 AM by Grape Ape »
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triskel

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Re: Mas
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 01:06:53 PM »

It is called a Sordina, and it is my understanding that it can fitted (at the factory) to most of their boxes.  I seem to recall Cooper said he didn't find it terribly useful, and to my ear it didn't have an overwhelming effect, but seemed to soften the sound just a bit.

http://www.castagnari.com//index.php?strparam=&language=uk&sz=301&id=59

So it's a mechanical device (to mute the sound) that appears to involve a heavier/denser grille cloth material.

It's an idea that goes back to the 1850's at least, seeing that my Anthony Faas, of Philadelphia, accordion has a sliding wooden mute in the grille. It features in his second patent, of August 12th 1856: Accordion US 15511 A
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robotmay

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Re: Mas
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 01:28:55 PM »

I've had a go on one of these. It was a little frustrating due to the reversals on the C row in that keyboard system making it hard to test without spending some time relearning the keyboard a bit. It's a very soft sounding box, and quite different to my Pariselle box which is set up in a very similar way (L/M reeds and thirdless chords). I suspect that is down to the reeds, as mine has rather brusque Binci reeds in it.

The L/M sound in G/C is very jazzy and works really well for dance music. I've been gradually enjoying playing my similar box more as I find music that suits it better. I might experiment with fitting a muffle to the treble and bass on it, I'm curious as to how it will affect the sound.

Oh and I'd say the Wenge wood is actually really beautiful in person. Marcus Scott has a Handry built in it, and it's one of my favourite looking boxes I've seen in person: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f2scggOSpk
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 01:39:14 PM by robotmay »
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melodeon

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Re: Mas
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 04:19:55 PM »

Thanks for the posts/replies.

Wenge is known by many wood workers as "fish hook wood".. don't get a sliver.
It also has long deep fissures that are a bear to fill.. or leave them and get that long open pored look which I do not like.

I have some wenge, it was suggested to me as an alternative for guitar fingerboards rather than ebony. No thanks.

Somewhere ( and now lost) I found a Euro web site offering the MAS in Padauk.. though it has somewhat open pores, more to my liking. As Castagnari's walnut runs from beautiful do downright ugly, that is taking a chance, and cherry, can , or cannot be acceptable.  Maple is too white, and they stopped using elm. Dilemma just in wood choices if ordering.

This may lead to another conversation with Castagnari. Cassotto and wood choice and possible alternative schematic, not M/P.

Ansd there are other box choices.. but the size and the keyboard attract me to the MAS.
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melodeon

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Re: Mas
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 08:07:37 PM »

Thanks, I sent a PM to Cooper.

He does own a MAS in A/D. He likes the  size and light weight and the switches for the L and M reeds as totally independent. He has some reservations about the bass layout and says he does not use the "free reed" feature. But overall likes it very much.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 05:00:06 AM by melodeon »
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Łukasz Potoczny

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Re: Mas
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 10:50:16 PM »

Hello, all!
.
I'm seriously considering buying Mas with a slightly modified Heim No.1 layout as my next box and would love to hear some opinions from people who actually have played this particular box.
I live in Poland, so chance I'll come across a Mas to lay hands on is rather thin. Any input will be highly appreciated. ;)

I'm particularly interested in the "free-bass" thingy. When I saw Mas on a photo I automatically assumed it was for a third stop - sort of downsized Handry or Mory. Turns out it's a completely different thing and - frankly speaking - prospect of having any kind of free bass on a melodeon is rather exciting. :) How exactly does it work?
Also, tamba in his thread about visiting Castagnari wrote that Mas was the sweetest sounding box he tried during the trip. Can anybody confirm that? And if so, what would be the explanation - sordina fitted by default in that model?
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Mas
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 12:55:14 AM »

I remember learning "con sordino" as meaning "with a mute". Is this the meaning of "sordina"?
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Re: Mas
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 08:19:38 AM »

I remember learning "con sordino" as meaning "with a mute". Is this the meaning of "sordina"?
Yes - it's the same root word.
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Cooper

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Re: Mas
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 11:55:57 AM »

Hello, all!
.
I'm seriously considering buying Mas with a slightly modified Heim No.1 layout as my next box and would love to hear some opinions from people who actually have played this particular box.
I live in Poland, so chance I'll come across a Mas to lay hands on is rather thin. Any input will be highly appreciated. ;)

I'm particularly interested in the "free-bass" thingy. When I saw Mas on a photo I automatically assumed it was for a third stop - sort of downsized Handry or Mory. Turns out it's a completely different thing and - frankly speaking - prospect of having any kind of free bass on a melodeon is rather exciting. :) How exactly does it work?
Also, tamba in his thread about visiting Castagnari wrote that Mas was the sweetest sounding box he tried during the trip. Can anybody confirm that? And if so, what would be the explanation - sordina fitted by default in that model?

Just seen this thread, sorry i missed it. Any questions about the Mas i am happy to answer. And Grape, if you still have that video, i dont mind if you send it to anyone who wants to see it. I dont think i have it anymore :-)

1) The "cassotto": It basically is a bit of thin wood that you can insert or remove from the grille. It has more effect than Grape leads you to believe, but i actually almost forgot it has this feature, as i always leave it open, even leaving the wood at home. putting it in gives a mellow, but also somewhat muffled sound. Not bad, but, like i said i dont use it much. Perhaps also because it is not a switch, but you actually need to stop playing get your arms free, remove the wood, put it next to you and then reinstall to play on. etc.

2) free bass: The chords on the Mas are thirdless, and the basses low. By using the (single) switch you do 2 things: a) remove the low octave from the basses, and b) remove the tonic from the chords, leaving only the fifths. This too i never use, but i guess for those people who want it is a cool option. The thing i would have loved to have is a switch to seperatly removes the low octave from the basses, but leaving the chords as is, hence the "reservations".
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Dazbo

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Re: Mas
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 12:05:38 PM »

Not fond of Wenge but other woods seem available.

Had never heard of Wenge before so looked it up on Wikipedia.  Apparently, it is an endangered species and also has some associated health hazards "The dust produced when cutting or sanding wenge can cause dermatitis similar to the effects of poison ivy and is an irritant to the eyes. The dust also can cause respiratory problems and drowsiness.[citation needed] Splinters are septic). 

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Re: Mas
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 12:10:30 PM »

A lot of hard woods, especially Mahogany types cause respiratory problems and belt sanders/linishers need to be fitted with dust extraction kit.
Splinters going septic is an interesting thought!
Q
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Cooper

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Re: Mas
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 12:11:37 PM »

oh, and i quite like Wenge :-) it's nice and smooth, with awesome coloring. Both my Mas, and my diningtable are made of it :-)
W
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Re: Mas
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »

A lot of hard woods, especially Mahogany types cause respiratory problems and belt sanders/linishers need to be fitted with dust extraction kit.
Splinters going septic is an interesting thought!
Q

Another timber which can cause septic splinters is teak. It was widely used for gratings and decks in boats and ships, and can't have been much fun for barefoot sailors. I had some in a boat of mine, and it was forbidden to go without footwear.

If someone offered me a nice box in teak, I wouldn't turn it down, though.
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Dazbo

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Re: Mas
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 01:22:24 PM »

A lot of hard woods, especially Mahogany types cause respiratory problems and belt sanders/linishers need to be fitted with dust extraction kit.
Q

I had never heard that before :(
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melodeon

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Re: Mas
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2017, 12:43:52 AM »

Simone Bottasso solved the "sordino/cassotto" problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTdduuK2MSw
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Dazbo

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Re: Mas
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2017, 07:40:31 AM »

As Simone has been mentioned a couple of times here is a video of the first time I saw him in 2008 when he was about 18 (his brother on fiddle was abot 15 or 16).

https://youtu.be/PCJdEOWDZJM
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Re: Mas
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2017, 09:36:28 AM »

Lovely music, but why are the audience glued to their chairs when the music is so danceable?  There was mention on another topic about musicians loosing the connection between their music and the dancing it was developed for.  But here it is the audience who are the "problem"
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