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Author Topic: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound  (Read 2916 times)

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nemethmik

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Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« on: July 28, 2009, 12:45:44 PM »

Yesterday I gave a try to my wife's 2-reed Piano Accordion (Weltmeister Rubin). The instrument worked great, perfect bellows easy to play, but it had so wet sound that I was not able to listen to the wahwahwahwah sound for more than ten minutes. I went to a music store and tried several piano accordions of different brands and makes. All had this weird sound. I fully understand now why accordion music went out of fashion and lost its popularity. On the other hand, my diatonic 2-reed box has great (swing) sound. My Cajun 4-reed box has terrific sound. I wonder whether it's possible to get a Piano Accordion that is not tuned to that annoying wet sound? I am afraid that Chromatic Button Accordions have exactly the same sound as the Piano Accordions. I was listening full length the video on http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,1922.0.html and none of the accordions had the sound I'd love. On the other hand, on YouTube I saw a number of videos where the Piano or CB Accordion had great/acceptable sound. But these models were mostly very expensive custom made boxes (for example, Saltarelle Chaville). I am nearly sure that I will not be happy with the sound of any Hohner or Weltmeister PA or CBA. Weltmeister has a couple of CBA models for the French market, do they sound the same as their regular PA and CBA models?
Thanks, Miki
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Malcolm Clapp

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 03:38:12 PM »

I fully understand now why accordion music went out of fashion and lost its popularity.

When? Where? I must have missed that.... >:E

Seriously though, if we all had the same tastes, what a boring world it would be.

Accordions can be tuned more dry.  Or more wet. Keeps many of us repairers in business    :D

MC
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RGF

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 05:02:04 PM »

As Malcom has said, the degree of wet/dry is a function of the tuning, not anything intrinsic in the piano accordion.  Here in the states, taking PA lessons as a lad back in the 50's & 60's, instruments with any degree of wet tuning were all but unkown to us. I think that our parents found that sound too "old world" or something -- after all, this is America....in the fifites....and we want modern! As a result, the vast majority of used piano accordions to be found here are full size (41/120) and completely dry tuned, with either octave (LM) or double octave (LMH) reeds.

When I returned to playing after a 40-year layoff, I purchased a Weltmeister Rubin, and had the same reaction as you did. I wound up de-tuning the sharp reeds quite a bit, to reduce the wetness of the sound. Ditto for the 3-reed Weltmeister Juwel that recently replaced the Rubin. As well as for my new 34/72 Serenellini. Apparently my taste is for something a bit dryer than the majority of what's being sold these days. (And since I started in with the button box a few years ago, I've done the same for my Pokerwork and Erica.)
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george garside

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 05:30:52 PM »

on the other hand some of us like  so called wet tuning  and feel that a dry tuned box sounds like a trapped fart trying to find a way out!  With a 7+ coupler box be it piano, continental or diatonic  you can get a very dry sound by using the middle & low concert pitch reeds or, provided its not octave tuned you can gt full 3 voice musette by using the concert pitch plus sharp & flat reeds. 

george   ;)
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triskel

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 06:05:40 PM »

When I returned to playing after a 40-year layoff, I purchased a Weltmeister Rubin, and had the same reaction as you did. I wound up de-tuning the sharp reeds quite a bit, to reduce the wetness of the sound. Ditto for the 3-reed Weltmeister Juwel that recently replaced the Rubin. As well as for my new 34/72 Serenellini. Apparently my taste is for something a bit dryer than the majority of what's being sold these days.

I'm not sure about Weltmeister, but certainly with Serenellini you can specify the tuning you want. But then it's down to the importer/dealer to know what's generally wanted by their customers (can be hard!) and to order that from the factory - these days I'd usually specify "Americano" (+10 cents), when dealing with Serenellini, but some people want drier, and some want wetter.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time...   :-\

on the other hand some of us like  so called wet tuning  and feel that a dry tuned box sounds like a trapped fart trying to find a way out!  With a 7+ coupler box be it piano, continental or diatonic  you can get a very dry sound by using the middle & low concert pitch reeds or, provided its not octave tuned you can gt full 3 voice musette by using the concert pitch plus sharp & flat reeds.  ;)

Hear, hear!  ;D

nemethmik

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 06:28:43 PM »

if we all had the same tastes, what a boring world it would be.
Thanks for the hint! I just called an accordion tuner in my area and he told me that he can retune the Weltmeister Rubin as I wish. If I am happy with the result of the retuning, I may consider to proceed with the purchasing of a Chromatic Button Accordion.
Miki
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RGF

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 07:55:33 PM »

Didn't have the opportunity to order my Serenellini with my tuning of choice, as I bought it right off the shelf in one of the local shops. Saw it, played it, had to have it! I don't remember exactly what the tuning was when I got it, but Dirk's tells me it's currently +13 cents at A4. So would this be, perhaps, "Americano + 3"?  (:)

I do like having the LMM configuration, as I can play a dry combination when I'm feeling the influence of my Lutheran forebears, and then switch to a bit wetter sound when I'm getting in touch with my inner Gypsy!

Bob

« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 07:58:09 PM by RGF »
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HallelujahAl

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 08:01:36 PM »

Yes, on my Hohner Echo III (BCC#) I have a neat little switch behind the fingerboard which enables me to move between a single dry reed set and a full-blown Scottish Musette - gives a wonderful contrast. Of course on my little two row D/G it's stuck with the tuning that it has, and I'm not unhappy with it. I wouldn't bother changing it as a tune up would cost more than the box is worth. But it is forcing me to try and play differently if I want to get different tonal shades in what I'm playing.
AL
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triskel

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 08:45:26 PM »

I don't remember exactly what the tuning was when I got it, but Dirk's tells me it's currently +13 cents at A4. So would this be, perhaps, "Americano + 3"?  (:)

Bob,

Sounds closer to "Italian tremolo" (+15 cents), but the exact amount varies through the range of notes, and from tuner to tuner.

Chris Ryall

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 10:18:14 PM »

enables me to move between a single dry reed set and a full-blown Scottish Musette

Techical query - can you have anything other than 'dry' using a single reed select?
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HallelujahAl

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 10:27:43 PM »

Quote
enables me to move between a single dry reed set and a full-blown Scottish Musette

Techical query - can you have anything other than 'dry' using a single reed select?
Maybe one adjective too many - but a way of describing the difference between the two settings(:)
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Malcolm Clapp

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 03:41:47 AM »

enables me to move between a single dry reed set and a full-blown Scottish Musette

Techical query - can you have anything other than 'dry' using a single reed select?

Fit mics and run through a signal processor, e.g. a chorus pedal perhaps....
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Accordion Dave

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Re: Cromatic vs Diatonic Sound
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 04:02:35 AM »

Most of my piano accordions from the 1950s onward, have no tremolo tuning. Usually there are 3 sets of reeds tuned an octave apart. 

My main squeeze came from the Weltmeister factory about 40 or 50 years ago. It has 4 sets of treble reeds with 11 switches. The middle reeds are tuned slightly apart to impart that musette sound that I enjoy. There is also a set of reeds an octave above and an octave below. I can turn the tremolo on or off with the switches.

I have several older Italian piano accordions from the 1920s and 1930s that have two sets of treble reeds tuned slightly apart and a switchable bass set. The tremolo is always engaged. In other words you can not select a single set of middle octave reeds.
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