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Author Topic: History of Saltarelle?  (Read 23215 times)

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Vincent Roux

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #100 on: December 13, 2017, 02:01:27 PM »

Hello everyone
 
My name is Vincent Roux and I'm the owner of Saltarelle accordions.
 
The existence of this thread has been brought to my attention by one of my dealers.
 
After reading everything that has been written I felt it was my duty to answer by giving precise, up to date and accurate information.
 
Many of the things written in this thread are either false or inaccurate.
 
Saltarelle accordions are renowned through the world for their unique sound, fast action and reliability. Many of the finest players choose Saltarelle over any other make, including such players as Sharon Shannon, Tim Edey, John Spiers, Phil Cunningham, Mairtin O'Connor, Brian Peters, Chris Parkinson. They choose Saltarelle because of our instruments, not for any other reason.
 
As many brands throughout the world we do not own the factory where our accordions are made. However there is only one factory.
 
In 1984 my father Georges Roux identified there was a lack of high quality and small diatonic accordions suited for French and Irish traditional music.
 
He had certain ideas on how to make such accordions. He went to Italy to find a manufacturer who would agree to produce the accordions he designed. He found one with Dino Baffetti.  After a few months some issues came up between Georges Roux and Baffetti. Georges decided then to work for a few months with Serenelli. Unsatisfied by the way they worked he managed to solve the disagreement he had with Baffetti and kept on working them.  Since then, all diatonics have been produced in the Baffetti factory.
 
So basically if you own a Saltarelle accordion that you deeply love, even a very old one, it is highly unlikely that it was manufactured at Serenellini's.
 
The Baffetti and Saltarelle range are different. There is not one accordion with the same specifications existing in both ranges. Baffetti accordions are mostly dedicated to Italian and tex mex music whereas Saltarelle accordions are mostly dedicated to French and Irish music.
 
I would like to address now some issues and fears that have been formulated here.
 
The accordions you see on the videos on our website are just standard. No special tuning. We just picked them from the shelf and start taping. There is no sound treatment either. Actually the most recent videos are made with an Iphone.  Obviously the sound is also determined by the quality of the computer or phone of the person watching the videos.
 
Same goes for the accordions we make for famous players. There is no difference between an accordion we make for a famous player and an accordion for a casual player. I'll take the example of our last Aether 3 model. Sharon asked us for an extra spare set of reedblocks tuned with a high voice instead of a low voice.  That's what we did. If any customer asks us the same thing we will do it as well. It's not a matter of who is asking but whether it can be done or not. After testing Sharon's accordion Tim Edey and Conor Moriarty also ordered one and they will get an Aether 3 as anybody else would.
 
That brings me to explain how we actually create a new model.  Sharon's accordion is actually a very good example. Roughly a year and a half ago I was contacted by Martin Quinn. He thought it would a good idea to make a high class luxury 2 row 2 voice accordion for Ireland. An upgraded version of the Irish Bouebe so to speak.  Shortly after that Sharon Shannon came to me asking for a flat keyboard accordion really really small with 2 rows and 3 voices. We started studying all this and we eventually found out that we could make both in the same box.
 
Then we produce a series of these box that we later on split. Half of it 3 voices and half of it 2 voices. We make a few in B/C for the shops in Ireland and then wait for orders. For example D/G for Tim Edey, C/C# for Conor Moriarty.
 
We keep a sample of each kind of accordion we make to ensure that each customer gets  exactly the same quality. That means for example that if we wanted to put again in production the Tramontanes we would be able to produce the exact same box we did 20 years back.
 
We use Cagnoni reeds on all our diatonics accordions. Cagnoni doesn't sign their reeds. We have been in fact asking them to do so to avoid any suspicion. We use always the same kind of reeds for one model. For example, super dural on Irish Bouebes and hand made on Nuage.
 
The person in charge of the tuning is Giovanni, he's been tuning all accordions for decades.
 
All I see here is consistency.  However consistency doesn't mean we can not improve. Recently some of our dealers pointed out that the new tipo mano reeds from Cagnoni are of the utmost quality and believe we should give up on the hand made reeds to just use the tipo. We will wait for some more feedback and take a decision. If we decide to make a change, it won't be for inconsistency but for improvement.
 
The suspicion that has grown throughout this thread is very strange to us. It is mostly the result of the posts of "melodeon" which are nothing but defamation. It leads to comments like this :



I know of one EPSILON with BINCI reeds as new.. Bizarre.


The reason you came across an Epsilon with binci reeds is simply that the original buyers asked for binci reeds in the first place.
 
One more thing about consistency : We have very long business relationships with all of our dealers.  Some of them lasting for more than 20 years now. Would any of these professionals of the accordion jeopardize their credibility by selling accordions that are not the same every time ?
 
We know our product, we know the quality of our products . We have been in the accordion business for over 30 years now and our instruments are so popular around the world that there is a waiting list.

Thanks for reading all this.
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #101 on: December 13, 2017, 02:30:18 PM »

Thanks for that, Vincent.Very informative, reassuring and interesting, even to the likes of me.
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #102 on: December 13, 2017, 03:07:17 PM »

Hello everyone
 
My name is Vincent Roux and I'm the owner of Saltarelle accordions.
The existence of this thread has been brought to my attention by one of my dealers.
After reading everything that has been written I felt it was my duty to answer by giving precise, up to date and accurate information.
Many of the things written in this thread are either false or inaccurate.
.
.
.
We know our product, we know the quality of our products . We have been in the accordion business for over 30 years now and our instruments are so popular around the world that there is a waiting list.
Hello Vincent,

Thank you for your very comprehensive post outlining the history of Saltarelle. It has made interesting reading and we now know more about Saltarelle instruments than we did previously, e.g. who makes them and the reeds, etc.

It is understandable that you wish to defend your company, and rightly so. However, one of the biggest criticisms of Saltarelle melodeons is the lack of quality consistency in the products. This comes up many times here in the UK - not just on this forum, but also talking face-to-face with very many players in the traditional music networks. These include experienced players, dealers and tuners, so I think there is definitely an element of truth in the criticisms.

As you will see from reading this thread, some people love their Saltarelles, but other players have less satisfactory experiences. The overall opinion among players in the UK seems to be that some Saltarelles can be very good indeed but others are only mediocre, despite the post-sales attention of reed technicians and tuners. It would seem that there is rather variable quality control over the instruments which get sent out to customers. Perhaps that is incorrect or unfair, but it certainly is the general perception, so perhaps you need to do something to address such a grave concern. It would stop much of the negative criticism of Saltarelle instruments.

Question: If a customer orders an instrument from yourselves and that order gets sent to the factory (whichever it is, Baffetti or another), does the finished instrument come back to you, Saltarelle, for checking and quality control before it gets sent to the customer? Or does the factory send it directly to the customer without you even seeing the instrument?

The quality control issue which I think causes most concern among players is the way in which the reeds are set up and tuned before sending to the customer. A customer should not have to return the instrument to the dealer several times in order to get the reeds properly sorted and tuned, yet this has been my own experience. I have had a Berry and three Nuages in the past; two of them from new and in every case it was the reeds and their set-up which led me to sell the instruments. In the case of the new instruments, the well-known dealer's tuner/reed technician was unable to improve on the reeds and their response. Ultimately, I'm sorry to say I gave up buying Saltarelle instruments and went on to Castagnari instead and have never regretted my decision to change.

I would be very interested to read your response to this quality control perception and what can be done to improve the rather mixed reception your instruments have.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #103 on: December 13, 2017, 03:43:24 PM »

[quoteThat means for example that if we wanted to put again in production the Tramontanes we would be able to produce the exact same box we did 20 years back.][/quote]

Yes, please, Vincent!  (Though actually weren't there different variants? - I have two with completely different characteristics, and even sizes.)

You won't hear much from me against your Tramontane accordions, because I have yet to find any alternatives, for my particular needs (which I suspect are quite close to those of many other players, in truth).

I have been playing your father's 14-bass boxes for many years.  If you'd like to PM me to discuss the experience, I'd be very happy to reply in detail.
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blackdot1234

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #104 on: December 13, 2017, 05:20:19 PM »

  I have seen inside one of there models about 6 months ago and was suprised to see the air hole in the bass sound board was patched up to reduce the size it was brand new and in a dealer  so where is the quality control there i said no more but did not purchase 
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mory

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #105 on: December 13, 2017, 08:49:01 PM »

Thank you Vincent as a player of Saltarelles for a long time now I'd be really interested if you could fill in some of the gaps as to when various models appeared? when the different badges and name styles came into use? Also at what point materials changed from ply to solid timber and then to the high end timbers like Walnut? Also the different grills, wood to chrome and then the aluminium and veneer version how are the excellent fretted grills made please. Thanks again and welcome. Some of us are really interested
in the history of these great boxes. All the Best mory
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 08:51:46 PM by mory »
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #106 on: December 14, 2017, 08:43:40 AM »


So basically if you own a Saltarelle accordion that you deeply love, even a very old one, it is highly unlikely that it was manufactured at Serenellini's.


But not impossible? I'd be very interested to know when the few months with Serenellini were, as my Pastourelle has much more in common with contemporary Serenellinis than it does with Bafettis.  I've  played examples of both - and my Saltarelle certainly feels and handles more like a Serenellini.  I look forward to learning more - as Mory says, some of us find this history very interesting.

Cheers
Graham
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #107 on: December 14, 2017, 08:51:52 AM »

Welcome Vincent,  and thank you for joining us and for all the information about your products.  It is very helpful to have details from you which clear up the things that have been the subject of speculation.
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Danielle M

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #108 on: December 14, 2017, 09:26:39 AM »


Thank you for these clarifications Vincent.

Very interesting to know more about an instrument which sound brought me such pleasure from the very few seconds I heard it playing, and I haven't changed my mind since !
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 09:35:20 AM by Danielle M »
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gettabettabox

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #109 on: December 14, 2017, 10:05:22 AM »

Yes, great to have you and your "house" on this forum Vincent.
The saltarelle brand remains a popular favourite in Ireland which is a good indicator of a decent instrument.
Thank you also for your earlier detailed reply (email) to my request about a replacement reedset for my nuage, very helpful. I am still considering this option.
Merci.
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squeezy

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #110 on: December 15, 2017, 12:42:06 PM »

One more thing about consistency : We have very long business relationships with all of our dealers.  Some of them lasting for more than 20 years now. Would any of these professionals of the accordion jeopardize their credibility by selling accordions that are not the same every time ?

The short answer to this is "Yes"

The brand is popular and people order the instruments.  A dealer is not going to turn down that kind of custom simply because the instruments are not properly set up.

You list me as one of your "finest" players, thanks!  I do have a D/G Saltarelle Connemara II which I have played regularly for many years and it is an absolute beauty.  It plays like a dream and it always has done.  I bought a C/F Connemara II in 2004 ordered with a matching keyboard layout and it has always been much less good to play no matter how much it is played in or tuned by various people.  It is not as good an instrument as the older one in D/G.  It is a living, playing example of inconsistent quality from Saltarelle ... sorry about that!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 04:01:37 PM by squeezy »
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #111 on: December 15, 2017, 05:05:53 PM »

Further to my earlier post about the air button hole in base sound board  yes its not great to have a patch in it but if its well fixed and glued well it will never give any bother criticism  is not necessarily a bad thing if company take it on board and rectify any issues its good customer  service and on forums like this the maker can have a voice also if they wish to reply to posts
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #112 on: December 19, 2017, 07:23:59 AM »

Slightly over a year ago, I had the following exchange with the man who was tuning my Hohner:

HE: What kind of sound are you after?
ME: Kind of a Saltarelle swing.
HE: This is a Hohner.
ME: Right, well, as Saltarelle-ish as you can.
HE: You know, you might do better to just buy a Saltarelle.

Faced with a screaming good deal, and after having read this thread, especially Vincent's comments, I finally did.  My Saltarelle Inferno arrived today.  Oh my, does it ever sound LOVELY!!

So Vincent, you sold one.  Thanks!  I guess I just needed one more reason.   ;D
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #113 on: December 19, 2017, 09:46:36 AM »

Slightly over a year ago, I had the following exchange with the man who was tuning my Hohner:

Faced with a screaming good deal, and after having read this thread, especially Vincent's comments, I finally did.  My Saltarelle Inferno arrived today.  Oh my, does it ever sound LOVELY!!

So Vincent, you sold one.  Thanks!  I guess I just needed one more reason.   ;D

Two questions come to mind. Where did you get it  and was it fetteld by the dealer before delivery?
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #114 on: December 19, 2017, 04:27:03 PM »

Two questions come to mind. Where did you get it  and was it fetteld by the dealer before delivery?

I ordered it through Liberty Bellows, Philadelphia, PA.  My impression is that they do not fettle new instruments, but I didn't ask.  Perhaps someone in their neighborhood knows better.
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Andy in Vermont

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #115 on: January 29, 2018, 06:03:32 PM »

It’s interesting to read what Vincent Roux wrote above, although difficult to square it with personal experience of the inconsistency of Saltatelles. I hope that Vincent Roux is able to hear some of the criticism constructively, and also to see that some confusion understandably results from the nature of doing business selling a “brand” and not often being transparent about some things. I’m pretty sure that this is also very common in the history of accordion business.

I think Saltarelle has offered some nice configurations over the years and I have played some that were excellent boxes, however all the best ones had had significant reedwork done by the end user or by a shop.Totlaly interesting that most were made by Baffetti.

I hope that Vincent Roux will spend some time participating in this forum.

By the way, I used to have a Piroulet formerly owned by Stephane Milleret, and it was a great box, however in a key that was not super useful to me, so I sold it.

Andy in Vermont

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #116 on: January 30, 2018, 06:19:08 PM »

Triskel posted a Saltarelle timeline in another part of the forum but I see that it is locked — may I ask why?

I assume that many who own or are considering buying a used Saltarelle would be interested in cross referencing various historic materials, ie when did certain design changes occur, how long was a given model available etc., who was selling them in what years (particularly because there are celebrity dealers etc).  I can’t imagine anything is controversial about that kind of information.

Clearly Vincent Roux can help provide some information but I’m sure there are materials out there, and information, that players can submit that would be useful to know and just generally interesting for those of us who take interest in the history of modern button accordions.

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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #117 on: January 31, 2018, 01:35:22 AM »

Johnny B Connolly plays a Saltarelle on his Bridgetown CD.  Michael Arralde overhauled the reeds and put on a new bellows back in the 90s, before that it was a bit of a dud.  A friend bought that box from Johnny some years ago but she doesn't have time to practice much.
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #118 on: January 31, 2018, 03:47:14 AM »

Triskel posted a Saltarelle timeline in another part of the forum but I see that it is locked — may I ask why?

That goes back to this post Andy, and particularly its last sentence (highlighted in red):
... the more we compare the information we've got, between us, the closer we'll get to answering that question, and others. We're only starting on doing the research at the moment, the history hasn't been written yet...

Are you putting together a time line, Triskel. I would love to see that.

I suppose ny post about the models available in the years 1989 to 1992 would make a good start on one, so I'll build on that, but that's as much information as I have and I'll need lots more data from other people who've got old catalogues, price lists, letters, messages etc., or who know when they bought a certain model new...

Could I ask people to contribute such information in this thread, so I can edit/collate it and make the timeline a locked article? (Otherwise it's likely to get messy, and confusing, and finish up like a duplicate of this thread. ;) )

Quote
I assume that many who own or are considering buying a used Saltarelle would be interested in cross referencing various historic materials, ie when did certain design changes occur, how long was a given model available etc., who was selling them in what years (particularly because there are celebrity dealers etc).  I can’t imagine anything is controversial about that kind of information.

Clearly Vincent Roux can help provide some information but I’m sure there are materials out there, and information, that players can submit that would be useful to know and just generally interesting for those of us who take interest in the history of modern button accordions.

As you can see, that was the intention, but Vincent Roux's intervention seemed to distract everyone and put an end to all that - I'd hoped he might be interested enough to contribute too, and other people promised to hunt out whatever old catalogues, etc., they had, but nothing more has materialised, so (at the moment) it's down to only what myself and Jeff had.  :(
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Re: History of Saltarelle?
« Reply #119 on: January 31, 2018, 04:17:34 AM »

This is where the Timeline has reached so far, but it's very much a "work in progress" that can't go any further without people adding what information they might have, mostly from old catalogues/price lists at the moment:

This is only a quick start on a project that will be ongoing - I'll keep working on it as fresh information comes along.

Like I said in the History of Saltarelle? thread:

Could I ask people to contribute ... [timeline] information in [the History of Saltarelle?] thread, so I can edit/collate it and make the timeline a locked article? (Otherwise it's likely to get messy, and confusing... ;))

I've now put the models in each list into alphabetical order, to make them easier to find, and picked out models making their first-known (as yet) appearance in green, and ones making their last-known (as yet) appearance in red.

1984

Founded

1989

The two brochures Georges Roux gave me, when he visited the 1989 Fleadh in Kilkenny, each show only six models - wood-finish in one, and celluloid in the other.

Wood-finish

Berry
Le Bouëbe (stepped keyboard)
Piroulet
Pastourelle II (21 + 4)
Pastourelle III
Salhiens

Celluloid

Aubrac
Lark (9-coupler)
Morvan
Sundgau (IV, and III)
Suzanna
Trikitixa

The wood-finish models are all shown as having a paper Saltarelle label in a glass "window" on the front of the accordion.

1990

Máirtín O'Connor was given the Irish agency for Saltarelle in 1989, after Georges Roux's visit, and the 1990 Irish price list reflects that with the introduction of a 23 + 4 version of the Pastourelle II, and the (then new) Nuage model.

The models are:

Le Bouëbe
Pastourelle II, 23 + 4 ("Model used by Martin O'Connor" - later renamed Connemara II)
Nuage ("Model used by Martin O'Connor and conceived with his collaboration")
Lark with 2 coupler
Lark with 9 coupler

The Pastourelle II is shown as having a paper Saltarelle label in a glass "window" on the front of it, whilst the Nuage has the Saltarelle name in gold letters. They look very much like the two boxes that Máirtín still plays, and may well be the same ones.

"Summer 1990" Name Accordions in England listed:

Aubrac
Le Bouëbe
Berry
Lark (9-coupler)
Morvan
New Berry (the Nuage - the ony occurence of it by this name)
Pastourelle II (23 + 4)
Pastourelle III (21 + 5)
Piroulet
Sahiens [sic]
Sundgau (IV, and III)
Suzanna
Trikitixa

1991-92

I have a hand-written list of prices "Valid until 15/2/92" from a supplier.

Models are:

Aubrac
Berry
Le Bouëbe
Lark
Morvan
Nordsud
Nuage
Pastourelle II
Pastourelle III
Salhiens
Sundgau IV
Suzanna
Tramontane
Trikitixa

1993

An all color Saltarelle brochure in English and French, with individual/separate pages. All the contact information is for Saltarelle in Pirey, France

The models are as follows:

Berry
Le Bouebe
Butterfly
Cheviot
Connemara II (23 + 4, flat keyboard)
Connemara III
The Irish Bouebe
Melodeon
Nordsud
Nuage
Pastourelle II (21 + 4, stepped keyboard)
Pastourelle III
Tramontane (14 bass)

Along with this is a letter ... from (and signed by) Rod Stradling  of NAME Accordions. There is a one page script only list of the models with descriptions which includes the following in addition to the ones listed above:

Killaloe
Horizon

1998

A single sheet "brochure" from Len Killick (Germany) dated April 1998 with a couple more models in addition to those above:

Chaville (CBA)
Epsilon
Louisiane
Shamrock
Tramontane Club
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