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Author Topic: Black Diamond  (Read 970 times)

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Fred Dellar

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Black Diamond
« on: May 17, 2019, 07:56:57 AM »

Hello I am new to the Melodeon having played concertina for 10 years. I am looking at buying an entry level DG. I am being guided to a Hohner pokerwork, but I have seen in my research a Black Diamond entry level box which seems to get some good reviews. Has any one any experience of the Black diamond box and can offer any help before I make a decision.
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ju

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 08:31:53 AM »

I haven’t ever seen a Black Diamond , so I can’t properly compare . But seeing as you can pick  up a decent German Pokerwork box for anywhere between £100 - £400 ( in my experience) and obviously they may  probably need fettling . But still the best option . And they will do you for life long playing .
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 08:46:29 AM »

I have played a few Black Diamond starter melodeons and they are probably one of the better Chinese-made instruments available. They have Italian Cagnoni 'macchina' grade reeds which are surprisingly good. The casing, bellows and mechanics of the instrument seem to be well made, and it is a comfortable box to play. Overall, I believe they are good value for money and will take you through the beginner stage and beyond.

A German-made Hohner Pokerwork or Erica in good, fettled and retuned condition would probably cost rather more.

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penn

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 08:49:18 AM »

My son has one and he likes it better than my Erica. But I don’t because ..... well, it doesn’t have the Hohner sound (:), I suppose it’s more “Italian” and a bit smoother.
It plays quite well and is pretty loud. His was second hand and was half the price of my fettled Erica.
Gren
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 09:01:49 AM »

I started off on a Black Diamond, mainly because the guy who imports and sells them, Greg Dunn, is a mate. They make smashing beginner's boxes, with none of the idiosyncrasies that we have come to love in older Hohners.  >:E
Not knocking old Hohners, I love them, and have 11 of the buggers, but I think I may have been discouraged had I started on one, unless it had been fettled, without clack, or disappearing fingers.
So it's personal choice not cost in my book, I would think that a well sorted Hohner, won't be that much cheaper than a new Black Diamond.
Just my thoughts on the matter, it's all personal this melodeon thing, some people feel validated by owning the latest and costliest box on the market, but I prefer a well sorted Hohner. Been down the costalotti route, but I'm better now ;)


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Alan Morley

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 02:37:21 PM »

BLACK DIAMOND
I reviewed one for my UK Folk Music website when they first came on the market.

I found they were OK (ish) for a started box but as you progress with your skills, the box won't keep up. The bellows and reeds weren't responsive enough to handle quicker playing of things like triplets and rolls

You get what you pay for. The first box I bought thirty something years ago was quickly replaced with a German built Hohner Erica which I still play today.

Check out Helen O'Connel in Kelly Heroes, to see what can be done with an old Hohner Pokerwork before forking out on something around £1000 thinking that it will help you play better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LnBT9DPtl8
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 02:41:52 PM by Alan Morley »
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 04:37:27 PM »

Check out Helen O'Connel in Kelly Heroes, to see what can be done with an old Hohner Pokerwork before forking out on something around £1000 thinking that it will help you play better.
The price of the Black Diamond box that the OP is asking about is quoted at £499 on their website, so not £1000.

There is no doubt that a good fettler working on Hohner Ericas and Pokerworks can optimise the reed response, tuning, limit the button travel, reface the pallets and generally de-clattered. The German-made boxes especially can be excellent when treated in this way. But you have to be prepared to spend the money to get them fettled. Currently, fettled Hohners like this are fetching around £500 - £550. So in the same price range as BD.

Going back to my original reply, the BD starter boxes are actually not bad at all, and I think the quality has improved since the originals came on the market. They also come ready-made with 4th button start and Anahata layout as standard, so very good for pretty much all English music. You won't find that on an unfettled Pokerwork/Erica.
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Alan Morley

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 05:02:56 PM »

Check out Helen O'Connel in Kelly Heroes, to see what can be done with an old Hohner Pokerwork before forking out on something around £1000 thinking that it will help you play better.
The price of the Black Diamond box that the OP is asking about is quoted at £499 on their website, so not £1000.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Steve
My point if it wasn't quite clear, was that price isn't always a factor in playability of any box. I'm aware of the price of the Black Diamond range and they are a good value started box.
Just saying an expensive box doesn't make you play better overnight, it might enable you to play better with hours of practice though. It's amazing what some can do on a Pokerwork.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 05:04:47 PM by Alan Morley »
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Theo

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 05:07:05 PM »


Going back to my original reply, the BD starter boxes are actually not bad at all,

I think that sums up the quality very nicely.  You can see many people who start with a Hohner and are still playing one years later.   I can't quite see that happening with a BD.
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Alan Morley

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 05:28:04 PM »

I have just paid a visit to the Black Diamond website. Things have come on since I first checked them out in 2012.

https://www.blackdiamondaccordions.com/melodeons
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 05:30:51 PM by Alan Morley »
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squeezy

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2019, 11:43:56 PM »

Black Diamond is a badge rather than a manufacturer ... the cheaper Chinese made ones are just that, cheap Chinese instruments.  Some of the more recent additions have been made by Italian manufacturers to fairly high specifications (I think under the direction of John Loomes who knows what he's talking about and really understands the instrument).  I don't say this with any disrespect to the company at all, but with badged instruments it's much harder to use the name to know exactly what you're buying - so be extra diligent when buying a Black Diamond instrument because they can come from multiple countries of origin and be of wildly varying quality.
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Squeezy

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invadm

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 10:15:18 AM »

from their web page ;
''Many players who learned on our Standard instruments have since returned to ask us for our recommendations for an upgrade. It's been a difficult question to answer. There are many good instruments on the market, ..........– which to choose?
 
 if you buy a Hohner Erica as a first box it will probably stay with you for many years,you might upgrade to a poker work years alter  >:E  price,servicing,availability of spare parts,volume,reliability etc..Hohner ticks all the boxes           
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 10:48:30 AM »

You can see many people who start with a Hohner and are still playing one years later.   I can't quite see that happening with a BD.

Exactly this. After a false start with a Delicia Popular Deluxe (bad move) I started out on a Hohner Pokerowork. I still play it for morris almost weekly. I can't see this happening with a Black Diamond.  Also, a good used Pokerwork or Erica judiciously purchased will not lose value should you decide the box is not for you - this was certainly a consideration for me when I started out.   As an added advantage it doesn't mark you out as a newbie should you wish to skulk at the back of festival sessions or similar.
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Lester

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 10:53:57 AM »

Jon Loomes

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 02:33:56 PM »

Black Diamond is a badge rather than a manufacturer ... the cheaper Chinese made ones are just that, cheap Chinese instruments.  Some of the more recent additions have been made by Italian manufacturers to fairly high specifications (I think under the direction of John Loomes who knows what he's talking about and really understands the instrument).  I don't say this with any disrespect to the company at all, but with badged instruments it's much harder to use the name to know exactly what you're buying - so be extra diligent when buying a Black Diamond instrument because they can come from multiple countries of origin and be of wildly varying quality.

It's dead simple. The cheap ones are Chinese beginner boxes, with Cagnoni Reeds (Cagnoni now have a factory in China) -  they are much the same as the Primo branded boxes Music Room used to do, if you go to Hobgoblin, they have the Scarlatti Nero, there are a lot of these out there in various shops, and price varies by about £50 depending on who you shop with. I don't know about widely varying quality, they all seem much the same to me.  Black Diamond stuff does have 4th button start Anahata Layout though, which is probably the most versatile, and increasingly popular of the layout variations for Morris.

The "Italia" range are my designs, specifically for the British market. Thinner casework, Ciccarelli reeds, 4th button start Anahata layout as standard,  Best available parts from Castelfidardo. Top end stuff in wood, mid range in shiny black.  The Angela is my take on "Best 3 voice D/G possible", The Olivia is my "Best 2 Voice D/G possible". The two voice in black, "Guillietta" is a "standard issue Morris" style instrument, effectively I'm trying to improve on a Paolo Black Dog / Baffetti Black Pearl II -  the 1 voice "Eleonora" is a Lily type, but a bit bigger for tonal reasons, again in a black finish.  They are all pinned reeds on alder blocks except the 1 voice (which is waxed onto pine like most standard Italian stuff - Pinning would make a much harder sound on one of these).  They are all made by the same people and the product is consistent -  but it's a team effort, ie, we get reeds from the reed specialist, keyboards from the keyboard people, bellows from the bellows guy etc. You'll be pushed to find an Italian brand that doesn't do this at least somewhere in the chain.  Anyway. I'm very happy with how they've come out.  If anyone has any questions about them, feel free to get in touch although I don't check in on here that often so maybe go via Black Diamond's website or find me on facebook. Cheers, J
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 02:36:41 PM by Jon Loomes »
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Chris Rayner

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Re: Black Diamond
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2019, 05:29:44 PM »

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