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Author Topic: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?  (Read 1204 times)

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Winston Smith

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Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:22:09 PM »

I came across this and was so intrigued that I bought it! It's certainly not a melodeon, but it does have free reeds. It seems to be a 34 treble 60 bass piano accordion which doesn't need to be held or squeezed!
Does anyone know much about them? I've had a look on the net, but it only takes me to unsatisfactory places. Thanks for any help.
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RogerT

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 05:48:47 PM »

I’ve seen these a few times on eBay. They are basically a piano accordion configured to look like an organ and with an air pump. And of course you have the stradella bass there to actually see, which you aren’t normally able to do. I can only assume it was at one time accordion world trying to attract piano keyboard players. Does yours function ok?

Stotty

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 07:50:37 PM »

Might be just the job as the basis for an electrically powered tuning table if nothing else?
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Winston Smith

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2019, 08:42:18 PM »

"Does yours function ok?"

Yes, it's pretty good actually. It's two voice, with (I think) three notes where only one reed is sounding and the very highest note doesn't sound at all. Otherwise not bad. I've had it to bits and checked all the reeds for integrity, and free movement. I didn't check the gaps at the tips, and I think that's likely the problem. It's a bit of a bugger as the reeds are on the inside of the blocks. They're single reeds on each plate and the blocks are glued in.
If I recover from my current health problems, I'll get it to bits again and pull the suspect reeds off. We'll see.
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Nigel Champion

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 03:19:08 AM »

Hi. With a tuning table in mind, I've always wondered what the pump/motor setup is on these.

Two or three have been listed on Trade Me (the NZ equivalent to eBay) over the years but they've never been cheap enough to buy one for cannibalising.

Cheers
Nigel
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 09:00:09 AM »

Using anything like this for a tuning table is probably not a good idea. The fan will probably be too noisy and you would have to devise a way of reversing the air flow in order to tune both push and pull reeds. Then there will be run-up times to get to optimum pressure, and sometimes you need to test/sound reeds at differing pressures anyway. To me it's just not worth the hassle to convert one of these only to end up with a less than useful posh gadget.

It's much better to keep it simple and manual. On a concurrent forum thread featuring a video applying celluloid at the Weltmeister factory, there is a section in the last half-minute minute or so which includes a hand-powered tuning bellows allowing the reeds in an accordion to be tuned in situ in the instrument, which (as has been discussed on this forum many times) is the only real way of getting an accurate result. See here. This is exactly the sort of set-up which I use. I can adapt it to take different sized instruments simply by clamping thin plywood strips covered in chamois leather along the sides of the main aperture.   
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Rees

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 09:10:20 AM »

I have seen a photo in a magazine of Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier playing one of these. He was in his seventies, not in the best of health and unable to lift and play his piano accordion for any length of time.
I've searched the internet for the photo but no luck.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 10:14:46 AM »

It eventually became my brother's Christmas box! He's an organist and pianist, who also dabbles with a concert zither, but I'm trying to get him into squeezy things and thought that this might be an easy transition into the PA. (Or, at least, the Stradella bass system.) Heaven help me.
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2rightfeet

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Re: Farfisa Pianorgan 111?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 03:10:26 PM »

These things were quite popular in pre-synthesiser days. Usually known as chord organs they turn up from time to time on Ebay and the like. Farfisa was a common brand. We bought one (fairly cheaply) by Busilacchio, which is indeed a PA maker after we heard one being used by a folk group. Fun instruments with a nice tone, but the fan does tend to be noisy, so not a great idea for a tuning table methinks.
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