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Author Topic: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?  (Read 1945 times)

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giantpaperweight

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Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« on: October 16, 2009, 07:40:17 PM »

Hi - I am interested in learning to play the accordion. I have found a used one locally (Pollina Detroit "Minnesota") for $100. Not knowing anything about accordions, I can't tell the difference between "needs cleaning" and "unplayable accordion-shaped paperweight" (and my wife will kill me if I buy a paperweight as we are trying to de-clutter the house already (:) ). I am going to go see it, but would anyone here have any hints as to what I should look at / check on to make sure it is something I can learn to play on, without having to spend boatloads of money on first? Apparently needs a new strap, but other than that he believes all the keys work (previous owner is a friend of mine who bought it for $100 intending to learn, but never got it out of the box because of the strap issue...).

Thanks!

Mark
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HallelujahAl

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 08:15:59 PM »

Hi - and welcome to the forum - got a pic you could share? It may be that someone here is able to make one or two suggestions that way?
AL
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giantpaperweight

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 08:36:26 PM »

Thanks for the welcome! Here are a couple of pics (attached).
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michik

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 10:04:51 PM »

What's this ?  :o ... never seen such thing ...  >:E   ;)

Seriously: How does it sound ? Is it well tuned ? Does every button/key work and
generates a clean sound on pull & push ? Is the bellow tight and does not leak (a little bit air loss is ok) ?
If all question can be answered with yes ... then it is ok.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 10:08:43 PM by michik »
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Michael Knapp ~ Vienna ~ Austria
Playing on "Parigi Giovani" G/C (made by Bompezzo) - My recordings: http://www.onmvoice.com/mknapp

HallelujahAl

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 08:13:26 AM »

Quote
Thanks for the welcome! Here are a couple of pics (attached).

OK...Thanks for posting the pics Mark. Firstly what you've got there is a Piano Accordion - not the main interest of many in this forum which is primarily buttons and diatonic-ness. However there are plenty of us PA players here so we may be able to help a little. However you may find it more helpful to ask on web forums like Accordion Freedom Forum which is a very good Yahoo accordion page.

For what it's worth after having had a look at the pics I would say that it looks a very nice instrument. There is a problem with the bass buttons (if you look closely you can see a couple  of the bass buttons sticking out much further from the instrument than they ought to be). It looks elderly and will almost certainly need reed re-tuning, re-waxing the reed plates, re-valving etc. This is a very large job on a Piano Accordion and will not be cheap. My gut instinct is to say "Paperweight". What I can almost categorically say is that it needs more than just a new strap and a clean up.

Again my suggestion for an instrument to learn on is to go to a shop and buy a relatively cheap new instrument rather than a second hand box that will probably end up costing you more to make it playable.
AL
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 08:16:37 AM by HallelujahAl »
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John C

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 11:59:06 AM »

Check out Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia they seem to have some good used start up instruments.

I think you will have to adjust your price range but I suggest you buy something in good condition and then you can concentrate on learning and not get preoccupied with accordion repairs.

John
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Saltarelle Laurentide GCF, Saltarelle Cheviot ADG

giantpaperweight

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Re: Identifying playable used instruments to learn on?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 07:19:48 PM »

OK, thanks very much everyone. That is very helpful. I will try the AccordionFreedom site as well.

Thanks again

Mark
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