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Author Topic: Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?  (Read 1203 times)

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arty

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Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?
« on: June 29, 2012, 10:52:30 AM »

Cutting a long story short, a few years ago, in return for a lot of work I did for a friend, I was given a very nice, quality Chromatic Button Accordion. I had never played the accordion before but had a love for the sound and the kind of music played on it. But, as I delved more in to the world of accordion music, I came to realise that most of the music I loved was folk music, especially English and French and that almost everything I listened to was played on a Melodeon, not a CBA. I was struggling a bit with the CBA, to be honest, finding it quite complex - I mean...all those buttons!

Just a couple of months ago, I decided to throw caution to the wind and I bought myself a Pre-Pokerwork C/F, just to try. If I didn't like it or couldn't get on with it, I could always sell it but I had to try. I now find myself absolutely loving it and learning pretty quickly too, (see The Beginner's Showcase). But, of course, the CBA hasn't been out of it's case since, so I have decided to sell it. It is now at The Music Room.

I am told that I should expect to receive approximately £2,000 for it, which is very nice indeed. After lots of thinking and chatting to my wife, I have decided that I would like to re-invest the money and buy a nice D/G melodeon rather than take the money and fritter it away on other things. I really want to take this melodeon thing seriously and I know the type of music I eventually want to play - that is some Morris type stuff for the sheer fun of it, but also, how shall I say without offending, more musical, expressive music (e.g. Flowers and The Rain). I am 63 years old and I know that, if I don't get myself a really nice melodeon now, I probably will never be able to afford it. I also know that it is probably a bit premature to spend that kind of money, considering what a beginner I am. I have a very musical background and a good ear and I know that I will really appreciate the sound of a quality, expressive box. And, as I get older, what a great interest to have.

So, what I am asking here, is what sort of boxes should I be looking at? What would you buy if you had £2,000 to spend on a box and why???
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Pre-Pokerwork C/F, Castagnari Laura G/C, Beltuna Sara 3 A/D

george garside

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Re: Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 11:04:07 AM »

Hi & welcoe to meldnet.My advice would be to spend half a day at the music room and then at Hobgoblin in Leeds (20 minutes away) and try everything within your price range . Music room & hobgob have different agencies and will of course have different second hand boxes.  At the end of that go for the one that BOTH sounds right  and feels right - at the price you are talaking about  you are into the quality stuff so its no point in recommending a particular  make or model  as its very much down to personal choice which  works best  using the 'suck and see' method.

george
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author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

Marje

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Re: Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 11:51:32 AM »

I agree with everything George says. You have already tried and enjoyed playing a melodeon, so you'll know when you find one that is right for you. With that budget, you should be able to get a really good box that you'll love from the start.

You'll need to consider the sound, and whether you like "wet" or "dry" tuning. A box with two or three stops on the treble end can offer more choice of voices. And you may want accidentals - I think most boxes have them. Mine doesn't, it has  lower notes where you'd expect accidentals to be, and I get on just fine. If I were  to have accidentals, I'd prefer them in an extra half-row rather than lose my lower notes. This might add to the weight, though. A stop to take the thirds out of the chords is useful, and can probably be added if it's not a standard feature.

Then there's the playability, including weight, keyboard style, ease of bellows, ease of air button. That's all very personal and you really need to try various models and see what you like.

And I'll just reassure you that it's not a frivolous or self-indulgent purchase - yes, it's a lot to spend in one go, but then that's it - there are no running costs, and minimal repair/maintenance costs, upgrades etc required. Compare it to buying and running a fancy car or motor cycle and it's a very modestly-priced hobby indeed, and one that will really enhance your life (and maybe even the lives of others, although those who live with melodeon players may disgree!).

If you do narrow it down to a couple of different boxes, there are very knowledgeable people on this forum who can advise as to how well-made the various makes and models are, and which are worth paying extra for.
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Marje

ACE

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Re: Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 12:53:07 PM »

Fritter away in this household means buying another instrument according to the Yeti in pink knickers. I have treated her to a penny whistle and was still accused of frittering my money away. She will see the reasoning behind it when I have finished breaking it in for her. But with that amount of beer tokens in your mit, the worlds your lobster. Get to some sessions and morris meets. Listen and watch , you will soon be smitten with an urge to buy the ultimate box. A few months down the road you will be smitten again, and again and again. ;D
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Saltarelle Horizon, Dino mini, Lachenal g/d anglo

Andy Simpson

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Re: Advice needed - which Melodeon to buy?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 01:22:08 PM »

...but don't count your chickens just yet....

I'd suggest getting an independent, (ie, not a shop or dealer), valuation for your CBA as well. The Music Room is a wonderful place, a valuable institution and the guys that work there are fantastic but their secondhand valuations are often unrealistic, sometimes wildly so. I think it'd be a good idea to ask around to make sure that The Music Room aren't being a tad optimistic with their asking price; Al's Accordion Forum would probably be a good place to start.

If I had a spare £2000 I know what I'd buy with it but the problem is that it'd be what I want and suits my needs and playing style. As a beginner you'll more than likely have to go through several boxes before finding your feet properly and really knowing what it is that you require from an instrument. You might get a fantastic box for that money but it may well soon turn out to not be the right one for you, (hands up, who's been there? ;D ).

£2000 could buy you a very nice 2 voice 8 bass 2 row but if you aspire to play some slightly more demanding modern stuff then 12 basses and a half row might be useful. I'd make a tentative recommendation to seek out a good secondhand Castagnari Dony or Saltarelle Connemara II.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 01:57:38 PM by Andy Simpson »
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