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Accordinas

ngiverngiver New
in Accordion Posts: 1
I actually saw a post from 2012 about. A member thinking of building accordinas in the states? Did he ever start building them? Also does anyone know where I can get a accordinas for a semi reasonable price? The exchange rate is killing me!

Comments

  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    Used accordions are a dime a dozen.
    Ebay :-bd
  • Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
    Posts: 542
    I thought there really was only a few providers of Accordinas?
    I had understood that Dallas Vietty wanted to get one for himself because the only good alternative he had found was one of those Toy German mouth piano. Maybe you should contact him.
    The only time I see one in the US is when Ludovic Beier is performing there...
    - JG
  • Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
    Posts: 542
    edit: did you see this website? His prices are much cheaper and he's based in the US.
    http://1623customharmonicas.com/2013/03/14/the-awesome-accordina/
    - JG
  • cbwimcbwim ✭✭✭
    Posts: 174
    I was the one interested in making them. However, its the reeds that are the biggest impediment. Accordion reeds are available - but these are all in spring steel which rusts easily. The modern makers are using stainless steel reeds which they are getting made somewhere in Italy. However, none of the companies I emailed with would provide any reeds without committing to purchasing a large quantity of them. I did find one source for brass reeds - toy accordions from China and at some point I plan to make a few Accordina-like instruments for personal consumption using these accordions as raw material (they are like $25 each!). I'm too busy being a successful flute maker to consider making these for other people.

    I did have one of Marcel Dreux's Accordinas. Its a great instrument, well built and nicely done. But then I found an original Borel Accordina, sold to me by Tony Bingham in London (he occasionally gets these - and has a bunch of other great instruments on his site). Its smaller in cross section, about 12 ounces lighter which makes a huge difference, and a much more sensitive instrument.

    Its the reeds. These make a huge difference. Some of it may be that the Borel's old Brass reeds are well played-in. I think, however, that there is a basic difference between the modern Stainless reeds and these old Brass reeds. The brass ones are less stiff, require less pressure and act more immediately.

    One experiment was to finger 8 notes simultaneously, blowing softly. On the Dreux, only about 4 notes would sound. On the Borel, all of the notes would sound. The sound is a little more harmonica-like but not much.

    Am slowly restoring it as time allows. People have been ordering flutes like crazy (sometimes more than one a day) since the beginning of the year thanks to the monthly monetary relief that ObamaCare has provided (even we are spending about $520 a month less on health insurance!) so I have had hardly any time to attend to this instrument, much less learn how to play it. But I am glad I have it. The Dreux I passed on to another frequenter of this forum some time ago.
    pickitjohn
  • cbwimcbwim ✭✭✭
    Posts: 174
    I also looked into making the reeds myself. Theoretically possible, without that much of a setup charge, using EDM (Electrical Discharge machining). There is an outfit in Prague that is making accordion reeds this way. They were the one who wanted me to order a minimum of 50 sets to my specifications, before they would do it.

    But the reeds off a Borel could be easily measured at a friend's prototyping shop using his Optical Comparator, modeled on a computer, and then the specs taken to an EDM shop and the parts manufactured.

    Of course, the reeds still have to be riveted, and then carefully tuned and voiced etc. More skills to learn.

    If I was just starting out and needed something to do career-wise, yes but I'm approaching 60 and would rather pursue other things, such as making weird bagpipes such as Zampognas, not to mention keep up with the constant landslide of flute orders. The off the shelf brass reeds gutted from Chinese-made toy accordions, or adapting harmonica reeds even should suffice for experimentation.
    pickitjohn
  • cbwimcbwim ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014 Posts: 174
    Tony's website is http://www.oldmusicalinstruments.com and he has a storefront in London - though I heard that he's moving it somewhere. I don't see any Accordinas on his website however I suspect he doesn't get around to updating it that frequently. You might contact him directly, and have him keep an eye out for one. The Borel that I got from him cost me about $500 less than the Dreux - though it also needs some restoration (a competent accordion repair shop such as Smythe's in Oakland CA could certainly do this).
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    Oh, Pardon my previous comment.
    These things are tricky. A band leader I sometimes work for has a version of this , but with piano keys and 2 voices tuned in octaves. Victoria I think, they called theirs a Vibrandonian , the reeds were the difficulty.
    They need to be made of stainless alloy because of the mouth blown moisture rusting normal reeds and in the case of the Victoria the fail when used regularly .
    The reeds break.
    This Accordiana is said to be better ? As far as I know the Accordiana guy is developing a keyed version in addition to the C griff version. Which is what my pal is waiting for to replace the Victoria which is out of production.
    The reeds are a problem.
    My suggestion would be to buy one from the builder unless you want to become an accordiana builder and have patent fights with the folks who are already into production.
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