Cavagnolo or Pigini ??

TaoTaoTaoTao Houston TxNew
edited July 2012 in Accordion Posts: 3
Hello everyone, I just discovered this forum and I'm exited to see people with the same interest as I have. I have been searching for the perfect chromatic Accordion. Gabbanelli is very big here in Houston (mostly Diatonics). I have been looking, and the ones that really caught my eye are " Pigini Allstar 3 " & " Cavagnolo Compact Plus ". I bought an accordion over the internet one time and was disappointed when I received it. Can someone give me more insight on these instruments? Are they cheaper if bought were they make them? Any info will be great. Thanks!!


  • brandoneonbrandoneon Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France✭✭✭
    Posts: 171
    You definitely do not want a diatonic accordion if you are going to be playing (gypsy) jazz, although there are some amazing recordings with this instrument on the 'Paris Musette' trilogy.
    I am not familiar with Pigini, but they are distributed by Busso Music in the US. I have emailed back and forth with Frank Busso, Jr before and he is very knowledgeable and helpful. As for Cavagnolo, I have a compact Vedette 5 which I like; Cavagnolos have a distinct sound, which you can hear through players like Ludovic Beier and Marcel Azzola, among others. As far as I know, they are not distributed in the US, although I have seen them before in a music shop in Montreal. I purchased mine from a shop in Paris.
    There is a company in Seattle that I really like. They're called Petosa, they made my piano accordion, and they are great to work with. Check out their website, they have some used chromatics for sale that they made - and they make top quality instruments.
    I hope this info helps, the only other advice I can offer is that the Jazz Star and the Compact Plus may be a little pricey for an introduction to chromatic accordions (not knowing whether or not you are new to these instruments; but also with the euro-dollar conversion). Oh, and I tend to go back and forth between chromatic and piano accordions - right now I'm in more of a piano mood. There are great players on this instrument too in the genre; you can check out Francis Varis and Emy Dragoi.
    Good luck!
  • TaoTaoTaoTao Houston TxNew
    Posts: 3
    Gabbanelli has a chromatic accordion, model 460. What do you know about this accordion? He is selling it for 5,000. It is frustrating not having much of an option here in Houston. I might have to plan a trip to Italy or France. Probably spend more anyway. Thanks for your advice.
  • fozboxfozbox Salt Lake CityNew
    Posts: 12
    The accordionist in Hot Club of Detroit is Julien Labro. He plays a Cavagnolo (he may play others, too...but that's what he was playing when I heard him). Fantastic sound. He'd be a good source to find out how and where to buy one. Here's their myspace page: and

    Richard Galiano plays Victoria accordions. You'll see him on the Gipsy Project DVDs with Bireli Lagrene. Never seen those accordions in the states, either...but I love the sound. Galiano is a monster player, as is Ludovic Beier.

    Pigini, as you probably know, is the Mercedes of accordions. Generally very expensive, but incredible sound--at least the classic ones. I've never heard one play Gypsy Jazz. Motion Trio uses them. Check them out on You Tube if you haven't heard them. More of a classical sound, but fantastic.

    Most (maybe all) of the ones who play Gypsy Jazz use a C-system chromatic accordion. That's probably what you want.
  • brandoneonbrandoneon Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France✭✭✭
    Posts: 171
    Victoria is not common in the states, but it's US flavor is. Titano is actually the same exact instrument as Victoria. In fact for a long time Victoria was doing better business with their US Titanos. So if you like the Galliano sound, a Titano could be the way to go. Another note on sound: Accordions like Galliano's use hand made reeds, tone chambers, and the reeds are waxed down. Accordions like Cavagnolo have decent reeds and the tone chamber is OK, but the reeds are not waxed down - they are held in place only with screws or nails. This really modifies the sound and as a consequence the French style accordions can't really "bark" like Italian/American instruments.
  • fozboxfozbox Salt Lake CityNew
    Posts: 12
    Wow, that's interesting about Titano being the same as Victoria. Love the sound of Galliano's, but the Titano accordions I've heard had a "constrained/muffled/muted" sound to me. Maybe the model. Maybe tuned differently. Maybe the player. :)

    since you're in Houston, you might want to chat with Mario Pedone. He lives in Houston and is considered one of the top accordionists in America right now. Never heard him play Gypsy Jazz, but he is one helluva player. The biggest repertoire I've ever heard. He's the only professor of accordion I've ever met. Here's his website:
  • PegasusPegasus New
    Posts: 1
    The Gabbanelli chromatic button accordions sound great. I have a couple of them. They are made in Italy. Excellent jazz instruments. I also have a Victoria, that is essentially identical to Richard Galliano's instrument. It's great. But heavier. I hope that this helps.
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