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Re: Bryan LaFleur

Ha, that 13 button shied me away from far out projects for a while. One big reason is I don't know what they should feel like, since i don't play them. Another, is to do the extra buttons, and make the action play good, I'm pretty convinced I'd have to switch to the mechanical commercial actions that most builders use. They're readily available from Carini but I haven't tried them yet. For now, going to go back to conventional for a while. Still experimenting with different reeds.

Re: Bryan LaFleur

I understand !

Did you see the Beltuna one row in D that came up for sale about 2 hrs ago on Mel Net. Sold in 2 hrs... 2 hrs.,.A steal.

I just missed it .. dammmmmm. And about $2000 US delivered from England.

Did you see the photo of the reeds and innards..?
See anything unusual in this box ? Other than the embossing on the outside and (thankfully) no end plate scroll imprints/engraving.. and metal corners?

I am told the action is far superior to Castagnari, and Castanari is the best I have ever played.

But the current USA price is $2500 with Artigiana reeds... same in CANADA but they use Binci reeds.

Lots of Irish players and Quebec players are giving up their Castagnaris for the new Beltuna "Cajun".
In spite of the name.. it is not a "Cajun" box.

One notable long time Castagnari player from Finland has also switched to Beltuna after 25 years...I do have a recording of the Finnish player .. half the CD is the Castagnari, the other half is the Beltuna, the difference is obvious.

That says something.

Do you see anything I am not seeing that makes this the current favorite.. other than lots of wax ? Anything that makes you think about changes to your efforts? Interesting stand up reed block, I'd like to see the other side.

As to 13 buttons...
Less is sometimes more.

The key elements..
Design, materials, workmanship.

I am thinking "concert quality" in a one row.

Has that gone through your mind.. a bit of a departure. But an instrument that is not culturally of genre specific...

Whats the verdict on the Czech reeds.. ?

Eric Martin of France has made two rows with exposed pallets.. look like 2 row "CAJUN" accordeons.

I know a few folks who own them.

They say they sound and play well but are essentially a kit that needs reworking and lots of maintenance.

How about a 2 row similar to a Castagnari Lilly... 9 button sized bellows but 2 row 21 button single reed. No need to worry about dry or wet tuning : ).

Re: Bryan LaFleur

I did get to play with my friend's Castignari, you're right, it has a very good action. I did not see the Beltuna, but have seen pics of them. The ones I've seen pics of had end plate engraving. I haven't found a pic of the inside. I'm definitely a fan of 2 up 2 down reed blocks. I guess the big reason most do the all stand up is to make them removable?

The 13 button, like almost all my boxes, was a custom request from a friend. It came at a good time because I was wanting try it. I was not happy with the action. To make the exposed rocker keyboard using wood, you have to leave just a little slop to prevent wood swelling to seize the rocker, and with the keyboard on that one, since the buttons didn't line up straight with the buttons, there had to be varying degrees of bend in the rocker arm. The varying degrees of bend created varying degrees of torque. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't happy with it. That's why I think most use the metal mechanical assemblies, to avoid the play needed in wood and give a smooth action even with a little side torque, but I'm speculating.

I really like the Harmonikas Dix reeds. I've installed 2 sets, and getting ready to use 2 more. They really did capture the sound of the old German reeds like those used in the Sterlings and Monarchs. But the reeds, being copies of cheap mass produced reeds, are not of the same response quality as the hand made Italian reeds. A trade off for the sound. BUT, they are a big improvement in response and volume over the old German reeds. I tell people to think of them as improved versions of the old reeds, not competitors of new handmades. I've also heard good things about their handmades, and am processing an order for that and some bellows now. If so, it will knock a couple hundred off the price of an accordion with the price difference between them and the Italians.

I may be willing to try a 2 row in the future, but not quite yet.

Re: Bryan LaFleur

Are you ordering "C" and "D" reeds in the handmades?

Any black on black bellows no diamonds or mud bugs ?

Re: Bryan LaFleur

Not sure the color of the bellows, but probably black on red, no diamond or bugs. Getting 2 C a manos to try.

Re: Bryan LaFleur

I'd be interested in a "concert quality" box.

Re: Bryan LaFleur


It appears that even the USA supplied Beltuna "CAJUN" has "BINCI PRO" reeds.

This is only from photos of a new unsold Beltuna in D at the Liberty Bellows and listed on E Bay.

Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

Brett's all new Cajun Accordion Music Theory for all keys!

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