Totally agree with Bryan. Chris Miller is the one of the best two teachers I've known from the 10 I've had over the year. [ Disclaimer: I am a northerner and came to playing Cajun music late in life.] Miller can give you various versions, can break them down or not, and can give you as much music theory as you need or can handle to help you learn. Oh, and being really a good guy and a fine person should count for something. He's been teaching at Augusta Heritage Cajun/Creole Week these past two years. (A shameless plug for that week in summer.)
Getting on the thread track. Monarch copy. The single thing I find most appealing about those old accordions is the sound of the chord reeds on the base side, which I attribute to the large single plate with all 3 or 4 chord reeds. I cannot find any reed maker to do this, so I've improvised by attaching the 3 or 4 chord reeds together over a single large reed block chamber. Not quite the same, but close, and I like it enough it's become standard for my accordions. On the last few I've also put 4 chord reeds as opposed to the standard 3. Got that idea from an old Globe (I think) that had 4.
Sample sound track/video ???
Bryan, when are you going to make an offshoot accordion line? You could call them "Champion" and design them to mimic the looks of the Monarch, Globe, and Sterling. Make them a throwback special edition collectors item. Go with that 4 reeds on the base side like you mentioned, Dix reeds for the treble side, classic middle bellows divider, only offer black and silver for the color (no exceptions), and make them super light weight with the best playability and sound that you can possibly achieve for least cost. Oh, and only in the keys of "C" and "D". Do that my friend, and I'd bet one of my arms that they'd sell like hotcakes! I know I'd scrounge up the $1,500 dollars to buy one. Hint Hint at the price??
You could sell them with a Gabbinelli King little black case with the red fir liner on the inside. And on the inside of the case lid, install a blue and gold "Blue Max" medallion so that when the case was opened, everyone could see it. And they would ask, what is that?!! And we would answer.. "That is a Blue Max Champion accordion built by none other than Bryan Lafleur. Best accordion on the market for a great price.
A Bryan Lafluer for $1500?!?!?!
Guess I'm hauling off all my scrap metal this weekend put me down for a C in silver please
A BLUE MAX for a descendent of the French.. really ?
Black and chrome ... no red no white ..
black on black bellows.
No chrome on the flappers, cheezy.
Covered pallets similar to Bergflodt and other Euro makers.
In D. 12 TET. Dry.. perhaps a whisper of tremolo.
Thumb groove on the keyboard.
None of that embossed/engraved or painted scroll stuff.. equally cheezy.
None of the picture frame hanger strap brackets that cost 75 cents.. proper Italian hardware.
The Button Box has Berkshire Cases for about $135.
Pinned Bellows ala Hohner and Castagnari and many other makers..
Double bellows look cool, no functionally advantage.. but cool.
Varnished or lacquered interior and reed blocks.
No Jeff, you're making them sound ugly. The "Champions" could take the best qualities from the Monarch, Globes, and the Sterlings. But no modern colors.
The Blue Max was a German Medal designed by the French and was made popular in a story about a lowly enlisted pilot that earned top rank amongst the other officer pilots that would not accept him. "The Blue Max" covers all the bases for these Champion Cajun accordions. Even though they may have Czech reeds in them.
My wife's family are all Prussians
Part of my family are Prussians
The French language was the official language of the Prussian court and aristocracy and government.
The medal was of Prussian, not French origin.
Prussia was at times a separate country/state and part of Poland and a part of Germany.
The Blue Max would be an appropriate name for an accordeon given its Prussian/Germanic roots for the first accordeons bought and used by Cajuns. German and Saxon made.
There were many Czechs who spoke German, among them my GGF and GGM (my mother's grandparents.) ... both from Bohemia, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is now the western/southernmost part of the Czech Republic where German is now a secondary language and Czech is the official language.
PS My mother's name was Maxine, affectionately called... "Max". But that name for an accordeon has already been assigned to the Castagnari "Melodeon".. aka the "MAX". I have owned 3 MAX accordeons.
Instead of "Champion"
How about "Champignon" ?
I specifically asked Danny Dyson to build a cypress box for me. Horrors!
Sounds great, looks great, strong and light. Won't rot to boot.
I build fiddles and other tuned in 5ths stringers. Fiddles for trad. SWL music are fun because various wood and carvings are acceptable.
Ok Bryan, you can go with the Czech reeds in them Blue Max's. Or what ever reed you come across that will be the perfect reed to make a grand statement with. I trust your judgement. I can see that you're not one to rush in to things without thought. Good luck! I hereby formally give up my idea freely unto you. The way I figure, it could make you a few 100 thousand dollars before you retire if you play your cards right. Put me down for both a "C" and a "D" when you get around to it. And I'll even throw in a demonstration of "La Valse de la Louisianne" the way Angelas' turns it, but using that turn for the song "La Valse Cadjin" instead. You'll never see anything like it done by anyone else. Life Changing. LOL
OK G McGill...
Recap exactly what you are proposing..
this has become fuzzy.