Your purchase of Dirk Powell's video volume I was definitely a good investment. Once you master the basic technique, you should acquire Volume II, which will take you to another level when you are ready. That's how I learned. Like Leslie, I also learned on a Cheapo Made-in-China, as I didn't want to spend too much money upfront. Once I developed a passion for this wonderful instrument and music, I invested in a couple of LA made boxes(Marc Savoy Acadian and Larry Miller Bon Cajun). Larry (in Iota) has a few boxes left, which start at $1,200. Good investment.
I think Arrietes are total junk and a waste of money. The HA-114 is a better choice, or at least used to be. I have heard that they are now made in China too, so perhaps they are not what they once were.
I have not kept score, but of the people who bought an Arriete, my impression is that there have been many more statements of regret than there have been on the positive side.
But, as Tom says "your mileage may vary".
David is SO right.
I briefly thought about the Ariette as my first accordion because the Australian Dollar/US Dollar exchange rate was terrible at the time, and, on the face of it, the Ariette was within immediate budget reach.This was looming as a decision based on budgetary restriction and impatience rather than good musical sense...not a good formula in my opinion.
I'm SO glad I was persuaded ( by joanieblon ) to wait for an opportunity to get my Louisiana Hand Made Master C and later the Bon Temps Bb from Jude Moreau.
It's tempting to be impatient and want that accordion ( ANY accordion ) in your hands, THIS week,Right now, then start playing like the big boys...MY advice, just hang in there, get some finance organised SOMEHOW,SOMEWHERE, then talk to Jude Moreau in Texas, or whoever, in Louisiana.
You'll NEVER regret the wait.
The more I think about it, the more I lean towards a hand made box. The Ariette and HA114 don't even sound cajun because of the wet tuning, so they need to be pulled apart and tuned right from the start. An LA made box will be ready to play right in the music store as soon as it reaches my hands.
So I guess my final answer is just wait and get the real thing.
I'm gonna contact Martin and see what he can do for me. A real 10/2 button box with cajun tuning that I'm sure I'll enjoy and love for a long time.
It was interesting following this string and reading the opinions and experiences of contributors. I hope the discussion helped you make a decision and that what you do works for you. Keep us posted on your progress when you get your box. Leslie
You won't be disappointed. If playing one isn't for you, ther are plenty of people who will buy it from you at a fair price.
Once again--- the sole pro ariette voice:
I thought it was a fine box for the $$ ($200 tops!) and the BEST thing about it, for the beginner, is that it isn't very loud---saving wear & tear on family members & pets.
The newer air-iette (tsk tsk) is better than the old ones. If that's all you can afford go for it. Get a shop adusted one by Marc Savoy.... Unless you can find the current model for cheaper. Current models have the metal plate which says "arriete." They seem to sound better and are better made
Thing is, if you really want to learn Cajun accordion you should get a hand made from LA, a couple good videos.
Problem is, the vids don't show what the air regulator must do very well. I keep saying this, but it's true. Use it slightly (when playing in and out a few inches) unless you're drawn out too far, then push it until you are back in the correct position with the bellows to play..