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Handmade Blind Taste Test

Ok ya'll I figured I'd do something fun.

I've recorded the same song, "Hicks Wagon Wheel Special" on TWO different handmade accordions, 2 different records.

1. They are recorded from the same mic
2. Same distance
3. Same tempo
4. Same mix
5. Relatively same version of the song

Which accordion sounds better to your ears? Don't be shy, speak up! The website links are above.

Re: Handmade Blind Taste Test

I meant to say, TWO different brand accordions, same key

here's the links, sorry forgot...

Double poo! I forgot to add .mp3 to the links....try again

Re: here's the links, sorry forgot...

i like the second one alil better..but they both sound good .

excellent playing there jim!

Re: Re: here's the links, sorry forgot...


They both sound great...
The second has deeper 'growl'on the bass and chords with seemingly more dynamic range on the treble board--it is more appealing.


I vote for #1

Although there's very little difference, I prefer the deeper sound of #1.
You rock Jim - keep it up!

Me too...

It's no contest for me. The first track accordion is much crisper, with lots of tone and power. The second one sounds distorted and mushy. YMMV and no problem. And Jim-san, you can flat-out play!


Re: Me too...

i like number one
it;s richer, deeper

number two sounds thinner

but like all things sound, it;s subjective
"do you like pink, or red better?"


Re: here's the links, sorry forgot...

Jim...I think you will get a split decision on this poll because different people have different tastes in tone. And everyone is "correct" in that sense. You "like what you like" and so for you the tone is "right."

I would like to use an analogy about the fiddle. I noticed that what I like in a fiddle is not necessarily what someone else, many of them phenomenal players,might like. I have heard fiddlers talk about this subject saying that "such and such player used a very bright fiddle" and how great he was and another guy might use a darker sounding fiddle and how he was great also. What I mean to say is that even if one accordion beats out the other, it really doesn't prove anything--it does not prove that one accordion is "better" than the other. It does not make one "more legit." than the other one. It just means that out of the people who decided to vote, more of them voted for one over the other.

If you tested a different set of listeners, you might get totally different results. Also if a different player played both boxes it could change the result. How a person plays...air pressure, accent, style, all can change the perceive tone of the instrument.

Also I have tested different accordions by the same maker with the same name brand and grade of reeds and noticed differences in tone. So please don't use this experiement to prove that "more people like this builder's accordion more than the other." It really does not work that way.

Now to my pick:
To me the first one has a more meaty or "fat" tone and the second one is brighter and more "slender" tone. (this could also be the result of how far away the mic is and if you changed position slightly in relation to the recording mic.

I know guys that would vote for one and other players who would prefer #2. Personally I like the tone of #1. It seems to sound more like the accordion tone I have heard most of my 39 years of listening to Cajun accordions and players. I might think differently if I heard them in person acoustically because I think sometimes certain instruments record well and others don't. I know some fiddlers who have a "recording fiddle" that they would never consider using live because the tone is not that great live...but it sounds killer miced up in a studio.

They both sound fine but if you are asking my preference of the tones on the recording, I pick #1.

Good Observations!

#1 is a Martin with Salpa 1 reeds (yes, it seems fatter and deeper) #2 is an Acadian w/ Binci 1 reeds (this does also seem brighter more slender sounding, good call Chris!).

I love them both, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Acadian. Love em both though, mark my words!

probably hard to say but..

ok so what made the difference then?

reeds, or secret builder technique?


I Vote For #1

Much more clarity in the tone... and I voted before I looked at anyone else's responses.

Re: here's the links, sorry forgot...

Interesting. The first one sounds like a cheaper accordion, but is lower pitched.

The second one seems higher pitched, but has another depth to it also.

Re: Re: here's the links, sorry forgot...

Ok, now that I've looked at the answer....

Seems like the first one sounded "reedier" to me, even though it was deeper. There seemed to be a background buzz I didn't like.

The second one, though higher pitched, still seemed to have a solidity to it.

Now, I wouldn't mind a lower pitched solid sound. What do I have to do, but bincis on alternating banks?

keep in mind

I recorded these both with a simple microphone into my computer. Not very good recordings.

The Martin has a fisty punch, the Acadian reminds me of sharp knives. Maybe a bad analogy?

The tuning technique is especially what makes the sound no matter what reeds are in an accordion or so I've found.

The Martin originally had Bincis and had a very similar sound to the Salpas but I find that the Martin sounds better with Salpas to me.

It's wonderful to have a variety of sounds with accordions.

I like #1

I like #1 better, but it's hard to say why exactly. As others have said, maybe it's more dynamic or cuts through better. #2 sounded like there was less dynamic range, and/or thinner.

Kick ass playin' on both!


Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

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

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