CAJUN ACCORDION DISCUSSION GROUP
Ouch. That was cold.
Yes indeed I agree Marc is the master, and Larry Miller is the Grand Master Accordion Crafter. ( of those builders still living ) I am sure the red pine is going to be a gorgeous instrument. Being a 2006 Acadian accordion model though , I would want to be sure who is putting the final product together. I know for a fact that Larry assembles and tunes his works of art himself.
Different year,way different craftsmanship.
A case in point are the recent Acadians: check the corners of each frames ( Bellows and end frames)!.
Expediancy, yes but not craftsmanship, in other words a Master craftsman who's joined the ranks of "banality"!.
Miller's retired, Martin's prices are sky high. So who else is there?
And what's different about the craftsmanship?
The "dreaded two" words, mon ami: NO MITERS!!!!!.
Unless of course, youv'e expressely ask for them.
But , they are noticably absent on Marc's web site.
Only a hand few LA builders uses them .
You have to do your home work!!!.
Your'e going to pay close to 2000 dollars US for a musical instrument, and that's begging to ask for the "MAXIMUM" of craftsmanship output from a man who certainly will "know", immediately that you are not demanding the impossible but simply asking for excellence.
The old "Monarks and Sterlings" had mittered corners, Marc knows, they were the precurssors of the first accordions used by the early Cajun musicians and Marc copied some of their features as models for his early
They all have mittered corners, and who ever supplies, now, the parts for his boxes, does not mitter the corners anymore.
Sure they look alright, shiny and all, but put a "Acadian" and "Castagnari Max" side by side and that's the first Craftsmanship "Faux Pas" that you'll will notice, and it will look cheap and expediant like by comparison.
For the price that Marc is asking you, DEMAND,INSIST,to have them, that's your right.
After all Marc is a man who recognises the historical significance of the Cajun historical place in US History, and he and his wife tirelessely campaign to progatate it, and his boxes surely should reflect the same commitment by their craftsmanship.
His boxes are not made today with that in mind.
Arrietes "HAVE" them, and so do some LA boxes , not too many mind you, but some.
These buiders are the real American heroes, the true craftsmans, the elusive ones, but they do exist, a rare breed but nevertheless around, look for them, and the very firt question that you'll ask them is do their boxes have mittered corners? .
Jeesh. What is it with mitred corners? Butt joints and mitres are both strong joints. It is only a matter of preference. My $800 La box has butt joints. They will never fail. They look fine to me and the box plays and sounds great! My $100 Chinese box has mitred joints. They will never fail. It plays and sounds crappy.
To each his own.
Jeesh,I'm not talking about witch joint is stronger,I'm talking about craftsmanship integrity here, and how uninformed and consequently visually impaired a lot of us are.
BUT, I had my old "Acadian" with mittered corners side by side with a non mittered corners "Martin",and Craig you would have been the first one to notice the difference, because the Martin had a "LOT" of end grain showing as "THICK DARK LINES", and I'll spare you how many, but I'm sure you can count as well as I do , over twenty is it not?.
unfortunately, the decorative brass corners are not wide enough to "HIDE" this infortunate type of thing.
But with mittered corners, Junior could have avoided this, and more importantly, Craig, Mr. Martin certainly "KNOWS" what Craftsmanship is all about, and why he doesn't do miters ( and he certainly knows how to do them), and that's a shame.
I forgot to mention that Marc Savoy has asked his boxes fabricators to "ADD" decorative strips to each of the end panels outer sides ,thus "MASKING" the offending and unsighly butt joints, unfortunately, Mr. Savoy couldn't ask his parts purveyors to overuse the decorative strips ( as it is the case, now)elsewhere, so the "Ruse" is somehow redundand, and so the visually offensive end grain,show elsewhere .
Nice try,but no cigars, Marc.
Marc also stated that cypress is not good for boxes.
I love my cypress box. I may even make a violin from cypress just to check it out. I have to finish my current violin first though. my customer is getting antsy. Hopefully those with mitred cornerd boxes spend more time playing them than looking at them.
No need to be facecious here, after all you're a musical instrument maker,at least that's what your'e trumpetting here , so consequently I would have thought that you'll be the last one to oppose me on this very important topic.
Either you do not "KNOW" how to built a violin or a guitar as a luthier would do, that is adhering to centuty old fabricating thechniques, the same as using mittered corners in a wooden accordeon, keeping in mind that these 3 endeavours, "SHOULD" in "ALL" cases use craftsmanship techniques, gleaned trough "TRADITION" and arduous and demanding apprenticeship programs , or your'e the ever argumentator.
Come on, a guy with a bona-fide shop,and a luthier to boot( that is with the proper credentials) should know the differences , no brainer here.
I don't even wnant to think that as a craftsman, you've accepted mediocrity! .
Cypress and live oak were said to be no good for accordion building. Any thoughts on live oak for an accordion?
Oak is heavy and dense. It tends to check as well. It has a higher level of silicates which dull tools more quickly. It does take a nice finish. I haven't heard of any favorable acoustical characteristics for it though. Now black locust is something to think about. C.F. Martin did some interesting research on locust as an alternative to endangered rainforest products. It lacks beauty but has favorable weight/strength ratio and acoustically similar to mahogany. I have some in my shop waiting for me to make a guitar, someday. My real job is keeping me busy. **** those terrorists! hopefully some day soon we will have the OK to donate our product to the Katrina Relief effort for the detection of food/water borne pathogens as well as chemical toxins. The Gov't. won't take donations so a private group is clearing the way.
For Claude's benefit, I am invoking the famous Canadian 'notwithstanding clause'...
Notwithstanding the comments about Marc's recent work mentioned by other Braves below; I have a 1998 Acadian in 'C' that is a monster box. Having played a recent example of Marc's from late a 2005 production, I found little difference between them, other than the newer box is louder, required less bellows movement and seemed to have better button reponse with less pressure on the buttons.
Bon chance mes amis!
I love my Acadians. I've tried lots of accordions, but they are my favorite by far. I've played on at least 20 different Acadians and I loved them all.
I really like Falcons and Point Noire too, but alas, can't have em all
read BON CAJUN TOUJOURS, that pretty much sums it up. Sweetest little squeezebox ever put together!