Welcome to old and new friends who are interested in discussing Cajun and other diatonic accordions, along with some occasional lagniappe....



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A year with the Arietta.

Let me preface by saying that I am one of those people who would rather find an old worn instrument and restore it, than buy new. Over the years I have built, restored or purchased numerous stringed and wind instruments.

The accordion on the other hand was foreign ground, so when the opportunity came to purchase a “demo” Arietta for $180.00, like new, in the box, bellows tight, I thought “why not”?

Straight out of the box there were a few changes to be made. The straps may have fit a 12 year old girl but they certainly were not going to fit a plump old man. They were replaced with a single 3 inch wide long leather strap. The thumb strap was also replaced with more supple leather and adjusted to the way like it. There was a bit of flutter on some of the reeds but I figured the leathers would soften after a bit of playing, they did. As a newbie to this instrument I spent a lot of time practicing and no doubt mashing the keys with a less than subtle touch. Within two months the spring under the “G” button broke. Time to open it up. Let’s just say the insides are not too well finished.

In the last year I have had to replace three of the button springs, this included removing then re-gluing the buttons and pulling the axial rod to get to the bottom of the rockers so I could remove the broken springs. I also had to shim the sound hole clappers to eliminate side play and adjust for proper air seal. None of this is for the faint heart and I wondered if others have had similar results.

The fact that three of the button springs broke stuck me as unusual, unless I was lucky enough to get a bad batch of springs. More importantly, if I had paid $300.00 plus or had to pay someone for repairs I would really be irritated. Still, I can croak out a tune and I now know how a button accordion works. Not bad for 180 bucks.

Re: A year with the Arietta.

Hello RPr,
Not bad, indeed. Sounds like you've learned a few things, and had some fun, even played some music with the Arietta. But, reading your message, I can't tell whether you plan to try for a second year, or if you've had enough?

Re: A year with the Arietta.

I am keeping my eye out for a Key of D accordion and I suspect my Arietta will be my "campfire music instrument". You know the kind where you set it down to pick up the banjo and someone sets a beer on it.

With only a year of playing, I have a very long way to go. So, I am not in a big hurry but I still drool over some of the LA instruments.


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