THE MENAGERIE

Accordion(s?) I have owned/worked on.

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DON COSCA

Ft. my sister's hand holding it up for me and the color of terribly-aged plastic.

Named due to my misreading of the cursive as "La Cosca".

STATS:

Make/model: White Pearl La Tosca
Treble keys: 41, piano
Treble switches: 5
Bass machine: 120 button Stradella
Bass switches: 2

My second accordion, and the final seal of my insanity. Found at the same thrift store as my original, Monica. It was $230 (for reference, a good used accordion usually goes for upwards of $400), and it's a bit junky, but it's fullsized and all notes sound.

Until getting this accordion, I didn't realize that the bass buttons on Monica are very strangely weighted and take FAR too much effort to press down. Playing with this accordion will hopefully improve my bass and bellows technique, but its larger size makes it difficult for me to wear (I am remarkably short). I probably need to tighten up the accordion straps even further to make it more comfortable.


MONICA

Strapped in snugly for a nice car ride.

(Sort of) named for Mambo No. 5.

STATS:

Make/model: Victoria Castelfidardo "Armonia Jr."
Treble keys: 32, piano
Treble switches: "Accordion" and "Master"
Bass machine: 48 button Stradella
Bass switches: none

My "accordion countup" on the accordion index is actually the amount of time I've had Monica. I bought her at a little consignment store down the street for about $100, and, well, she's a hundred dollar accordion alright. Like the Don, all the notes sound more or less correctly when you hit the key, and that's all I really need to learn an instrument. But she's a bit of a fixer-upper, so it's a good thing that I enjoy some fixin' uppin'.

Something slightly unusual is that she has 12 rows but only 4 bass buttons (counterbass, bass, major, minor) per row. I don't miss those 7th or dim chords yet, but I suspect I soon will.

REPAIR LOG

  • Replacing busted straps (Oct 2018)
  • Re-gluing treble valve pads (Oct 2018)
  • Removing and cleaning treble keys (11/23/18) (see a picture!)
  • Replacing felt inside keypad to stop clacking keys (12/16/18)

FUTURE REPAIRS

  • Seal leaking bellows
  • Replace treble valve pads
  • Clean bass side
  • Replace torn vent fabric on bass side
  • Replace reed leathers


I also have this simple Schylling toy accordion. It's a diatonic button accordion in the key of C, with only 2 bass buttons. It's more or less a hand-operated harmonica, and quite frankly, it sucks. The buttons get stuck and the bellows leak and stick like mad. In fact, the bellows make a creaking sound that almost drowns out the notes altogether.
Still, I'm thinking about modding or rebuilding it somehow. I think it would be a fun project.

Accordion wishlist: