No thanks, lets see what my friends in the Yahoo forums would say. I posted on the FR-8x Yahoo forum asking for info about if anyone had spare buttons for the bass side for sale, as this was something that I did not get when I purchased the V-accordion.
Well, within 24 hours, our own Jim D. responded!
We exchanged a couple of emails and then I called him directly. Jim had all the buttons I needed, and then some. On top of that, he told me that he had some jeweled buttons with Swarovski crystals no less! Well, we discussed things a bit and decided on postage format and destination. The price was ridiculously affordable for all the buttons I asked for, and he added even more for spares. In fact, the shipping from the US to Canada came out more than the cost of the buttons in total!
The package was sent via USPS Priority Post, and I waited.
At that time, I’d not decided completely on what design I was going to change it to, however I knew that I want the “C” button of the Free Bass (using the system of my choice) changed to one that holds a Swarovski crystal, and I wanted something that made it look a little different, but not super wild different, like I did not want my name on the bass buttons, not some long zig-zag.
Oh, I also wanted to mention something else! Thanks to some pictures I saw even before I got my 8x, I knew that some 8x accordions demonstrated this unwanted vibration on the bass box side thanks to the woofer thumping out hard low notes at maximum volumes (care to guess who took those pictures? Yup, our Jim again!)
I noticed my 8x did this soon after I started playing at full volume and deep bass settings, and I also mentioned this in my phone conversations with Jim. He was nice enough to let me know that he had some extra gasket material that would address this issue (“enough to do 3 accordions”), and that he would be including it in the package. What a nice guy!
That was not all, he started asking me other questions like about the bellows straps and if I got the Roland cover with the accordion, all of which I am good, but the thing is that he took the time to talk to me and during our banter, went to the trouble to make sure I was good not just with what I thought I needed, but he went over and above and even suggested that if I ran in to troubles with the vibration repairs, that he could Skype me through the process.
Did I mention that he’s a nice guy?
When the package came, I must have played with perhaps 10 designs and ended up going subtle. Thanks to the number of buttons Jim sent, I had a lot of possibilities and I can still always add and subtract and change to taste in minutes. In the end I went different... but not too different.
Used 5 Swarovski crystal buttons to identify the “C” note of every Free Bass octave (4 back, 1 white) and I extended the "V". I changed a couple of the concave buttons to the cross-hatched ones and... well, you can see basically what I did.
Here are the before and after pics:
I have to thank Jim for helping me out. One can tell that he likes what he does, just by some of the small things like the way he intricately wrapped up all the different buttons in their own plastic bag, the way each of 3 sizes of gasket were wrapped up and protected (that's a future project I will post about later!), and the cute small plastic name tag he made for my accordion case. Yes, we know it's an advertisement for his company, but the other side had my name, address, phone and email and it went right on my accordion case!
Thanks Jim, if only everyone made business this easy and pleasant!