Dry tuning trends

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Dry tuning trends

Post by Morne » Mon May 14, 2018 2:01 pm

I've been doing some research into Russian tuning literature lately. I'm almost done with that and I'll do a post on that specifically, but a spin-off from that is the non-Russian perspectives on dry tuning.

For this topic I'm interested in the history and trends of dry tuning from a non-Russian perspective.

In brief, Russian tuning has historically favoured dry tuning for MM reeds. This would often be fully in unison (0ct). There are a few possible reasons for that which I've come across in my reading:
  • from a pedagogical standpoint you want the student to actually hear the correct note
  • the pure, correct notes work better when accompanying other instruments and singing
  • you're trying to cover up your inability to tune accurately
  • "[tremolo tuning] is regarded as a tribute to a primitive, low artistic taste" (the author mentions that as a possibly one-sided opinion some people hold)
Now obviously if you just use a single M reed you would satisfy all those criteria, but yet you still find that those Russian instruments would have MM reeds. When tremolo is added, it tends to be on the very light side.

What you end up with is a different view of what the "norm" is: in the West you'd assume an accordion has some tremolo unless it is explicitly mentioned as being dry tuned. In Russia it seems to be the opposite: bayans will have an explicit indication of having tremolo, whereas otherwise it is assumed to be dry.

As far as slightly older European instruments go, I don't think I've ever heard of one with MM being tuned in unison as an off-the-shelf instrument. You could ask for it, sure. And some do have drier tunings, yes, but not 0 as far as I'm aware. I would guess that a later retuning to dry is possibly more common than buying it like that new.

I know we've had some threads before about the drying up of French musette, going from MMM to MM. Are there other trends that you've noticed around the world? Did certain areas always favour drier tunings? If it's a more recent phenomenon, what are the timeframes in which this happened? Were drier and unison tuned accordions ever popular decades ago?

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:25 pm

Morne wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:01 pm
As far as slightly older European instruments go, I don't think I've ever heard of one with MM being tuned in unison as an off-the-shelf instrument. You could ask for it, sure. And some do have drier tunings, yes, but not 0 as far as I'm aware. I would guess that a later retuning to dry is possibly more common than buying it like that new.

I know we've had some threads before about the drying up of French musette, going from MMM to MM. Are there other trends that you've noticed around the world? Did certain areas always favour drier tunings? If it's a more recent phenomenon, what are the timeframes in which this happened? Were drier and unison tuned accordions ever popular decades ago?
Morne,

It really depends on the purpose for which the instrument is built. Maugein make a little "Export" model which only has a two voice treble. It is available as either MM with "americain" (between 6 and 10 cents) tuning as standard, or as LM, with both reeds straight tuned. The latter model would appear to be geared with classical study in mind, rather than the usual musette styles. However, since it doesn't have free bass, I'm not entirely sure why they offer it as an option.

In the UK instruments made specifically for classical music are typically regarded as "specialist", and I have no experience of them at all. I would imagine they will be similar to those in your own neck of the woods.

There are probably dozens of western European folk tunings and again I have no knowledge of them at all, except to say that they almost all involve one sharp or flat tuned reed bank.

Even French "musette" offers four basic tunings for 2 flutes, and one basic tuning for 3 flutes. Those tunings aren't new as such, and have been around from before WW2. Walk into an accordion shop (if you can find one) and any new display LMM models ( the most common type by far) will usually come with americain tuning. However, you can specify:-

unisson : 0 Hz
demi-swing, swing : 0.5 à 1.5 Hz
américain léger / accentué : 1.5 à 2.5 Hz
céleste ou moderne : 2.5 à 3 Hz
musette léger / standard / accentué : peut commencer à partir de 3 pour aller jusqu'à 6 Hz (très vibrant), parfois plus.

To convert Hz to cents multiply by 4, but bear in mind that's approximate. You can immediately see that there are crossovers between any one category and its immediate neighbour, with the exception of "unisson", so it is far from an exact science.

Just when you think you've got it all nailed down you then get LLMM, where one bank of the bassoon reeds is in cassotto, and the other is outside, and I'm now getting into territory I really don't know much about.

Suffice to say that, in France at least, if there is a possible reed/coupler combination, then somebody will have tried it at some point. Obviously it's only the flute reeds they mess around with regarding tuning, although the situation demonstrates the fact that French players are a very fussy lot when it comes to tunings and sound. Jo Privat stipulated "swing tuning with a little vibration", so he probably actually had "américain léger".

The only other popular type of French accordon is the MMM instrument, sometimes referred to as "super musette", and again these come in various "strengths" of tuning as indicated in the table I "stole" from the "Mon-accordeon" website. These days they typically have three coupler settings:- Three voice musette, two voice celeste (straight and sharp flutes only), and one voice straight tuned flute. In days gone by one coupler served to switch between MMM, and M with no two voice option. Was a time when different regions preferred one particular type of three voice musette tuning, but I'm not entirely sure if that's still the case.

There is even a two voice tuning known as "Segurel", after a player of the same name,, which sounds as though it has a straight tuned flute and flat tuned flute, with no sharp tuned reeds at all, but again I couldn't put money on that.

To summarise, dry tuning has been around for a very long time in France.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Geronimo » Mon May 14, 2018 5:33 pm

I am theorizing that the decline of tremolo tunings, particularly MMM, is due to amplification and recording. For one thing, amplification and recording lower the necessity of an accordion lead "cutting through" other instruments. For another, high quality recording relies on planar diaphragm microphones integrating sound energy over some area, and tremolo as a superposition of wave fronts from slightly different directions tends to come out comparatively badly then as it may cause different partial vibrational modes of the membrane.

At least that is my pseudophysical explanation for my annoying experience of the quality of recordings going up with more expensive (and larger diaphragm) condensor mics for everything but tremolo where the quality decreases in a manner that isn't funny. Particularly since the higher overall quality lets that decrease stand out more.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Mon May 14, 2018 6:36 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:33 pm
I am theorizing that the decline of tremolo tunings, particularly MMM, is due to amplification and recording.
The French player, Bruno Lorenzoni, gave a TV interview on the subject of MMM tuning. Although my French isn't great he gave pretty clear indication that (in his opinion) MMM instruments were for playing in the open air and for dancers in noisy environments. Reference was made to the various Latin styles which are a feature of the "musette" repertoire, and for those he opined it was desirable if not essential to have bassoon reeds, and as most pro French accordionists play standing, the preferred option was for LMM, with or without a tone chamber.

His opinions would appear to be shared with most current French players, and if they ever want to play MMM they take two instruments onto the stage. Regardless of Bruno's observations, some players never stray from MMM and have no use for bassoon reeds at all, and that has traditionally always been the case. However they are/were part of a minority group.

I have no experience of playing with amplification at all, and I suppose that today's sound technicians can cope with any type of accordion, regardless of its tuning.

Crazy thing is that three of us at school all played identical Boosey and Hawkes B flat trumpets, but no two of us made precisely the same sound when playing. Blame it on valve clearances, worn felts, or whatever, but even on so relatively simple an instrument that was precisely how it was. One guy had a very mellow tone, mine was a bit sharper, and the other guy was told to take his to the scrap metal man. Only the first guy made it into the school orchestra, and I went to the guitar shop. I think the third guy went and bought an accordion on the way back from the scrap dealer, where he could sound as rough as liked, as he wasn't going to get into anybody's orchestra, unless he could get the hang of the triangle, such was the limit of his musical ability! Years later the only one of the three of us who made it as a pro musician was "the third man", who turned out to be an excellent drummer, and he actually had a triangle as part of his kit. So I was right all along!.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Mon May 14, 2018 9:09 pm

I tuned my accordion "half" of it's original tuning (Lower reeds were 20 cents and now they are 10, middle reeds were 16 and now 8, and the higher notes were 6 and now 3.) and i think it sounds sweet, because higher tremolo effects gives me headaches after playing more than 30 minutes. is it american tuning, right?

Other accordionists told me that they were used to the high tremolo (Hohner players)
Other accordionists (Pigini/Scandalli players) told me that my accordion now sounds more "elegant" than the other Hohners.

I'm in love with the results, and i will never get back to the higher tremolo.
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:38 pm

Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:09 pm
is it american tuning, right?
Sebastian,

"americain" is a French term used to describe the tuning of two banks of flute reeds.

One bank is tuned straight = 0 cents, and the other can be tuned "sharp" anywhere between 6 and 10 cents

As far as I know there is no such thing as american tuning with more than two sets of reeds.

I don't know how you have worked your own tuning out, but if you are happy with it then that's all that matters.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Geronimo » Mon May 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:09 pm
I'm in love with the results, and i will never get back to the higher tremolo.
Women marry in the expectation that their spouse will change, men in the expectation their spouse will stay the same. Either are disappointed.

Some Oscar Wilde wisdom, maybe from "The Picture of Dorian Gray" or one of his plays. I was reminded of it since you are in love with your tremolo, probably in the expectation that it will stay the same. The problem with a beautiful and shallow one is that its endearing traits are not particularly robust against the inevitable changes of time, and what appears like perfectly even now will become aggravatingly irregular quite sooner, particularly when viewed at less breathtaking paces.

Slower tremolos are more maintenance-intensive if they are to retain their charm. And your tuning has to be much more precise even before you start on the tremolo rank so that the relation between "tempered beatings" and "tremolo beatings" is also reasonably consistent.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Geronimo » Mon May 14, 2018 10:09 pm

maugein96 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:38 pm
Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:09 pm
is it american tuning, right?
Sebastian,

"americain" is a French term used to describe the tuning of two banks of flute reeds.

One bank is tuned straight = 0 cents, and the other can be tuned "sharp" anywhere between 6 and 10 cents

As far as I know there is no such thing as american tuning with more than two sets of reeds.
He wasn't talking about more than two sets of reeds if I understood correctly but rather about decreasing relative tremolo depth at higher pitches. Basically his tremolo rank, when played alone, would not be in "stretch tuning" like a piano but in "shrink tuning" where playing a reed one octave higher will fall short of actually sounding one octave higher.

Organ tuners would frown upon such a tremolo strategy, but it's very much standard with accordion tremolo tuning.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Mon May 14, 2018 11:10 pm

Sorry,

I was at a bit of a loss with his one and probably jumped in without testing the temperature first.

Seems I had applied the Scots-Irish theory that it might take some people a week to walk a fortnight, but others might not manage it in a month, even if they wore running shoes.

Sorry, an "Irishism" from my home area meaning that I never quite understood the question so I shouldn't have got involved.

English language and Irish logic don't really gel.

Teacher:- "What's your name?"

Pupil:- "John"

Teacher:- "What's your surname?"

Pupil:- "Sir John?"

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by debra » Tue May 15, 2018 8:20 am

There is clearly a trend towards less wet tuning. 50 years ago most 4 reed accordions were LMMM, later they started fading in favor of LMMH accordions. That alone already reduced the wetness. I have an old (but good) Crucianelli with LMMM and the M's are about -20, 0, +20 (it needs tuning so this is not exact) which is very wet. I can tolerate the "Celeste" register (MM) but not the "Musette". I am going to take it down to perhaps -8, 0, +12. I will see what sounds best. But the trend that "less is more" is very clear now, and that hopefully means the days of musette tuning that gives you a splitting headache after listening to it for half an hour or more are over...
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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Alan Sharkis » Tue May 15, 2018 2:34 pm

debra wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:20 am
There is clearly a trend towards less wet tuning. 50 years ago most 4 reed accordions were LMMM, later they started fading in favor of LMMH accordions. That alone already reduced the wetness. I have an old (but good) Crucianelli with LMMM and the M's are about -20, 0, +20 (it needs tuning so this is not exact) which is very wet. I can tolerate the "Celeste" register (MM) but not the "Musette". I am going to take it down to perhaps -8, 0, +12. I will see what sounds best. But the trend that "less is more" is very clear now, and that hopefully means the days of musette tuning that gives you a splitting headache after listening to it for half an hour or more are over...
Paul,
My present accordion, really a student model, is an LMMM, perhaps because I was a little naive when I ordered it. My experience with H reeds was that the highest-pitched ones would often not sound until I really got a lot of air across them, and then they would sound until the next time I played, Of course, these were not really high quality accordions. The second reason was that I liked the sound of triple musette, but as you said, listening to it for over an hour causes some discomfort. But the accordion came in with more of a Continental triple musette than a French one, and I get closer to the French sound using one of the MM registrations.

In the US, LMMH took over from the very popular LMH double-octave tuned boxes around the same time that LMMH started to take hold in Europe. It's difficult to say which influenced the other or if there actually was any cross-influence. Today, of course, I would have saved some time ordering an LMMH instead of the LMMM because the LMMH accordions are more popular, and therefore more commonly stocked by dealers, My accordion was also delayed because it was shipped from Vercelli to Castelfidardo to get the midi and mikes installed, then back to 'Vercelli to be checked out, and then shipped to my dealer.

Of course, we occasionally see LMMMH accordions advertised in the US. They are most often special-ordered, and tend to be heavier but not because of the additional treble reed block. They also tend to have 45 treble keys (if PAs) and/or converter basses, and cassotto (sometimes in both treble and bass) which I assume all tend to increase the weight significantly.

(Side comment: I don't know where the obsession with lighter weight instruments originated, but getting the straps adjusted correctly and using a back strap generally helps a lot in that area.)

Alan

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by debra » Tue May 15, 2018 5:08 pm

Alan Sharkis wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:34 pm
...
Paul,
My present accordion, really a student model, is an LMMM, perhaps because I was a little naive when I ordered it. My experience with H reeds was that the highest-pitched ones would often not sound until I really got a lot of air across them, and then they would sound until the next time I played, Of course, these were not really high quality accordions. ...
H reeds not starting properly is a matter of properly adjusting the voicing. It can be a time consuming job. Some tuners don't do it claiming "you don't use H with these high notes anyway" (rubbish). Factories don't put enough effort in making the H reed work properly on the lower-end models, and I suspect this is done to entice people to buy a more expensive instrument.

My experience is that even a machine piccolo reed can be made to start properly (without needing a lot of air) but adjusting the voicing is very "fiddly". It's not my favorite job, but it can be done and I won't avoid it when it is needed.

I have used LMMMH accordions, with 41 and 45 treble keys, with and without convertor. The 5th reed requires the instrument to be a bit larger and thus heavier, and closing 5 reeds requires a bit more force (from the springs) and/or may cause the accordion to leak a bit more air (through all pallets combined). I used to think I could not live with just LMMH but it was a phase. I am happy with the LMMH accordions my wife and I now play.
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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Tue May 15, 2018 5:41 pm

Alan Sharkis wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:34 pm
.

Side comment: I don't know where the obsession with lighter weight instruments originated, but getting the straps adjusted correctly and using a back strap generally helps a lot in that area.)

Alan
Alan,

Lightweight boxes have been the norm in France for many years, and it would appear to be an obsession as you say.

Most beginner instruments in France are two voice MM with 80 bass arranged over 5 rows (like a 96 bass but without the dim7 row). The tradition of an accordion being an "investment" means they don't really do "budget" beginner's instruments there and those student models typically retail at about 4000 Euros, so students tend to keep them at least until they have completed their studies. These days, you can pick them up used at any age for below 2000 Euros, so they are perhaps not the investment they once were. The quality is equal to their bigger stablemates, but no pro player would usually be seen with one.

Quite a few new players in France are now starting out on the French version of the little two voice MM Hohner Nova, which typically retails for about half of the usual French made student models. They do the job, with the only compromise being the quality, which fewer people seem to be willing to pay for in any case. Beginners are discouraged to start off on anything bigger, with the only reason I can think of is that most of the pupils are pretty young (usually about 8 years old) when they start out.

French pro players tend to play standing for every style except classical, and prefer to use three voice LMM or MMM instruments. It has been that way since about the early 50s there. Occasionally you'll see a French player use a 4, or even 5 voice instrument, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

I've never seen an instrument built for the French market with piccolo reeds, but they do exist.

So, France is perhaps one country where there is a tendency to play on lighter weight instruments, but it is not unique. Some of the Italian "popular" styles also use three voice LMM, or occasionally MMM.

Here in the UK most pro players of non classical styles opt for LMMM, and I believe that is also the case in most of the rest of Europe. You might be able to find a LMMMH instrument here in an antique dealer's store, unless they are common in the world of the Bayan, which I know absolutely nothing about.

I haven't mentioned folk instruments as I don't believe you were talking about those, and in any case I don't know anything about them either.

I play French style and have two LMM, one MMM, and one MM. One of the LMMs dates back to the 50s, and is a very heavy instrument despite its size. I certainly wouldn't want anything heavier than that. Most French musette you'll hear these days only involves two MM reeds, and that "French" sound you mention involving only two flute reeds may be related to that.

With regard to LMMM, I've had a couple of those, but for some reason one of them allowed the sharp flute to be selected on its own, and it couldn't be played along with bass accompaniment, as the flute concerned was nearly a full semitone sharp.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by debra » Tue May 15, 2018 5:54 pm

maugein96 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:41 pm
...
Here in the UK most pro players of non classical styles opt for LMMM, and I believe that is also the case in most of the rest of Europe. You might be able to find a LMMMH instrument here in an antique dealer's store, unless they are common in the world of the Bayan, which I know absolutely nothing about.
...
You don't need a antique dealer's store because LMMMH instruments are still being built and bought new.
In the world of the Bayan there is no such thing as an LMMMH instrument. Bayans and professional European CBA's go for more notes instead of more reeds. You can buy an LMMMH CBA with 46 notes (and no convertor). The most notes I have ever seen on an LMMMH CBA is 56 (on the Hohner Artiste X). Professional convertor CBA's (and bayans) have 58 or 64 notes, and are all LMMH.
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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 pm

debra wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:54 pm

You don't need a antique dealer's store because LMMMH instruments are still being built and bought new.
Hi Paul,

I'd a funny feeling that you were going to tell me that. I checked Emilio Allodi's website before I posted and the first two 5 voice boxes he had on his list had been marked as "discontinued", and "out of stock."

However, after you put me right I looked again and see that he offers the Borsini K9.

I've never seen an LMMMH box, at least in CBA version, but then I've probably never seen much in the accordion world at all.

My "local" accordion store 60 miles away from me doesn't have any LMMMH advertised, either new or secondhand.

Maybe I should have said that LMMMH boxes don't seem to have been very popular in the UK, and there are not very many about. I appreciate the situation in the UK doesn't necessarily mirror the position in mainland Europe.

Island life can make for a very boring existence, and the further away you get from London on this island the more boring it tends to become. I suppose if I want to see an LMMMH it's just a matter of a 1200km round trip!
Last edited by maugein96 on Tue May 15, 2018 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Geronimo » Tue May 15, 2018 9:12 pm

debra wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:08 pm
I have used LMMMH accordions, with 41 and 45 treble keys, with and without convertor. The 5th reed requires the instrument to be a bit larger and thus heavier, and closing 5 reeds requires a bit more force (from the springs) and/or may cause the accordion to leak a bit more air (through all pallets combined). I used to think I could not live with just LMMH but it was a phase. I am happy with the LMMH accordions my wife and I now play.
I would guess it depends on the tuning. My main instrument is LMMM and it's rare that I use MM instead of MMM: with the job the tuner has done on my MMM, it's so much nicer. MM is a straightforward tremolo (still pretty shallow in spite of actually using M+ and M-), MMM is complex (all of M, M+, and M- are in the same plane outside of cassotto, and M- is barely under M in pitch). I have an Artiste VID with LMMH, and particularly in the low range, MM is ugly. On my main instrument, MMM in the low range is one of the greatest registers.

Definitely not a phase for me. Having H would provide some more registers: I can see the advantage of that. But I don't think I'd cherish the weight of a 5-reed instrument, and I like M being out of cassotto, both because it allows me to pick L and M for full-range single-reed registrations both in and out of quasi-cassotto, and because having all of MMM outside of cassotto makes for a very balanced MMM sound. There is the occasional LMMMH instrument with LH in cassotto, but I don't really see much of a point having H in cassotto as it is for brightening a registration. I might be lacking experience here: people tend to praise this unusual configuration.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by debra » Tue May 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:12 pm
...
Definitely not a phase for me. Having H would provide some more registers: I can see the advantage of that. But I don't think I'd cherish the weight of a 5-reed instrument, ...
The Bugari 508 (gold) is listed as 11,4kg and the 505 (gold) as 12,4kg. The 508 is LMMH and the 505 is LMMMH so the weight difference is just 1kg.
We have come a long way since the 18kg Hohner Artists XS that is 18kg...

I never thought the 505 which I had was particularly large or heavy. I just missed the convertor and didn't like having only 46 notes.

As for tremolo in the low region, I do not like the standard tremolo tuning extended through the low region. Tremolo in cents goes up with the frequency going down (and down with the frequency going up) but the standard way in which it does cannot really extend lower than the normal low E or F as it starts sounding pretty bad going down the next octave.
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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Geronimo » Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 pm

debra wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:29 pm
Geronimo wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:12 pm
...
Definitely not a phase for me. Having H would provide some more registers: I can see the advantage of that. But I don't think I'd cherish the weight of a 5-reed instrument, ...
The Bugari 508 (gold) is listed as 11,4kg and the 505 (gold) as 12,4kg. The 508 is LMMH and the 505 is LMMMH so the weight difference is just 1kg.
We have come a long way since the 18kg Hohner Artists XS that is 18kg...

I never thought the 505 which I had was particularly large or heavy. I just missed the convertor and didn't like having only 46 notes.

As for tremolo in the low region, I do not like the standard tremolo tuning extended through the low region. Tremolo in cents goes up with the frequency going down (and down with the frequency going up) but the standard way in which it does cannot really extend lower than the normal low E or F as it starts sounding pretty bad going down the next octave.
My main instrument is somewhat above 14kg and it has 60 notes in free bass and LMMM covering 62 notes in the treble. My MMM gets really wonderful in the lowest range: it's the most unusual and impressive register of the instrument, though with large air consumption and overpowering most bass registrations. It's also nice in high ranges other instruments only reach using H. Just the core range (the stuff you can write without ledger lines) is more piercing than I like. In contrast, on the Artiste VID the MM tremolo in the lowest octave (same range, tuning corresponding to Hohner default) is noisome, in the "pretty bad" category you describe.

The MMM on my main instrument is fabulous for cello parts not dipping below A2 (its lowest note). MM is considerably less awesome but nowhere near as unsavory as on the Artiste VID with the Hohner tuning.

I love to generalize but it's really to a significant degree dependent on the instrument and likely the tuner/tuning how certain registers in certain ranges work out or don't.

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Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by Alan Sharkis » Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 pm

debra wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:08 pm
Alan Sharkis wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:34 pm
...
Paul,
My present accordion, really a student model, is an LMMM, perhaps because I was a little naive when I ordered it. My experience with H reeds was that the highest-pitched ones would often not sound until I really got a lot of air across them, and then they would sound until the next time I played, Of course, these were not really high quality accordions. ...
H reeds not starting properly is a matter of properly adjusting the voicing. It can be a time consuming job. Some tuners don't do it claiming "you don't use H with these high notes anyway" (rubbish). Factories don't put enough effort in making the H reed work properly on the lower-end models, and I suspect this is done to entice people to buy a more expensive instrument.

My experience is that even a machine piccolo reed can be made to start properly (without needing a lot of air) but adjusting the voicing is very "fiddly". It's not my favorite job, but it can be done and I won't avoid it when it is needed.

I have used LMMMH accordions, with 41 and 45 treble keys, with and without convertor. The 5th reed requires the instrument to be a bit larger and thus heavier, and closing 5 reeds requires a bit more force (from the springs) and/or may cause the accordion to leak a bit more air (through all pallets combined). I used to think I could not live with just LMMH but it was a phase. I am happy with the LMMH accordions my wife and I now play.
As I said, the accordions with the H reeds were not high quality accordions and probably not worth the trouble of getting them to a technician to adjust the voicing. They were boxes I played as a kid and are either junked or in somebody's attic or basement (ugh!) today. But that attitude about not needing the H reeds with high notes reminds me of a book I read long ago in which the author, a piano tuner, talks about another piano tuner who didn't tune the extreme low or high notes because, "nobody plays them."

I'm learning a lot from this site, much of it from you. Thanks.

Alan

maugein96
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Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Dry tuning trends

Post by maugein96 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:59 pm

Here is an example of a modern French trend, the LLMM accordion, with both bass banks of bassoon reeds in cassotto.

The box is made by Mengascini in Castelidardo for the French market. It is their F20 model, and is available in 3 other configurations, as per this link:-

https://www.mon-accordeon.com/neuf/meng ... 0-cassotto

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ8VaxkHtkQ

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