FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I require repairs or tuning for an upcoming performance. How soon can you complete the repairs?
- The usual turnaround time is one to two weeks for small jobs and up to a month for big jobs. Timeframes can be longer if I have to source parts. I generally don't work to a strict time frame as sometimes repairs can take longer than expected and the workshop can be very busy. There can also be a lead time before your accordion is able to be inspected/repaired. Make sure you allow plenty of time to ensure your accordion can be completed in time for your performance. Please note that I do not do on the spot/emergency repairs.
Can you recommend an accordion teacher?
- I am a member of the Accordion Society of Australia. I recommend checking the Accordion Society of Australia website for available teachers in your area.
Will my accordion require an overhaul/restoration?
An accordion is in need of an overhaul/restoration if the accordion requires a combination of repairs. Below are two examples.
- The accordion is generally out of tune, has fluttering and buzzing sounds, has leaking bellows and an uneven keyboard.
- The accordion is generally out of tune, has continuous notes playing and uneven or stuck bass buttons and a broken bass strap.
Overhauling and restoring accordions takes days to complete (and sometimes up to a week) depending on the complexity of the work involved.
I have a very old vintage accordion. Is it possible to have it restored so I can play it frequently and perform?
- It is possible to restore very old accordions. Even accordions over 100 years old can be restored to a playable condition; however, there should be an awareness that accordions over 50 years old have aged components and very often significant wear and tear. This should be taken into consideration when purchasing an accordion with the plan to restore it for frequent use. There will most likely be a need for ongoing repairs.
I have a vintage/antique accordion I would like to sell. Can you complete an evaluation?
I don't do evaluations. It's worth noting that older accordions don't generally hold their value with age. Unfortunately there are not many collectors of antique accordions. Part of the reason for this is that very old accordions usually have worn and corroded components and cost a lot to restore to a playable condition. Even after being restored the aged components require more servicing than newer accordions. For this reason they are usually not worth much to accordionists.
Can you explain what's involved in quoting the repair job for my accordion?
Repair quotes are generally based on the amount of time it takes to complete a job. For example, overhauling a three reed piano accordion can take more than twenty hours of concentrated continuous work. Such large jobs often require re-waxing, tuning and re-valving and various other repairs that can come up such as replacing bellow seals or resetting keyboards. If you consider twenty hours in regard to a reasonable hourly rate, and then add parts on top, you will be able to see why the cost of accordion repairs can add up. However, this cost should be weighed against the cost of a new Italian or German made instrument, which start in the range of $5000 and in many cases sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
I am looking to buy a used accordion. Can you give me any advice?
I generally recommend buying Italian and German made accordions. I am reluctant to recommend a particular manufacturer as there can be a lot of variation between models and different eras.
Below are some things to consider.
*How old is the accordion? (older accordions can have more wear and tear)
*Is the accordion in tune?
*Do the bellows smell of mould?
*Can you see any rust or corrosion on the external metal parts of the accordion? (If there is rust on the outside there will most likely be rust on the reeds)
*Are the bellows tight?
*Is the keyboard noisy when pressing the keys without playing?
*Are there any crackling, fluttering or popping sounds when playing?
*Are the bass buttons even?
*Do any keys or buttons get stuck down?
*Is the accordion in a good cosmetic condition?
Most of these issues can be repaired but the goal should be to minimise the amount spent on repairs. It's best to shop around until you find a good accordion at a decent price.