Parrot piano accordions

Parrot piano accordions

Does anyone have one of these? I’ve been looking for a cheap PA, and have borrowed a 120 bass mid-size ‘proper’ Italian instrument, but it feels too big for me (I play a bare wood Mengascini button box, which weighs about 7kg wet through and just about fits in my pocket. If I’m wearing the special trousers, that is).

A friend pointed me to a junk shop (sorry, Antique Emporium) which turned out to have two PAs. One is a green Parrot (Chinese) brand. It has a very dry sound, although one of the couplers was broken so I couldn’t check out the full range. I much preferred the reeds, though, to the fancy Italian box. Also, it has 48 basses, but in four rows - what would they be? I’d guess bass note, major, minor, major augmented 7th?

The machine was very dusty (I’m guessing 40-50 years old?), and I’d need to check that all the keys worked, but I’m thinking a broken coupler would be a relatively easy thing to fix? The keys were not full size - would they be 3/4 size? And how playable does that make them? I knocked out a basic tune, based on what I play on the piano, so I couldn’t really tell how ‘fast’ it would be once I was familiar with it.

Any advice? Should I take the plunge, or buy a fully guaranteed one from a music shop?

Eno ;-)

Re: Parrot piano accordions

I can only tell you what I *think* about Chinese accordions, never having owned other than an Italian made box.

Leave it in the junk shop.

Always go for the Italian box if you have a choice. I’ve heard the German boxes are good (Hohner, Weltmeister) as well but I am convinced the best are from Italy.

I see from you are in Australia, which, if my map skills are any good, is close to NZ, where Titano accordions seem to be very popular.
I had a Titano back in the late 60’s and was very pleased with it. I can only imagine they have become even better since. There might be a few of these used in the shops down there.

Making the switch from B/C to PA might be daunting, but starting on a good box can only make learning easier IMHO. :-)

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Don’t tell anyone, but I have a Parrot 120-bass accordion, which I don’t use. Usually, when I mention it to anyone who knows anything about free-reed instruments, it is met with stifled laughter. But, whilst it doesn’t sound or feel like a top class instrument, it works fine. I don’t use it anymore and I have been intending to get rid of it for some years, so I would gladly sell it to you at a fair price. However, there are a couple of problems: Firstly, it is probably about the same size and weight as the one you have; secondly, it’s in London, I’m in Portugal and you’re in Brisbane.

So, this has been a largely unhelpful post.

Re: Parrot piano accordions

About the key size: they might be what is referred to as *Ladies* keys, slightly smaller than full size accordion keys, which are smaller than actual piano keys. Again, I would stay with the full size accordion keys. When you start playing triplets, you are going to need full size keys, especially black keys. There are plenty of small boxes, less than 41 keys/120 bass that have full size keys.

I’m not real sure about the 48 bass and their layout. Take a look at this link:

http://www.accordionlinks.com/play.cfm

I’m assuming that if the bass has only 4 rows, it might not be the standard Stradella bass. I can only guess that either you have counterbass, bass, major, and minor, or bass, major, minor, and 7th.

Another thing about the piano keyboard; If the keys go down more than 1/4" when pressed, you don’t have a fast action, and it will be harder to develop much speed.

Good Luck. :-)

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Hobgolin (hobgoblin.com) used to sell these Parrot 48 bass jobs, 4 x 12. They’d know what you get in each row.

Re: Parrot piano accordions

I’ve been told the new Parrot Accordions are quite acceptable but stay away from the old ones. From my experience old accordions are more trouble than what they’re worth; the bellows are sloppy and your shoulder aches like crazy from having to pump the bellows like mad. Having said that, you can find some old boxes that haven’t been played much so the bellows are in good nick.
Try contacting the Australian Society of Accordionists; they should be able to steer you in the right direction. They have a website with all relevant contact details.

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Thanks for the advice,guys. It sounds like I need to keep looking.

And Mr Fox, you win the coconut; the full size PA I borrowed is a Titano…

Eno ;-)

Re: Parrot piano accordions

I learnt on a small Parrot (which contrary to popular belief is not an offence!!)

It was fine for me from about the age of 8 to 14 whereupon I launched into playing with a full size Excelsior, that was monumentally heavy and quite awkward and tiring to play (internal mikes!), although it produced such a wonderful sound.

I have since owned and played a number of boxes of different sizes and nationalities and have found it’s a case of "horses for courses".

The small 72 bass Geman Weltmeister (which I’m now selling incidentally) is a cracking little box. Highly portable, bright sound, easy action (sounds like one of my ex’s!!) but is slightly limited in the bass range so I tend to use it only for travelling to festival sessions.

My Italian Galanti produces a rich, warm sound, but for some reason is incredibly quiet in certain registers (not a problem for sessions, but not ideal for band work) It’s beautiful to look at too (hmmm!)

The Salterelle Clifden is a specialist instrument, well toned, sweet, dynamic sound although it too is somewhat limited having only two registers.

My advice would be to try different boxes and find one that works for you, one that you feel comfortable with.

If you’re on a budget, forget where the thing is made - just get one that sounds and feels good! :)

Re: Parrot piano accordions

I used to have a green 48 bass 2 reed Parrot that I used in the beginning. Did the job - it was relatively in tune & was actually on the stiff side for being an older model (the keys were slightly yellow) It sounded roughly like my 2 reed Hohners (that musette sound) with both reeds going. The keys were slightly smaller, but I don’t think they were the "Ladies" size keys. When I noticed a few notes that had a bit of a cough, the Italian accordion guy that fixed my other accordions wouldn’t even work on it. Since I had acquired other instruments, I sold it for what I paid for it - 5 years later - $125.00 at a squeeze in festival.

Hey, if you can play all the notes & its in tune and the sound is pleasing, it’s a beginner instrument that can get ya going. That’s my experience!

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Hey Suebob,

I have a spooky feeling this may be the same model - it’s green, has a more button box than PA sound, and has smaller but not massively smaller, yellowish keys.

The more I think about it the nicer it gets in my mind. Unfortunately (or not, as you might say) I’m booked in for a whole weekend of technique lessons, so I won’t be able to get back to the shop for some time.

Eno

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Of course, it is also a question of the price… A few years ago I was looking for a small PA and could compare a lot of brands. Compared to other PA’s the Parrots are very simple but satisfiying for a beginner. Finally a bought an italian instrument, a Ballone Burini: excellent quality and brilliant sound. I changed the tuning of the tremolo with the result, that it sounds like a button box. It was a bit more expensive than a Parrot: app. 1500 $, acceptable for such a high-end-instrument!

Re: Parrot piano accordions

Hey guys,

Just started to get into PA but I don’t know too much about them.

I bought a Sante-Crucianelli & Figli Castelfidardo-Italia or something, (it’s on the front of it), from an "Antique Emporium" as bc_box_player put so elegantly, for $180. It needs a tune and probably a bit of a fix-up. How much (approx.) would this cost to do? Cause I could possibly buy a Chinese one from my teacher. Just wondering if it would be better to get this one fixed, or buy the Chinese one?

Sorry for being so new, but you all seem like a helpful bunch.

Thanks in advance,
Izzy

Re: Parrot piano accordions

I like the Parrot 120 bass thirteen shift piano accordion….

If you have one

I want to buy a 120 Bass Parrot Piano Accordion.

please contact

iamhe999@yahoo.com