box buying advice?

box buying advice?

I have this old Hohner Pokerwork - which seems a decent enough instrument to start learning.
At least it is in tune with itself and after shoving somerthing in the keyboard (or button board?) the buttons don’t dissapear into unknown depths anymore. It took me ages to get “going” on it and I am far from being a box player but now - after years of making no progress at all - I can play a few tunes without throwing everybody else off and I think it’s time to start saving money for a “good box”. The pokerwork is B/C with typical Hohner wet tuning and some weird basses that are not in tune with the treble anyway. There are no box players around and I never played another box so I think I could do with some advice from you.
I am looking for a small lightweight instrument with dry tuning (or very little tremolo)
If I ever start using the basses I think that being able to take out the thirds might be nice.
I am not too eager to spend loads of money but I want an instrumet that really is an “upgrade”.
I also think about Csharp/D - I tried playing a few tunes down a note on the B/C and liked the sound. But without comparison I don’t know if my Hohner is a “quick action” instrument and I might get problems with a more reluctant box…..
So what is out there that you can recommend? I know the “box question” has been asked before but maybe someone also has some suggestions for recordings on which I can hear the different models or some youtube links. That would be nice to get an idea of what I am saving money for….

Irina

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Re: box buying advice?

Where are you? That would affect which shops we refer you to.

Re: box buying advice?

In Germany. And although this is traditional “accordion country” I think I’ll have to do some travelling if I want to find a shop where I can actually try a box or two. Or else buy online.
If there is a shop anywhere in europe that is “box buyer’s heaven” - please let me know. I sometimes travel for work and might get near….

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Re: box buying advice?

Perhaps too far away for you, but a shop with a very wide range of low & medium priced instruments is Gortin ( Tyrone N. Iel.) Mail order no problem. Check www.Boorinwoodmusic.com for much more info & they are a discount outfit too

Re: box buying advice?

I’d try melodeon.net buy and sell section

Re: box buying advice?

Thanks for the links! So what would be your favourite box if you were looking for small, light, fast, clear/dry sound, beautiful looks? Not costing the world but a good instrument.
Who plays it and where can I hear it being played?

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Re: box buying advice?

The Boorinwood brand from Omagh, Tyrone would be only around £260 ( I think ), & they might post it free for you. 21 buttons ( 1 blk ) & with a bass reg. Fitted with Italian reeds, & in a gig bag

Re: box buying advice?

Jackie Daly- Saltarelle Nuage c#/D
John Williams- Saltarelle of various models, B/C
Damien Mckee- VanderAA (last time I saw him play)
Damien Connoly-Kincora B/C
Joe Burke- PAolo Soprani in a variety of keys
Sharon Shannon- Castignari, Tommy, B/C

for a start

Re: box buying advice?

I think the Hohner Pokerwork is a pretty dreadful instrument - I had one myself, in D/G. You will probably get very frustrated trying to play Irish reels on it.

Good luck in finding a better. I can’t advise on types, but I am afraid decent boxes can be very expensive.

Re: box buying advice?

“Check www.Boorinwoodmusic.com for much more info”

I had a look just out of idle curiosity more than anything, and I think their website needs urgent attention! It can’t just be me: I’m using a large screen iMac but there’s overlapping text, and blank graphics…. and quite annoying text that flashes on and off! I didn’t linger long and I expect others are the same.

Maybe they’re not aware? Maybe they need help in the IT dept?

Re: box buying advice?

I’m on a PC and this won’t get anything sensible either, so there’s no use blaming minority kit!

(Y Ffly)

PC Bigot

PS - the link to a Birmingham shop is duff as well.

A FRIEND.

Re: box buying advice?

People have played Irish music very successfully on Hohner pokerworks, actually..

Irina, if your budget won’t run to €1700 or much more for a new Italian-made accordion, you could do a lot worse than get your Hohner retuned (including the basses) and mechanically reconditioned.

Talk to this man: http://www.michaelrowbotham.eclipse.co.uk/index.html

I’d give cheap rebranded Chinese imports a wide berth if I were you.

Re: box buying advice?

I’m using a little netbook running Windows and the site came up just fine, no overlapping text or flashing stuff, although the red type over the grey background is difficult to read.

Re: box buying advice?

Someone else suggested melodeon.net but that is also a good place to connect with other players. I know there are some people on there from Germany. While they might not be players of the BC Irish they are knowledgeable enough to provide some local connections that will help you.

Re: box buying advice?

part of the answer might relate to the main purpose of the instrument i.e. solo, band or session playing. I have played paolo soprani BC for years and now a small C#D Hohner and many musicians, esp. fiddles, like the sound of the latter and i play it mostly at sessions over the last five years.
I agree with the suggestion to have a box customised by retuning to your own requirements unless you find something special to purchase.
I will be at the fleadh in Cavan next weekend and will be looking at the stands as there is likely to be a large selection on display and tuners/makers to speak with also.

Re: box buying advice?

Pokerworks can be fine for Irish music. They need a bit of modification however before you can get the full potential out of them:

1. the springs need to be softened
2. the key travel needs to be limited
3. if you like a dry sound they need slight re-tuning

these aren’t jobs for beginners but my advice is to hang on to your pokerwork and revisit it when you’ve developed your technique on a more expensive box

I own a number of boxes including Casragnari and Cairdin but the one that does the most work (and earns the money) is my B/C Pokerwork. I’ve fixed the springs and keys, and I find the original wet tuning useful whem playing in very noisy environments such as ceilis.

Hang on to your pokerwork. WIth the right technique and with the modifications I’ve suggested it can be played as fast as you’ll ever need

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