48 Bass Piano Accordion

48 Bass Piano Accordion

I started playing the accordion a while ago; I have the lend of a box to practice on….going fairly well.

I was looking to buy one now, and I was looking at a few yesterday. I was quite drawn to the idea of a Walter 48 button accordion, simply because it’s small and compact, looks cool and I don’t really see what you would be missing out on in terms of range…there’s still 2,5 Octaves to play around with which seems more than enough.

I play guitar too, so wanted something handy and easy for carrying.

I would also see the bass buttons available at being sufficient for trad…obviously no Dim9 etc, but I wouldn’t imagine them to be really needed.

Would appreciate a bit of feedback from anyone who had/has one.


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Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

I’m sure that would be perfectly sufficient for what you want to do - if you’re playing with a group you’re going to be using the basses sparingly any ways —-

What does the piano accordion player in Cherish the Ladies play?

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Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

48 bass buttons is plenty for trad. You’ll run out of treble keys before you’ll miss the dim7 chords. Most people play accordions with 34 treble keys for trad but the 25 or 28 (what ever it is) on a 48 bass is enough 98% of the time.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

thanks dudes

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Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

48 bass is not large enough. There aren’t enough notes on both sides and also these size accordions tend to be regarded as childrens’ or learner models so they are usually not very good quality. 72 bass is minimum, you won’t find a half decent player anywhere with less than a 72 bass.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

I am going out on a limg. Mirella Murray on the older albums appears to be playing a red Soprani PA. However, we saw her at Catskills last summer an I could almost swear she was plalying a wood PA like Jimmy Keane plays.

She is a superb player.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

out on a LIMB

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

If you’re playing in sessions, forget the bass. It just p!sses people off.

If you’re playing for yourself, go with a 72 bass/ 34 key model. That has every bass that a 120 bass has with no duplicates, and a respectable treble range.

Mirella has a Saltarelle Clifden, just got it this year I think. I’ve had mine about three years and love it. Best keyboard action I’ve ever played. Swing tuned a bit on the dry side, very sweet. The Salt has 35 treble keys and 60 bass (no dim. chords)

Jimmy Keane has a monster box custom built for him with something like 45 keys and must weight 30 pounds or more. It sounds good though.

And zippy, I think limg is a real word. Difficult to pronounce if it weren’t for the g after m is silent rule.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

In my case it was one finger tripping over the other. Agreed, Jimmy Keane’s is huge. But it doesn’t seem to bother him. Great sound.

Like I said. Mirella looked like she had done an instrument change this year.

I am in the saltarelle camp also, though with a Connemara III.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

to my knowledge, mirella murray and jimmy keane play wood saltarelle clifdens. alan kelly plays perhaps a clifden or perhaps a pietro mario, which is what martin tourish plays or played last i knew….


1. what treble is enough: to play ITM, you need a minimum of 30 notes, which gives you low "g" to "high C." 34 or 37 would be great, but if you really want to go compact, have a 30-note laying around regardless of whether you get a bigger one. a 30-treble will play nearly any irish tune in a fabulously compact, light package…..

2. what bass is enough: the people saying 48 bass is not enough are mistaken. they seem to be saying this on the assumption that 48 bass always implies 26 treble, which it is true, would NOT be enough on the treble side. but provided you have your minimum of 30 notes on the treble side, 48 bass is more than enough for irish. REMEMBER—-in traditional irish box aesthetics, whether it is button or PA, your basswork should range from nonexistent to tastefully spare. the single-note basses on a 48-bass, counting your tonic basses and your counter basses, give you all notes but a couple. it’s plenty for very light drones or double stops in traditional irish. again—you ABSOLUTELY need 30 on the right-hand treble side.

check out the weltmeister rubin, which is a 30-treble, sixty bass that is the same width/length dimensions and same weight as their 48 bass model, something like 12.5 pounds. pretty great…..way, way cheaper than the saltarelle clifden (not that i’m knocking the clifden, i think they’re great, but they cost a MINT)…..but still a beautiful, good german-made accordion…

if you want to try really cheap, there is this 30-treble, 32 bass el cheapo rossetti made in asia….this might be a fun knock-around session PA


or this alternate el cheapo, the "barcelona," 30 treble/unsure-how-many-bass….

new ground is being broken in compact PAs thanks to the mexican market……if it were me and we were talking only or mainly irish, i would get one of these cheapies, see how i liked it, and then have a high-end one made in for me in the same weight & dimensions for glorious compact irish playing….for french musette and tango, i might prefer a 34 or 37 on the treble, but these little 30-treble PAs are wonderful for irish….

i THINK this gent is playing a saltarelle cliden, but not 100 percent sure….note—bassword is either absent or nonexistent!!!


here’s alan kelly…..sweet, huh? note—-basswork is either absent or nonexistent!!!

i’m a big mirella murray fan also…..can’t find a youtube clip where she is not surrounded by a cacophony of noise…..

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

There isn’t a 48 bass in existence that is decent quality, as I said it’s not just about having enough notes.

I actually think the Saltarelles are not great quality for the price, I think they’re way overpriced.

I also think that the reason some people don’t play much or any bass is because of it not suiting the other accompaniment that is going on, or because they don’t know how to play bass tastefully, they’ve just concentrated on learning tunes. This is a shame as they’re only playing half the instrument.

Listen to Karen Tweed, Martin Green, Phil Cunningham and you get the whole instrument. These players sometimes only play right hand but from choice, to fit in with arrangements. I think Mirella Murray and Alan Kelly are great players but just because they only play the right hand doesn’t mean we all should emulate them.

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

[Listen to Karen Tweed, Martin Green, Phil Cunningham and you get the whole instrument.]

True. What you do NOT get is traditional-sounding irish music. "The whole instrument" is exactly what is considered a nightmare when it comes to PA for traditional-sounding Irish music. These PA wizards are incredible musicians and composers, I have CDs by two of them, and fair play to them. However, if you are seeking ideas on how to achieve a traditional sound for irish music on PA, your aesthetic lodestars might be better sought elsewhere……….

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

[There isn’t a 48 bass in existence that is decent quality.]

This is still another point on which you are misinformed. On this page are photos and mp3s of a gorgeous 48 bass costing $3295.00 and for good reason. I would prefer it in 12 rather than 15 pounds, but it is superb. There is more than one other example out there. Really, now.


Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

The 48 Bass Ruben Weltmeister is an excellent instrument and the made in Germany!!

Re: 48 Bass Piano Accordion

Sorry but very late to this thread but just to clarify: I have several boxes including a Saltarelle — my main box however, is a 46 key/120 bass, four middle reed, custom made Beltuna.

All the best,