Salterelle Bouebe

Salterelle Bouebe

I finally took the plunge and bought myself a Salterelle Bouebe B/C for Christmas. I’ts very hard to put down and the full-sized open stepped keyboard is the nicest I’ve played so far. The reeds are playing in nicely and I can’t believe that a box this good could cost so (relatively) little.

Does anyone else out there use this particular model?

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Re: Salterelle Bouebe


I’ve been umming and ahhing about buying a Rivage for months, but have heard so many conflicting reports about reed quality and them going out of tune quickly.

Mind you, the Rivage’ll set me back about five grand….

Hope you have many years of happy playing with it.

Re: Salterelle Bouebe

I think you ’ve been lucky to get one of a good series ! I’ve seen both : Bouebe hard to play, and tuning awkward, and other ones that sounded good. But maybe the general quality of Saltarelles has raised up. the experience I have is from 10 years ago. Enjoy then !

Re: Salterelle Bouebe

I had been considering a Bouebe, but will probably go after a Saltarelle Swift to get the extra reeds.

I played several new Bouebe’s over the past few months and found them easy to play and sounded gorgeous. But I decided to step up to the Swift to get more variety in reed settings.

I am playing a Connemara III which is a wonderful box that really holds its own and gives me a variety of reed capability. But I wanted to get a smaller/lighter box. Ascendant Old Fartism has lead me to consider something less strenuous on the back.

Re: Salterelle Bouebe


My box teacher John Williams plays a Rivage. His is a great instrument. I assume though that it was a custom made box for him, so i don’t know how it compares with newer models.

I can only dream about those. Herself is just coming to terms with the idea of a new Swift at bit more than half the price of the Rivage.

Re: Salterelle Bouebe

LOL zippy,

The reason I’m fixated on a Rivage is watching clips of John’s playing on YouTube! He has the best left hand in the business in my humble opinion, so I’m keen to get that setup.

I was hoping to buy one from him, as I’d heard he checks the tuning on instruments he sells, but he wasn’t keen to ship to Australia unfortunately.

You’re a lucky man to be able to learn from him - if I could play half as well I’d die contented 🙂


Re: Salterelle Bouebe

You are right on the money. On his basses, he uses a custom arrangement on his 12 button bass boxes. But as i am learning in considering the Swift, he also has a version of the 12 button arrangement for the 8 button bass instruments that lets him do the things he can do.

Also, his Rivage has all of these neat little slide couplers (Being an organist I think in those terms) which let him change reed settings on the fly with his right thumb.

It has been a wonderful experience with him. The mental independence JW has between his right and left hands is something to behold. Very humbling for those of us less coordinated. And he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

Re: Salterelle Bouebe

Salterelles certainly vary a lot

I owned an Irish Bouebe several years ago and found it hard to play because of its stiff bellows, stiff reeds and stiffer key springs. These features were especially problematic because I was a beginner, but I doubt I would have liked it now. I traded it for a Cairdin

before buying the Bouebe I considered other Salterelle options such as nuage and connemara III but decided to save the thick end of £uk2 and still get the distinctive salterelle sound from a light and simple instrument that I could easily set up for myself

I hardly ever use the third voice on my Tommy so didnt think the extra weight and cost of salterelle’s 3 reed boxes was necessary

the Bouebe’s just the right weight and cost for taking out to sessions

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Re: Salterelle Bouebe

I am beginning to appreciate weight as a consideration.

Also, I I looking at going to demi-swing tuning.

This must be what old age starts looking like!