excalibur accordion

excalibur accordion

Did someones of you played or tried an Excalibur buttons accordion? I’ve seen some cheap ones on Jim Laabs. Don’t know if they are worth something though. Thanks!

Re: excalibur accordion

Did this hand of a lady come out of a lake holding one ?
"I wouldn’t trust anything some wet bird in the water gave to you." ( M Python, more or less.
I joke and digress.

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Strange ladies lying about in lakes, distributing accordians is no basis for a system of government.

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Excalibur? - sounds like they could be a bit sharp…….

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…and coming out of a lake - is that anything to do with their "wet" tuning?

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If you had one you could play "The Fisherman’s Hilt" and "The Sword in the Hand"…

Brian x

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I noticed those too - they are nice looking boxes — and priced very affordably -

I haven’t played one or heard one, but they look to be chinese boxes - so I would want to try before buying to verify that the fit and finish is ok —

I would want to check to see if the button height is not too high, that the button travel isn’t super far, that the buttons don’t disappear down the holes,

The reeds are probably decent for that price range - tuning is probably swingish

bellows would be stiff, but they would break in over time,

box is probably nice and light —

so as an affordable starter box it looks promising, but ideally you could try before you buy —

the seller does have a return policy, so if you get it and it’s a complete piece of junk you could always return it —

if you do decide to try one please report back here or at melodeon.net and let us know what you thought —

They are a handsome looking box — they remind me of my Irish Dancemaster which was a great box -

Re: excalibur accordion

Based in Steven’s Point Wisconsin, USA. Details indicate that the boxes are made in Castelfidardo Italy. Their wood "Craftsman" box (stepped keyboard, G/C) is identical to my Guistozzi which is a Castelfidardo box.

The box, ironically named the ‘Guadalajara 2" seems to be the only B/C, flat keyboard which would make it usable for ITM. It is an acrylic housing box. with the demountable face plate, it must be designed to imitate the Paolos (especially the one in red)

Standard tuning is musette. So It must be an Italian Box LOL

Re: excalibur accordion

Actually, I will step back from the previous assessment. Since I am in the market for a new accordion, I did some quick ‘idiot-checking’ and may have drawn conclusions in my earlier post that don’t necessarily check. I could be wrong, but there seems to be some unasnwered questions.

It appears that the excaliburs are sold through something called Jim Laabs Music Super Store of Stevens Point. They get mixed reviews on several musicians websites, though the Better Business Bureau rated them at an A minus (truth in advertising, they also had several reports at ripoffreports.com) So who knows where the truth lies there.

Be that as it may, a number of sources suggest that this may be a third party contractual/fabrication arrangement and that excalibur is a Laabs Super Store ‘house brand’. Appears to be alot of confusion over what/where/how the accordions are made. But China appears in the mix. One website suggested that some parts are made in the Ranco factory.

Excalibur does not seem to have separate Stevens Point address. Several sources indicated it that their address is the Laab store.

The thing that troubles me though is the number of instruments being sold through an out fit called musical instrument auctions. They are auctioning alot of the Excalibur concertinas.

My sense on this one is to proceed with caution. It is certainly no one of the main line button box manufacturers. The website is slick but short on detail. And the instrument descriptions, voicing descriptions and such are minimal.

An old Polish nun once told me If something seems to be too good to be true, check it out. And at the prices I’ve seen for the Excaliburs, they don’t jive with the reality of the weak dollar and Euro exchange rates if one accepts they are Italian made.

Thought I would share some of my checking. If I find a link to the auction site I will post

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Hmm…not too expensive which indicates to me they aren’t made in Europe, or North America.
If it were me buying I would push the boat out and go for an Italian made box, Paolo, or Dino or Castagnari but which would probably be at more than twice the price of those.

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I’ve called them (Jim Laabs) this afternoon trying to find out why the same accordion was about $140.00 cheaper on ebay. Off course they didn’t know. And no one could try one over the phone so I could have a little idea of the sound. I don’t think it’s a good deal. It reminds me of the "Hohner Ariette" which has a not too bad sound, but the mechanics let go very soon.

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The commentary I read about these boxes was strange. On of the comments specifically went to a problem with a box and inability to get it resolved which suggests that the vendor is more of a middleman. All sales-no service. If the cheap price is worth the risk I can’t speak to that.

But another comment I saw said that the action was made in italy, but the box was manufactured in China. The specification that the box use Dural reeds was also called into question.

Sounds like entry level quality. Get a year out of it before it breaks or you get tired of it and drop for a better box. Cost risk is not toooo painful in normal times, but in this economy one does not want to practise false economy.

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sounds good advice to me 1

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I bought an excelsior (or excalibur) veracruz three row ADG button box about three months ago and it plays almost identically to my teacher’s Castiglione Italian professional model. I bought mine in the store after trying it out. The button action was good (buttons didn’t go too far down/ didn’t need to press hard to get the notes to sound), the bellows were a little stiff, but have since broken in, the reeds were fairly good sounding (at least compared to what I had before), and the tuning was a little bit wet. In the store, they told me that the whole inside of the box was made in Italy (probably Castelfidardo) and the whole outside of the box was mad in China. So, for their price, they are a fairly good box for intermediate folks. The only "qualm" I had about buying from them is that I did get the "all sales-no service" feeling from some of their staff.

Re: Rip off!!!!!!! Jim Laabs Music

I wouldn’t buy a guitar pick from Jim Laabs Music if I lived across the street from them. The owner’s son (Troy Laabs) is a complete jerk. They don’t know accordions at all. They sell a lot of instruments on eBay.

I bought an Excalibur (pianobox) online from their store and it was the biggest mistake of my entire life. Their return policy should give you a big clue to what you’re dealing with. Wish I’d checked it out myself before I ordered it.

I spoke with their accordion repair guy on the phone. Told me he’s quit many times doing repairs for them because of Troy’s temper & attitude. The only reason he does their repairs now is for the kids in the area. The repair man doesn’t work @ Jim Laabs music, that is why they have trouble answering many of your questions. I got burnt for around $1500, but I have a nice looking boat anchor to show for it.

Go with the Dance Master model, the guy builds them himself and knows what he’s talking about instead of some wannabe’s. I get upset just thinking of the Jim Laabs name.

I won’t get into all the problems of the Excalibur box (too many to mention) bottom line, it’s unplayable mainly because of the mechanisms.

You’ve been forewarned my friend.

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Yeah, I’ve heard that Troy is a jerk.

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Confirming on the DanceMasters. Michael, the IrishDancemaster, made them himself. Unfortunatley last time I exchanged notes with him he was developing his line of single row melodeons, and new 2 row boxes were not in the production schedule.

Sad, because I have seen/heard/played a few of the Dancemasters and they are excellent instruments. Made in Florida, USA. I like keeping my money in the States (I know. I am a ‘homer’ that way)

Michael is a master of reeds and has done work for me on one of my boxes. I can give him nothing but the highest references.

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there are a lot of nice irish boxes on ebay right now or over on melodeon.net — buy an Irish box from someone who plays ITM and you know you’re going to get a box intended for ITM —

several nice hohners out on ebay right now - b/c and c#/d

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Hi guys.
Well, this afternoon I answered my question by myself. I phoned a friend who bought an Excalibur Warsaw 2 from Jim Laabs. First of all it took 5, yes 5 month to receive it. Second, it’s suposed to be a G C, but the reeds on the C row are all mixed up. The push is the pull and the pull is the push. He’s trying to sell it with no luck, off course. It’s a very cute little accordion he says, but they put everything on the outside. I’m not touching that.
I’ve contacted the Dancemaster guy and he’s gonna take my Hohner G/C and convert it to B/C. At last I’m getting a B/C.