Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Hello there!

I’m a Chromatic Button Accordion player. I do have a compact model now, 120 bass 2 voice, very light, but very old too, and I want to buy a new wooden one… I have been searching and contrasting some models and brands. And my final choice is between Castagnari and Serenellini.

Best said, between Castagnari magica K3 5 rows - http://www.castagnari.com//index.php?strparam=&language=uk&sz=301&id=57

And Serenellini 373 MW - http://www.serenellini.com/chromatic-standard.aspx

Both are lovely wooden models, and same voices…
Does anyone here have any experience with these two models, or the brand? Quality of sound, how quick is the keyboard… What would be your choice?

Thanks!
Albert

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Serenellini would be my choice. In a way, it is a sort of a lighter version of the Paolo Sopraini, but without the couplers. The sound is quite good, much better than a castagnari.

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Castagnari is as far as I have heard, the better "factory produced" brands. If you want better than a Castagnari you need a custom order like van der Aa.
Kincora/Paddy Clancy and Cairdin offer great quality as well but I don’t believe they have a three row.

By all means though, go to a shop and see what you like best, you might not be fond of the sound of a particular accordion.

Posted by .

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Those are the five row, not three row boxes, common in Eastern Europe and Scandanavia.

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Thank you very much for your opinions. I’m looking for a 5 row chromatic button accordion. I’d love to play diatonic, in fact I tried, but too difficult!

have you tried the serenellini michael dineen?

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Totally messed up there, sorry! My eyes saw a three row instead of a chromatic.

I haven’t tried the chromatics, I own a Castagnari two row myself, the Serenellini in the shop was not quite as responsive for me. According to the owner this was because the Castagnari was made out of one piece and had better quality reeds.

Posted by .

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

sounds like nonsense to me.

What was made out of one piece of what? Was it 3D-printed? Shopkeepers say the strangest things. This sounds stranger than most

Posted by .

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

He said, that for Castagnari’s; the cases on each side are made out of one piece of wood instead of five pieces glued together. It didn’t sound too much like bs to me.

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Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Muinin. Yes. I have a serenellini, and they are a great box.

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

That is a pretty strange explanation. How nimbly an accordion responds is governed by several factors including the gap distance between the tongues and the sides of the reed plates, the height of the tongues above the plates, the soundness of the rivet, the flatness of the valves, and the integrity of other gaskets, felts, slides, couplers that should be airtight. Response is also affected by the grade of reeds that the accordion has been fitted with, and how many sets of reeds it has. Higher grades (a mano, tipo a mano) are made to tighter tolerances and generally respond quicker, but setup is still required to set the tongues at an ideal height above the plate. Accordions with four sets of reeds will respond differently than an accordion with one or two sets of reeds. It is entirely possible that the accordion you played required a setup to bring it into comparable playing condition, and you would have had a different experience. I live in the United States where I’ve noticed a questionable attitude in *some* shops that seems to imply the owners believe the accordions will sell themselves, so they don’t bother doing the setup work prior to the sale. Either that or they don’t bother doing it for the instrument on the sales floor, and then ask an extra charge for it when you buy it. Even new accordions often need a setup right out of the box.

The accordion’s case construction, whether solid wood or ply or aluminum, has a negligible effect on the sound and responsiveness of the accordion. Ideally, it should be as rigid and as light as possible which is why plywood or aluminum are often used. Aside from the requirement of being airtight, the case of the accordion really plays no role other than to provide rigidness to the face plate on which reed blocks are fixed. The more rigid the whole structure is, including the face plate, the case and the reed blocks, the more energy is transferred directly to the reed tongue and the more responsive and bright the sound is. This is addressed (with documentation) ad nausea on other forums.

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Just to clarify what my local shop said, this is what they meant:

"Once the wood is cut, from one block we obtain a single instrument, which we work by hand using the same techniques after almost a century."
http://www.castagnari.com/index.php?strparam=&language=uk&sz=200

And just to take away any doubt there. I went to a shop that doesn’t only sell accordeons, they also manage an accordeon museum and give excellent service. Accordeons enthousiasts first, commercial second. When my new box arrived straight from Italy they took the time to properly set up my accordion and it plays like a dream.
All I can say is, for the particular models I played the Castagnari had better action. Whether that is due to solid construction or better quality reeds doesn’t really matter to me.
Again though, I got no clue about their chromatic line so ymmv

Posted by .

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Translators can mangle anything. I suspect that what the makers mean is that all the wooden elements of the cabinet are taken from the same plank. Great for aesthetics, as the colour and the grain match. Any one who’s ever worked wood would smile at the idea of carving a whole accordion cabinet from a single block.

People who sell instruments usually don’t make them, and often don’t even know how to play them. Gravelwalks has said at length what I implied in my first post here.

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Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

pennhorse, what type of voices does the bourroche has?

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

"Any one who’s ever worked wood would smile at the idea of carving a whole accordion cabinet from a single block. "

You’re correct, if carved from a block of wood the cabinet would split after a short time due to shrinkage etc. it’s not the way to do cabinet making.

As you say they build the cabinet from one plank so that the grain matches ( probably the same with Serenellini and Salterelle) but it should have little effect on the sound.

Re: Castagnari Vs. Serenellini

Sorry Albert, I disappeared for a while. LMM, swing tuned.
All the best,
P.