How limiting is the responsiveness of a B/C box?
Some background: I’ve been working on B/C accordion as my secondary instrument for a while now, and while I continue to make progress, I never seem to be able to achieve the smoothness I want. I can always emphasize the heavy beats when I want to, but I find that the bellows changes in the middle of a phrase results in emphasis where I don’t want it. Frustratingly, I can’t seem to smooth those changes out. Peter Carberry (whose playing made me want to learn B/C in the first place) seems to be able to only emphasize exactly those notes that he wants to regardless of bellows changes, so it must be possible. Hell, Joe Burke (God rest him) seems to be able to play without emphasizing any notes whatsoever.
My instrument is a second hand, older (i.e. made in Germany) Hohner Erica. I’ve never played a fancy box like a Castagnari or Saltarelle, so I don’t really have anything to compare mine to. However, I wonder from time to time if my difficulties achieving the smoothness I want are compounded by learning on a not-so-responsive instrument. Obviously a good instrument will not make a bad player good, a good player can play a bad instrument well, and good bellows control is a critical skill that can only come with time and practice. That said, I want to ask the more experienced B/C players here: when it comes to B/C box, is having a highly responsive instrument essential (or maybe just more important than with other instruments) to playing smoothly? Will an especially unresponsive box limit how smooth you can play B/C more so than on other instruments? Can even the most unresponsive box be Joe Burke levels of smooth in the hands of a good player, and I just need to keep practicing?