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Buying a Used Accordion PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Accordions are fun instruments to play and, like all good quality instruments, they can be expensive to purchase.  Buying a used accordion can be a more sensible option, however there are important considerations that you need to be aware of.

As with any used item, you need to remember that someone is selling it for a reason.  There is a good chance that the used accordion is in need of some degree of repair.  Those used accordions being sold in music shops and advertised in the classified sections are usually old and probably not in great condition.  

Before buying a used accordion, pay special attention to the keys and buttons.  If they are noisy, misaligned or not speaking properly, you have a problem.   In this case, an overhaul is likely required.  The repairs can involve keyboard leveling, new leathers, a full retuning and re-waxing of the reed plates.  It's a big job that will carry a hefty price tag.  An accordion revival of this magnitude can take as many as twenty hours.  At a professional rate, that quickly adds up.

Don't expect that the old accordion that you find will provide trouble-free service for more than a year or two.  Unless the instrument has already been overhauled (which is very unlikely), you can expect to find problems with the used instrument.  
If you are looking for an instrument with lasting abilities, you should be in the market for a new instrument or one that has been well maintained and is no more than fifteen years old.  If your budget or intentions lead to an older accordion, be prepared to invest the money required to restore the instrument to its original sound and glory.  If you're not prepared to give your used accordion a complete overhaul, you can expect to make regular visits to the repair shops as problems arise.

An accordion is a precise instrument that is comprised of many intricate parts.  For this reason, your accordion should undergo a regular maintenance examination, whether it's presenting with obvious problems or not.  Even the busiest professional musicians will take time from their busy touring schedules for regular yearly accordion checkups.  During these routine maintenance sessions, the technicians will provide the accordion with a thorough cleaning and lubrication wherever required.  The "action" of the instrument will be closely examined, including wax and leathers.  The technician will also touch up the tuning, if necessary.  You can easily see how this level of service can be beneficial to your used accordion, and the quality of music you can make with it.

Buying a used accordion can be a way to save money.  However, if you end up sinking a lot of cash into repairs and restoration, it's no bargain at all.
 
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