Morelli [Chinese] Button Accordion - 31 treble / 12 bass buttons

Another example of how the air vent on a 3-row accordion can be modified to improve air flow volume during bellows "gulps".  A 3-row accordion with 3 reed sets requires a huge volume of air, and the factory vent opening offers way too much resistance. As I have mentioned (elsewhere), when I get a new (or used) 3-row, one of the first things I do is plan to increase the dimensions of the intake port by a factor of 2 or 3x.  To make the modification, I first custom make an over-sized air valve and then draw the outline of the large valve at the location of the existing air vent.  Then I use slow-speed drills to make overlapping holes that all fit inside the outlined valve space.  Finally, I use low-speed Dremel and hand tools to carve out the circle "points" left from making the holes, and smooth the inside edges of the opening to reduce unwanted turbulence and the noise it would produce.  Many TexMex (Tejano, Norteño, etc.) accordionists sacrifice all the bass reeds to open all the bass buttons as vent holes.   I completely understand performers who give up the bass reeds, but I would be lost without them.

Note of caution:  This is not a modification you should try unless you have good experience working with accordions and making parts from scrap.  The materials I use for making the oversize valves (German "Klapper") are available from the local Hobby store.  These include spruce plywood, soft leather, thin foam rubber sheets, and assorted glues.  Remember, any hole you make that connects the inner air chamber with the outside world must be sealed for the instrument to have proper compression.

Decorations:  The "jeweling" on the exterior of this box was done by me.  It does nothing to improve the sound or playability, but it definitely makes the instrument look special and pretty.  Good looks never hurt any accordion.

More caution:  These Morelli accordions have been advertised and sold on Ebay as "hard to find", "rare", and "by Italian Engineering".  After over a year of selling these instruments on the web, those Ebay auctioneers continue to claim that they were able to obtain "just a very few" of them.  My point?  Be careful when dealing with anyone who takes such liberties with the truth.  To be sure, they are inexpensive (as accordions go), but by my experience with them, there is little quality control on the boxes, and they are only suitable as toys unless you are able to have a good tuner-techinician go over them.  I enjoy playing this particular Morelli, but I sent it to a very capable and skilled accordion craftsman who completely re-tuned the instrument and also re-aligned many components such as reeds and linkages.  My thanks and appreciation to Michael at Irish Dancemaster Accordions in Bradenton, Florida.  \korbo

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