Andover, Hampshire – accordion and melodeon repair and tuning. Also restored melodeons and accordions for sale . Near to Berkshire, Wiltshire, Oxford, Bucks, Surrey, West Sussex and Dorset.
My name is Roger Thomas and this is my accordion tuning and repair service. I repair piano and button accordions (also known as melodeons and diatonic accordions) and restore old accordions to get them back to a playable condition.
You are welcome to visit my workshop (by appointment) either to try any accordion I have for sale or to bring your instrument for an estimate. Or we can chat by ‘phone, email, instant message, Skype, or in any way that best suits you. My workshop is just north of Andover, in North West Hampshire, England. In fact it is centrally located for counties adjacent to Hampshire, particularly Berkshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Bucks and West Sussex. I’m not that far from Dorset either.
Estimating the cost of repairs
I normally give a low/high estimate, based on time and materials. For while-you-wait repairs please see my guide to costs. If you haven’t come to me in person, your instrument can be posted/couriered to me or I can collect/drop-off within an hour’s drive from Andover. I accept all major debit and credit cards.
You can contact me here.
Accordion maintenance – tuning and repair
Here are some of the things I can do (and here is a link to my workshop page):
- Fix notes not sounding properly, or silent keys, or sounding out of tune – free stuck reed tongues, replace valves or reeds or (possibly) the wax seal, plus necessary tuning.
- Tuning – I can bring your instrument back into tune or alter the tuning to suit your requirements. Accordions go out of tune over time and with heavy use (though this time is measured in years, unlike a piano which may go out of tune in weeks).
- Fix stuck or misaligned keys or registers or air buttons.
- Repair impact damage (if the accordion has been dropped or left to roll around in the boot of a car).
- Replace missing parts e.g. bass feet, fixing screws etc.
- ‘declubbing’ – Club layout conversions for melodeons.
- Replace pallet leather and bellows gasket.
Restoration of vintage accordions
- Getting an old or used accordion back to working condition may involve a partial or (possibly) a full of the reeds, and quite often some attention to the operation of the keys and the pallets: the pallets are air valves that control the flow of air in and out of the bellows and through the reeds. Some models of Hohner Atlantic, for instance, need their pallet pads replaced where the foam has decayed.
- A reed overhaul normally entails removing and cleaning reed plates (with ultrasound), replacement of damaged reeds, valve replacement, refit (often with wax) and tuning.
- Tuning is a two stage process: analysis of the existing tuning scheme; tune to required sound.
- Bellows repairs – where bellows tape has been worn through, this can be replaced, though this is a time consuming and therefore relatively expensive job. If the bellows leak, repairs can be made internally or the gasket is easily (and cheaply) replaced. For old accordions it is sometimes better just to replace the bellows, which I have custom made either in Italy or Slovakia.
I am happy to talk to you about your accordion (or about accordions in general) – either if you need repair or tuning work, or if you are looking for more general advice on accordions. They are fascinating instruments and it can be very confusing if you are just starting out!
I carry out accordion repairs on behalf of Hogan Music in Newbury as well as selling accordions I have restored. Formal training for accordion repair and tuning is hard to come by in the UK – so my career was kick-started after I restored a variety of instruments and built a button accordion with master accordion designer and builder Emmanuel Pariselle (see him here playing two concertinas at once). I have received training from Paul Flannery, the in-house accordion tech at The Music Room in Cleckheaton, and also had a lot of advice and help from expert repairer and tuner Theo Gibb.