Squeeze Box Repairs


Repairs at HMT
Repair work will only go ahead with your approval, and we guarantee all our repairs.

More info on these and other subjects: The Pretty Complete Guide to Squeezeboxes (links to our old website)

Accordion Repair Information & Policies

Currently, HMT does not have an accordion expert on staff but many of us have bits of knowledge and will do our best to help you, so don't hesitate to contact us.

We work with two repair shops in the area:

  • Joe Fertitta handles minor repairs, no tuning. A $60 minimum bench fee is charged for evaluation. This fee gets absorbed into repair costs if you proceed with repairs.

  • Busso Music handles major repairs/restorations and tuning. Due to several factors, turnaround time for major repairs can be several months; it may also take several weeks for an estimate to be completed. There is no charge for the estimate, however.

    At this time we are not accepting shipped accordions for repair; you must drop off and pick up in person.

     

    Accordion Repairs and Old Accordions

    Considering the purchase of a used accordion? Better read here first!

    Almost all older accordions are in need of varying degrees of repair. Their keys and buttons are usually noisy, some of the keys may be misaligned, and many of the reeds may not be speaking properly. In the case of very old piano accordions, an overhaul is usually called for, including a keyboard leveling, a full retuning, new leathers, and rewaxing of the reed plates - the shelflife of reed wax is only about 30 years. This is not cheap because it takes a great deal of time - a big repair job might require as much as 20 hours of work. Sometimes it's worth it and sometimes it's not.

    Hidden Problems

    A cautionary note to those who are considering the purchase of a used accordion, especially at auction: many potential problems can be hidden, and are not necessarily audible at the exact moment you try out the accordion. To be safe, it is best to purchase from a reputable dealer, to purchase a reconditioned accordion, or to have the accordion checked out first by a technician. If this is not possible, just be aware of the risks involved. See information under Concertina Repairs, some of which is also relevant to accordions.

    You should not expect to be able to find a very old accordion of any kind that will give you consistently trouble-free service, unless it has been overhauled.
    If you need a reliable instrument for the long haul, you should either be looking at new instruments, or well-maintained good quality instruments no more than 15 years old, or be prepared to invest whatever it takes, perhaps as much as $1000, in overhauling an old accordion. The alternative is to be trudging into the repair shop every couple of months, every time yet another reed, or key, or button, or valve, or bellows seal, develops a problem.

    Customers frequently walk into our shop with lovely old accordions, moldy and corroded, that have been living, neglected for years, in a damp basement or musty attic. In many of these cases the cost of repairs would far exceed the value of the instrument. However, repair estimates are free, and you are always welcome at HMT, especially if you have an interesting antique to show us.

    If you are wondering if you can do some of the repairs yourself, you may want to check out our Accordion Parts & Supplies.

    Routine Maintenance

    Even if an accordion is not obviously in need of repairs, it should go into the repair shop for a maintenance checkup at least every couple of years. Professionals with heavy touring schedules often do this annually. The technician will give it a thorough cleaning and lubrication as necessary, inspect the action, the leathers and the wax, touch up the tuning if necessary, look for potential problems, and be in a position to correct them before they turn into major expensive repairs. It is a wise investment in the health of your instrument.

    Concertina Repairs

    Our local accordion repair shop can handle most minor concertina repairs. For more extensive jobs and work on value antique/handmade instruments, we recommend the Button Box (buttonbox.com) in Massachusetts. Be prepared for a wait, as their services are very much in demand, and for prices commensurate with their level of expertise, competence, and uncompromising professionalism.

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