The start made Mr. Rockstroh of Carlsfeld in 1997, producing a handmade bandoneon. It was tuned by Dieter Seidel, former tuner of the Arnold factory after the war. With this prototype he could demonstrate to own the necessary know how for building instruments. However, in this case the heart of the instrument, the reed boards, are still original Alfred Arnold's. I had the opportunity to play this instrument and I must say, that besides some necessary mechanical improvements, the sound is quite close to the original.
- view of Rockstroh's instrument from the bass side
- view of Rockstroh's instrument from the treble side
A further trial was made by Uwe Hartenhauer
of Klingenthal, the big accordion center near Carlsfeld, and who is bandoneon serviceman since a long time, skilled enough to direct a future bandoneon manufacture. Uwe Hartenhauer went to Buenos Aires and Montevideo contacting professional bandoneonists and possible future customers exploring the commercial possibilities.
He noticed the few potential customers would not ensure a fluid
production. The actual professionals do not
need additional instruments and the youngsters don't have the money
for new ones. The needed investment for tools and
equipment would raise to about 1 million Deutsche Mark (about 570 000 us$ at
Only one tool for one single of the 15 different reeds is about 5000 us$
worth. This would require selling 500 instruments a year to achieve
a reasonable price. Using reeds from other providers could circumvent
this inconvenience. Or, for at least to demonstrate the sound quality,
make the reeds by hand.
Finally, on February 2002, a new octave tuned 142 voice model with zinc
reed boards was made using the traditional techniques.
It was presented at the
Frankfurter Musikmesse on March 13 - 17th at Halle 1.2 Stand E 37.
In parallel a sponsored project of the Vogtländischer Förderverein für Musikinstrumentenbau und Innovation e.V. became public on October 7th 2000, on occasion of the annual Carlsfeld Bandoneon Meeting, where two newly made pupil instruments were presented. They were built by specialists of the Institut für Musikinstrumentenbau Zwota applying the know how of the previous mentioned HARMONA factory. The keyboard design of the 110 voices is based on the Einheitsbandonion, permitting thus to be used by local young pupils like at the introduction ceremony.
In spite of the used aluminum reeds, the sound of the new instruments
is quite promising.
A short sound check was particularly pleasant for the treble side of the
smaller of the both specimen.
Images of the new instruments:
- bass side view of the larger specimen
- treble side view of the larger specimen
- front view of the larger specimen
- bass side view of the pupil's instrument
- front view of the pupil's instrument
- view of the bass reed chamber block of the pupil's instrument
- view of the bass mechanics of the pupil's instrument