I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say a *huge* thank you for all your advice and help, and for taking so much time to talk me through the various options. The Marie Nicole arrived safely on Wednesday. It’s a really extraordinary instrument. The sheer range of tones and dynamics that I can get out of it – from a murmur and purr, to a big ringing choral sound, to punchy bouncy Morris-y stuff – is just amazing; I’m only now starting to realise how one-dimensional my Pokerwork was! Up to now I’ve pretty much been taking the bellows action for granted; suddenly a whole new world of different dynamics and tonalities has opened up. I learned The Abbess a few weeks back, but it sounded crap on the Pokerwork; on the Marie Nicole, it’s like a different tune altogether. The action is incredibly smooth, and it’s just a complete joy to play. Thank you so much again!
I love my new Marie Nicole accordion! It's beautiful, sounds lovely, SO easy to play, and very fast. It's just the right size. The air button is effortless. The buttons are closer together than on my other small accordion but (after I get used to it) it will be a good thing. The straps are great, especially the cushy, fully adjustable left hand strap. Nice accordion.
Just to say that the melodeon arrived safely on Thursday, massive thanks for sorting out the marks and for making the whole purchasing experience enjoyable... I have played it today for be first time at the Swanage Folk Festival...
The castagnari Tommy arrived and I have had a play, I am well pleased over the moon. So many thanks, and I will know where to go when I need to get a castagnari. I will always recommend Acorn Instrument to others.
Many thanks for the excellent service, rapid delivery and patience over the lengthy email chain. Much appreciated.
It’s just arrived!! Chris has unpacked it and is thrilled with it. Thank you ......such excellent service, you’ve made an old melodeon player very happy. All those old Morris tunes and many more
Many thanks for an excellent service - the melodeon has arrived safe and sound. John
Just wanted to say a BIG thank you for the wonderful service we received when we came to buy my new melodeon. We felt perfectly safe and you gave me some good advice. I have been playing every day since we got home and love it. Thank you too for sending on the buckle protectors that I stupidly forgot.
On the lookout for 3row Castagnari after trawling through the internet of various suppliers round a Europe, I found Acorn Instruments. Unable to actually travel to see the instruments I was very uncertain if purchasing an instrument without actually handling it, was wise. However, after ‘umming and ahhing’ I sent various melodeon questions off to Pete at Acorn Instruments. I always received quick, knowledgeable, friendly answers from Pete, either by mail or phone. Made my decision to buy and three days later my lovely instrument arrived here in Sweden. I don’t think I could have found a more helpful, efficient and pleasant service elsewhere. I would definitely recommend those looking for new or ‘pre-loved’ boxes (I love that term by the way) to check Acorn Instruments. Definitely worth it.
I have now received the Tommys. They are really lovely. My previous was a C#/D Sandpiper. The action on the Tommy so much more lively and responsive and the tone sweeter. So, thank you for your excellent service and fast delivery. Best regards
Just a note to let you know that my new Castagnari Clovis came to my front porch via the local UPS guy shortly after dinner on Thursday evening. I immediately unpacked the instrument and gave it a go….. I couldn’t be more pleased! It’s everything I had hoped in terms of sound, playability, looks and quality. I’ve played it for several hours today (Friday) and it’s so fun and responsive it’s difficult to set it down and get on with other things. Kudos to you and the folks at Castagnari for bringing me a very fine new instrument!
Terrific service Pete! I'll definitely be sharing my positive experience with other Aussies looking to buy a Castagnari in the future.
Morning Pete, never has spending money been so enjoyable, many thanks for your time and patience, and expert knowledge, and great coffee, Best wishes
Hi Pete, I would like to say thanks for the service that you provided for me while I was deciding what melodeon to buy next! During the course of two visits, you have given me over 5 hours of your time and have let me try numerous melodeons. I really appreciate that. I realise that it is your business, but not everyone offers the same level of service. Thanks for keeping the Big 18 for me. I also appreciate your offer of an extended guarantee. I had a nice stay at the Inn at South Stainley, where the staff are so friendly, and it was a pleasant drive home. I am pleased with my decision to buy the Big 18 and I've played it a fair bit during the weekend. It looks superb! There's a nice balance between the treble keyboard and the bass/chord notes. However, I also like the sound of my Benny and I look forward to getting it refurbished and retuned. I'll be in touch with Theo shortly, but thanks for your assistance with this matter as well. Look forward to seeing you at Hawes. Many thanks.
Hello Pete The Jilly arrived safely yesterday - collected late pm. Can I give you my thoughts to date, hopefully not sounding pompous or a know-it-all - just that after 40 + years of regular dance band, morris and song and far more melodeons bought and sold than is decent, I've a fair idea of what I like!! Quite the most beautiful casework I've seen - exquisite detail in the fretwork - it's really 'special' for that alone and sits well with my love of the intricacies of anglo-concertina ends. I found it a bit heavier than I expected, but better than my beloved Nuage. Playability is first rate, as you said, from quietly subtle to pretty loud, although the Mike Rowbotham tuning on the Nuage slightly trumps it on overall perceived volume on 2 voices (but it has Binci Professional reeds). I found its response and air conservation much better than most other Castagnaris I've tried (and owned), it made it easier to play a melodeon test piece I use (Radstock tune) to check-out whether an instrument and I will 'bond'!! Like most Castagnaris, it has a clean sound and there's no disparity in the balance between bass and treble and so far I haven't noticed any real difference between the tonal quality and volume between the D and G rows - no doubt helped by the fretwork on the keyboard and front face. It plays as fast as your fingers (to pinch someone else's sales pitch!) and that's brilliant - a slight touch of the button gives the note, so no missed trills or cross-rows and suddenly I feel a better player, now what more could I ask of my instrument? So it's a great dance box for my taste - congratulations on a splendid design job and the creation of a 'thing of beauty' which lives up to that promise when played. Yes, I shall keep it, of course. Best regards and thanks for your excellent service
Hi Pete, I just wanted to say how pleased I am with the Jilly, it really is quite something! I thought I’d send you my thoughts which you can use on your website if that’s of any use. The Jilly. Having been looking for a 2 voice instrument for a while, I saw a picture of the Jilly on the Melodeon.net website and decided I’d commit to buying it. I’ve been playing the Jilly for a few days now and am amazed. Though the same size as my 3 voice Hascy it is lighter, as I expected. I was not expecting it to sound the way it does. It has a crispness and precision to the sound I was quite unprepared for. I can play every note with expression, giving me the ability to play passages with light, dark, loud or soft touches. There is a crispness to the sound without it being harsh and it can be played in a whisper or loudly according to your choice. The casework is immaculate, stunning in Maple with black furniture, just classic Castagnari loveliness. The keyboard action is light and responsive to the slightest of touches, it just flies! All in all this is a stunning melodeon, and congratulations to Pete at Acorn for creating his vision. These are my thoughts, please feel free to use anything that you feel is of use. Um….. I think I like it J Best wishes
Hi Pete   Melodeon arrived today, very happy with it, was exactly as described. I would certainly buy from you again.   Many thanks and all the best
Pete! Lilly has arrived, so well packed too, so thanks for a great service, I am very pleased and putting it together. It will be out playing on Friday night!!! Will give lots of recommendations!!
Feedback from a customer in Australia: Hi Pete The items I bought from you arrived safely today and I'm very happy with them. Impressed with the fingerboard. Many thanks 
Feedback from a customer in Hungary - Dear Pete,   Thank you, the bag arrived yesterday, and it's a perfect fit. Not to mention the fact that it arrived in a mere 3 days. Great service, and product, thanks! 
I've recently bought both a melodeon and a gigbag from Acorn. The combination of the website which allows me to see what is on offer and a clear "contact us" tab with a clear phone number is very effective. On so many sites the contact us tab is hidden and it takes an age to find the telephone number. Clearly the expectation is that all contact will be via the site and not via a human being.  In Acorn's case that is thankfully not the case as Pete is very helpful, very knowledgeable and very efficient.  The website is clear, easy to navigate. Can't fault it.
Hi Pete, the Tommy has arrived safe and sound. The quality seems to be a step up from previous examples I've tried from previous decades so I am absolutely delighted and look forward to playing it in.
Hi Pete – just a quickie to say that 4 weeks on I'm bowled over by the Artisan, can't put it down. I reckon its done about 100 hours already, and has impressed wherever I play it, the tone is fabulous now it's loosening up a bit. Did the Burns night at Skipton Folk Club using it and the Pigini (not simultaneously!) along with 2 pals on harp and whistles – unusual combination but much to the (large) audience's surprise it worked brilliantly to say we were a "scratch" team.
I've just had my '92 Castagnari Rik tuned, overhauled and fitted with a stop on the bass end to remove the thirds. It now sounds as good as the day I bought it and handles like a dream. Acorn Instruments provide a friendly, courteous and individually tailored service to suit all possible requirements. Highly recommended.
I promised Pete I'd post a little note about how I got on with his rucksack; headline is that it did a very, very good job - in fact, I'm not sure I could have coped without it.
I took my Mory on a week long trip to an international traditional dance festival in Sarvar, Hungary; which involved lots of walking around (no tour bus for us!) and if you're going to be lugging a Mory around, having it in a hard case and carrying it one hand for that sort of time is a sure recipe for nasty shoulder and arm injury. With the backpack it was on my back very comfortably - in fact, I was pretty much unaware of its weight when walking - can't do better than that.
During the week it survived 36+C heat, and torrential downpours with no problem at all. Obviously, it's not as rugged as a hard case, but it's certainly stronger than my existing backpack with plenty of padding, and crucially, extra padded feet for the bottom of it when you put it down. Unlike a hard case of course, you can take it on a plane as cabin baggage.
In terms of fit, perfect for a Mory. Not too big, not too small, no straining to close the zip.
In summary, yes, glad I got it - a good piece of kit, and meant carrying the Mory around was something I didn't have to worry about.
On the back of Clive's road test, I've got one from Pete, and very nice it is too!
I have a Hascy, which is a 2 row and a little smaller than the Mory, but there's not a lot in it. The Hascy is lighter but the dimensions are very similar.
It currently has a standard Castagnari case and it is very snug in it. I have so far only ever taken it to my local session as I only have to carry the case form car to pub. I did take it out on a morris tour ( by bus ) and the case nearly pulled out my arms.
Now I have a back pack it gives the the option of packing it around on my back should I wish too.
It's black cordura, anonymous so no blazing labels signifying it could be a musical instrument. The zips go all round the edge enabling you to fully unzip the front so the box doesn't have to be lowered in. The zips are very substantial.
It has little plastic serrated strips for feet on the bottom to raise it out of the wet, and on the inside a plastic layer to stop rising damp. The front has an A4 size zipped pocket for music etc.
At the top it has a snap buckle to doubly secure the front, so if a calamity happened and the zip failed, it should prevent the box from spilling onto the floor. I always look for this belt and braces approach, as it would break my heart if a box fell when I was carrying it. The top also has a double carrying handle should you wish to move it around rather than back pack it.
Now all I need is the festival season to re-start so I can try it out properly!
I now have one of Pete's bags for my Fazzy. It's 12 bass, and a tiny bit bigger than the Hascy, but it fits perfectly.
These bags are beautifully made, in Italy, and the quality is incomparable to any I've ever owned before. Really thick padding, beautifully sewn seams, all piped for extra strength, very heavy zip, and a lovely big lump of stainless zip pill. Good quality rucksack straps with expedition quality fittings. This bag isn't going to break!!
Thanks Pete, for the extra trouble you went to, arranging a PX, and getting the bag to me, with a return for my hard case. Great service.
Great service! We discussed the Giordy over the phone on Saturday, the carrier collected it from you on Monday and delivered it to me on Tuesday afternoon, and on Tuesday evening it made its session debut! There were several box players at the session who all tried out the Giordy and were very impressed --- responsive, sweet sounding and less hungry for air than I'd expected.
Thank you so much for all your time last Sunday, and all the trouble you took to come and visit us at the show with the melodeons. And I loved Jill's playing too. It has made the purchase of a Castagnari a really pleasurable experience. I just need to knuckle down now to some practice and do the box justice!!
My fingerboard arrived safely this morning, its an excellent job and I am delighted with it ,I shall certainly be buying a couple of others in the future to replace worn and ill fitting ones on some of my instruments.