The sound of Slavko and Vilko Avsenik’s ensemble (Slo: Ansambel bratov Avsenik, Ger: Slavko Avsenik und seine Original Oberkrainer) had many moving parts that contributed to the legendary sound which evolved throughout their career spanning from the 1950s to the 1990s. Technique, band members, advancements in sound engineering, arrangements by Vilko Avsenik and combinations of instruments evolved with each album and each decade. This includes the evolution of each accordion that Slavko Avsenik recorded and performed with.
In 2013 I wrote about my experience with Lanzinger Harmonikas. I provided screenshots of emails and timelines, but it was lengthy and opinionated. After the passing of the company’s founder I reflected and removed those articles.
In my career so far as a software developer, I have learnt the value of transparency and honesty with clients. This has a great impact on a company’s reputation and clients’ trust in a company. Even in the face of challenges. Hoping that Lanzinger Harmonikas and other companies can learn from their mistakes, and for the benefit of people in the market for a new accordion, I’d like to offer a clear summary of what happened, and what I learnt.
When I started my search for a piano accordion with a typical Slovenian (Oberkrainer) sound (see Avsenik, Alpenoberkrainer, etc), I had no idea what to look for. Further information was hard to obtain through research of my own, so I had to turn to contacts from central Europe who were happy to explain what they use and what makes the sound that we know and love (as well as using Google Translate on German and Slovenian accordion forums).
I hope the following information can assist anyone who is looking for that sound and not sure where to start, particularly outside of central Europe where it is difficult to find this information in English. Please note this also applies for chromatic button accordions.
This is a list of resources I’ve compiled for learning and finding a Slovenian or Austrian diatonic button accordion, targeted to those who live outside of central Europe, where it can be difficult to find the resources and assistance to get started with it. I’ve been asked a few times for help on how to get started, what instrument to get and where to buy one, so I hope this can assist others wanting to take up this instrument.
After researching methods to clean metal accordion grills without successfully finding an easy and not so risky approach (commonly discussed methods included having to remove the grill cloth then using a metal polish such as Brasso), a fellow accordionist recommended the Mayflower Metal Care Cloth which apparently can be used on your accordion’s grill without affecting the grill cloth underneath.