Button Accordions

There’s always a lot of change in my button box room. Some leave some arrive. I will update this page frequently for those of you interested in button accordions. If you are interested in buying or loaning a box, just write me a mail carstensen.music@gmail.com

I will try to upload before/after soundfiles of restored boxes.

Paolo Soprani Jubilee IV, 4-voice (LMMM) B/C

My new box, bought in 2018. Always wanted one of those and finally managed to buy one. Comes with quite a bit of tremolo (+10ct) just the way it should be. Plays easy and has a full and rich sound.

Paolo Soprani Elite II, 4-voice (LMMM) B/C


THE classic. Not from the 50s though, but sounding great. A little bit heavy but I got used to it. I bought it secondhand with a rather flat tremolo but tuned it back to more wet tremolo which I firmly believe is exactly the way these red boxes should sound. Deal with it.

Castagnari Ciacy, 2-voice B/C


Used to be my main box for the past 20 years. Can be heard on most recordings I made. A little bit worn but still a stunning italian beauty.  I still like to play it every now and then even though I prefer the sound of boxes with more tremolo nowadays.

Dino Bafetti – 4 Voice  (MMMM), B/C 

Nice Dino Bafetti box that Moa found on ebay. A real bargain and in perfect condition. After I re-tuned it to remove the musette tuning, it became a really nice session box. Probably the loudest Box I have. When we play on Paddy’s day, this is the box of choice.

For Sale: Hohner, 2-Voice B/C, ~1950 ies

A super beautiful old Hohner box, that I bought in 2015 from someone who had it lying on his attic. I put in new TAM reeds and new feltpads to quieten down the keyboard. Everything not related to sound, I kept original.  The label mentions a classic music store in Hamburg (Detmering) and I like to imagine it being played in Hamburg’s infamous redlight district (reeperbahn) back in the old days. Who knows what it has seen and where it has been…

I played it quite a bit in the Amsterdam session, in particular I remember playing it in my first ever Amsterdam session.

Play Keogh's - Dom and Ole

Here’s a recording of me playing a Billy McComiskey tune, backed by Dominic Crosby in Amsterdam.

Delicia Popular, 2-Voice B/C


This is an old Delicia (made in the Czech Republik) I got from Nils & Verena. It was covered in red perloid and tuned G/C. I stripped off the perloid and put in TAM reeds. This box has more tremolo than the other boxes I play (except for the Paolo and the melodeon). The sound is surprisingly full and rich, although rather quiet.  I play it a lot indoors. A big plus is, it fits into a normal backpack which makes it an ideal box for cycling to a session…

Hohner 4-stop Melodeon, 4-voice (LMMH) in D


I bought this one in england (thanks again, Dave!) and it just too much fun to play. Very light and easy, but really, really loud with a 50s-like heavy tremolo. Once the tremolo stop is pulled (or the “ceilidh band-stop”) it can be played LMH without any kind of tremolo. I take it to every session, especially if Jan and his Banjo are around…

1930-1940s Hohner, 3-voice B/C


this is the box i am currently working on. It was C/C# when i got it and i am planning to convert it to B/C . I just stripped the reedblocks and cleaned them. So next thing will be waxing of new Hohner reeds, that arrived today. Unofortunately i don’t know it’s name or age, but it says D.R.P. on the bottom of the keyboard, which is an old german protection by patent used in the 1930-1940s. Although it’s an oldie it still is in tremendous good condition. It rocked when it was C/C# and i am sure it will rock when it’s in B/C…

Update: fitted a new set of reeds to the box and tuned 2/3 of them… – next ones follow, when I finished the other projects.

Play Jig: Gan Aim

Hohner Pokerwork, 2-Voice D/C# (soon…)


A beautiful old Hohner Pokerwork. I just retaped the bellows and put new felt on. The old reeds (C/F) are already removed and the instrument is waiting for a new set of D/C# reeds about to arrive soon…

Hohner Erika,
B/C with experimental bass setup of (C5|G5)/(A5|D5), (E5|B5),(C5|A5)



My first box. It started off being C/F and later became B/C.
I played this on my legendary birthday session. Those who attended will remember…-I do.

Update: Found a new home in Bonn.

Before/after soundsamples can be found below. Beware: The soundquality is quite rough. I will try to organize a better recording device…

Play Old reeds: Trad northern-german dancetune - Ole Carstensen
Play New reeds: Trad northern-german dancetune - Ole Carstensen
Play New reeds: Reel-The Green Fields of America - Ole Carstensen


Vintage Hohner Erika, Currently C/F club tuning with accidentials.


bought this nice little box off e-bay. I think it’s also from the 1940s. This was a nice project for a good friend: it was converted to G/D with standard melodeon bass and accidentials. Really nice box in really nice condition.

4-voice melodeon in C


actually i don’t know what brand it is. But i have it for quite some time. One register pull is broken, but it’s in overall good condition.  Bought it when i developed a  crush on cajun music in my teens. Maybe i convert it to D if i find the time…