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 a local accordion repair shop that does expert repairs, and estimates are provided free of charge. If your accordion is in need of repair, you may drop it off at our store anytime during our open hours, and we will get it to our repair shop. We generally do not like to accept shipped accordions for repair except under special circumstances. (please contact us)
Our accordion repair shop is generally very backed up, and even minor repairs can take several weeks. You should expect to have to wait several weeks before receiving an evaluation/estimate. This is due to a number of factors: the shop only operates on a part time basis, they handle accordion repairs from all over the country, and they have a very small staff. They do excellent work, but it's just not quick! If you require a rush accordion repair, contact us first and we'll see what our shop can accommodate.
Accordion Repairs and Old Accordions
Considering the purchase of a used accordion? Better read here first!
Estimates are free, except for the shipping cost. How to Ship an Accordion
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. See
appraisals, and how
to check out a used accordion.
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
If you are wondering if you can do some of the repairs yourself,
you may want to invest in the book Accordion Repairs Made Easy. You may also want to check
out our Accordion Parts
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.
Our local accordion repair shop can handle most minor concertina repairs (link to repair info above). For more extensive jobs and work on value antique/handmade instruments, we recommend the Button Box (buttonbox.com) in Massachusetts.
Alternatively, you could look for a shop near you in the Concertina FAQ. If you are in the New England area, we highly recommend the Button Box in Massachusetts, also excellent for melodeon repairs. (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.) If you own a valuable antique or handmade instrument, this is the best way to go.