Nice, older Castagnari Studio in the keys of CF made in Italy in 1998. It is in very nice condition. There is no wear on the bellows but a few bumps and bruises on the case and it plays beautifully and has many years of service in reserve. The case appears to be cherry wood and is plain but elegant. It the older metal Castagnari nameplate. Although plain, the box has a simple beauty to it.
The original bellows are tight and are nicely broken in. It has 21 treble buttons and 8 bass buttons. The low buttons on each row of the treble side are accidentals. This features fine Italian Antonelli steel reeds on aluminum reedplates. The wooden grill is perfect as is the grill screen. The wooden keyboard is intact with no apparent wear. The bass and bellows straps are used but functional. The thumb loop is included and it has shoulder strap brackets and an original Castagnari corduroy strap. It will be shipped in a Castagnari hardshell case. If this case is not wanted a discount will be applied.
To reduce unwanted harmonic vibrations an aluminum crossbar has been added between the treble reedblocks to minimize resonance. I have also drilled small pressure relief holes on 8 of the highest reeds to allow them to ‘speak’ more readily. This is a common practice now that was not 20 years ago.
I have just carefully tuned the treble reeds just with a mild tremolo. On the treble side the tremolo beat frequency is around 1.6 Hz for the lowest notes gradually rising to around 7 Hz on the upper notes. It plays beautifully. The basses are tuned on pitch and the chords have the thirds flattened about 5 cents for a sweet sound. The bass notes have 3 octave reeds for a richer sound.
I have owned other newer Castagnari Studios and my opinion is that this older example is a much finer instrument. The button action is superb and it plays like butter. The casework is nicer and has a simple but elegant appearance.
This is a fine example of early Castagnari craftsmanship in a very playable & affordable state. This model is still available for sale new today above $2200 in the US so here is an opportunity to own a great Italian instrument for reasonable cost.