Titano Tiger 1964

Titano Tiger 1964

In the ’60s, when electric guitars were first beginning to outsell accordions, Faithe Deffner and Bill Palmer got together and designed an instrument that they “hoped would enable the young accordionist to enter the rock scene”. The result–initially sold under both the Titano and Pancordion brands–was the “Tiger” accordion: The accordion industry’s last-ditch effort to stay relevant in a musical landscape that was inexorably changing. A musical instrument with futuristic design and content. Among these: the special inclination of the keyboard, the inclusion of a register called "Lead" that simultaneously with the tonic also plays a fifth, (playing a single note you get a bichord), giving the musician the ability to create new and more complex harmonies. This accordion as well as many other brilliant inventions was not understood by the musicians of the time (to be precise, not even by most musicians in the present day). This instrument, emblem of the failure of a courageous project, has always fascinated me, to the point of starting a frantic research. Since only a few examples were made, it is now considered extremely rare. After years of countless searches I was finally able to purchase one of these fantastic instruments from an accordion store in Philadelphia.

Brand: Titano Tiger
Model: Combo Cordion
Year: 1964
Reeds: 3/4 LMQ
Treble: 41 Keys, 18 Inches (46cm - key to key)
Registers: 7: Bass - Clarinet - Accordion - Full - Lead - Lead Organ - Blues Band
Bass: 120 Bass Buttons, 2 Registers
Weight: 18bs / 8kg
Features: Quint reeds, blues bend, factory mics

Genius & Innovation

An instrument of the past for musicians of the future


In this side image you can see the special tilt given to the keyboard. This special ergonomics of the instrument (the slanted keyboard) allows the musician to play without bending the wrist.


Tiger's seven registers. These include the two special leads and the lead organ. These add a fifth to every single note played. So these two special registers transform the single note into a bichord with a fifth interval.


The incredible lightness of this instrument (only 8 kg) allowed it to be carried in a common bag. This is the original bag that accompanied the instrument in 1964.

Antonello Messina © 2023