Castagnari has released a new model in its lineup of full-sized 3-row melodeons, dubbed the "Mas." How does it differ from other currently available 3-row Castagnaris?
-- the Mas has two treble voices, with a lever behind the keyboard that presumably turns one voice off. This would lend itself nicely to an LM ("bandonion") reed setup. (The other 2 voice 3 rows, the Rik, the Evo, the Benny, and the Big 18 lack this feature.)
-- the Mas has a different left-side design than the other 3 rows in Castagnaris line. The openings on the face of the left side should result in different acoustic properties -- most likely, greater projection of left-hand sound.
-- the Mas features a flat ("sinking keys") keyboard. This is a matter of personal taste and habit. Its nice that Castagnari is offering this option, since all their other 3 row boxes come with closed/stepped keyboards.
-- the Mas bass layout is different in that the 18 bass buttons are 'skewed' or offset rather than lined up in a grid. Some players may find that this facilitates bass runs and combining bass and chord buttons across the bass rows.
-- the Mas setup includes two bass switches for its 2 voice bass. I assume that the switches operate the "low" bass notes.
-- on a purely aesthetic note, the Mas is constructed out of wenge, an exotic wood. Using a different wood (or finish) than their standard (yet beautiful!) walnut and cherry tends to be a way that the Castagnaris distinguish a 'special' box (like the Wielly, the Montmartre, the Handry 2000 series, and the Sonu).
Bravo to Castagnari for keeping the harvest fresh!
(Photo from the Castagnari website.)