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Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 08:17:02 AM

Title: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 08:17:02 AM
Well, yes, I'm excited. But.

13 days in Post from Germany to Kentucky. That seems fast.

14 days return policy.

Bellows and Buttons all checked out.
Then as I was trying to get a feel for the layout, a button got stuck in open position.

Where does one draw the line between Do-it-yourself maintenance and shipping off to a regional Vendor~?
I have no problem taking computers apart, and have been an electrical apprentice.

Packing was diligent. And I wouldn't be surprised to find a flattened bead of styrofoam wedging the mechanism open.

What say you~?

Looks like I still did good for under $1000 US, after a 'Best Offer' discount of 20 euro units.

But I can't very well learn and practice til I address the mechanical trouble.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 08:31:23 AM
Issues for which to consider a return...

Is the stuck mechanism a significant impediment to to function and value~?
Is the lack of Hohner written on exterior indiccate a counterfeit~?
Are there other evaluations I should include before the 14 day returns window is closed~?
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on September 09, 2018, 09:10:36 AM
I would, and did, definitely have a look inside and see what's going on. Cleared the bit of crap and off we went. If it's more than that you'll soon know.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Rob2Hook on September 09, 2018, 09:15:32 AM
Personally, I would investigate the sticking button.  After all this is an old instrument - manufacture ceased during WWII - and parts do fail, usually at the most embarrassing moment.  Cosmetically, the box has been stripped of its original celluloid coating and veneered, so any original makers marks have gone. Also the grille is a recent DIY fabrication, not badly done by the look of it.  The original would have been moulded plastic or pierced and plated metal, depending on the year of manufacture.

I'm sure some of our semi-professional )and professional) fettlers will add their own comments and advice, but most of the more vulnerable/consumeable parts can be replaced.  It is possible that the button has simply become misaligned and once freed may never stick again,  On the other hand, it could be a broken spring.  Is the button actually jammed in the down position or loose?  Either will mean that the reed will sound all the time when pushing the bellows.  If its loose and the spring has broken, it may not sound when pulling the bellows.

I'm not certain as I have never seen a Liliput in the flesh, but I believe they have a conventional treble mechanism.  Their close cousin the even smaller Preciosa has a much different mechanism, similar in some ways to a concertina action, which requires care and patience to successfully reassemble - especially if care was not taken in its disassembly!  I'll leave it to those with direct experience of this model to advise, but it is fixable and not worth the cost of returning it if you like it otherwise.

It is most irritating when a new box fails as soon as you get it, but it doesn't sound serious and once fixed may never happen again.

Rob.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Lester on September 09, 2018, 09:26:30 AM
Their close cousin the even smaller Preciosa has a much different mechanism

The Liliput and Preciosa have the same button mechanisms, the differences are in how the reeds are mounted.

As to the problem, the black fingerboard end can easily be removed (three screws) which will allow you to see what is going on with the stuck button and probably reseat it in its hole..

Don't, unless you are brave, remove the top of the fingerboard as refitting it as a bugger.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Theo on September 09, 2018, 09:27:33 AM

Looks like I still did good for under $1000 US, after a 'Best Offer' discount of 20 euro units.


For that price I would expect a fully restored instrument in excellent visual condition, clean inside and out, all mechanisms working precisely, reeds all waxed and re-valved and tuned, pallets re-faced,  and a good set of straps.   I would not expect the rather crude looking improvised grill, but you saw the photos before buying so you must have been happy with that.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 01:43:04 PM

Don't, unless you are brave, remove the top of the fingerboard as refitting it as a bugger.

Thanks for the warning. I'll wish for video instructions before I go there.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 02:00:26 PM


For that price I would expect a fully restored instrument in excellent visual condition, clean inside and out, all mechanisms working precisely, reeds all waxed and re-valved and tuned, pallets re-faced,  and a good set of straps.   I would not expect the rather crude looking improvised grill, but you saw the photos before buying so you must have been happy with that.

What's  a first time buyer to do.
Thanks Theo, for your expert criticism.
I figure monetary currencies are more volatile than a good vintage instrument.

Fraton Accordion seems to have done reasonable diligence in the refurbish process. Reed quality was bright and consistent. All but bass strap were new, both leathers and shiny hardware. Button spring action is consistently good, even for the stuck key. Though some button springs don't seem to return to matching maximum height.

I did stick my neck out with first time speculation. The market is hugely varied.
Would you have recommended a Sherwood instead for several hundred more~?
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Theo on September 09, 2018, 02:21:35 PM
No, because a Sherwood is not directly comparable. 

I appreciate the difficult choices facing a first time buyer.  There has been a great deal of discussion and advice here in relation to that issue.  I don’t think there is an agreed answer to the question, though the most frequent advice is probably to look for a refurbished Hohner Pokerwork or Erica from an established seller.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Helena Handcart on September 09, 2018, 05:31:49 PM
Is the lack of Hohner written on exterior indiccate a counterfeit~?

Nope. Looking at your photos and the description shown it is clear that the box has been veneered - description says with Chilean oak.  Liliputs are products of the 1940's and were celluloid covered originallly. This one has been souped-up and overhauled, as part of that work its been veneered hence the 'Hohner' logo is missing as this would have been printed on the now-replaced celluloid

Fraton accordions is a business seller, Andreas Sommer (http://fraton-accordions.com/EN/), so perhaps the best thing to do is to contact the seller if you have any concerns about the condition of the instrument.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Helena Handcart on September 09, 2018, 05:33:51 PM
Would you have recommended a Sherwood instead for several hundred more~?

Looks like this liliput cost about what a Sherwood Shire would have cost. I'd still have recommended a good old Pokerwork or  Erica to start out on though.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Andrius on September 09, 2018, 06:41:04 PM
[...]
Fraton accordions is a business seller, Andreas Sommer (http://fraton-accordions.com/EN/), so perhaps the best thing to do is to contact the seller if you have any concerns about the condition of the instrument.

The seller is together with us on melnet (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?action=profile;u=2999)
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Clive Williams on September 09, 2018, 06:46:01 PM
A preciosa/Lilliput keyboard is a delicate thing and it's quite easy for a button to be moved slightly in transit. Moving it back yourself may be fairly easy - but as Lester says, it's best to go in through the edge of the fingerboard and *not* the top :-)
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Rob2Hook on September 09, 2018, 07:33:55 PM
Ah, if it is from Fratton Accordions, then I'd have to say that whenever I've seen Andreas advertise a box that he has refurbished - or indeed sometimes resurrected - his workmanship is superb.  He seems to have addressed the (mainly UK) market for conversions of the smaller Hohners to D/G tuning, so the reeds will have had a complete service.

Rob.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 07:35:18 PM

Looks like this liliput cost about what a Sherwood Shire would have cost. I'd still have recommended a good old Pokerwork or  Erica to start out on though.

Those weren't abundant in my search. Low pricing was leaning me toward Scarlattis at $544.+.
My features list included,

Morris D/G,
Morris small and light weight,
extra half row to fill in accidentally,
Veneer more Period/RenFaireAccessoryAppropriate

The extra half row feature boosts the Sherwood market price because of limited models.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: malcolmbebb on September 09, 2018, 08:56:41 PM
A Liliput is a lovely little box and great to play. Not my first choice for a Morris box (too nice to hammer for Morris, but some do), just a thoroughly enjoyable sweet sounding highly portable little box.
And it meets your spec (in particular the half-row), it's pretty unique, and they were built to last. Don't regret your choice, you have no grounds to.

(You'll have a couple of other boxes before long anyway  >:E >:E)

Investigate the stuck button as advised, contact the seller for advice if you need to, remember it was made around eighty years ago, there is unlikely to be anything outside your capability. Take the grille off and have a look in there too.
It was working when it went in the box...

And then get on with enjoying it.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on September 09, 2018, 09:04:27 PM

Looks like this liliput cost about what a Sherwood Shire would have cost. I'd still have recommended a good old Pokerwork or  Erica to start out on though.

Those weren't abundant in my search. Low pricing was leaning me toward Scarlattis at $544.+.
My features list included,

Morris D/G,
Morris small and light weight,
extra half row to fill in accidentally,
Veneer more Period/RenFaireAccessoryAppropriate

The extra half row feature boosts the Sherwood market price because of limited models.

An Erica (especially an early one) will always out trump either a Sherwood or a Scarlatti for me, if for no other reason than the way the reeds sound. Don't know why they sound great when set up right, but they do.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Helena Handcart on September 09, 2018, 09:07:11 PM

Looks like this liliput cost about what a Sherwood Shire would have cost. I'd still have recommended a good old Pokerwork or  Erica to start out on though.

Those weren't abundant in my search. Low pricing was leaning me toward Scarlattis at $544.+.
My features list included,

Morris D/G,
Morris small and light weight,
extra half row to fill in accidentally,
Veneer more Period/RenFaireAccessoryAppropriate

The extra half row feature boosts the Sherwood market price because of limited models.

Hi - the Sherwood Shire or any Sherwood models would not be abundant as they are only supplied by one seller - Hobgoblin.

Given the list of priorities you've given you'd be hard pressed to find anything else than the veneered liliput - certainly I can think of no other lightweight 2.5 row boxes with a wood finish. Not sure you will need the half row for morris but it should give you more options for reversals/accidentals for other stuff - depending on the layout chosen of course.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 09, 2018, 10:41:31 PM
Personally, I would investigate the sticking button.  After all this is an old instrument - manufacture ceased during WWII - and parts do fail

I went though the grill first comparing tension on both ends of surrounding keys. And then just nudged it into working posotion.

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement. I am gratified to have breached the box cautiously and find it's workings understandable and threads not stripped.

Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Rob2Hook on September 10, 2018, 09:37:51 AM
Glad you managed to poke it back into place.  It's quite likely it will never happen again, although I don't understand why concertina buttons don't fall/jam - I have one cheapo on which they do.

Strange that a list of modern requirements pointed straight at a unique and rather ancient model.  Second best and only because it is larger, yet still light, would be a Hohner Erika/Picoletta/Club Modelle 1 converted to D/G.  They are simply the roughly Pokerwork sized versions with either 2 or 4 accidentals.  When converting, Mike Rowbotham has been known to add four more bass buttons, too!  And they will still be lighter than any modern box.

Rob
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 12, 2018, 07:04:19 PM
Not sure you will need the half row for morris but it should give you more options for reversals/accidentals for other stuff - depending on the layout chosen of course.

It gives you the Fnat for Lilibulero! :D
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Liberty Felix on September 13, 2018, 12:22:12 AM
It gives you the Fnat for Lilibulero! :D

Nice reference.

Nice encouragement.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: NickF on September 14, 2018, 01:25:47 PM
If you require an illustration as to why taking the fingerboard off a Liliput is a bad idea...
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Winston Smith on September 14, 2018, 02:08:52 PM
Oooooer! I've got a rubbishy German 3 row concertina which currently looks a bit like that. (I gave too much money for it, as well.) Needless to say, it's now at the back of the queue, and I won't be doing that to my recently acquired Liliput.
Thank you Nick.
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 04:53:43 PM
To re-fit the Liliput keyboard top, hold the instrument up-side-down so the buttons dangle downwards under gravy gravity and then gradually jiggle the keyboard cover into place. A cocktail stick or bent paper clip inserted sideways is a useful tool for persuading the reluctant buttons into place. 
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Lester on September 14, 2018, 05:03:26 PM
To re-fit the Liliput keyboard top, hold the instrument up-side-down so the buttons dangle downwards under gravy and then gradually jiggle the keyboard cover into place. A cocktail stick or bent paper clip inserted sideways is a useful tool for persuading the reluctant buttons into place.

Any particular gravy?
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 05:06:01 PM
To re-fit the Liliput keyboard top, hold the instrument up-side-down so the buttons dangle downwards under gravy and then gradually jiggle the keyboard cover into place. A cocktail stick or bent paper clip inserted sideways is a useful tool for persuading the reluctant buttons into place.

Any particular gravy?

Whoops! I meant 'gravity', sorry!  ::)
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: NickF on September 14, 2018, 05:36:21 PM
To re-fit the Liliput keyboard top, hold the instrument up-side-down so the buttons dangle downwards under gravy gravity and then gradually jiggle the keyboard cover into place. A cocktail stick or bent paper clip inserted sideways is a useful tool for persuading the reluctant buttons into place. 
That was how I got it back together in the end  ;D
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Dick Rees on September 14, 2018, 06:04:29 PM
To re-fit the Liliput keyboard top, hold the instrument up-side-down so the buttons dangle downwards under gravy and then gradually jiggle the keyboard cover into place. A cocktail stick or bent paper clip inserted sideways is a useful tool for persuading the reluctant buttons into place.

Any particular gravy?

https://youtu.be/zBZSEfLvmQI
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Mike Hirst on September 14, 2018, 06:37:22 PM
https://youtu.be/zBZSEfLvmQI

D/D# - my favourite semitone layout  :|glug
Title: Re: Hohner Liliput [D/G], 14 day claims window, DIY maintenance~?
Post by: Anahata on September 14, 2018, 06:53:01 PM
Where's the applause icon when I need one?