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Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: pgroff on December 13, 2009, 09:20:22 PM

Title: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 13, 2009, 09:20:22 PM
Hi all,

Can anyone help me learn more about these beautifully crafted accordions, ca. 1928 - 1930s?

Here is a completed auction for what is described as a "Hohner 235" (but from the 3 couplers behind the keyboard I suspect it may be a Modell 255):

http://cgi.ebay.ch/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330274141717

Here is a slightly less fancy box but in extraordinarily fine condition. Note the 2 couplers and the bellows lock switch behind the keyboard:

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 13, 2009, 09:45:29 PM
Here are some more pics of the last accordion shown above, showing the small coupler lever on the bass grille. The bass buttons on this accordion are small pearl ones, like the melody keys of a Preciosa. The listed specifications of Hohner's Modell 234 (1928 - 1935) fit most of the features of this accordion, except this accordion has 10 rather than 8 basses. The extra basses provide a few dominant seventh chords. The accordion is LMMM, in Bb/Eb, and with a factory tuning of A 440 (blocks marked 880).

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Lester on December 14, 2009, 06:48:20 AM
Pete Grassby had one on his stall at Witney this year. According to his Hohner catalogue it was a top of the range box from the era you quoted. Did not try it myself as a certain Mr Kirkpatrick seemed to be attracted to it and was taking it for a test drive, made an enormous sound, very Hohner but with out the mechanical accompaniment.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 14, 2009, 11:57:09 AM
Lester,

That I would have liked to hear. Judging from the huge road case he was carrying on tour, a few years back when I met up with him in California, he must be comfortable with large boxes.

Believe it or not, this 4 voice is balanced so well it handles like a much smaller box and I have been playing the Bb row like a melodeon. Enormous sound is right -- as well as the bassoon reed and 3 voice musette, it has Helikon basses and the option of lots of voices in the chords.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: triskel on December 17, 2009, 02:36:41 AM
Paul,

I had a similar one to yours, maybe 30 years ago, though it was in C/F with only 8 basses. The person I bought it from told me it had belonged to a man who was a champion player in the '30s. Nielsen tuned it for me and reckoned the reeds (stamped "HOHNER") were the firm's best quality from before the War.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andy in Vermont on December 17, 2009, 12:11:07 PM
I wish that there were more information about these boxes -- they look like Hohner put forth its best effort!  How do they sound/play?
-Andy
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 17, 2009, 12:41:38 PM
Andy,

This one sounds really crisp and present, as well as a rich tone as you might expect from the voicing.

I have seen a few postwar Hohner clubs that are 4 or 5 voice, including Ouvertures and Morinos. They have great reeds but a much more rounded, boxed in tone.

This one (possibly a 234 but that has not been confirmed) has a lot more snap and crackle than the big postwar clubs, probably because the grille is metal and well ventilated and there are just two rows of pallets that open well above the keyboard. The soundboard is metal also, which I have always thought contributes to the "crashy" sound of some great old accordions (though Lars Hansen tells me the sound I am hearing may have more to do with a plywood case covered in thick 1930s celluloid).

The action is really nice also. The 1930s pearl - button keyboard Hohner clubs (such as the Club III, etc) that I have seen all have nice keyboards and actions, but this "possibly 234" is a step up from those. If there is interest I can add some pics of the mechanism, reedblocks, and reeds next time I get out the camera.

The weight is there but this one is really tight and well-balanced, so as I said I have actually been having fun playing it one-row style. Obviously this box was designed for cross-row playing (though probably an early version of the club keyboard with its only 4 notes on the inside row, despite the high-range features). I can play a club that way with minimal bellows changes, but the boomy and crisp sound of that low Bb row with LMMM keeps me out there.... and unlike some later club keyboards, the 12 - button outside row goes down to the low tonic/fourth scale degrees!

I have been in contact with players in Switzerland and elsewhere to try to see if this model might have some special current purpose. So far it seems that these are no longer much in favor anywhere. I am therefore considering a *completely reversible,* careful and respectful modification to Bb/A, in which none of the original reeds would be retuned or original reedblocks altered. I would flip over a few of the bass reeds from Eb/Bb to Bb/Eb, pull and carefully save the Eb row reeds, and add in a 4 voice row in A that would be disposed relative to the Bb row like the C# row of an Irish-American D/C# box. That would make the instrument very comfortably chromatic for Irish-style playing on the two outside rows in the beautiful pitch of Bb, and much more useable for me. Any conversion to other keys (except maybe D/D#) would involve retuning of the special Helikon basses, or looking for substitutes for them. As a Bb/A this box would be plenty fast and have a wonderful unique sound, but I don't think it would be as special as a D/D# which I would normally expect to be a very light nimble box.

PG

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Matthew B on December 17, 2009, 02:55:32 PM
It's a beauty for sure.  I've never played one of the high-end pre-war Clubs, though I've noodled around on an black 50s Overture a couple of times.  Playing a Liliput has given me some interesting insight into the the four-button accidental layout.  The bigger Clubs, with the longer accidental rows are chromatic on the draw through a fairly big stretch of the octave below the gleichton.  By switching voices this gives quite a range, and means you can work out a lot of fancy chords --- A while ago I found the the basic changes for "I got Rhythm" (Bb Bb7 Gm Cm F7 Eb Ebm D7 G7 C7), and they're all there within about a four button radius on the extended keyboard.  The tune really does just fall out of the box --- However, with the shorter row of accidentals all that clever stuff gets pushed up to the higher notes, and a lot of it doesn't work on the draw.  A fair few of the chords can be found conveniently on the push, but Eb for example gets pretty thin (this on a C/F).  "Technically chromatic" rather than chromatic, one might say.  Its a whole different instrument up there at the arctic end of the keyboard.  I'd be interested to know if these fancy four-accidental Clubs were designed to be played mostly in the upper register, perhaps by the front line in a Club band.  Certainly, judging by the rhinestones the reduced keyboard wasn't an economy measure. 
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 17, 2009, 03:51:05 PM
Hi Matthew,

With the cheaper models of clubs, especially by the late 1930s, the 4 note inside row probably was a matter of economy. But even mid-range clubs such as the 2 voice, no coupler Viktoria (etc.) were given the 12/11/7 keyboard.

With the Preciosa (and Lilliput) I have been assuming the 4 note inside row was mostly to save weight and space.

With this odd "possibly 234" club I agree with you that the short inner row was not about economy. This accordion is not as fancy as the 5 voice 255 with its fancy celluloid grille (the grille on that 255 was probably handmade), but a lot of love and expense went into its design and construction.  It could have been that the"possible 234"  was made early in the evolution of the club system, before the 12/11/7 (or more) melody keys became standardized (someone who knows more about club accordion, or Hohner, history can probably correct me if that is wrong).

But I think it is definitely an advantage for the tone I like in this instrument that there are only two rows of pallets. Some of the 2 voice and 3 voice prewar clubs with the 12/11/7 layout have a noticeably muffled inside row. The "possible 234" may not have been designed around the timbre it makes with this pallet layout, but to me it's a winner.

And re: using its existing chromatic options, I agree with you that the standard club layout(s) have a lot going for them. But I personally see other possibilities for this instrument that wouldn't preclude someone later returning it to its original condition. I like the idea of putting it *reversibly* into Bb/A so that my buddies who play D/C# could pick this up and play away on the low but crisp two outside rows, in tune with a Bb concertina.

PG

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Matthew B on December 17, 2009, 06:56:03 PM
Well, its pure speculation, unhindered by any actual knowledge, documentation, or evidence . . . but my guess would be that the evolution went something like this:

First (c. 1920) Gleichton, like the Dutch reversal provides C7 on the draw, and allows for a full C scale on the draw, without mixing up the F chord on the push.  Clever. 

Second (c. 1925) Two accidentals added closest to the gleichton give F#/Ab and Eb/C#, making the instrument theoretically chromatic.  Mostly for accidentals in melodies.  Neat addition. 

Third (c. 1930) Add some switches and a new bank of reeds or two.  Two additional accidentals added above the first two to give D/Eb and F#/Ab in the higher octave extending the chromatic range into the register that matches the fiddlers.   Probably used mostly for accidentals, ornamentations, and melody work in keys close to C and F.  Very neat addition. 

Fourth (c. 1935) Add some extra bass buttons.  Eb/C# and Bb/F# added in the lower register, and Eb/C# added in the upper register to give almost two chromatic octaves on the draw with lots of chord and melody options available, plus a fair few new possibilities on the push.  Now theres thinking!

Fifth (c. 1955) Wrap the whole thing in red celluloid, and change the name.  Erm . . . . Huh?

If any documentation exists its been lost (as in the case of the Corona, and probably all the other button boxes).  All innovation ceased in the war years.  At no point in the proceedings did the Hohner folks ever get around to talking to the players, who might have suggested some useful modifications.  For example twelve basses, or a limited stradella, a few other key options, or even the same build quality, but with another tuning system such as the one youre working on. 
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 17, 2009, 07:27:07 PM
Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your insights.

I have a very detailed catalogue of Hohner accordion models from sometime post 1926 that makes no mention of any club models. But it does include G/C/B three-row accordions -- a traditional Italian system going back decades before that date (usually with Stradella bass). The tonic of the B row of these is displaced out of line from the tonics of the G and C row, and the inside B row makes a brilliant set of accidentals.

The Irish American D/C# accordion is basically a transposition of the C and B rows of the G/C/B upward a full tone.

And -- in that late 1920s catalogue, along with the G/C/B is mentioned an option of a three-row system in C/F/E -- presumably here you have a C/F box with the inside E row making it chromatic. I guess this C/F/E system might have been shortlived, at least I have never seen one, but possibly this idea was quickly supplanted by the C/F/X club system.

PG

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Matthew B on December 18, 2009, 06:34:34 PM
I may have been a bit off in my initial date estimates.  Still, looking at Hohner's model list online it looks as if the club system was around in the mid-twenties.  They have several models listed from that period.  A quick scan turned up the following:

AMATI, Club, 23+2, 1925-27, 35, 40, 53, 57, 61, 83-87
CLUB III , Club, 23+7, 1928-37
MODELL 234, Club 23+4, 1928-35
LA CONTESSA Club, 23+2, 1929
L'ORGANOLA Club, 23+2, 1929
No. 3565, Club 21+2, 1929

From this it looks like the 2 accidental version showed up first, and was produced intermittently for a pretty good period of time.  I wonder how similar the 1987 version is to the 2 accidental variant of the Morgane that's now in production?  And it seems that the 7 accidental version showed up either at the same time as the four accidental version, or possibly even before it.  What seems to distinguish the Modells 234, 254, 255, 335, and 335 is the type of bass, the voicings, the switches, and probably the twinkly bits.  I'm guessing that about eighty years ago someone was ogling your box in the window of a German music shop and going through a thought process that could be cut and pasted directly onto the forum here: Weight versus price, which accidentals do I really use, and will my spouse throw me out of the house if I turn up with another one . . .

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: waltzman on December 18, 2009, 08:29:20 PM
Do any of the old clubs have a LMM configuration?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Matthew B on December 18, 2009, 08:57:01 PM
If I'm not mistaken around 1935 the Club IV and IX models started showing up with octave tuning (LMM) and switches.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on December 18, 2009, 10:24:14 PM
Waltzman,

Yes, there are (or were) several models of 3 voice Hohner clubs with LMM, both old and newer. I don't remember all the model names of the ones I have seen and I don't have a LMM one at present, but I think there were early ones with one (or maybe sometimes two) switches behind the keyboard like the 4 and 5 voice models in the original post, and later ones with pushbutton switches similar to the Corona IIIR.

Looking at one list I have, it seems (for example) the Hohner Club III BS and the Hohner Club III M might be voiced LMM.

However, if I am reading the list correctly, this III B F would not have the low octave reed; maybe the coupler behind the keyboard pulls out the 2 musette reeds for a single voice tone:

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/160U-405.htm

PG

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on December 19, 2009, 11:58:58 PM
Looking at one list I have, it seems (for example) the Hohner Club III BS and the Hohner Club III M might be voiced LMM.
I've seem examples of both of those models, all were LMM.  I assume the 'S' is for 'switch' in IIIBS

Quote
However, if I am reading the list correctly, this III B F would not have the low octave reed; maybe the coupler behind the keyboard pulls out the 2 musette reeds for a single voice tone:

Where 'F'='flute' perhaps, though modern accordion terminology usually uses 'clarinet' for a single M reed.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: AlpertCharles on January 28, 2010, 03:23:57 PM
Hello pgroff and all of you !

I saw your posts about the Hohner box and i found it interesting because i have a Hohner Overture V. Its very beautiful and it carry history with its sound.

Ive put some litle clip that i made a long time ago, just to show you the instrument:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq4Ddl3aBHg

Its a 5 reed instrument, with 3 couplers LMMMH, and 1 coupler on the bass side, for the H reeds. It has uge bass reeds.

             Carlos
 
               
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: oggiesnr on February 01, 2010, 10:06:44 PM

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/160U-405.htm


Elderley's gradings always crack me up (for all their instruments).  To me VGC (very good condition) would imply an immediately playable instrument with some cosmetic problems. in this case it means -

"VGC except needs some work (bellows leak, all notes are kind of wheezy and some are weak, plus needs cleanup, etc. - sold AS-IS), keys of Bb-Eb, red pearloid covering, red bellows with gold trim, 30 buttons in three rows, 8 bass buttons, "Original Hohner" imprint on back, used for Tex-Mex and other styles, with worn straps and beat semi-HSC, price reduced"

How would anyone else grade it? Me? Poor/Medium at best.

Steve
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: michik on February 01, 2010, 10:21:38 PM
I have found a video of a Hohner 235 ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT-daws6fng
Actually AlpertCharles responsed to it
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on February 01, 2010, 11:09:15 PM

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/160U-405.htm


Elderley's gradings always crack me up (for all their instruments).  To me VGC (very good condition) would imply an immediately playable instrument with some cosmetic problems. in this case it means -

"VGC except needs some work (bellows leak, all notes are kind of wheezy and some are weak, plus needs cleanup, etc. - sold AS-IS), keys of Bb-Eb, red pearloid covering, red bellows with gold trim, 30 buttons in three rows, 8 bass buttons, "Original Hohner" imprint on back, used for Tex-Mex and other styles, with worn straps and beat semi-HSC, price reduced"

How would anyone else grade it? Me? Poor/Medium at best.

Steve

Like the old joke, "Lost dog, only 3 legs, torn ear, blind in left eye, mangy coat, kink in tail, missing most of his teeth, answers to the name of Lucky"

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on February 01, 2010, 11:36:58 PM
Elderley's gradings always crack me up (for all their instruments).  To me VGC (very good condition) would imply an immediately playable instrument with some cosmetic problems. in this case it means -

"VGC except needs some work (bellows leak, all notes are kind of wheezy and some are weak, plus needs cleanup, etc. - sold AS-IS), keys of Bb-Eb, red pearloid covering, red bellows with gold trim, 30 buttons in three rows, 8 bass buttons, "Original Hohner" imprint on back, used for Tex-Mex and other styles, with worn straps and beat semi-HSC, price reduced"

How would anyone else grade it? Me? Poor/Medium at best.

Steve

Restoration project!
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: nemethmik on February 02, 2010, 06:41:48 PM
Looking at one list I have, it seems (for example) the Hohner Club III BS and the Hohner Club III M might be voiced LMM.
I've seem examples of both of those models, all were LMM.  I assume the 'S' is for 'switch' in IIIBS
I'm thinking of buying an old three-reed LMM Hohner off ebay.
How can the seller of a Hohner Club III tell me if it's an LMM accordion?
Thank You for the Help!
Miki
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on February 02, 2010, 08:08:53 PM
If it has a switch behind the keyboard it is likely to be LMM,   if no switch it is likely to be MMM, but there may be exceptions.  To be sure the seller would need to have enough knowledge to tell from the sound, or from looking at the reeds.  You could try asking the seller for a sound clip?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: nemethmik on February 02, 2010, 08:22:49 PM
If it has a switch behind the keyboard it is likely to be LMM,   if no switch it is likely to be MMM, but there may be exceptions.
Thanks Theo. I think this is an MMM. Miki
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: OwenG on February 03, 2010, 12:16:36 PM
Quote
I think this is an MMM.

I've got one that looks exactly the same which is MMM. Theo has recently overhauled it for me and it is a lovely box.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on February 03, 2010, 12:34:28 PM
Quote
I think this is an MMM.

I've got one that looks exactly the same which is MMM. Theo has recently overhauled it for me and it is a lovely box.

There seem to have been a lot of variants among the 3 voice Hohner Clubs, even the no-switch ones. They differ in the overall size of the casework, whether the keyboard plate is black or pearloid, the grille material (metal or celluloid) and how it is perforated, and the way the reedblocks are situated on the soundboard relative to the pallets/action. Most of the ones I have seen have 3 rows of pallets on the soundboard which can result in a noticeably different timbre from the notes on the inside row of buttons.

That's one significant difference with the Modell 234(?) I mentioned and illustrated above, since it has only 2 rows of pallets and a very open metal grille.

Still, the 3 voice ones sound great also. I love the ones with pearl buttons and zinc-plate reeds.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: michik on February 03, 2010, 03:51:21 PM
I have Club IV with MMM (no registers) and a Club X with LMM (two switches, one for for L and M+)

There is a Club IV with one switch on eBay: http://cgi.ebay.at/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170439268240

Maybe we should open a separate thread for 3-voice clubs :-)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: butterfingers on February 10, 2010, 06:58:53 AM
  I find this discussion of Club accordions fascinating [I'm the proud owner of a red Club 11B and a blue Club 11]..probably post-war, both in great condition, I love the sound of the reeds and the option of the gleichton and the way the scale is set up . For possibly the only song in the world that talks about Club accordions and their history [while playing a humble Hohner single row] check out this link and listen to the 5th. verse .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muWpFcXx2DU   all the best...hopefully I've copied out the link properly....
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: butterfingers on February 12, 2010, 05:10:30 AM
  As an afterthought to my previous post..apparently Weltmeister makes a Club Accordion in G/C.  Has anyone tried these out? Also, are any of the "high end" [with a 3rd.row of 2, 4 or 6 buttons] 2 row French accordions in a Club tuning?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: michik on February 28, 2010, 09:20:20 AM
Hohner 235 on german ebay ... 8 hours to go  ... 1999 starting price  :o
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180471027466&
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on February 28, 2010, 02:39:29 PM
Hohner 235 on german ebay ... 8 hours to go  ... 1999 starting price  :o
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180471027466&

michik,

That one is very similar cosmetically to the one I am calling a "possible 234." Unlike most of the Hohners I have seen identified as 235 (or possibly 255) both have a plated stamped-metal grille. The current ebay accordion also looks in very good condition, although unlike mine its original straps show some wear.

Differences from mine:

1) The bass side coupler switch is in a different position, more similar to the bass coupler on the earlier ebay accordion I cited above (a so-called 235 or possible 255).

2) There is a backplate that would hold the keyboard (and melody-side switches) away from the player's body. This looks original in this case. I can't see whether there are 2 or 3 melody-side switches and I'm not sure I understand the seller's description of these.

3) 7 buttons in the inside row (mine has 4)

4) I think the seller's description implies 3 voices on the melody side, but I think 4 or 5 is more likely.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Lester on February 28, 2010, 03:01:53 PM
Quote from: Lester
Pete Grassby had one on his stall at Witney this year.
That I would have liked to hear.

Your wish etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GndDixyw8iU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GndDixyw8iU)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on February 28, 2010, 03:20:41 PM
Lester,

That was brilliant (saw this video when it was linked a couple days ago)! Thanks a million...

I actually meant to write that I would have liked to hear Mr. Kirkpatrick playing it, but I don't know Mr. Grassby so it is great to hear a musician who is new to me.

It was Mr. Kirkpatrick who was lugging that huge road case when I gave him a lift to the airport nearly 20 years ago.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on November 28, 2010, 12:47:40 PM
There's a beautiful example of one of these big prewar Hohner clubs on ebay now and finishing very soon.  The seller is a reliable and honest accordion expert, and the accordion looks to have had a modern renovation (waxed instead of pinned reeds), so could be a remarkable bargain:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200545024513

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: triskel on March 06, 2014, 01:47:11 PM
Looking at one list I have, it seems (for example) the Hohner Club III BS and the Hohner Club III M might be voiced LMM.
I've seem examples of both of those models, all were LMM.  I assume the 'S' is for 'switch' in IIIBS

Quote
However, if I am reading the list correctly, this III B F would not have the low octave reed; maybe the coupler behind the keyboard pulls out the 2 musette reeds for a single voice tone:

Where 'F'='flute' perhaps, though modern accordion terminology usually uses 'clarinet' for a single M reed.

"Flöte/Flute" it is, from Hohner's 1938 catalogue:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/_63.jpg)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pikey on March 06, 2014, 02:22:22 PM
Quote from: Lester
Pete Grassby had one on his stall at Witney this year.
That I would have liked to hear.

Your wish etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GndDixyw8iU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GndDixyw8iU)

Great sound, and I love the way he stops us having to look at Rees...

Hoping that my new acquisition will sound the same !
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 06, 2014, 04:41:23 PM
"Hoping that my new acquisition will sound the same"
Oh it won't, go on ,go on you know it won't... Go on, go on it won't
 Apologies to the tele programme Father Ted.  ;D
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 03, 2018, 12:20:50 PM
Are there happy owners of model 255?
My 255 is Bb/Eb with "Hohner Germany" reeds that are considered the best reeds of Hohner.
Strange but this box seems to be much worse than Club III BS when testing my favorites L, M and LM registers.
Is it because construction of the box or something wrong with my accordion?
Bass side is nice, special register with helicon basses, but melody side seems to be so far away from Club III BS, like Club III BS from Castagnari  :(
Box is after tuning and some maintenance.
My friend has 255 C/F - it is about the same, but bass side not so nice like in my box - almost no difference between registers.
Now I am thinking about to use this reeds in another accordion. Is it worth a try, or may be these reeds are not so good? Any ideas?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 10, 2018, 04:17:39 PM
For another example of a 4 voice pre-WW2 Hohner club, see the photo below -  a grey, no-switch Hohner club voiced in MMMM, BbEb. Great box with the "HOHNER GERMANY" reeds. Shown here on left along with the "234-like" Hohner in LMMM discussed at the beginning of this thread.

The grey one is also discussed in this more general thread on MMMM boxes:

forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22214 (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22214)


PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: hickory-wind on August 10, 2018, 07:39:08 PM
Here is a pair of very similar boxes but these are both 3 voice LMM with three switches. This gives any combination of reeds including none. Build quality is excellent.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)

These are available for sale if anyone is interested. They are currently unrestored.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: hickory-wind on August 10, 2018, 07:52:51 PM
This Hohner L'Organola Deluxe is 4 voice (LLMM I believe) and has a mini stradella bass. It is in BC.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 10, 2018, 09:21:45 PM
Here is a pair of very similar boxes but these are both 3 voice LMM with three switches. This gives any combination of reeds including none. Build quality is excellent.

Scott [...]

The red one looks exactly like my "pre-Morino".
three switches including none too - M, L, MM and one switch for helicon basses.
Can not understand reason of poor sound  :(
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 10, 2018, 09:28:02 PM
All very interesting - thanks, hickory-wind and Andrius for the great photos of these other models!  I think comparisons among different Hohner models are often illuminating.

But if we discuss in this thread all the different models of *3 voice* Hohner pre-war clubs (of which there are many!), or 4-voice Hohner accordion models that *aren't clubs* (e.g. that cool L'Organola), then people looking for that information may not be able to find it by searching the topic title.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 11, 2018, 05:16:28 PM
234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices  (:)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 11, 2018, 05:38:56 PM
Here is a pair of very similar boxes but these are both 3 voice LMM with three switches. This gives any combination of reeds including none. Build quality is excellent.

Scott [...]

The red one looks exactly like my "pre-Morino".
three switches including none too - M, L, MM and one switch for helicon basses.
Can not understand reason of poor sound  :(

Hi Andrius,

Sorry, I misread your post - because you didn't list "LMMM" as among the options I thought you had one of the many versions of LMM box, like hickory-wind

Best,

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 11, 2018, 05:44:50 PM
Here is a pair of very similar boxes but these are both 3 voice LMM with three switches. This gives any combination of reeds including none. Build quality is excellent.

Scott [...]

The red one looks exactly like my "pre-Morino".
three switches including none too - M, L, MM and one switch for helicon basses.
Can not understand reason of poor sound  :(

I don't know the reason for the poor sound, but I'd guess this may be a "235" model variant if it has 4 sets of reeds. If 5 sets of reeds, then a 255 perhaps.

IMO the boxes with celluloid grille have a slightly more mellow tone quality than the ones with the all-metal (plated brass) grille.

Possible things to check could include
* the fit of the reedblock to the soundboard - these must fit perfectly, evenly along their length, and not too tightly.
* the sliders
* the condition of the reed-tongues and reed-leathers (and gaskets/pins or wax that attach reedplate)
* the tuning

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 11, 2018, 07:57:08 PM
I bought this accordeon because of reeds "Hohner Germany", with idea to use them in another accordion.
When I got it bass side made big impression, so i decided to restore it (right side was a little out of tune).
It was tuned, all original leather valves were taked out, softened and glued back (helps in lot of old accordions).
So everything seems to be OK except the sound  :(
I don't know what to do now. I don't need so heavy box without nice sound. And I am not sure about transfering reeds to another box.
May be the body of this accordion is not sounding?
No other ideas.
Or these reeds are not so good...
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on August 11, 2018, 08:01:30 PM
Did you tune the reeds?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 11, 2018, 08:30:00 PM
Reeds (not all but only not-in-tune) were tuned in reed blocks with manual file
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on August 11, 2018, 08:39:20 PM
Maybe the tuning could be better??? I don’t know, have you had better results tuning other instruments? 

Perhaps also the old valves are not as good as new ones would be?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 11, 2018, 10:05:39 PM
I am tuning only a little and only for myself. It takes too long for me to do it for money. My problems are perfectionism and lack of time, so lot of my instruments are tuned not by me but by (I think) the best craftsman in Lithuania (only one in Lithuania who can tune in non-equal tuning like old Hohners), but all my bandoneons are tuned by me.
Lot of my instruments are with well softened old leather valves - I am not fast to change them to plastic. I believe it can be some difference but not essential.
All my boxes with O, T, H or Koch reeds, leather or plastic valves sounds better at the moment.  :'(
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 12:47:51 AM
Hi Andrius,

OK then: I suggest that you transplant a few of those reeds into another box, and transplant a few other "good sounding" reeds into your fancy 1930s box, to see whether it is those reeds or the box that is causing the problem you perceive.

But even if you find the problem is with your "HOHNER GERMANY" reeds, it could reflect the current condition of those reeds (and their history of treatment over the past 80 years) rather than their original quality.

I like the "HOHNER GERMANY" reeds. When in good condition and in a good box they are great IMO (responsive and with a beautiful tone quality)! I have seen a few cases where several of these reeds are broken in the same accordion, possibly a higher percentage of broken reeds than with other Hohner reeds, so possibly the steel of the tongues is more brittle than other types of reeds (just a speculation).

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on August 12, 2018, 08:19:08 AM
I’ve also noticed a higher incidence of breakage with Made in Germany reeds.  I can’t tell if the steel is more brittle, but the reed profile is certainly thinner than Hohner T reeds, which might make them more proud be to break.
I’ve also noticed that not at Made in Germany reeds are the same. The best ones are length ground,  whereas standard reeds are ground across. This is something you can easily see and f you look at the surface of the reed tongue.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 08:43:38 AM
Maybe the bing could be better???

I can usually decipher Theo's mobile phone's quirky predictive text but I have to admit this one has me puzzled.
I happen to know that 'bing' is Midland Valley Scots-English terminology for a coal-mine waste tip, but I don't think that definition works here. ;)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Theo on August 12, 2018, 08:49:03 AM
Corrected to”tuning”
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 08:51:48 AM
Corrected to”tuning”
(:)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 09:03:49 AM
Returning to the thread....  (:)

I am tuning only a little and only for myself. It takes too long for me to do it for money. My problems are perfectionism and lack of time, so lot of my instruments are tuned not by me but by (I think) the best craftsman in Lithuania (only one in Lithuania who can tune in non-equal tuning like old Hohners), but all my bandoneons are tuned by me.

I would be very interested to learn more about this "non-equal tuning like old Hohners". Were the old Hohners (1930s, etc.) tuned in, say, 1/4-comma meantone or similar? What were/are the offsets from Equal Temperament? Can you enlighten me please, Andrius, or anyone. Thanks!
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 12, 2018, 10:46:29 AM
Hi Andrius,

OK then: I suggest that you transplant a few of those reeds into another box, and transplant a few other "good sounding" reeds into your fancy 1930s box, to see whether it is those reeds or the box that is causing the problem you perceive.

[...]

I like the "HOHNER GERMANY" reeds. When in good condition and in a good box they are great IMO (responsive and with a beautiful tone quality)!  [...]

PG

I can try next week when I will be back home. Reeds are very high sensitivity (I like it) but quite silent (too silent to enjoy accordion). Hard to say something about tone quality when sad about loudness...

I’ve also noticed a higher incidence of breakage with Made in Germany reeds.  I can’t tell if the steel is more brittle, but the reed profile is certainly thinner than Hohner T reeds, which might make them more proud be to break.
I’ve also noticed that not at Made in Germany reeds are the same. The best ones are length ground,  whereas standard reeds are ground across. This is something you can easily see and f you look at the surface of the reed tongue.

any was broken. Length or across ground - can look next week.

[...]
I would be very interested to learn more about this "non-equal tuning like old Hohners". Were the old Hohners (1930s, etc.) tuned in, say, 1/4-comma meantone or similar? What were/are the offsets from Equal Temperament? Can you enlighten me please, Andrius, or anyone. Thanks!

Non-equal tuned melodeons sounds more lovely. Lot of pre-war Hohners (most important part of my instruments) were [factory?] tuned in this way Main idea is to lower some sounds from "well tempered" keys. It can be used in melodeons only - not in PA or full scale button accordions or bandoneons that must be tuned in tempered key.
Easy level - 3, 6 and 7 tones (mi, la and ti[si] in C key) are a little lowered; Do+mi+sol in tempered key not sounds so sweet like with lowered mi; the same for do+mi and mi+sol. Other two lowered tones are for dominant and sub-dominant chords.
BTW in old Hohners sometimes lowered tones are only in low octave, so octaves are not in tune...
More complicated level - to tune nice fifths too (lowered V); have not seen any instrument factory tuned this way. It is kind of tuning like pipe-organ with one forbidden interval; it is possible to tune 2 row melodeon almost perfect
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 12:40:10 PM

[...]
I would be very interested to learn more about this "non-equal tuning like old Hohners". Were the old Hohners (1930s, etc.) tuned in, say, 1/4-comma meantone or similar? What were/are the offsets from Equal Temperament? Can you enlighten me please, Andrius, or anyone. Thanks!

Non-equal tuned melodeons sounds more lovely. Lot of pre-war Hohners (most important part of my instruments) were [factory?] tuned in this way Main idea is to lower some sounds from "well tempered" keys. It can be used in melodeons only - not in PA or full scale button accordions or bandoneons that must be tuned in tempered key.
Easy level - 3, 6 and 7 tones (mi, la and ti[si] in C key) are a little lowered; Do+mi+sol in tempered key not sounds so sweet like with lowered mi; the same for do+mi and mi+sol. Other two lowered tones are for dominant and sub-dominant chords.
BTW in old Hohners sometimes lowered tones are only in low octave, so octaves are not in tune...
More complicated level - to tune nice fifths too (lowered V); have not seen any instrument factory tuned this way. It is kind of tuning like pipe-organ with one forbidden interval; it is possible to tune 2 row melodeon almost perfect

Steve-freereeder,

No, I don't think any of the pre-war Hohners were in a typical meantone temperament but some modern tuners have used this.  I think that 1/4 comma in particular isn't ideal for diatonic accordions unless you are trying to match another instrument that is using that tuning. For most diatonic accordions you don't have to narrow the fifths that much to obtain very sweet thirds on the important playable intervals. But no reason not to use 1/4 comma (or 1/5 comma etc) if you like the sound!

Andrius,

I agree with much of what you wrote!  This is based on study of many "most original" Hohner instruments that I have sought out that seem to have retained much of their original tuning (i.e. instruments that were seemingly never serviced or even opened since the factory, were played little, and whose reeds show no rust to the tongues or corrosion to the reedplates; sometimes even the reedleathers are still functional; due to social and climatic factors we may be more likely to find pre-war Hohners in this condition in North America than in Britain or Ireland).  Some Hohners from this pre-WW2 period were tuned in equal temperament, some were just not very well tuned at all, but many of the diatonic boxes were tuned to very precise non-equal temperaments designed to optimize certain intervals. I think it's incorrect to call the entire instrument or even the scale for one diatonic row "just tuned" but I'm a stickler about that. However, some intervals do approach "just" tuning. In the two-and three-row boxes you will often see that the same named note when found on different rows and/or different bellows directions is assigned a different pitch.

One possible minor disagreement with Andrius' statements (if I understand you correctly): in my experience, when a box is properly tuned in this way, the octaves *along the same button row and in the same bellows direction* are well in tune, allowing for a different beat frequency of the tremelo or musette. However, octave notes chosen between different button rows and/or different bellows directions may be different in the "center / target perceived pitch."

A corollary of this tuning is that there are more than 12 pitches used per octave, and to make the most of this tuning the player has to chose certain bellows directions for some intervals, and avoid other bellows directions even if the notes would "spell the same" i.e. G-B.  This doesn't require complicated intellectual study, it's mainly that the tuning favors the simplest ways of playing a box by ear - but it does mean that if you try to be clever about substitute fingerings you may produce some ugly wolf intervals.

Finally, some of the basic intervals playable along a single button row (for example, the major third F- A on the draw of a C row) seem to have been intentionally (and unnecessarily!) tuned very far from "just" in many German diatonic accordions and concertinas. This is a sound that they seemed to want. It's a sound that's counter to my own musical preferences but I do recognize it as authentic and flavorful in its own way. But this feature of the tuning scheme is one reason that I object to naming the entire tuning scheme as "just intonation." I'm an outlier on this technical point of usage, arguing against many professional musicologists who write about tunings, but I'll always be happy to present the evidence that I'm correct and they are wrong. :)

PG

Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 02:59:51 PM
Thanks Paul and Andrius for your replies.

I must admit I am slightly surprised by the notion of lowering the pitch of the fifths in order to make the thirds sound in tune. This doesn't seem right to my accustomed way of thinking. The interval of a fifth is too narrow in ET. It needs to be sharpened by about 2 cents to obtain a beatless interval. Similarly, a major third is too wide in ET and sounds sweetest when about 15 cents flat from ET. I don't see how those sorts of 'in-tuneness' are achieved by making the fifths even narrower. But I may be misunderstanding your explanations here.

Maybe one thing which comes out of this is that what we mean by 'in tune' is different for different people. I don't mean people who are not able to distinguish pitch accurately; it's more of a cultural 'what we've grown accustomed to hearing' thing, and has changed over the centuries since Bach's time. In general western music, we are far more accepting of the overall slight dissonances of ET than perhaps people were in the past.
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 03:12:38 PM
Thanks Paul and Andrius for your replies.

I must admit I am slightly surprised by the notion of lowering the pitch of the fifths in order to make the thirds sound in tune. This doesn't seem right to my accustomed way of thinking. The interval of a fifth is too narrow in ET. It needs to be sharpened by about 2 cents to obtain a beatless interval. Similarly, a major third is too wide in ET and sounds sweetest when about 15 cents flat from ET. I don't see how those sorts of 'in-tuneness' are achieved by making the fifths even narrower. But I may be misunderstanding your explanations here.

Maybe one thing which comes out of this is that what we mean by 'in tune' is different for different people. I don't mean people who are not able to distinguish pitch accurately; it's more of a cultural 'what we've grown accustomed to hearing' thing, and has changed over the centuries since Bach's time. In general western music, we are far more accepting of the overall slight dissonances of ET than perhaps people were in the past.

Hi Steve,

Narrowing the fifth interval, relative to an acoustically pure fifth interval (i.e. flattening the upper note or sharpening the lower note) is exactly what is done in many temperaments used in Western music. And yes, this is done precisely to improve (or to ameliorate the harshness of) the major third interval that results from using pure ("just") perfect fifth intervals in a scale with limited pitches, for example a 12 note keyboard. *

You're correct that in 12-tone equal temperament the fifth interval is narrowed by about 2 cents from a pure ("just") fifth.

In 1/4 comma meantone temperament, the fifth interval is narrowed by about 3.4 cents *further* relative to an equal-tempered fifth, around 5.4 cents narrower than a pure fifth. This tempered narrow fifth is tolerated in 1/4cMT because it results in pure major thirds. Explanation:

I'm sure you know the concept of the "circle of fifths" (which applies to some but not all temperaments), shown here as a "chain" (circle broken and presented as linear); this version with the enharmonics equivalent applies to equal temperament and some other temperaments:


G# (=Ab)    D# (=Eb)  A# (=Bb)   F     C      G    D    A   E    B    F# (=Gb)   C# (=Db)   


In this sequence, it takes 4 fifth intervals to span the notes that would make up a major third (e.g the notes of the major third C-E are connected in the chain above via C-G, G-D, D-A, and A-E).


In 12ET as you correctly noted, the major third interval is wider than just (actually, around 13.7 cents wider).

To bring that major third (e.g. C-E) into purity, one way would be to tune the E notes flat by 13.7 cents relative to 12ET (leaving the C at 0 cents offset).  Thus C = 0 cents offset relative to 12ET, and E = -13.7 cents relative to 12ET.

Then if you narrow each of the following fifths by around 3.4 cents, *relative to 12ET*,  that will divide up the difference equally:

C-G    G-D    D-A   A-E

C=0 offset
G = -3.425 cents relative to 12ET
D = -6.85 cents relative to 12ET
A = -10.275 cents relative to 12ET
E = -13.7 cents relative to 12ET

These are the approximate pitches assigned to those notes in 1/4 comma meantone, when C is used as a point of departure.


Now each of those fifth intervals mentioned above is narrower than in 12ET, by approximately 3.4 cents:

C to G      0 to -3.425
G to D      -3.425 to  -6.85
D to A      -6.85   to   -10.275
A to E      -10.275 to  -13.7

Sensitive ears will hear each of those narrow 1/4cMT fifth intervals as "active" or "buzzy" when the two notes that comprise it are played together --  less concordant than 12ET fifths.

Those 1/4 meantone fifths are actually each narrow by 1/4 comma from a pure fifth, which is how this temperament got its name. A syntonic comma is around 21.51 cents. 1/4 comma is around 5.4 cents, and that's approximately 3.4 cents (the difference between 1/4cMT fifths and 12ET fifths) plus approximately 2 cents (the difference between 12ET fifths and pure fifths).

These numbers are approximate. See also this table for 1/4 comma meantone temperament (especially the "Delta" column, which shows those deviations in cents from 12ET). Sorry I can't seem to correct the formatting:

Note    Formula    Ratio    Cents    12TET    Delta    ​1⁄4-c
C    1           1.0000            0.0            0         0.0     0
C♯    X           1.0449            76.0            100        −24.0    −7
D    T           1.1180           193.2    200        −6.8    −2
E♭    T S           1.1963           310.3    300       +10.3     3
E    T2           1.2500           386.3    400       −13.7    −4
F    T2 S        1.3375           503.4    500       +3.4     1
F♯    T3          1.3975           579.5    600       −20.5    −6
G    P          1.4953           696.6    700       −3.4    −1
G♯    P X          1.5625           772.6    800       −27.4    −8
A    P T          1.6719           889.7    900       −10.3    −3
B♭    P T S       1.7889         1006.8    1000    +6.8     2
B    P T2          1.8692         1082.9    1100    −17.1    −5
C    P T2 S      2.0000         1200.0    1200     0.0    0

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-comma_meantone

Alternative source: https://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory27.htm#mean

There's much more to 1/4 comma meantone, but the above demonstration shows why my original statement was correct. To bring the major thirds into purity, 1/4 comma meantone sets the fifths narrower than in ET.

PG

*If just perfect fifths are used in a 12 note scale, then the major thirds are even wider and more harsh than in 12ET.  That's sometimes called Pythagorean tuning, with just fifths and terrible thirds.  12ET has slightly tempered (narrow) fifths and greatly tempered, wide thirds. 1/4 comma meantone has deeply tempered (narrow) fifths and as a result can obtain just major thirds. However, 1/4 comma meantone if fully implemented does not have a circle of fifths, because enharmonics (Eb vs D#) are not equivalent. You might want 31 pitches to the octave for a full 1/4 comma meantone temperament, to obtain all the notes you might use in chromatic music. Implementations of 1/4 comma on a 12 note keyboard therefore have unuseable "wolf" intervals.


Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 03:44:17 PM
Thanks for your most comprehensive reply, Paul.
That's a lot to take in but I will save and print your post, and have a good think about it.

As far as tuning of melodeons is concerned, I guess there are differences in methodology, depending on whether we are referring to the treble end, or the basses & chords. On an instrument where there is a stop to remove the thirds from the chords, it is surely undesirable to have an open fifth which has beats; it doesn't sound good. That's why I tune the fifths 2 cents sharp - it gives a beatless chord, which does sound nice..

If the treble end of a melodeon (other than a 1-row cajun box) is tuned to some sort of mean tone tuning such as you describe, then there would have to be compromises made somewhere to (a) allow the basic scales on the RH rows to sound reasonably in tune with each other, and (b) to allow the LH basses and chords to not clash unduly with the RH treble end. There will always have to be compromises (won't there?). And isn't the art of tuning to know where and what degree of compromises can or should be made?
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 03:58:43 PM
Hi Steve,

If you are going for pure fifths in the basses, that's even more reason that 1/4 comma meantone on the melody side could be disadvantageous!

To summarize my comment to which you responded, my personal opinion is that 1/4 comma meantone temperament is overkill in narrowing the fifths on a diatonic melodeon.

Most systems of diatonic box can be tuned to obtain very sweet major third intervals on the melody side without narrowing the fifth intervals that much  (1/4 comma from just, or 3.4 cents narrower than 12ET fifths).

BTW, I did edit to add some more info and sources in my previous post. So if you did print it out, you may want to do so again. None of the basic meaning was changed but there's more explanation now.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 04:02:07 PM
Hi Steve,

If you are going for pure fifths in the basses, that's even more reason that 1/4 comma meantone on the melody side could be disadvantageous!

To summarize my comment to which you responded, my personal opinion is that 1/4 meantone temperament is overkill in narrowing the fifths on a diatonic melodeon....

Relieved to read that. Thanks!
Basically, I'll carry on as I have been doing for the past few years then.  :Ph
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 04:14:04 PM
Hi Steve,

If you are going for pure fifths in the basses, that's even more reason that 1/4 comma meantone on the melody side could be disadvantageous!

To summarize my comment to which you responded, my personal opinion is that 1/4 meantone temperament is overkill in narrowing the fifths on a diatonic melodeon....

Relieved to read that. Thanks!
Basically, I'll carry on as I have been doing for the past few years then.  :Ph

If it sounds good to you that's what matters most!  Better still if this is the result of your own personal exploration and you have found your own individual sound - as long as that works for you, your audience, and other musicians you may sometimes join. I don't believe in standards for their own sake & I celebrate sonic and temperamental diversity :)    But sometimes the theory can be a tool to work toward that sound we want, or to negotiate possible compromises among different sounds we may want to achieve.

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 12, 2018, 05:18:41 PM
[...]
Some Hohners from this pre-WW2 period were tuned in equal temperament, some were just not very well tuned at all, but many of the diatonic boxes were tuned to very precise non-equal temperaments designed to optimize certain intervals. I think it's incorrect to call the entire instrument or even the scale for one diatonic row "just tuned" but I'm a stickler about that. However, some intervals do approach "just" tuning. In the two-and three-row boxes you will often see that the same named note when found on different rows and/or different bellows directions is assigned a different pitch.

One possible minor disagreement with Andrius' statements (if I understand you correctly): in my experience, when a box is properly tuned in this way, the octaves *along the same button row and in the same bellows direction* are well in tune, allowing for a different beat frequency of the tremolo or musette. However, octave notes chosen between different button rows and/or different bellows directions may be different in the "center / target perceived pitch."
[...]
PG

Thank you Paul for perfect explanations about tuning, my English is not so good to do it  :(
Most important part of my Hohners are from Germany, and lot of them seems never be serviced after factory.
6 or 7 accordions (of more than 30) were with "sweet thirds" only in low (main) octave (now higher thirds are corrected).
This lets me think about factory tuning this way.
Another interesting discovery - sometimes bass side is not in tune (a little lower) with melody side. IMO it was factory trick.
When testing this way tuned accordion it seems wrong tuned, but when other person is playing, sound seems to be OK. My friend and I were testing two Hohner Club III BS accordions, where one was with lower bass side, another - bass side was tuned with melody side. When another person plays accordion with lower bass side sounds more rich; may be this adds a little more tremolo.

It seems part about tuning can be moved to different place, may be Theo will find the way how to do it to help others to find really actual posts.
 
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: pgroff on August 12, 2018, 05:38:05 PM

Thank you Paul for perfect explanations about tuning, my English is not so good to do it  :(
Most important part of my Hohners are from Germany, and lot of them seems never be serviced after factory.
6 or 7 accordions (of more than 30) were with "sweet thirds" only in low (main) octave (now higher thirds are corrected).
This lets me think about factory tuning this way.
Another interesting discovery - sometimes bass side is not in tune (a little lower) with melody side. IMO it was factory trick.
When testing this way tuned accordion it seems wrong tuned, but when other person is playing, sound seems to be OK. My friend and I were testing two Hohner Club III BS accordions, where one was with lower bass side, another - bass side was tuned with melody side. When another person plays accordion with lower bass side sounds more rich; may be this adds a little more tremolo.

It seems part about tuning can be moved to different place, may be Theo will find the way how to do it to help others to find really actual posts.

Thank you Andrius, your English is beautiful, and my Lithuanian is nonexistent!

I also agree with you about the bass side sometimes tuned flat (also more complex interactions of bass and treble sides are found, especially in the big instruments with 12 or 16 diatonic basses). This sound can work really well depending on musical style, I have a small Hohner Erica that is tuned this way (with reeds from an earlier Hohner, 1930s).

Finally, my apologies for the off-topic posts. However, when a statement that I write is challenged (although friendly and welcome, Steve did challenge my statement about narrow fifths in 1/4 comma meantone to improve thirds) I like to respond with evidence and clear reasoning. That way if I am shown to be wrong I can more clearly see why, and learn from the conversation.

Best,

PG
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Andrius on August 12, 2018, 06:39:00 PM
[...]
Finally, my apologies for the off-topic posts.
[...]

PG

no blame here - off-topic started by me and Steve  8)
Title: Re: Hohner Modell 234, 235, 255 and other prewar clubs with 4 (+) voices
Post by: Steve_freereeder on August 12, 2018, 07:08:10 PM
- off-topic started by me and Steve  8)

But at least partly relevant as it led to a discussion of how these 1930s Hohners might have been tuned.  ;)