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Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Accordion Dave on January 02, 2010, 03:35:32 AM

Title: Hero Accordions
Post by: Accordion Dave on January 02, 2010, 03:35:32 AM
Does anyone have experience playing the little 7 button Chinese toy melodeons that are sold under various brand names?

I read somewhere on the internet that if you can master one of those, you can play just about anything. With the small bellows and brass reeds, you run out of air quite quickly.

"Toys R Us" sells the "First Act" accordion. I visited a lot of their stores prior to Christmas, so I got quite good at playing several tunes.

Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Bill the Farmer on January 02, 2010, 10:48:55 AM
There have been several mentions of these on here, all I remember is that they are easier to play if you block off one set of reeds, and that the ones with the enclosed keyboard are better than the ones with an open keyboard. I've never tried one.
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: george garside on January 02, 2010, 02:57:56 PM
just a coincidence but I had a go on one on new years eve which had been bought more or less as a toy for a niece of mine.  At 15 or so it was suprisingly well made with bellows attached by normal pins, grille screwed on & detachable, undrside of keyboard screwed on etc. Bellows tape in pattern using different colours of tape in normal way so physically constructed up to normal chinese box standard.

Presumably 2 voice & quite a pleasant sound. 2 bass & air button on left. NOw to the important bit it played far better than I expected & I was able to play athol highlanders up to rapper speed without any problem aalso hulichan jig, & several slower tunes that didn't require anything lower than 'do' as it is first button 'do' (presumabaly C)  This on treble only as bass air consumption  far too high to use for much of the time.

Certainly for 15 it is a 'throw  away' solution to finding out if someone is able to cope with a push/pull box. ( I got my 10 year old niece playing  most of Silent Night' in under an hour from scratch)  The real questionis if this can be made,transported, imported, wholesaled & retailed for around 15 quid why can't the chinese do a 10 button one row  about twice the size so as to give better air supply from bigger bellows, for about 30 or 40 quid . 
Such a box would make a cheap starter and for 120 you could have 3 in different keys!


just one proviso -the one I tried was OK, but chinese quality varies so thay may not all be  as playable.

george
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Ebor_fiddler on January 02, 2010, 07:13:45 PM
Yes, I tried one recently which had very little bellows pressure, though I'm going back to try again - the bad one may have gone over the Sacrificial Period.
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: forrest on January 02, 2010, 08:22:33 PM
  These can be lots of fun, but the quality control is a bit sketchy. It's best if you are at a store that has a large supply, and are able to discreetly try out many to find one that is at least semi-playable. From there, if you are handy, you can perform some tweaks that will improve the sound and playability considerably.
   Please always bear in mind that it is meant as a toy, the bellows gussets are a coated fabric which eventually becomes porous (not a good thing for bellows gussets), and you shouldn't have paid much for it. With that in mind, it's an adventure in playing coherently on 7 keys, and a tutorial on how a melodeon works (or doesn't, as the case may be).
  I concur with George, there should be a slightly more substantial model available, but if you get hooked on this concept, your next step would probably be an Italian organetto, many of which are superbly made, and come in small sizes with many possibilities for reeds and voices, but with rather large price tags. 8)
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Andy in Vermont on January 02, 2010, 10:30:43 PM
why can't the chinese do a 10 button one row  about twice the size so as to give better air supply from bigger bellows, for about 30 or 40 quid . 
Such a box would make a cheap starter and for 120 you could have 3 in different keys!

There is a relatively cheap kit sold by a Swiss accordion maker that could fill that niche, for only slightly more money than you are suggesting.
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: george garside on January 02, 2010, 10:56:13 PM
Tell us more!  does he have a website, email address or whatever?

george
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: tedrick on January 03, 2010, 12:28:52 AM
I taught myself on one of these - very limited, but you can play up and down a scale, play some really simple tunes -- probably the main thing you learn from playing one of these is how to use the breather button -

my first instrument was the harmonica, so picking up one of these toys, I found the exact in/out system that a harmonica uses - so it was easy for me to start playing simple tunes.

definitely worth trying out and seeing if you like squeezing out tunes on one before going all in on a real accordion.

Take care,
Reed
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Accordion Dave on January 03, 2010, 02:41:45 AM
I bought a pair of these little accordions for my niece and nephew, Christmas 2008.

I was able to try about a half dozen of them in the store. I bought the two with the best sounding tuning. These were purchased at a small toy shop.

The "First Act" accordions available at the large chain store, "Toys R Us" for Christmas 2008 were dreadfully out of tune. This years models are tuned much better.

It is important to try it before you buy it, because the tuning varies greatly. I would be reluctant to buy one by mail order or e-bay. 
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: melodeon on January 03, 2010, 05:34:34 AM
I bought several of these years ago at a flea market.. New they were $6  USD

I took the best parts from them and assembled a couple good units.
I then fit proper thumb and bass straps, padded the flappers both onthe sound board side and under the button to limit travel and cut down the noise
I adjusted the reeds , tuned them and fitted proper valves.

Fun to play.  Good for a street gig to pull out and show your "real stuff"

I know of others who have fitted Hohner reeds, and some have grafted them to make a 9 button unit.
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: baz parkes on January 03, 2010, 03:09:34 PM
Does anyone have experience playing the little 7 button Chinese toy melodeons that are sold under various brand names?


It's what I'm playing here (in the photo, not here, if you see what I mean)

I think they're well worth a punt...although you may need to search for one that plays well, as others have said.

Definitely worth more  than simply daft laugh stakes.

As others have said, it helps if you're used to a 1 row

Baz
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Keithypete. on January 03, 2010, 06:37:34 PM
My six year old was so good last year that Santa furnished him with one at Christmas. Which leads me to wonder what I have done to deserve this wheezy, only just in tune - nearly - accompaniement. Its in C so he can  play along with Daddy. Yippee.
   Seriously though, good for learning the rudiments as it is smaller and lighter than the old A.C. knocking about the place. Didn't have the chance to try different  boxes so pot-luck with this one. The quality is OK ish, not very air-tight.I will probably tape over one set of reeds to aid air conservation.
   Who knows what the outcome will be, after all '...some have greatness stuffed in their christmas stocking.'
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Keithypete. on January 14, 2010, 01:47:25 PM
I know that there are some true kid prodigies out there, but my 6 year old can now play a two finger scale - up & down. So probably one of his better presents after all.
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: oeilphotography on July 02, 2013, 07:31:42 AM
Where can I purchase a hero brand accordion?
Title: Re: Hero Accordions
Post by: Nipper Daugherty on July 02, 2013, 01:49:01 PM
Mine is a pink pearloid "Baronelli" that I got off t'internet. Pink is very important. When my grand daughters visit, I get it out and play a tune or two, then leave it out and available to see if there is any interest.  ;)