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Author Topic: M Hohner B/E  (Read 10676 times)

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Pete Dunk

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M Hohner B/E
« on: February 26, 2014, 08:22:35 PM »

New acquisition:





It's throwing up a few questions because I've never seen a Hohner built like this before! Has anyone had any experience dismantling models as old as this and can you tell me how the springs work on the treble mechanism?



Pallets screwed onto the lever arms, brass reeds on 'H' zinc plates screwed onto hardwood reed blocks, old high pitch so it's actually tuned slightly flat of B/E. I haven't had time to look at the bass end mechanism yet, any pitfalls I should know about?


Edit: Changed thread title from Bb/Eb because this was incorrect!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 06:33:39 PM by tallship »
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Rees

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 10:33:33 PM »

The treble springs are under the wooden levers. Pull the axle and they'll all pop out, so number them first.

Otherwise fairly straightforward.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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squeezy

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 10:56:44 PM »

I have nothing useful to add ... but I do think that your box is a splendid example of buttons that are worthy of the name ... some of the ones on that box would match some of my shirts splendidly!
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Theo

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 11:01:57 PM »

The bass mechanism is probable partly wood with iron wire levers and maybe fragile, especially if any of the iron parts have rusted inside small blocks of wood.  The expanding rust can split the wood.  You may find some wood components need to be replaced.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 11:54:15 PM »

I will proceed with great caution, I'm already very taken with this little box as I was with the Liliput when I first got it. It's a lovely little thing but it's had a hard life. If you look carefully at the third picture, extreme left at the bottom of the fingerboard you can just see the eye on the end of the axle rod. Follow that line to the right and you will see a horizontal crack that follows on for about the first three key widths, worrying that!

I'll be doing anything I feel I can without doing any harm, saving up for a while and then sending it off to a master fettler to sort out the tricky bits and the retuning because brass reeds give me the willies to be honest!
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forrest

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 01:32:48 AM »

Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)
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AirTime

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 04:42:07 AM »

Yes, the treble mechanism looks identical to mine, however, mine is a 12 bass & has steel reeds. There's no question that it has a wonderful tone, & with new felt on the palettes & on the treble & bass buttons, it's pretty quiet.

The interesting thing is, that even compared to the modern boxes I've played - Saltarelle, Beltuna, Castagnari - I really like the feel of the old MOP treble buttons.  There's a fairly long travel to the mechanism (significantly reduced by adding felt to the palettes & buttons) & combined with the wide, flat surface of the buttons I find this gives a very satisfying "feel" to the action.

I hope your Hohner gives you as much playing enjoyment as mine!    :||:
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:20:16 PM by AirTime »
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Kimric Smythe

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 04:52:50 AM »

I have an identical one in the same tuning that I restored about 15 years ago. It has brass reeds with the reeds set against leather with screws.
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Broadland Boy

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 06:32:28 PM »

Pete,

A few years back (4-5 yrs?) I picked a similar one row (a bit older than this with colour lithographed corner protectors with Hr Hohners face depicted, seemed to be a Koch design) where the Bronze reeds had all been bent badly by kiddy plucking - opened a thread with quite a few internal photo's posted which might have helped you on the construction, have had a search on 'Old Hohner' but can't find it so it may have been recycled to maintain disk space.

All the iron rodwork was pretty rusted where it was fixed into the wood and a good warm up with a soldering iron before attacking with pliers was the only way I could remove most, I managed to gently iron the bends out of all but (IIRC) one reed and even now a couple are still normalising as the pitch gently creeps - not brave enough to show them the deep fat frier for a few minutes :-[

HTH
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Pete Dunk

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 11:01:21 PM »

Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?
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forrest

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 03:46:14 AM »

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

Well....given that your Hohner might not be the Belle of the Ball at sessions, you could restore the original tuning to its' quaint archaic self, and use it to play solo.....   ::)
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Christopher K.

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 04:51:59 AM »

Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.

Steve_freereeder

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 09:27:52 AM »

Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

The tuning in B/E is ideal for playing the diatonic accordion parts in Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite No.2 which features two accordions in the third movement.

Here's the accordion part for the third movement. The accordion plays for 36 bars in total. As you can see, it's not the most imaginative writing; mostly it would appear to consist of bunging lots of fingers down on the E row and E bass/chords and just waggling the bellows.  :|bl

The full score is here if you are interested (20 MB file size).

I should leave your Hohner in B/E tuning so that when the call goes up for a melodeon player to take part in a performance of the Orchestral Suite, you will have the instrument available and will be able to step into your place in the orchestra to much acclaim and receive a bountiful fee.  ;)
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Pete Dunk

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Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 11:01:35 PM »

The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.

Good point and as I'm about to embark on a collaborative trad music project with guitarists that like to play in D capo 2 . . .

I should leave your Hohner in B/E tuning so that when the call goes up for a melodeon player to take part in a performance of the Orchestral Suite, you will have the instrument available and will be able to step into your place in the orchestra to much acclaim and receive a bountiful fee.  ;)

Better still when the shout goes up I'll lend you the box, you get all of the glory and adoration, I get 40% of all fees and royalties. Deal?  ;D  8)
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Christopher K.

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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 11:25:14 PM »

Quote
Quote from: Christopher K. on Today at 04:51:59 AM
    The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.
Good point and as I'm about to embark on a collaborative trad music project with guitarists that like to play in D capo 2 . . .

Capos are good but it always irritates me how they kill the resonance. I like to tune the guitar down a half-step and play normally with the C shape, or tune up a whole step and play as I would in A. Nice thing about the guitar is how flexible it is with regards to voicing and tuning  :|bl

Owen Woods

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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 11:58:41 AM »

I would love a b/e!
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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 12:23:40 AM »

I actually love the sound of instruments tuned to what I call the  "in-between pitches,"  A 430 - 438 and also A 443 - 458.* They seem very relaxing after decades of listening to 12-tone equal temperament at A 440.

But I don't believe there's anything intrinsically good about any one pitch, as a standard for all instruments.  Some pitches can sound good for one particular instrument.  But to me, the different pitches sound good as a relief, or in contrast, to other pitches.  The "evidence" of resonances obtained at A 432 or any other particular pitch is very sensitive to changes to parameters of the system set up to demonstrate those resonances.

PG

* I call them "in-between" because these tunings employ the frequencies that are not used for fundamentals when music is based on 12-tone equal temperament at A = 440.  At A 440 ET, G# is around 415 Hz and Bb is approximately 466 Hz. 
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Pete Dunk

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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 11:12:05 PM »

My apologies if I've taken too long to contribute to the thread again, but I've been sitting back and taking stock of everything I have learned in a relatively short time from the vast pool of knowledge that is melodeon.net. The outcome is that this box will be restored as and when finances allow to B/E at A=332. I can do the mechanical bits myself I reckon but some bits of that require that I call upon the collective knowledge for advice. I can remove the metal corner pieces from the bellows frames easily enough in order to rebind the bellows ends but the frames are very deep and the original material isn't the broad leather I've become used to working with on concertinas, what is it?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 07:59:30 AM by tallship »
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Theo

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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2014, 12:08:44 AM »

I can remove the metal corner pieces from the bellows frames easily enough in order to rebind the bellows ends but the frames are very deep and the original material isn't the broad leather I've become used to working with on concertinas, what is it?


It might be a textured paper, or a coated cloth similar to bookbinders buckram, or Rexine.  I've successfully used both on renovation of similar boxes.  Genuine Rexine is no longer made, so a buckram type material might be best .  Nick CB is the best person on the forum to advise on this.
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: M Hohner B/E
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2014, 06:32:08 AM »

It's a sad thing that Rexine is no longer made. a "lookalike " material  can be obtained from J. Hewitt and Sons in Scotland, it is not as good but it looks almost identical   :'(
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