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Author Topic: Hohner Cajun IV  (Read 2458 times)

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mselic

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Hohner Cajun IV
« on: October 20, 2015, 06:14:38 PM »

I was in Newfoundland recently and had the opportunity to try a few different accordions.  They were mostly Hohners, but I did get to lay my hands on a Saltarelle (wow - what responsiveness! And what a sound!).  One accordion I took down from the shelf was a Hohner Cajun IV model, a one-row, four-stop box that was similarly priced to the HA-114.  I took it down for curiosity's sake, not expecting much, but I was quite surprised at how nicely it played!  Granted, my experience with accordions has been primarily limited to Hohners, but this one did not sound or feel like a Hohner.  Although it was not as loud as the HA-114, it was much more responsive and the keyboard/button action was much quicker than any other 4-stop I'd ever played.  On that "cajun" box, I found myself able to play fast tunes that I would normally struggle with on my HA-114s.  The tuning sounded pretty similar to what I'm used to on Hohners as well.  I couldn't believe it, but I found myself tempted to walk out with it!

Has anyone had any experience with these boxes, or know much about them? There isn't much mention of them here or on the internet, and what little I did find did not seem overly flattering.  Perhaps it was just the novelty of it for me...maybe a subsequent encounter would find me less enthused...
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mselic

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 06:15:45 PM »

ooops! I meant to put this topic in the "Instrument Makes/Models" thread...help?
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baz parkes

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 08:17:54 PM »

Is this the model that's like a black 114 with slightly better bellows?

I've had one for some 20 years if so...and she's never needed repair...couple of reeds on the H bank in need of a bit of a tweak, but nothing cringeworthy...
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Lester

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 08:37:56 PM »

Is this the model that's like a black 114 with slightly better bellows?

I've had one for some 20 years if so...and she's never needed repair...couple of reeds on the H bank in need of a bit of a tweak, but nothing cringeworthy...

That's what I thought but it would seem not, it's a box I've never seen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIV9gvnQsn8
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Rees

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 09:37:07 PM »

I think also marketed as the Hohner Ariete.
Made in China possibly by Parrot. Not very nice.
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penn

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 10:18:08 PM »

The Cajun IV looks different to the Ariette on their website
http://us.playhohner.com/instruments/accordions/diatonic/cajun/
And eBay prices make the CajunIV about half as much again but cheaper than the current 114.
Presumably all three of them are Chinese these days.
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Lester

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 10:23:09 PM »

The Cajun IV looks different to the Ariette on their website
http://us.playhohner.com/instruments/accordions/diatonic/cajun/
And eBay prices make the CajunIV about half as much again but cheaper than the current 114.
Presumably all three of them are Chinese these days.

The main difference, according to your link, is that the Cajun IV has Italian reeds
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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2015, 02:21:27 PM »

Ah yes, my mistake. The Ariette looks as if it may be a rebranded Klingenthal box.
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triskel

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2015, 04:05:14 PM »

The Ariette looks as if it may be a rebranded Klingenthal box.

More like a poor Chinese copy of a Klingenthal box...  :(
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mselic

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 07:16:31 PM »

The shop that was selling the Cajun IV also had an Ariette and a HA114.  The Ariette was priced at less than half of the other two, and was certainly being marketed as a cheap, beginner's instrument.  The Cajun IV and HA114 were nearly the same price, with the HA114 being slightly more expensive.

HA114s are pretty common around Newfoundland, but the shop owners remarked that a few people had actually expressed a preference of the Cajun IV over the former.  I initially wasn't going to even look at it, assuming that it was junk, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The reeds did sound pretty sweet, and the tuning was spot on, something I've never experienced with any other Hohner I've ever bought.  I found the keyboard to be very responsive, which is what I liked about it.  It was very easy to play.  The reeds were Italian, but not nearly as loud as the Hohner reeds in the HA114.

As mentioned, I have not had a lot of experience with posh boxes (not that I am calling this one posh), so someone more familiar with higher quality instruments may pick up this one and say that it's junk.  I just noticed those things that I would consider to be improvements on the HA114.  It would be nice to combine the best of both worlds...

Perhaps some of you could share with me what you would consider to be good quality 1 row, 4-stop boxes?  I suppose there are all the handmade cajun and quebecois boxes...
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komat

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2015, 07:14:21 PM »

 I've played the same two boxes in the same shop you're referring. I was blown away by the Cajun IV, and debated walking out with it, too!

 It played so effortlessly. I agree that it wasn't as loud or as crisp as the 114, but it had a very sweet and lovely tone that I quite enjoyed. Are they available in D?
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mselic

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2015, 01:24:27 AM »

Unfortunately, they are only available in C, a key that just doesn't work for fiddle players!  If they were available in another key there would be no debate...
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Nathan

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2017, 03:57:17 PM »

Wanted to follow up on this thread with an opinion and a question.

I have a kind of janky old HA114 – sounds good but very uncomfortable to play. A lot of this is the straps, but I also hate the spoon buttons (you can't rest your middle two fingers between the buttons), and the right-hand buttons have way too much travel and are super clanky. Local shop had a sale on Cajun IVs so I tried one. It is definitely waaaay more comfortable to play than the HA114. However, to say it sounds less loud and bright is an understatement IMHO – to me it sounds like the HA114 being smothered under a mattress. It just wasn't fun to play without the big brassy sound, no matter how smoothly my fingers could glide around it.

Now my question is – does anyone happen to know if the HA114 and Cajun IV reedblocks are the same shape and interchangeable? Think I could just buy the discounted Cajun IV and slip the HA114 reedblocks in without any further ado?
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syale

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2017, 04:09:14 PM »

Now my question is – does anyone happen to know if the HA114 and Cajun IV reedblocks are the same shape and interchangeable? Think I could just buy the discounted Cajun IV and slip the HA114 reedblocks in without any further ado?

The HA114 reed blocks are glued in so I don't believe it would be that easy.

Stephen
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mselic

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2017, 08:28:53 PM »

I don't believe the Hohner Cajun IV model was ever actually made by Hohner; I'm pretty sure it was a rebranded model with their name slapped onto it. I've seen a few other cheap boxes that were undoubtedly the very same model branded under a different name and available in European markets. For this reason, I'd say it's very unlikely there is anything interchangeable about them.
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Nathan

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2017, 09:37:22 PM »

Ha yeah I forgot the blocks are waxed on. Is that also true on the cajun IV? If not, it seems like it should be easy enough to unwax them from the HA114 if I don't have to worry about reattaching with wax.

As to compatibility: all that matters is that it fits and the holes line up, n'est-ce pas? I don't know if they do, but all these cajun boxes look the same shape to me...
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Rees

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2017, 11:07:40 PM »

The reedblocks are glued in not waxed. The only way to get them out is by steam.
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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2017, 11:13:27 PM »

Yes, and even then the reed spacing may be different, and the placement of the register slides may be different.

The most practical way to exchange reeds is to take all the reeds off the blocks and wax them into place in the new box. Even that is not straightforward because reedsxif different makes are not all the same length, so reed blocks may need to be adjusted to suit.
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Nathan

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Re: Hohner Cajun IV
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2017, 03:55:01 PM »

OK well that kiboshes that idea – thanks for the intel
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