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Author Topic: Amatona conversion  (Read 422 times)

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RogerT

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Amatona conversion
« on: August 26, 2017, 07:39:42 AM »

I have a four voice Amatona BC (LMMM) with lots of switches. I'm wondering if anyone has ever converted one to LMMH in DG...thus creating a two row 114...and would  this be a crime...and or would anyone play such an instrument?

Phil Howard

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 07:53:48 AM »

If it hasn't been done before, I think you should on principle. I wouldn't want to own one, but would be interested to see/hear it.
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Theo

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 09:42:50 AM »

If you want one do it, but I suspect there will be fewer potential buyers than an a BC
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RogerT

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 10:28:46 AM »

Yes, that's kinda what I thought. It'd be a big job and expensive, so two reasons not to do it on a whim..(plus I don't really have the time to spare).. and really, why wreck a lovely BC? But..it's an interesting idea (:)

triskel

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 10:49:49 AM »

I'm wondering if anyone has ever converted one to LMMH in DG...thus creating a two row 114...

Only it wouldn't be a two row 114, because the G row would be an octave higher than a 114 in G, and those piccolo reeds would be getting extremely high and squeaky...  ???

Though I've toyed with the idea of putting an early '30's C#/D Hohner, with no couplers (so that it's permanent 4-voice), into double-octave tuning like that. But I decided against doing it because that one's an incredibly rare (possibly unique?) instrument, made about 25 years before C#/D boxes started to be generally available from Hohner, and I feel it would be a crime in the case of that one.
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Pgidley

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 12:33:33 PM »

I'm wondering if anyone has ever converted one to LMMH in DG...thus creating a two row 114...

Only it wouldn't be a two row 114, because the G row would be an octave higher than a 114 in G, and those piccolo reeds would be getting extremely high and squeaky...  ???

Though I've toyed with the idea of putting an early '30's C#/D Hohner, with no couplers (so that it's permanent 4-voice), into double-octave tuning like that. But I decided against doing it because that one's an incredibly rare (possibly unique?) instrument, made about 25 years before C#/D boxes started to be generally available from Hohner, and I feel it would be a crime in the case of that one.

Id love to hear more about your 4 voice C#/D. We have a 30s 4 voice in B/C that has a switch to remove the L reeds. Microbot did it up for us, it's in his soundcloud as The Beast. I've never seen another one like it.
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pgroff

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 02:10:32 PM »

Hi all,

triskel, I agree - keep that rare 4v no-switch C#D original - at least until another one turns up. Or possibly you could get a spare set of reedblocks made up to fit it so that the LMMH conversion is a completely reversible option. That's expensive, but I'd hope one of your Irish box makers would do it.

pgidley, as you probably remember I had one of those 4 voice LMMM, 1-switch Hohner BC boxes (grey pearloid, pearl buttons, 23 melody keys) from the 1930s for a while - via Theo Gibb (thanks Theo!). I loved the sound of it but it was a little large and heavy for comfort. I actually prefer my ca 1928 Hohner 234/235 which is also in LMMM, but has a different type of action design. 

Of the 1930s Hohner semitone-tuned boxes I've seen, I think I like the MMM no-switch grey Double Ray deluxes with pearl buttons
the best, for weight, comfort, and sound. IMO they really sing if you set them up with a little extra pallet lift and very open (or absent) grille cloth.

RogerT, someone in the US (davdd) was looking for a set of BC reeds to convert a CC# Amatona, so if you did go ahead with the project those BC reeds might find a buyer.

PG
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Pgidley

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 02:53:44 PM »

Paul, I had totally forgotten that you had your hands on a similar 4 voice B/C. If anyone had seen one, it'd be you!

We've been looking for one of those 3 voice Double Ray deluxes. The plan is to convert it to C#/D, with the hope that it's tone compares to the 4 voice when in it's 3 voice setting.
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pgroff

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 03:05:32 PM »

The trick might be to locate reeds in C#D that are comparable to the ones in your 4 voice box. If you were testing the 2 kinds of Hohners with the exact same reeds, I think you might find the 3 voice boxes sound even better than the 4 voice box on the MMM setting.

PG

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triskel

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 03:27:55 PM »

If you were testing the 2 kinds of Hohners with the exact same reeds, I think you might find the 3 voice boxes sound even better than the 4 voice box on the MMM setting.

That'd most certainly be the case with 3-voice v. 4-voice Paolo Sopranis too.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 04:23:00 PM by triskel »
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davidd

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2017, 04:05:44 PM »

Hi Roger, Although I no longer have an Amatona in CC#, I sent it back the other day, I would be interested in one in BC. I really liked the way the Amatona played.   Would you consider selling yours and for what amount?  You can get me that info in a pm if you would rather.  Thanks. 
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triskel

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2017, 04:09:13 PM »

... I've toyed with the idea of putting an early '30's C#/D Hohner, with no couplers (so that it's permanent 4-voice), into double-octave tuning like that. But I decided against doing it because that one's an incredibly rare (possibly unique?) instrument, made about 25 years before C#/D boxes started to be generally available from Hohner, and I feel it would be a crime in the case of that one.

Id love to hear more about your 4 voice C#/D. We have a 30s 4 voice in B/C that has a switch to remove the L reeds. Microbot did it up for us, it's in his soundcloud as The Beast. I've never seen another one like it.

I'd also toyed with the idea of getting a switch added to the back of the keyboard on mine, but decided against making any changes in the end.

I'll take some photos and start a fresh thread about my Beast of a Cis D.
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Pgidley

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2017, 04:27:28 PM »

The trick might be to locate reeds in C#D that are comparable to the ones in your 4 voice box. If you were testing the 2 kinds of Hohners with the exact same reeds, I think you might find the 3 voice boxes sound even better than the 4 voice box on the MMM setting.

PG

Yep I think that's going to be the key. The B/C box has the "made in Germany" stamped reeds. It'd be costly to get a set of C#/D morino reeds for a 3 voice box, but I've been told it could be done.
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pgroff

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2017, 04:38:01 PM »



I'd also toyed with the idea of getting a switch added to the back of the keyboard on mine, but decided against making any changes in the end.

I'll take some photos and start a fresh thread about my Beast of a Cis D.

triskel, agree that it makes sense to leave this without the switch . . . there are plenty of switched 4 voice boxes out there (though not too many of them are 2 row Hohners - non club - from the 1930s).

The 4 voice no-switch MMMM sound is great. I don't think you mentioned above if yours is LMMM or MMMM, but I have a 4 voice, no-switch MMMM GCB Rogledi that has a lovely voice . . .

PG
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 12:36:26 AM by pgroff »
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triskel

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2017, 02:07:10 AM »

I don't think you mentioned above if yours is LMMM or MMMM, but I have a 4 voice, no-switch MMMM GCB Rogledi that has a lovely voice . . .

I didn't, though I felt LMMM was implied in the context - and that's what it is. The (hypothetical) switch would have been to take out the L reed set.
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Rees

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2017, 02:21:54 AM »

Ref. the original post, converting B/C to D/G. Make new D/G reed blocks and keep the B/C ones intact.
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pgroff

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Re: Amatona conversion
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2017, 05:30:41 PM »

Ref. the original post, converting B/C to D/G. Make new D/G reed blocks and keep the B/C ones intact.

Hi Rees,

I'd agree in principle but I'm thinking that reedblocks for the versions of the Amatona that have switches (unlike my old no-switch Amatona III) would be fiddly to reproduce. The ones I've seen have flimsy plastic film sliders etc.  But - if it can be done well (or spare reedblocks sourced from a wrecked example) then I like this idea the best!

PG
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