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Author Topic: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930  (Read 1613 times)

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triskel

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Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« on: August 28, 2017, 01:36:05 PM »

... an early '30's C#/D Hohner, with no couplers (so that it's permanent 4-voice) ... an incredibly rare (possibly unique?) instrument, made about 25 years before C#/D boxes started to be generally available from Hohner ...

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'll take some photos and start a fresh thread about my 4-voice Cis D "Beast".

So here's the promised thread, starting with some external photos showing the double-curved grille, screwed treble buttons, and what appears to be the original dark mahogany stained finish on the bass end board, but most of the rest of the casework appears to have been rubbed down.

The Cis D stamping on the bottom of the keyboard has been done with a small Cis and a large D, suggesting that they didn't have a proper stamp made up for the C#/D key combination at the time, and the large letter D would be typical of earlier models.

It measures 8" x 11 1/2" across the ends.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 01:53:46 PM by triskel »
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triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 02:00:34 PM »

It has a reverse keyboard action, and the zinc reed plates are stamped H.
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 02:43:15 PM »

Is it possible to let us hear it?
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Edward
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Hohner 114 in G. Hohner 1040 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D.  17 button 8 bass, bandoneon tuned, Squirrel with stops for both treble voices in C/F. Hohner (Pre-Corona?) in G/C/F, Hohner Corso in C/C#, Hohner Club 11 currently being converted from C/F to bandoneon tuned D/G, Ancient M. Hohner 2 voice 1 row in C. Plus projects and parts of projects.
http://ourluxorflat.blogspot.co.uk/

triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 05:08:15 PM »

Is it possible to let us hear it?

You wouldn't want to hear it the way it is Edward, it's in "Scottish musette" tuning that's gone sour after having been played long and hard by its previous owner.  :-\  (It was last tuned by Rolston Accordions in November 1992, when they were in Darlington.)

And it'll be a while before I get around to fixing it, because it's sitting in a queue of personal "projects" that's headed by this c.1950 "black beauty" at the moment:
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 07:30:08 PM by triskel »
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 05:51:23 PM »

Daddy Long Les says, "So many boxes, so little time!" If your 4 voice C#D is at the back of the queue, perhaps you should just parcel it up and send it off  to me, I'm sure that I can make a pig's ear of tuning it just as well as Hohner did originally. I'd look after it, honest! (No, no shame whatsoever!)
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Edward
Windy Nook.
Hohner 114 in G. Hohner 1040 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D.  17 button 8 bass, bandoneon tuned, Squirrel with stops for both treble voices in C/F. Hohner (Pre-Corona?) in G/C/F, Hohner Corso in C/C#, Hohner Club 11 currently being converted from C/F to bandoneon tuned D/G, Ancient M. Hohner 2 voice 1 row in C. Plus projects and parts of projects.
http://ourluxorflat.blogspot.co.uk/

boxcall

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 07:47:49 PM »

I like the "black beauty" (:)
You should have that done in no time  ;), it doesn't appear to need much , grill cloth and maybe some tuning or is there more to it?

I like the extra black trim detail on the pepperpots we have, just saying.
I'm wondering why only four basses on that one and what are they?

Sorry for thread drift.
The Hohner looks nice, what are the reeds MMMM? Maybe you said it in the other thread.

Edward , nothing wrong with trying.
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, Paolo soprani "pepperpot" one row D

triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 09:15:59 PM »

I like the "black beauty" (:)
You should have that done in no time  ;), it doesn't appear to need much , grill cloth and maybe some tuning or is there more to it?

Ho, ho, ho!  :(

Yes, that's what I thought, when I bought it something like 9 years ago (it came from North Shore, Boston, and was probably sold originally by O'Beirne DeWitt). But things turned out to be very different, and the condition was much, much worse than it looks in the photo.

I think it was probably stored in a damp basement, so that the bellows were rotten, and the leather-covered aluminium soundboard too, and the woodwork distorted, in fact it needs a total rebuild.

For 8 years (interspersed with occasional gentle "reminders" - he's a friend I regularly play with) it sat on the accordion repairer's shelf (surviving two floods in that time!) until late last year I suggested we needed to confer over it. He was surprised himself about just how much he had already done with it, but the sticking points seemed to be that soundboard (which somebody had additionally messed-up by squirting some kind of foam around), and the bellows - so I took responsibility for those, and brought them away with me.

I now have a new bellows for it, and finally managed to get the soundboard out (a screwdriver, hammer and chisel/prayer and state of fast job!) without totally destroying the treble end...

It's getting there! (And it is the same as one that Jackie Daly sometimes played in De Dannan.  ;))

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I like the extra black trim detail on the pepperpots we have, just saying.
I'm wondering why only four basses on that one and what are they?

Nils Nielsen always reckoned that trim meant they were made by Pancotti (though I can't vouch for that), and he was in the trade at the time.

Whilst I think the "grey box" grille more than makes up for the lack of black trim detail, and the white trim on the 2-row would remind me of the "Holy Greys" that were made around the same time...

The basses are for D "on the press" and G "on the draw".

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The Hohner looks nice, what are the reeds MMMM? Maybe you said it in the other thread.

LMMM

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Edward ... trying.

He is, isn't he?  8)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 03:31:10 AM by triskel »
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boxcall

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 10:18:44 PM »

Oh, that's to bad that it had to go though all that. pictures don't say a thousand words when it comes to accordions I guess. I live on the north shore (Cape Ann) doing carpentry . From what I read in Jerry O'brien's bio. He lived in Beverly farms near by doing carpentry before working for O'Byrne Dewitt.
I suppose there would be a connection there to the sale of your box. Do you know who owned it first?
Spray foam sounds very messy and not all that air tight if that was the intention.
It will be nice when you complete it, hopefully we'll get to hear it sing.
Ok, I'm drifting again ::)
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, Paolo soprani "pepperpot" one row D

pgroff

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 03:09:49 PM »

Thanks for the photos and dimensions of that C#D Hohner, triskel -- Very interesting accordion!

I'm guessing that it might not be too comfortable to play a box with those casework proportions in typical C#D style.  Then, the keyboard might affect playability for some - I personally don't mind those small buttons but a lot of players do. This makes it something of a dilemma how to restore this instrument, a trade-off of playability with originality.

If money were no object (hah!) one possibly interesting thing to do with this box would be to have one of the modern box makers build a small and light case, bellows, and modern keyboard (with comfortable sized and spaced buttons and fast modern action) to fit the original reedblocks. Then you could tune up that unusual 4 voice set of prewar Hohner C#D reeds and play them either in the original accordion (as a demonstration of the original piece) or easily and reversibly switch the blocks into an instrument that might well be much faster and more ergonomic.

PG
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 03:11:50 PM by pgroff »
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 11:20:52 AM »

... an early '30's C#/D Hohner, with no couplers (so that it's permanent 4-voice) ... an incredibly rare (possibly unique?) instrument, made about 25 years before C#/D boxes started to be generally available from Hohner ...

What is the set-up on the bass end? Do you have bass and chords for the D row?
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triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2017, 03:48:39 PM »


What is the set-up on the bass end? Do you have bass and chords for the D row?

Yes, it has old-style Hohner basses for both D and C# - like an old Black Dot, only transposed up a full tone.

And it has very deep, growlly, basses...
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 07:31:00 PM by triskel »
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triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 05:30:27 PM »

I like the "black beauty" (:)

(And it is the same as one that Jackie Daly sometimes played in De Dannan.  ;))

These clips of Jackie playing his one, (with some lads you might recognise ;)) around 1980, came my way today: Jackie Daly, Alec Finn and Frankie Gavin and Jackie Daly, Alec Finn and Frankie Gavin 2
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boxcall

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 06:01:28 PM »

Great playing, I was just looking at this clips a few days ago.
Amazing how they make the two instruments sound like one, or you really have to listen to hear the individual instrument. More the box for some reason.

It will be a nice box when you and your repairman get it repaired and playing again. (:)
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, Paolo soprani "pepperpot" one row D

triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 06:26:53 PM »

Amazing how they make the two instruments sound like one, or you really have to listen to hear the individual instrument. More the box for some reason.

Probably because both Frankie Gavin (the boss! ;)) and Jackie Daly prefer a pretty dry accordion sound, whilst the original/"default" tuning for O'Byrne DeWitt/Jerry O'Brien was "Americano" = only +10 cents, anyway. I'll be going for rather more than that! ::)

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It will be a nice box when you and your repairman get it repaired and playing again. (:)

I think it'll all be well-worth it in the end, and hope to get back to that soon, but I'm presently working on trying to get the very best sound/balance I can out of my C#/D Casali (without doing anything too drastic) - and getting there too! (:) (:) (:)
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pgroff

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 06:49:19 PM »

A little off-topic, but I recently picked up a Hohner permanent 4-voice MMMM club model, probably from the 1928 - 1939 period. Nice box, but pretty big & heavy!  I suspect these 4 voice, no-switch models were "specials."

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boxcall

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 09:11:54 PM »

I was looking at the inside of the box in the pictures you posted it looks like the reeds had some recent work, wax and valves. It looks clean in there but under the grill and end plate could use a little house cleaning.

What would you use to clean the dirt and mildew , is soap and water good enough?

Funny it looks clean all around otherwise.
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, Paolo soprani "pepperpot" one row D

Andrius

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2018, 09:32:12 PM »

Can you post photo(s) please?

A little off-topic, but I recently picked up a Hohner permanent 4-voice MMMM club model [...]
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KLR

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2018, 09:42:16 PM »

Ah, I left a comment only last month on that first video.  An Gliomach!  Now I want to play that tune. 

I assume you're saying Jackie has/had the exact same model - including 4 basses?  Funny how ever so temporarily button boxes had the B&W look that was becoming de rigeur for PAs.  Seems like everything became red celluloid after that, excepting the odd Shand Morino.

Taking it out of tremolo Americano or swing or whatever Jerry O'Brien wanted is kinda sacrilegious too, ain't it?   Actually, didn't the Irish Americans just want everything dry, 2 row melodeons basically?  I've never heard soggy tuning from any of those old boys, O'Brien/Derrane/Timmy Cronin/Jim McCann/Tom Seiner.  It's all quite clean.

The box that's the subject of this thread is nice, too.  Do you still have - or did you ever actually own - a Hohner C/C#/D?  Or was that just something you noticed in the old catalogues? 
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triskel

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2018, 11:20:25 PM »

A little off-topic, but I recently picked up a Hohner permanent 4-voice MMMM club model, probably from the 1928 - 1939 period. Nice box, but pretty big & heavy!  I suspect these 4 voice, no-switch models were "specials."

Yes, Hohner seem to have been more prepared to make "custom specials" in those days. There's this "big bruiser" of a late 1930's Akkordeon Knopfakkordeon Hohner Organola E A on German eBay at the moment too. :o
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pgroff

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Re: Hohner permanent 4-voice C#/D circa 1930
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 12:22:53 AM »

Can you post photo(s) please?

A little off-topic, but I recently picked up a Hohner permanent 4-voice MMMM club model [...]

Have done so in this new thread:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=22214.0

PG
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 01:38:39 PM by pgroff »
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