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Author Topic: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )  (Read 854 times)

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pgroff

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Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:03:22 PM »

Hi all,

Occasionally we've discussed examples of four-voice MMMM instruments.

The most common way I've encountered an *MMMM voicing* is in some 6-voice instruments, where the switch pulls out 2 reeds, leaving four middle reeds. Many of the early Baldoni and Walters Irish-American boxes can offer the option of this sound; most of those instruments have only one row of melody reeds, or one row plus a partial row. 
(See for example this topic):

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,9187.0.html


But I've started this topic to post examples of diatonic boxes that have "only" four voices, MMMM. Please add examples here for discussion! In particular, I know there were MMMM Ranco boxes but have never seen one.

Most of the MMMM boxes that I've seen or heard about have had two (or more) melody rows, which makes them pretty big.

I've heard several times of 4-voice Paolo Soprani 2-row boxes, tuned MMMM rather than the typical LMMM. I seem to remember hearing about one in Sliabh Luachra? 



hibbs21 also mentions one in Newfoundland:

I know this might not be entirely on-topic, but has anyone ever heard of a 2 row Paolo Soprani MMMM, no couplers, 21 stepped button box? Ray Johnson, of whom I'm sure any Newfoundlanders on here know, plays one example he bought on Dundas Street in the 60's, but I have never ever heard of another example of it. Lars had one almost identical to it, albeit a 2v model. I've attached a clip, where the box can be heard during the opening sequence (he picks it up from the wharf), and can be seen in full action at around 4:30. Just throwin this out there thats all ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Lo4T8V6G0&feature=PlayList&p=E4989F8E633E4514&index=28


Now, in the photo below, here is a fairly unusual Hohner club in BbEb that is voiced MMMM, no switches. Until this one arrived, I'd never seen one exactly like it.  I'm guessing it was made in the early 1930s (at least, no earlier than 1928). It's a very high quality machine with all reeds stamped "Hohner Germany." Very original although the reeds have been revalved with plastic valves and the pitch is now A 440 (probably having been retuned from a lower pitch). This handles beautifully despite the substantial size and the sound is lovely.

PG
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 01:53:03 PM by pgroff »
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Grape Ape

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi)
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2018, 01:18:17 PM »

Not seeing the photos....
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BbEb Saphir, BbEb Hohner III BS, CF Ouveture V,  Dick Richards Pointe Noire (in A of all things), CF Preciosa, AD Presswood, CF Club Model II, Melodija Menges GCFBb, Preciosa BbEb, Handry GCF, Corona iiir GCF, GC Pokerwork, a plethera of vintage Melodicas, and probably a couple I forgot

pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 01:46:11 PM »

Here's a Paolo Rogledi MMMM box in GCB (on left), along with a 3-voice Paolo Rogledi.

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pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 01:47:21 PM »

Internal photos of the MMMM Rogledi GCB
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pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2018, 02:46:04 PM »

Internal photos of the Hohner BbEb MMMM club
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Mike Hirst

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 03:10:58 PM »

Certainly an intriguing revelation. Do you have any info in tuning?
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pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2018, 03:16:09 PM »

Hi Mike,

The Hohner is not too wet. It's in A 440 pitch at present, but I haven't tried to quantify the musette.  Will try to get you an estimate when I get a minute.

Best,

Paul
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melodeon

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2018, 04:00:23 PM »

Paul,

What was the intent of MMMM, more volume, or a fuller sound, or a spread of lower and higher reed pitch.. ie  musette ?
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pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 04:21:05 PM »

Hi melodeon!

I don't know exactly why these were made.  But with really excellent reeds, and when the whole box is in great condition (airtight bellows, good leathers, etc), the MMMM sound is extremely expressive and responsive to nuances of bellows pressure. I've long noticed this with the Baldoni and Walters boxes when you play them on MMMM, and it's true of the Rogledi and this MMMM Hohner also. 

As an analogy that might speak to a few of readers here, if you plug an electric guitar or a Hammond organ into a great tube amp and turn it up, you can feel a powerfully dynamic sensitivity as you play the instrument - small differences in pick attack or swell pedal movement can take the amp from a whisper to a roar and with very different tonal properties at each stage. It feels alive, hot, and exciting - so rewarding as an intimate (musical) partner.

Anyway I think the MMMM voicing is a bit like that, as experienced by the player. Over a wide dynamic range, every small increment of increased bellows pressure seems to give you a bit more from the reeds, and there are interesting options for transient sounds on the attack and release of the buttons at various bellows pressure.

The Irish-American boxes can give you that in a small package. :)   The compromise there  (with the small ones) is usually few melody buttons.

But a compromise with the MMMM Hohner pictured above (and especially with the Rogledi)  is the large size of the whole instrument, which is a challenge for me at my age and level of skill. If one of these were the only instrument I ever played and I devoted years of constant practice time to it (as I did to the piano and guitar when I was in my teens), I think the size of the box would become much more controllable. The Hohner is about the same bellows dimensions as some 9 coupler LMMM Paolo Sopranis.

PG
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 04:25:46 PM by pgroff »
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melodeon

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 04:56:50 PM »

I understand the comparison of the 4 reed MMMM box to the electric guitar/ tube amp sensation. I have been  primarily an acoustic guitar player, however my  much modded Telecaster plugged into a simple 1979 Fender 12" 15 watt amp can be magical. Even more sensitive, and with considerably more color, is to plug into my custom Blues Jr.

I have long been tempted to transform an HA 113  to MMMM.   I have an extra HA112  that  would make an excellent donor.

Thanks Paul

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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 05:45:36 PM »

Do any MMMM boxes get used to provide selectability in dryness/wetness at all?
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pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2018, 06:03:27 PM »

Do any MMMM boxes get used to provide selectability in dryness/wetness at all?

Hi TDG,

The three MMMM boxes mentioned so far (the Paolo in hibb21's youtube link, the Hohner BbEb, and the Rogledi GCB) all have no switches. (At least I think that's the case with the Paolo).  That probably saves on some weight and might allow larger airways (no slider).  Seems to me that these designs are trying to give "more" of a musette sound, rather than more options of sound.  But there's no reason you couldn't design a MMMM box with switching, or even 4 stops, to allow a few voicing options (different degrees of tremelo or musette).  If you dont want to build or commission a new one, you could re-reed a 4-voice box with switching such as a Paolo (etc), or a Hohner (Primatona or Amatona or HA 114) or a Saltarelle (Tara or Shamrock) to MMMM, and tune it to suit your preferences.

PG
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 12:41:02 PM by pgroff »
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2018, 06:28:17 PM »

Thanks. When I saw the post that (what I said) was my first thought, but it seems the users of these know just what sound they want.
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
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trikitilari

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 06:42:38 PM »

MMMM is the most common set up for 4 voice trikitixas too. This is my GC Giulietti, made in 1982
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Castagnari Giasco III Bb/Eb, Giulietti G/C, Hohner pressedwood "trikitixa" A/D and many accordions

trikitilari

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2018, 06:45:40 PM »

An internal photo of the Giulietti, showing the internal mic, and another comparing it with a Hohner Pressedwood
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Castagnari Giasco III Bb/Eb, Giulietti G/C, Hohner pressedwood "trikitixa" A/D and many accordions

pgroff

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 12:06:02 AM »

Thanks trikitilari!

I love the look and the apparent quality of these instruments (having never tried one myself).

What are the usual bellows dimension and weight of a typical MMMM example?

PG
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trikitilari

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Re: Four-voice MMMM accordions (Hohner, Paolo, Rogledi, and ? )
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2018, 11:52:01 AM »

This one is the "small" size trikitixa (in basque, kaxa txikiko modeloa=small case model), it's bellows dimensions are 30x18,5 cm, and it weighs 5,5 kg. Bigger size trikitixas (kaxa handiko modeloa=big case model), are 31x18,5 cm. I will try to upload a sound file of it when I have time.

There are good quality instruments, although this old Giuliettis and Zero Settes are quite better than the newer models, manufactured by Bugari under the brand Zero Sette.
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Castagnari Giasco III Bb/Eb, Giulietti G/C, Hohner pressedwood "trikitixa" A/D and many accordions
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