Hohner Melodica, classic versus new

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 90 total)
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  • #3794
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hohner, Suzuki, Yamaha, and others:

    Let me give you some million-dollar ideas to start brainstorming within your organizations:

    1. Create more melodicas with the sound holes on the back so that volume and timbre can me modulated by moving the melodica towards and away from your chest and stomach.

    2. Create some melodicas with a darker, smoother timbre.

    3. Similar to the Suzuki Pro37v2 melodion, create a single sound hole at the bottom of the instrument, perhaps with an internal or external trumpet-like bell. Insulate the instrument so that all sound is emitted from the bell or sound hole. Provide a means for holding the instrument at the sound hole and enabling the player to cup and uncup the sound hole with her hand to module volume and timbre.

    4. Use your knowledge to design reeds that can bend notes easier. Make them part of replaceable reed plates so that when the player blows out a reed, they can easily replace the reed plate. (Make big money selling replacement reed plates every couple of months to us players that love to play hard and bend notes.)

    5. Give us an extra set of channels (or an internal valve) and a button to press that will enable us to draw as well as blow. (Think accordion, harmonica.)

    6. Make a “blues” keyboard harmonica.

    7. Create channels that will direct some of the air at an angle to the reed to enhance bending, or give us a button that will change the flow of air at the reed to enhance bending.

    I have many more ideas. When you start to make millions of dollars on one of these ideas, I will be approaching retirement. Please send me a check for half a million. How about $100,000?

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #3795
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    In the meantime, Lowboy, have you thought about ways in which you might be able to modify an existing model to better suit the kinds of purposes you have in mind? I have found bending easier on the cheap Suzuki models. For a modified cheap model the initial outlay and replacement parts would be inexpensive. I wonder if the cheaper plates and more flimsy reeds of, say, a Suzuki STUDY-32 (on Amazon before Christmas for $21.99) would fit a M-32C?

    #3811
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Yes. Many ideas. Not enough time to experiment with the ideas as quickly as I would like. But I am making some progress with the basics. The Hohner Piano 26/27/32 series provides some pretty good expressiveness right now, so I am learning to get the most from these melodicas. Applying the techniques while playing smoothly is the challenge, but I am getting there.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #3814
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Melodica-Me,

    I’m trying to date these things. In the following Apr 26, 1969 ad in Billboard, page 79. An “HM-36 Piano 36” model is identified. Can you tell if that’s actually the Piano 36? It looks like it might be the Solist. I think from some other magazine references that the Piano 36 was in fact introduced in 1969, but when I started comparing your photos I wondered if the Piano 36 is really what’s shown here. The Professional was on the market by 1964. (I’ll report more fully later on my findings.)

    https://books.google.com/books?id=dCgEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79&dq=billboard+1969+hohner&source=bl&ots=NfY3vDgv01&sig=vj0ERsjFuU1LNWOK8QBto6OpdJY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z9K-VKLWLsa4ggTW-IOwAg&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=billboard%201969%20hohner&f=false

    #3816
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Alan, this is the Pro 36 and not the Solist. wow $49.99 incredible. You can tell at the mouth piece, the Solist has a built in post to accept the mouth piece, the Pro 36 just has a hole (no post) and it is a lot larger post than any of the other Hohner Melodicas.

    Melodica-Me

    #3817
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I thought you’d know.

    I have been trying to get responses from Hohner and the Hohner Harmonica Museum about the dates for these models, but no luck so far.

    Great prices. If only we’d known at the time. And had the money. But let’s see, in 1969 you could get a new VW Beetle for $1,800. But my ex wouldn’t let me buy one.

    #3818
    AvatarAdam Tombs
    Participant

    Alan, my Father bought a new VW Beetle when they came out over here. In Australia they were viewed with distrust because of their exotic European origins, air cooled engine and innovative body shape. In a country where hot weather prevails for the main part, the VW’s had a very limited shelf life. We kept VW’s in the family though with successive engine repairs and a later addition of two Kombi’s.

    #3832
    AvatarBruno Travi
    Participant

    I present tu you three models of the famous Hohner Piano 36:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLVjJsWjVlRmx3ZHc/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLNmZwQmF3VUxsNHc/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLdGNPSXpEQnFEc2s/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLSWotdHd4VUl6elE/view?usp=sharing

    Features (left to right):

    1º White Keys (clanky sound) / Black Keys (good attached mechanism).
    Siver and black band.
    Metal covered with reflective black paint finish and smooth touch.
    Text and gold trim.
    Wide mouth

    2º White Keys (good attached mechanism) / Black Keys (clanky sound).
    Gold and white band.
    Metal covered with reflective black paint finish and smooth touch.
    Only text white.
    Narrow mouth.

    3º White Keys (good attached mechanism) / Black Keys (clanky sound).
    Siver and black band.
    Metal covered with opaque black paint finish and rugged touch.
    Text and gold trim.
    Wide mouth

    Sound differences in test.
    Anyone knows the order of manufacture?

    #3833
    AvatarBruno Travi
    Participant

    #3836
    AvatarBruno Travi
    Participant

    Why can’t see the photos in the post?

    #3838
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    In order of age, oldest to youngest: Nos. 2, 1, 3.

    I have three Piano 36s in near mint condition. Two are old with the white lettering, and one, which I purchased brand new some years ago, has gold lettering and has the “made in Germany” lettering on it.

    In the case of all the Piano 36s made in Germany, any variability in playing, tone, and quality of construction I believe is just due to variability in manufacturing and materials over the years. All three of my Piano 36s sound and feel similar unless you really stand there and get obsessive about noticing difference. The black keys on my newer one with the gold trim wiggle more that the those on my older ones. The one liability of the older ones is the thinness of the mouthpiece fitting. Many of these that you see for sale have cracked mouthpiece fittings. Hohner recognized this problem and the newer ones have a much thicker wall. You can see this clearly in Bruno’s photos. Even being very careful with mine, I managed to crack and chip the wall of the mouthpiece on one instrument. I now mostly play the old ones without using a mouthpiece. When I do use a mouthpiece, I wrap the fitting with electrical tape about 5 or 6 time to reinforce it.

    Lowboy

    #3843
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    I just observed that my gold-lettered piano 36 does not have the “made in Germany” words on it. But it does have the gloss paint. I wonder where these later instruments were made? It is still a nice well-made instrument. Lowboy

    #3845
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Czechoslovakia, maybe? I suggest this possibility because a couple of the boxes of my HM-26 and 32 models have “Made in Czechoslovakia” on the boxes. Also, though, what does the case say? They typically have “Made in Germany” on them.

    #3869
    AvatarBruno Travi
    Participant

    Yesterday we take to technical accordion the 3 versions Hohner Piano 36 and seeing the reed plates told me that the 2nd version is in better condition the 3rd version (where you can see the greyish oxide). I explained that they were cheaper materials to prior Hohner be bought by Chinese. Further the 2nd was more stable tuning than the 3rd version (not few years difference). Told me to work on the second version because is not healthy getting a mouth that amount of oxide of the 3rd version (I wonder: Is healthy a melodica with breath and sucked option?)

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLNUdialI2SlB0VmM/edit?usp=docslist_api

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1I4WRon9blLSXlsdXhUZ2dZNDA/edit?usp=docslist_api

    #3874
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Hey Bruno, I’m trying to date Hohner models in terms of years of production. You are a guy who digs up information. I have seen no list for Hohner models like the ones you and I found for Suzuki. Have you seen anything like that for Hohner or any kind of specific information about years of production? The Piano 36 seems to have first appeared in 1970. The differences between your three models seem small but show that they continued to work on this model. I don’t have a good idea about when Hohner stopped making the Piano 36 or the early 1970s Piano 26, 27, and 32. I have asked Hohner but don’t get a response.

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