November 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm #7826
Manufactured by Oracana. This instrument is the same as the Chordiana, but I’m posting this separately because it will involve a more detailed description of the instrument, a brief description of what I have done to it, and a sound sample. And because I’m a life-long fan of The Adventures of Pinocchio! First some photos of the exterior of the instrument.
The gizmo on the end is a music holder. A few music sheets were included, so you see one of Pinocchio’s all-time favorites, The Old Folks at Home. Three mouth pieces were included, two identical short ones and an extended one.
November 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm #7827
Now for a look inside. The five brass bolts that are shared with a number of other Italian models/brands are removed and the keyboard then pops out. If it needs a nudge, the best way to do that is by inserting a small screwdriver through bolt holes and gently pushing, rather than trying to pull up on the keyboard.
In this photo, the main gasket doesn’t look bad, but in fact it is crumbling and does not provide a good seal. Same scenario as with the Chordiana and other vintage Italian models, as a result of which, if they have not been worked on, they are not playable though some keys may sound.
Same problem with the gasket for the the mouthpiece receptacle.
The material was so crumbly that there was no question about being able to layer a new gasket over it, so it all had to be scraped off. This doesn’t have to be done perfectly, but there can be no loose material. After slicing off as much as I could, I rubbed the surfaces with an abrasive damp washcloth and allowed to dry.
Here I’m using 1/8″ thick gasket tape, 1/2″ wide though cut into 1/4″ strips. 1/16″ or even 1/32″ thickness might have worked just as well, but 1/8″ is what I had. It was tough getting it compressed down to get the bolts to engage, but there was no problem after I took it apart again a few days later. The gasket tape is sticky on the side covered with plastic that strips off, and it is very easy to apply and easy to reposition if necessary. The tape also has some stretch to it, so that it can be pushed together at the joints, thus requiring no other sealant.
To create a gasket for the air entry hole, I first cut out a pattern out of paper, and then used that to shape two short 1/2″ strips using that as a form.
Here you see the gaskets as they look now after a few days.
The Pianino now has a relatively tight seal and is easy to play. It came to me tuned very sharp, at about A=445. Discussion with Professor Bootay persuaded me to leave it there. It’s not badly out of tune with itself, and I’m trying out different tunes, styles and accompaniment instruments on Band-in-a-Box to see what kinds of effects I can get.
Here now is a sound sample:November 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm #7829DarenKeymaster
Very nice Alan, sounds like a warm Clavietta. Good tone from those individual reeds. What sort of volume is it compared to, say, a Clavietta, or a P32D?November 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm #7830
It’s louder than a Clavietta, but not quite as loud as a P32D. I also replaced the gasket on my Pianetta and it’s playing well except for one reed that seems to have failed. The Pianetta is much softer. Possibly that’s influenced by full 1/2 inch strips rather than 1/4 inch. I’m thinking that partially lining the reed chamber of a melodica with strips of gasket tape might be a way to reduce volume or soften the sound.November 17, 2016 at 6:15 pm #7831November 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm #7839
The Pinocchio Pianino, the Chordiana, and the Bontempi are the same instrument, except that the mouthpiece receptacle on the Bontempi is rectangular. I replaced the gaskets (as shown above) on the Pianino with 1/8″ thick gasket tape. That gasket material is a kind of foam, and it’s working well. This morning I replaced the gaskets on my Chordiana, but now using a 1/16″ thick rubber-like silicone gasket tape — Saint-Gobain 100S Strip-N-Stick Silicone Gasket Tape, 30′ Length, 1/2″ Width, 1/16″ Thick — available at Amazon.com for $15.45 U.S. This is working equally well. It has a lot of stretch to it and I’m guessing that it will be more durable over many years than the foam. One minor drawback is that it is not as sticky as the other tape so requires a bit more attention to making sure it stays in place during reassembly. The 30′ length is great, especially considering that for this purpose it will usually be cut in thinner strips, three of them in this case. FURTHER NOTE: Don’t over-tighten the screws or bolts, as this may place undue stress on the main gasket and/or displace it. Finger tight is sufficient with these models.November 28, 2016 at 1:33 am #7854December 1, 2016 at 3:19 am #7880LowboyParticipant
My nose would not grow longer if I said the Pinocchio Pianino sounds great. LowboyDecember 6, 2016 at 4:33 pm #7930DarenKeymaster
I love this little instrument, looks and sounds great!July 31, 2020 at 7:58 pm #11381
Orcana (as in “Pinocchio Pianino by Orcana”) was also a maker or distributor of small early 1960s Italian electric chord organs, as were Bontempi and Rosetti, names also appearing on models from this generation of Italian melodicas, which confirms their early 1960s dating. These companies also produced accordions.
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