Trying out the Hohner Shop

Tagged: 

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #4631
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Today I am mailing two instruments to the Hohner Melodica Service Center in Glen Allen, Virginia.

    1. A Piano 26 (HM-926, metal with the small keys) for tuning and sealing

    2. A Piano 27 (HM-927, metal with the small keys) to fix a broken key, improve the response of the lowest octave when blowing hard, and fix general leakage

    I will let you know about my service experience when I get these melodicas back.

    Lowboy Bootay

    #4644
    AvatarShannon M
    Participant

    looking forward to your experience. I have a piano 36 that leaks and am debating whether to try to fix the leaks myself or send it in. Your experience will help me decide.

    #4668
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Keep us posted Lowboy, will be very interesting to see/hear the results

    #4909
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    So two weeks went by since the Hohner Shop received my vintage melodicas for minor repair and tuning. I did not heard back from them, so I emailed Bill Bucco, the service shop manager. He said they received the melodicas and that the melodicas are in line for a cost estimate.

    Seems the Hohner Shop service center stays pretty busy. I will keep you posted.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #4986
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Quick update. I received a quote back from the Hohner Shop for tuning and reconditioning my HM-926 and HM-927. $100 dollars per instrument.

    The quote said the leakage could not be stopped because it was general leakage from the “vileda” pads which are old and dried, and which are not longer stocked.

    I called and spoke with a pleasant customer service representative who told me the service rate is $100 per hour. Normally they do not service out-of-warranty melodicas, particularly older ones, she said, but since I paid for shipping to get mine there, they said they would service them.

    I asked to speak with the technician and he is suppose to call me on Monday. I have a few questions. I will keep you posted.

    So I guess I will have to start thinking about doing my own maintenance.

    This may also impact purchasing decisions for used melodicas.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #4989
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I’m curious about leakage on the 926/927, Lowboy. I have two of the former and one of the latter, and these have almost no leakage in comparison with, say, a Piano 36. Did yours leak when you got them? I haven’t tried tuning them. Is there some reason it”s more challenging than tuning other melodicas?

    Since there are so many of those great old first Piano 26/27s out there in reasonably good shape and at reasonable prices, just replacing them seems like the best option.

    Melodica-Me is the guy here who really is on top of leakage issues and gasket replacement. Maybe he could do a “workshop” type thread or something on this, something more systematic than what he’s already been doing in the helpful comments he has sprinkled around on this?

    For tuning, some Melodica World members are taking a more sophisticated approach, but it doesn’t take much to shape up individual keys that are noticeably out of tune, which some regular schmuck like me can do.I have to wonder if the Hohner Shop tuning can be expected to go beyond that. In other words to go beyond what you get in a new melodica’s factory tuning from Hohner, Yamaha, or Suzuki. I’ll be interested in what kind of results you’ll get on one of the Hohner Shop’s tuning jobs.

    #5282
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    This is a good time to give you a follow up report on my experience with the Hohner Shop in Glen Allen, Virginia, USA.

    You may recall I sent in two 60s vintage melodicas for repair, adjustment, and tuning. These are tough melodicas to service in my opinion as they are built well (except for the plastic welds that connect the key to the pads). It took about 3 weeks but the Hohner Shop finally provided an email with a written estimate of 100 dollars per instrument. I called Blanca, the customer service rep, with questions. She provided much information but could not answer technical questions. She did however, have the technician call me. Both Blanca and Tim, the technician, were very personable and helpful.

    Since one of the melodicas did not require tuning, Tim took 100 dollars off the bill, basically evaluating and fixing one of the medodicas with a broken key for free. That was a nice gesture.

    He said they no longer have their melodica tuning machine, so they must tune by hand the way you guys do it.

    Their labor rate is $100 per hour.

    Both Blanca and Tim said they normally do not service vintage melodicas because it can get expensive. But if your willing to pay, they are probably the best people to try and repair special models or melodicas with sentimental value.

    My melodicas are due back soon and I will provide a final report. But it does appear that if you are trying to find a really good HM-926 or HM-927, it might just as economical to by three on Ebay and throw two away than to buy one and try and have the Hohner Shop tear it apart for a complete reconditioning.

    Lowboy

    #5283
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    So to answer you question Alan, I have several of the HM-926s and HM-927s and have had about 65 percent of them leak a little to moderate, as delivered, even though they are in great shape cosmetically. The leakage is not so bad that you can’t play them, but I do like my melodicas as tight a drum. Several HM-926s and HM-927s arrived drum tight.

    Almost all old Hohners will leak 5 percent at moderate pressures in my experience. Leaking 10 percent is relatively common in my mind when blowing really really hard without playing the keys. As soon as you open a valve by playing the instrument, I suspect a “5 or 10 percent” leak becomes insignificant as the air pressure is reduced and the air follows the path of least resistance (flowing through the valve).

    You may recall I took a HM-927 apart for the dishwasher test. I did not disassemble the key assembly because it looked like a like a lot of tricky work. It was difficult to take the melodica apart because of the 5 large screws that seem to pass through the air chamber and through the whole melodica. Those screws were in tight, hard to pull out, and seem to require sealing. All in all, based on limited knowledge, these models seem like they would be difficult to service–partly because they are built so well.

    Lowboy

    #5343
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Here is the last update on my experience with the Hohner Shop.

    I received my two keyboard harmonicas back today from the Hohner Shop. The one with the broken linkage was disassembled, evaluated, repaired, and reassembled for free. It is tighter than when I shipped it out, and the leakage is well within acceptable limits (my subjective “5 to 10 percent” when no keys are pressed and medium to medium-high pressure is applied).

    The second keyboard harmonica (HM-926) required tuning and leaked right at the limit of acceptability. Though no special action was taken to tighten the instrument up, I suspect professional reassembly did result in the instrument being tighter than when I shipped it out and I am very happy about that. I was hoping that would happen. The tuning is great, as good as any new melodica I have played. Cost for tuning = $100.

    Shipping of both instruments back to me was free. It cost me about $12 dollars to ship both keyboard harmonicas in a box to Virginia.

    So all in all, I was impressed with the service and value at Hohner Shop.

    They probably only want to work on Hohners, but you never know. Maybe if you called first and were willing to pay their hourly rate, they would tune up anything.

    Regards,

    Lowboy Bootay

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Back to top button