Hohner Morino VI N with sticky bass pallets
#1
Hi everyone, i'm feeling a bit sad because of this problem...

Yesterday, i finally recieved a Hohner Morino VI N from Europe (i live in Chile)
I was so anxious, so i opened the box as fast as i could, and i put the big instrument on my table. It looks in perfect condition, but when i tested everything, i noticed that the low E, F, and A didn't play, it plays almost all the octaves, but the first octave doesn't produce any sound. 
Also, the MIII freebass buttons felt sticky...

So, i opened the instrument, and noticed that the bass pallets were sticking in the borders of the aluminium while in resting position. I tried pushing the pallets and they started opening again (E, F and A), but they are still feeling sticky, i think it's a problem with the glue, i remember reading something about that in the forum but i can't find it.

   

What can i do to clean the surfaces? is there any possibility to repair it from the inside? 
My last resource is to dissasembly all the bass machine, but 185 bass feels way to difficult to my experience...

   

(after pushing the pallets, the low E doesn't close correctly, so i think there must be also a problem with the wax of the pallets, or the springs)

Any help or suggestions?  Cry

Update: Found another sticky pallet but in the treble side (D#5) but that seems to be a lot easier to fix
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.
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#2
Sounds like you have a "klebemorino". The only real solution for this instrument is to replace the felt (felt+leather) on all the pallets. It is an enormous job (especially on the bass side since it requires disassembly of the bass mechanism) and the mechanism may also be slightly bent (the levers or "catorcetti") due to repeated extra force required to overcome the resistance cause by the sticky pallets. There are a few thousand of these "klebemorino" accordions around and also accordions from other brands from the exact same period.
Best of luck with the repairs!
At least I see no evidence of people trying to temporarily fix the problem with talcum powder. That gets everywhere and is hard to remove.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#3
Maybe that's why there are so many Morinos at low prices...
Thanks for your wishes! i hope i can repair this instrument, i think i will take some time to prepare my mind to attempt the enormous job of removing all the complex 185 bass mechanism. It scares me somehow, but i have a lot of experience modificating the industrial hohner bass machines, so this is going to be like battling with the final boss of a difficult videogame   Big Grin

There is no talcum powder residues, i remember reading in the forum that it was used as a temporary fix. 


I will post photos to keep record of the process, i'm sure it will also be helpful to other members to fix their "klebemorino" problems.
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.
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#4
(18-05-2019, 08:23 PM)Sebastian Bravo Wrote: Maybe that's why there are so many Morinos at low prices...
Thanks for your wishes! i hope i can repair this instrument, i think i will take some time to prepare my mind to attempt the enormous job of removing all the complex 185 bass mechanism. It scares me somehow, but i have a lot of experience modificating the industrial hohner bass machines, so this is going to be like battling with the final boss of a difficult videogame   Big Grin

There is no talcum powder residues, i remember reading in the forum that it was used as a temporary fix. 


I will post photos to keep record of the process, i'm sure it will also be helpful to other members to fix their "klebemorino" problems.

The main thing in disassembling and reassembling the bass mechanism is to take lots and lots of pictures during the process.
The bass mechanism is completely unlike the hohner bass machines because this Morino was built by Excelsior in Italy and has an Italian bass mechanism which is much more elaborate to disassemble and reassemble. Sorry the news isn't better...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#5
Well Sebastien, I don't have a lot to offer you other than to let you know that I too am the owner of a Hohner Morino VI N with the 185 (MIII) free bass.  I've been the owner of this accordion since it was new:

[Image: 6-4.jpg]

I will say that this accordion is my pride and joy, and that it also was one of the few that apparently Excelsior assembled using some kind of crap quality glue that affected my left hand side as well.  I had to have it professionally addressed, but since then the bass side has been flawless... just like new as a matter of fact!

[Image: bass.jpg]

Yes, you will have to change the pads and maybe have other old parts replaced, but that is easy to get through, if as Paul mentions, you take a LOT of pictures and take your time.  Me, I am not as talented a repairer as you are, so it cost me some money to get someone qualified do it for me at the time... money that for me, was well spent.

The good news is that this is an incredible accordion (more so for me due to some amazingly high sentimental values).  Once you get this accordion all set up, you will first have one heavy accordion, but one that has a very sweet and pleasing sound.  Copies of this accordion are going to be pushing the 45+ year age range and any accordion that old is going to need at least some attention.  Once it is all fixed up, I am sure you will be super pleased with it.

Also, do not think that all Morino's are cheap... the Morino line of accordions were always at the top of the Hohner line, and only the infamous Gola was above them.  The average price of a new Hohner Morino today is between $15,000-$18,000 US dollars and the ones with more options or converter free bass options cost even more.  

I suppose it is pretty fair to say that the Hohner Morino VI N was made for me and my body style... I'd not sell or trade it, even if offered a Gola Exclamation   Tongue 

[Image: morinopic.jpg]
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#6
Thanks JerryPH for telling us your story with your Morino, the photos of the bass machine disassembling process and for the support. I think we all develop a kind of sentimental connection with our instruments, that's why i would never sell my Concerto III (My first instrument) or my Student VM (My grandpa's accordion, rest in peace)

This is the Morino VI N:

   

   

It has 2 register slides that change between musette and clarinet, and the other one between bassoon and organ. It also has a musette reed switch (to change between MM and MMM) and master chin switch as well. Looks like the chin registers were bigger those days than the ones the brands use nowdays.

One thing i see on your accordion is a missing button, but mine doesn't have any hole there, is that a microphone pickup? 

   

   

Last question, do you remember how much money you paid for the repair of your instrument?
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.
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#7
The "crappy glue Excelsior used" does not do Excelsior justice. All manufacturers around Castelfidardo used to source parts from the same supplier. That supplier at some point introduced pallets with glue that in the end turned out to go through the pallet's felt and leather and caused the pallets to stick. Because of the popularity of the Hohner Morino (N) series there are more "klebemorino" accordions around than for instance "klebebugari" accordions, but all brands were affected. The problem started to appear after about three months and all manufacturers stopped using these pallets with glue immediately. In total the estimate I heard was that maybe around 10.000 accordions were produced with the sticky pallet problem.
Good repairers replaced the pallets. But many tried temporary solutions like the talcum powder and in the end did more harm.
What I have learned is that the earlier Morino VI N with the narrow black keys is not affected. Only some of the later Morino VI N accordions with wider black keys are affected (but not all of them). With a Morino IV N or V N it's harder to predict because these never had the narrow black keys.

By the time you have managed to replace all pallets you may consider yourself an accordion repairman. It is quite an undertaking.
Just as a side note: I never liked the register slides behind the keyboard, but the mechanism inside can be reused to change these registers into chin switches. A while ago I actually saw a Hohner Morino VI S that had factory-installed chin switches that worked with that mechanism. (I did the conversion myself on my Artiste X S and it works at least as well as the factory-installed ones.)
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#8
(19-05-2019, 08:18 PM)Sebastian Bravo Wrote: 1 - One thing i see on your accordion is a missing button, but mine doesn't have any hole there, is that a microphone pickup? 

2 - Last question, do you remember how much money you paid for the repair of your instrument?

1. Thats not a missing bass note, it is a connection to a mic pickup as you guessed.  Hohner put that in for free as a thank-you.  It's a rather big story, you can read the whole thing HERE if you like.  Smile

2. Yes, of course.  I paid $250 for the work and $75 for parts so $325Cdn total (about $210 US).  Considering she worked about 20 hours on it, the amount was not very high at all.

(19-05-2019, 09:08 PM)debra Wrote: 1. The "crappy glue Excelsior used" does not do Excelsior justice.

2. Just as a side note: I never liked the register slides behind the keyboard, but the mechanism inside can be reused to change these registers into chin switches. A while ago I actually saw a Hohner Morino VI S that had factory-installed chin switches that worked with that mechanism. (I did the conversion myself on my Artiste X S and it works at least as well as the factory-installed ones.)

1. Well, it *was* crappy glue, and Excelsior *did* use it.  I did not say it was Excelsior's glue.  I also didn't see a recall by Excelsior saying "we used bad glue on some of the Morinos we built, so come bring in your Hohner and we will replace it for the cost of XXX".  Then again, accordion manufacturers have been hanging on by their fingernails for many years now so that is a financial impossibility.  Quite honestly, it has to be evident that I do not care about the glue thing.  I had it fixed, it is a non-issue.  Smile

2. If I was playing more or professionally, this really would interest me, and that is an amazing option to have, but I do not want to take away from the originality of my Morino at this point in my life. This is how I got it, this is how it stays for as long as I own and play it. Smile
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#9
(20-05-2019, 01:39 AM)JerryPH Wrote: 2. Yes, of course.  I paid $250 for the work and $75 for parts so $325Cdn total (about $210 US).  Considering she worked about 20 hours on it, the amount was not very high at all.


1. Well, it *was* crappy glue, and Excelsior *did* use it.  I did not say it was Excelsior's glue.  ...

You are of course right that the fact that all manufacturers used it is no excuse for Excelsior. And yes, a factory-recall would have been the right thing to do. The $325 Cdn you paid was quite a bit of money at the time, but as I said it is a major job to replace all the pallets, mainly because of how hard it is to get good access to them. If something like this flaw happened today there would be a major news story, a class action lawsuit and what not... but at the time every accordion player was much more "on his own" to get any problem resolved. What you experienced should have been covered under warranty. The problem was a generic one (all accordions from the same period suffered from it) and the problem became apparent within even the shortest common warranty period of one year.

I'm glad to hear you got the problem solved in the correct way. Way too many accordions from that period were subjected to rubbing the pallets with talcum powder and are now essentially (and certainly economically) beyond repair. I have inspected a Morino VI N just like yours, but ruined by talcum powder (a prospective unsuspecting buyer asked me to have a look at an instrument before he agreed to buy it). During a repair course in Castelfidardo I "lucked out" to see a "klebe-bugari" which had the problem so seriously that the leather and felt of the pallet separated, leaving leather floating around in the bass compartment... 

The saddest part of the whole story is that it makes the buying process of any Italian-made accordions from between 30 and 50 years ago a bit of a risky undertaking because of the large number of klebe-accordions around (even though these are under 5% of all Italian accordions made in these years). People generally do not know when an accordion was built and they either don't know what you are talking about when discussing the glue problem, or they pretend they don't know...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#10
(20-05-2019, 08:21 AM)debra Wrote: The $325 Cdn you paid was quite a bit of money at the time, but as I said it is a major job to replace all the pallets, mainly because of how hard it is to get good access to them.

The saddest part of the whole story is that it makes the buying process of any Italian-made accordions from between 30 and 50 years ago a bit of a risky undertaking because of the large number of klebe-accordions around (even though these are under 5% of all Italian accordions made in these years). 

Well, $75 for parts was very reasonable, I think, and $250 for 20 hours ($12.50/hour) was pretty much minimum wage... and honestly, to get someone that had as much experience as she had for that price, I would have paid much more and not complained.

One also has to remember, I used that accordion very hard for about 5 years with zero issues and put it away for 35+ years.  It had a lot of time to sit there and rot before I pulled it out and started playing again.  I am surprised that there wasn't more damage done, and that only the left side was affected.  Smile
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#11
(20-05-2019, 09:23 AM)JerryPH Wrote:
(20-05-2019, 08:21 AM)debra Wrote: The $325 Cdn you paid was quite a bit of money at the time, but as I said it is a major job to replace all the pallets, mainly because of how hard it is to get good access to them.

The saddest part of the whole story is that it makes the buying process of any Italian-made accordions from between 30 and 50 years ago a bit of a risky undertaking because of the large number of klebe-accordions around (even though these are under 5% of all Italian accordions made in these years). 

Well, $75 for parts was very reasonable, I think, and $250 for 20 hours ($12.50/hour) was pretty much minimum wage... and honestly, to get someone that had as much experience as she had for that price, I would have paid much more and not complained.

One also has to remember, I used that accordion very hard for about 5 years with zero issues and put it away for 35+ years.  It had a lot of time to sit there and rot before I pulled it out and started playing again.  I am surprised that there wasn't more damage done, and that only the left side was affected.  Smile

You didn't say when the repair was done... I assumed that was 40 years ago. The problem of "klebemorino" would typically manifest itself already after a few months of playing. If yours played for 5 years without issues then it wasn't really a "klebemorino". But of course after 35+ years problems can always appear, especially after not playing for a long time.
I'm glad you found a true professional who helped you out for what is now indeed very little money.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#12
(20-05-2019, 06:00 PM)debra Wrote: You didn't say when the repair was done... I assumed that was 40 years ago. The problem of "klebemorino" would typically manifest itself already after a few months of playing. If yours played for 5 years without issues then it wasn't really a "klebemorino". But of course after 35+ years problems can always appear, especially after not playing for a long time.
I'm glad you found a true professional who helped you out for what is now indeed very little money.

It was done here in Montreal... by a girl!  Heart 

When Frank Romano of FRM Enterprises was still here, he had a lot of accordion repairs.  After a long time of asking and trying, he finally trained and mentored Julie Rocque. When he left Canada, she maintained his customer base concerning all accordion repairs.

Besides having an incredible amount of experience, her main claim to fame is that she travels a TON and goes to places like Vancouver's Accordion Noire festivals and does the accordion repairs for clients in places like that.  She has two mantras in life... to travel and to make JUST enough money to travel... lol

A lovely lady that did very well by me.
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#13
(18-05-2019, 08:23 PM)Sebastian Bravo Wrote: Maybe that's why there are so many Morinos at low prices...

Hi Sebastian!
Not really, the main cause is rather their high weight and bulkiness. Thanks to an affordable prices, these instruments are  popular among conservatory students here in Europe. These Instruments are therefore worth buying from music students, because in such a case one has the certainty that they have to be in good condition. Either way, they are technically very good instruments with a good sound. I think you will enjoy the instrument after the initial difficulties with “klebemorino”-problems.  I wish you all the best!
 
Best regards, Vladimír
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#14
I really may be overdoing it, but in my head something special for me happens the moment I put on the accordion.  I did not even notice it until one day someone pointed it out to me.  They asked me why I would look like I was smelling the accordion... lol

In fact, part of my ritual as I pull on the straps each time is to take a deep breath because I smell the wood of the accordion as I put on the straps, and usually after not playing it a while I push air through it by using the air button, and of course that pushes the smell out and I take another small smell of that lovely wood.  It immediately puts me in a frame of mind of wanting to not play the accordion, but make music.  It is just an accordion, and yet, the tones, the richness, the feel of it and yes, even the weight, give me a tremendous experience of satisfaction.

Most accordions you "wear"... a Morino VI N with the 185 bass, you must wrap yourself around it as it is so deep and I feel engulfed in it.  To get to the MIII, you push past the wrist and your forearm is where the bass strap sits.  In my conservatory days, when I played a lot, there were times where for years I had NO hair on the middle of my forearm as it was worn off right where the strap sat... very funny to see and the start of many comical conversations.  I wish I had used a large glove, would have saved me a few hairs back in the day... lol

The accordion has not 41 keys but 45 keys, so it is taller.  After playing anything smaller, putting this one on makes it feel tremendously huge.  They keyboard feel for the right hand is unlike any other accordion I have ever felt... it is *slightly* stiffer, but actuation is incredibly fast.  I can literally play scales, arpeggios and trills double the speed than I could ever do at my best on any other accordion I own.  After getting used to it, I find I am technically far better on the Morino than say, the Roland 8X.

The left part of your chest is in contact with the accordion as you play and when you use the bass, you clearly feel it in the chest and when playing your whole torso experiences these vibrations and the accordion does not have a back-pad to dampen these sensations.  The tonality is rich and vibrant thanks to the Cassotto and 5 sets of right hand reeds.  Registration changes are smooth but firm and near silent.  The accordion is heavy and when pushing for loud volumes, it makes you work hard, yet for most normal playing, it is louder than any other accordion I own, so playing down to those volume levels is effortless.  The feeling I get is of overall great smoothness.

I've played Pigini, Bugari, Excelsior, Borsini, Brandoni, Titano, Scandalli and even one Siwa & Figli and a couple other higher end brands, as well as several Gola, and only the Gola seems to come closest to giving me that kind of an experience.  I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Hohner feel, nothing more.  I suppose that makes me a bit of a Hohner snob, though I own more Iorio/Elkas than Hohners... lol

Are there better accordions out there?  Most definitely yes, however, this particular Morino has earned it's pedigree and is not what anyone could call your average accordion under any circumstance. 

Once you get it repaired and start playing on it regularly, I am curious to hear what your thoughts about it will be.   Huh    Big Grin
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#15
Hi JerryPH!
I fully agree with You. It's a paradox, but there are just such big concert accordions, that force the player to sit ergonomically and play effectively due to their high weight, height and size. The player, when playing MIII-Class Accordion, simply cannot waste its forces as it can afford when playing any smaller box. And the feeling of playing on a "living" instrument is really amazing. At the end of my playing, I can still feel the vibrations of the contraoctave reeds in bass for a few seconds. Simply great feeling! That's why I think Sebastian's decision to buy this great professional instrument was right. I guess he will be happy with this instrument after solving the initial troubles.  In the case of online purchases, it is always a bit of a lottery. But in such a situation, one should always to ask himself what the fate wants to tell him and where he should to go...
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#16
not possible to "dry" these specific spots with something else than powder?

good luck man, that is a real bummer
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#17
(21-05-2019, 07:29 PM)jozz Wrote: not possible to "dry" these specific spots with something else than powder?

good luck man, that is a real bummer

Sadly no permanent solution has been found in the past decades, other than replacing the pallets by new ones. It is a tremendous job especially since the complete bass mechanism needs to be disassembled to get access to the bass pallets. (The keyboard is easier to disassemble but because of the cassotto it is imperative to replace the pallets by new ones of the exact same thickness.)
But I fully agree with the other Morino VI N players that this instrument is "special" and a joy to play despite its size and weight. So it is worth fixing the sticky keys and bass button problems.
The only accordion that felt even more special to me was the Gola 459 (same size, 45 keys, 5 voices, 185 basses with MIII) Especially the bass side feels and sounds better than the Morino. Sadly I only got to play these accordions as part of a repair job and never owned one. (I do own an Artiste X S which is a CBA Morino.)
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#18
Got big news!
First, thanks everyone for your responses, without you guys, i couldn't be mentally-prepared to achieve this job.

May 25th, i woke up and thought... today is the day. So, after a long day, i got the Morino out of the box (kinda difficult to me) and put it on the table. 
I started removing the bellows pins from the bass side, then removed all the reed blocks (4 reed blocks with a central Winkelbass block) and then removed the bass buttons cover.
   
First, i removed the bass strap, then, i removed all the 7th and Diminished chord buttons, they were arround 42, i can't remember precisely, then the Major and Minor buttons. Both sections had a small and long plastic strip to separate them (between the 7th and the minor button), and then i found another plastic strip to separate it from the next fundamental bass and counterbass buttons.
I also removed the wooden piece that holds every button, and this is how it looked
   
You can see, the 7th/dim buttons in the top, then the black plastic strip, then major/minors, another plastic strip, and the basses, with the wooden part on them.
it was time to remove the first machine, 12 metal (?) bars that moves the chords.
   
   
At that point, i was able to notice that some bass pallets were unsticking from the wood, others were sticking to the bass board and the palled would move freely but not opening any hole at all...
   
I got somewhat nervous, feeling that i was reaching the problem. 

(continues in next post, because the maximum attachments per comment is 5)

So, i continued removing the next buttons (MIII). 
The process started from the lowest notes (on top), it has it's own wooden part to hold the first 12 buttons.
   
then, i removed the remaining buttons...
   
   
And the rest of the bars (forgot to take pictures of that process) Finally, i got full access to the bass pallets! I was feeling a bit hungry, so i ate a soybean burger with a cup of tea  Big Grin 
   
After eating, i started cutting the pallets material. I used a Metallic ruler and a scalpel. The result was very good.
   
I got the yellow/blue felt material from a friend who also repairs accordions (He's the guy who bought this Morino. In fact, he bought 2 Morinos, but the other one dissapeared at customs... they are so corrupt, i think they stole it!)

(Continues...)

I used a good quality double sided tape, i didn't want to use a liquid glue, and buying the right one would take months to arrive to my country...
   
After looking the system, i realized there was something weird... almost all the pallets were glued with scotch on the top. I'm used to use and see wax holding the wooden pallets on almost every accordion, but in this case, they used scotch... weird. 
   
After removing the scotch, i started sticking the felts to the wooden pallets.
   
   
When i finished sticking the felts, i took a 3 hour break, went out with my friends to have a skate session. Then i started to assemble the machine again.
   

Remember to attach this thing to prevent the plastic strip to get out of it's place!
   
Assembling the MIII buttons
   
Assembling the last button
   
I put the cover back, and realized that i missed the bass strap, so i had to remove the cover again, and do the job.

I finished at 6:02 AM. I started working at 9pm, had the break between 11PM-2AM. So, it took me 6 hours to complete the job. But it was so late, i couldn't try the accordion. I had to sleep and then test it. Got up at 3:00 PM  Big Grin , i was so anxious... I put my straps on the big Morino, and started testing every button.

It works pretty nice! some MIII buttons are slightly lower than others, but nothing to make my fingers crazy... maybe one day i will try to align them better... lol

Then, i started working the keyboard problem (D#5 key was sticky inside the cassotto) 

   
   

That job was waaay easier. Took me 45 minutes to make it airtight again. The hard part was to get this tiny C shaped parts back:
   
Really hate that things!

After assembling the registers back, put the cover and tested everything. The accordion works really good! 
It has a single reed mechanism to activate/deactivate a reed, i thought it was to turn MM/MMM... but it didn't work. There's a missing part that connects the activator with the board.
I activated it manually from the inside, and to my surprise, the accordion isn't LMMMH... it is LMMHHv (quint piccolo)
What a unique instrument! I like it more now that i know every aspect of it. Still needs new wax, new bass valves and some tuning, and some piccolos aren't working (but not broken, there may be something obstructing the reeds.


Quote:Paul De Bra said: 
By the time you have managed to replace all pallets you may consider yourself an accordion repairman. It is quite an undertaking.

I'm so happy, i can consider myself a real accordion repairman!!!!  Big Grin

Now i plan to mod the registers behind the keyboard, and some other things! Tomorrow i will post a video testing the instrument, and a link to download more photos of the process and the instrument! Big thanks to everyone who supported me, and specially to JerryPH for sharing his story with his Morino with us! Reading it got me really emotional, your fathers truly love you!
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.
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#19
nice job man!!!

congratulations

this is some REAL work good that you took the burger in between
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#20
Hi Sebastian!

My deepest respect for Your job!!!!
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