Hohner XS mini accordion
#1
The Hohner company is pushing to market the Hohner XS mini accordion.
They have a few videos, in one of these videos you can see the reedblock is made of plastic, she's taken out of the reedblocks and is showing the plastic reedblock to sound one of the reeds:

https://www.hohner.de/en/education/lets-get-started

They have developed the Hohner XS after consulting with a lot of partners:
https://www.hohner.de/en/education/partners

The weight is 2,9 kg, that's okay for young children.

However, I'm not really a fan of this new Hohner XS.
Pricey for a plastic mini accordion.
I think I'm beginning to understand why the Hohner company is pushing very hard to market and sell this Hohner XS to accordion teachers and learners. Lowcost automatic production line and easy assembly?
https://www.hohner.de/en/education/disco...-hohner-xs

The PA layout starts with a low B note, and ends with a high G note.
Personally, I think starting with a low G note and ending with a high C note would be more practical in a PA layout context. A lot of folk and children's tunes begin with an interval jumping a fourth, from low V to I.

Very strange they developed this in collaboration with so many partners, and yet only PA layout is available in the Hohner XS series...
Hasn't any of the CBA accordion teachers in Germany been asked to join one of the Hohner XS developer's teams?

Addendum, just found an amazing inside look of the Hohner factory with a Russian bayan player testing a prototype (?) of a CBA layout mini Hohner XS...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTiJhCvG_t0

The fragment with the Hohner XS starts around 12'00''.
The buttons are all white, except for one is black. That's why I think it is only a first prototype.

At last one CBA player is proposing a CBA layout. I'm not surprised it's someone from Russia who's testing the little CBA layout Hohner XS.

Maybe someone must have told the Hohner company they should also begin to produce mini CBAs?

The Hohner XS piano layout came out in february 2019, this video is from june 2019.
I'm curious if Hohner will now also add a CBA layout to the Hohner XS series...

Still not a fan because of the plastic, and I also have some questions about the so called ergonomic design of this Hohner XS series.
Because in the 19th century they already made PA accordions with this specific angle on the right hand side. I'd like to know if the Hohner teams looked into those early 19th century designs...
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#2
Additional info.
The Hohner XS was made from a single basic plastic injection mold.
One construction element in the bass part does the work of 4 separate construction elements in the past.
Here is an interview with someone from the engineering team and the marketing director from Hohner about the development of the Hohner XS accordion for children.

https://fortes-medien.shop/blog/akkordeo...hre-lehrer
quote:
„Betrachtet man den generellen Aufbau des Akkordeons, sieht man immer das Gleiche: ein Holzgehäuse, in das die sogenannte ,Füllung‘ mit der Mechanik separat eingebaut wird. Alles Einzelteile. Beim neuen Kinderakkordeon heißt diese ,Füllung‘ Basisträger. Das sagt eigentlich schon alles: Es handelt sich um ein einzelnes Spritzgussteil, in das die Stimmstöcke bereits integriert sind, die Lager für die Tasten, die Befestigung für die Gehäuseschale. Ein Bauteil übernimmt hier die Funktion von bisher vier Bauteilen.“ Wichtig sei bei der Entwicklung der richtige Ansatz gewesen: Die Funktion der einzelnen Teile stand an erster Stelle der Überlegungen, das Instrument wurde dadurch komplett neu aufgebaut. „Der erste Gedanke war nicht: Wie kann ich die Klappe oder den Hebel kleiner machen? Vielmehr haben wir uns bei nahezu jedem Bauteil gefragt: Welche Funktion erfüllt dieser Knopf oder dieser Hebel in der Gesamtmechanik? Wie kann man das generell anders lösen? Wo gibt es – vielleicht in meiner Küche, in meinem Auto, in sonstigen Bereichen des Alltags – etwas, das man vielleicht auf diese Funktion übertragen kann, das aber ganz anders gelöst wurde?“
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#3
The 5 second Google translate result:


"If one looks at the general structure of the accordion, one always sees the same thing: a wooden case into which the so-called 'filling' with the mechanism is installed separately. All items. For the new children's accordion, this 'filling' is called base wearer. That says it all: It is a single injection molded part, in which the voice sticks are already integrated, the bearings for the keys, the attachment for the housing shell. One component takes on the function of the previous four components. "The right approach had been important during the development: The function of the individual parts was the first consideration and the instrument was completely rebuilt. "The first thought was not: how can I make the flap or lever smaller? Rather, we have asked ourselves in almost every component: What function does this button or this lever in the overall mechanics? How can you solve this in a different way? Where is there - perhaps in my kitchen, in my car, in other areas of everyday life - something that can perhaps be transferred to this function, but which was solved quite differently?"
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#4
It is a nice initiative by Hohner, but it remains to be seen whether it stands up to time and typical handling by children. The Pigini Peter Pan is known for its plastic casing breaking where the shoulder straps are attached for instance.
Whenever I see "Hohner XS" I immediately think of my Hohner Artiste XS which is anything but "extra small", weighing 18 kg...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#5
i like the innovation

They should also make a version to function as a controller for gaming consoles and teaching apps!
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#6
The Hohner company has a long and strong tradition in marketing, promotion and sales techniques.
Their engineers are also top, I have no doubts they can make anything they want.

The smallsize Hohner XS looks sturdy, I'm sure the plastic body will survive a few bumps or falls on the ground.

What is puzzling me, is that they are saying: the right hand of the child can stay in a fixed position, with very little hand movement.
The ergonomic design of the Hohner XS allows the right hand to stay in position, and almost no wrist movement.

Personally, I think it is better and more relaxing to move your right hand and wrist.
A pianist is trained to move his hands all over the 88 keys keyboard, the arms, hands and fingers are trained to stretch and grasp almost impossible grips or chords.

To "immobilize" the right hand, to me, sounds quite the opposite to ergonomy.

Also, for a 2,9 kg instrument, the range is very limited, both melody and bass side.
Bonifassi has produced a traditional mini accordion for children (or adults) that has a great range, and is very lightweight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9ObSdkSZEg
Bella Ciao joué avec le Bonifassi modèle Baby

And even smaller, just look at the size of these 2 mini chromatic button accordions on the shelves behind his back (with black, yellow and red colours)
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#7
(08-10-2019, 06:56 PM)Stephen Wrote: Bonifassi has produced a traditional mini accordion for children (or adults) that has a great range, and is very lightweight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9ObSdkSZEg
Bella Ciao joué avec le Bonifassi modèle Baby

And even smaller, just look at the size of these 2 mini chromatic button accordions on the shelves behind his back (with black, yellow and red colours)

Very cute!
It may be small, but it’s the real deal! Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMgZb7HbohM
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#8
(08-10-2019, 06:56 PM)Stephen Wrote: What is puzzling me, is that they are saying: the right hand of the child can stay in a fixed position, with very little hand movement.
The ergonomic design of the Hohner XS allows the right hand to stay in position, and almost no wrist movement.

I think it's more about arm length and not needing to put your elbow up and bend your hand around the keyboard.
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#9
I think it will be difficult to keep the Hohner XS fixed to the body with this new design.
You can see in the video fragment how this Russian bayan player struggles with the CBA prototype of the Hohner XS.
(the prototype is C-system, he says in Russian he is used to play with "another grip" (B-system bayan), but he manages to play a fragment from "Luci e ombre", a waltz by Paolo Pizzigoni. But you see he has difficulties to stabilize the instrument).

Here the control is better, but you can see the instrument is not resting on the knee, because the shoulder strap system is holding the Hohner XS away from the knees:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_2bbZrtW1M

One of the first things accordion teachers in music schools learn to beginners: the accordion should rest on your left knee, feet flat on the ground, and legs with a 90° degree.

A quote from the Hohner interview:
"Selbst die kleinsten Instrumente wiegen noch um die fünf Kilo, das ist für ein kleines Kind viel zu schwer.“
https://fortes-medien.shop/blog/akkordeo...hre-lehrer

That is not really correct, the Hohner Imperial II (25 piano keys, with 32 standard basses) from the 1940s is 2,9 kg, less than 5 kg ! I had this type of accordion in my collection and put it on a precision scale (including the shoulder straps !)
The Hohner company has made a range of mini lightweight accordions for hikers and travelers in the 1930s and 1940s. With traditional materials: wood.

I think they want to press for the plastic injection mold model, because the profits will be higher, and production cost lower.
AKKO, Pigini, Hohner, Bonifassi and others, they have all made standard bass accordions under 5 kg, some even around 3 kilograms.
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