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Anyone else got an Atlantic, or had one?

TomBR

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I have no musical use or justification for a 41/120 PA, a 30/72 or 60 would do all that I want musically, but I was curious about trying a full size accordion, and there was just something about the Hohner Atlantic that made me want one! I think its a great name, and that they are one of the best looking big accordions.

There are a fair few coming through Ebay, so when one appeared locally I contacted the seller to go and have a look. Very pleasant seller, I enjoyed having a play, though somewhat daunted by the size and weight, never having played a 120 before. I bid a price I would would be happy to get it for, expecting to be outbid, and was rather surprised to find myself buying an Atlantic in reasonable playing condition for about £150. The seller said it had been his brothers and he just wanted it to go somewhere to be played.

The accordion itself is full size of course, but the Hohner hard case is about the size of a small caravan, its huge!

Anyway, there seem to be a lot of Atlantics about, so Id be interested to hear who has, or has had one.

Mine is LMMH with black couplers so I assume its 60s? It also has the palm master. Any other dating info would be interesting.

Key pressure is quite light, but key dip is about 6mm at the end of the white keys which seems a lot to me. Ive heard comments that Atlantics of this age tend to need pallet foam/felt/leather replacing, so given that Charlie Marshall sells a set, Im inclined to do so anyway. Theres not much pallet rattle.

Tuning wise mine is OK, fine for the price but not perfect. The MM tuning is a bit wetter than Id choose. Im surprised to get a bit of a tremolo on MH, Id have expected LMH to be pure unison and the other M offset.

Would it be heretical to change it to swing tuning?

Bass end is in good shape, just a couple of valves need sorting. Im amused by the high alto register on the chinmost bass coupler, feels like its singing falsetto! Im also impressed by the dynamic range, it can murmur in a very civilised way, or roar when asked.

Plenty of Atlantic videos on Youtube, mostly from being for sale, of course, but Aidan Frost has done some nice ones for their own sake.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CorkApproach/videos

So anyway, Id be interested in any other comments anyone has about these large amiable accordions.
Tom
 

artelagro

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Hi Tom
It is still early days for me to add much to this thread but I have gone part-way down this road. I replaced the pads (and rubbers) using the set from Charlie Marshall (CGM) and would certainly recommend this path. It is so easy because they are cut exactly to size. If I was to do this job again I would use only a fraction of the impact adhesive - I can now see no need for the complete cover I gave them.
Before removing the pallets, I suggest taking a photograph showing the location of the rubber joints (don't know what to call them) so that they can be replaced as per original. Any slight variation, throws the arm off centre and makes sealing difficult - these pallets (Hohner's design) are not wide.
Remember I have lots of photos if you want them.
Ca canny
Garth
p.s. Thanks for putting up the link to Aidan Frost's page
 
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I have an atlantic, sounds like the same model as yours (black switches, LMMH), and I love it. The mute on the grill is particularly good, giving you the choice between a very bright melodeon sort of sound or a mellow, warm sound on any register. I think the bright sound comes from the body being made of metal. The top bass register is a little comical, but I like it, and it gets a surprising amount of use.
Considering the abuse that mine has had by past owners (the bellows are not much to behold) it is amazingly airtight and everything that hasn't been damaged by said previous owner works perfectly. The pallets are still completely airtight, and do not appear to be crumbling. I quite like the keyboard action - light but not too shallow. It seems to suit my playing style - light enough to be delicate, but heavy enough to avoid accidentally hitting wrong notes with stray fingers. The Hohner solid wood case is pretty bombproof, although the military green/beige colour makes it look a little sinister.
The bass machine is pretty good, with a very light action, and the removable case is great for cleaning purposes and ease of repair.
If I could improve it slightly, I would replace the broken register switches on mine with melodeon-style stops (I currently have cable-ties opening the slides directly, but that is a problem unique to mine caused by the previous owner), and have another register on the bass, as they are often either too low, too high, or too loud. A nice fourth switch, with maybe the 3 middle reeds would be great.
I get the impression that atlantics have gone downhill recently, with the removal of the mutes and the removal of one of the bass reeds, but they still seem a pretty solid box. And better looking than the morino (IMO).
 

Soulsaver

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Black inverted spade shape with black. Gold spade shape couplers with Red, Green and White models respectively. Made 1953 - 61 (or maybe '71) according to conflicting sources & Hohner docs.

During this period Hohner changed bass register switches design, treble registers switch design, grill design, with or without sordina, - all not very well documented ASFAIK, but I've seen fairly official (Hohner documents) supporting the dates. Mine was a one owner from new I bought off the owners son who was aware it was bought new in the mid 50s. It is cosmetically almost like new, very well cared for - but it needs pads before anything else.

I've seen/heard people say deluxe models had gold trim - I say not always, they say with wrist coupler - I say seen them without (but I've seen III's with wrist coupler, too); they say always with sordina; I say not (mine has) and it's a different grill without.

I conclude there must have been a range of either options, or things went obsolete without a clear cut off.

The originals came with an innovative sort of sponge pad material that people tell me worked well for a good few years - but then shrank & disintegrated. Mostly these have been replaced but means there are also plenty around that require work. If your keyboard is high, or 'clacking' chances are they haven't been done.

Then 1972 on models went to the Gola/Morino type register switches.

That 'peep' from the high bass register is typical Hohner, and I assume must feature in trad German stuff, 'cos it doesn't get used solo for stuff I ever play... but you(one) may use it in tunes for kids, no offence intended, it sounds like a toy train.
I'm not aware that anyone in the UK thinks the MM tone in a LMMH is precious, whereas that may not always be true for the branded musette LMMM model where you may disappoint French/Scottish fans ... it's usually wet.

As far as I'm concerned change the tuning to anything that suits your taste, Tom. Be good to hear if anyone feels differently.
 

Soulsaver

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james_from_stoke said:
I get the impression that atlantics have gone downhill recently, with the removal of the mutes and the removal of one of the bass reeds, but they still seem a pretty solid box..

Well they always had 4. How many bass reed sets do they have now?
 

TomBR

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Thanks for interesting and enjoyable posts folks.
I'm sorry that the grill mute on mine has been removed. The slider is still there, but it's connected to nothing inside
Haven't looked inside mine yet, looking forward to exploring.
Thanks for the photos heads up and offer Garth. Photos are great in repair work for the thing that you didn't know you needed to know, until later! I'm taking more and more. Helps plan the next job too.
Cheers,
Tom
 

Soulsaver

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I think the sordina (blind) gets removed because it could tend to jam - and/or the string breaks. Mine works well, but as I said, looks to have had only careful home use.
This thread has motivated me to get on with the job... The Atlantic can't be described as 'small' but I found it well balanced and feels relatively light on the left hand.
 

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