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Hohner Bravo 72 Quality?

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trek4fr

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Hi all. I need a smaller 72-bass for when I travel and, being only a hobbyist where the accordion is concerned, I'm looking for a good bang-for-the-buck accordion. Both Hohner and Weltmeister have (or have had) good reputations in the past for this kind of accordion. I've come across a used Hohner Bravo 72 for about half of retail price. But my understanding is that these are all made in China now and given the quality of Chinese-made accordions, I'm wary of buying this and discovering that it has sticky reeds or warped reed blocks or inefficient bellows, etc. I, unfortunately, can't play it before purchase.

So do any of you have a Hohner Bravo 72 and, if so, what are your impressions of it? Is it a good bang-for-the-buck? Or is it basically an over-priced Chinese accordion?
 

Soulsaver

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Ive bought a 2 year old Bravo 48 when I first returned to the fold(s) 4 or so years ago, and I was quite impressed with it, but it was too small & light for me.. small= more bellows work and light means it moved about too much in my adult male hands.. for me at least. Other than that, it was boisterous loud for its size and was technically fine.. no probs at all. I bought it off someone acting on behalf of a 90+ year old player who decided he couldnt handle through frailty.
Now here is the complication: I believe the early production in China was overseen by Hohner German staff.. because all 3 of the early ones I know have been fine.
So if its c 8 years old, and passed though someone competent, its likely started out OK, or maybe its been sorted.
Or maybe I was lucky..?

That said if I was in the market for a 72 bass, at that price point, Id be after a nice condition late German made Concerto IIIN.
Possibly cheaper, popular among the UK folk crowd, technically better made, wouldnt lose much if after a year or two you wanted to upgrade. Still theres the usual 2nd hand risks there, too, unless you can get to play it first.

There are some bargains around - I saw a Bravo 72 described as near mint sell for £250 on Gumtree, with books & Hohner gig bag, I missed it (Stoke), went in hours. And £255 here on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hohner-Br...D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
Now clearly £250 is a bargain, so if you can wait for another to crop up? I/2 retail maybe rich?
 
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trek4fr

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Yeah, I'd love to find one of those ConcertoIIIs, Soulsaver, but they are hard to come across. And, of course, when you do you have to consider if it is going to need new reed leathers, tuning, maybe new shoulder/bass straps, i.e. how much more money are you going to put into it? I can, of course, replace should straps and bass straps. But I wouldn't dare undertake tuning reeds or replacing reed leathers. So it is a question of risking the state of an older quality accordion against the production quality of a newer accordion. Of course, if money were not an issue... ;)
 

Soulsaver

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Yep - They'll be deffo thinner per square mile over there..
In my personal experience (3off or so 8ish year olds) Bravos've been fine. Kimric & Jim D will have much more experience... and maybe worth a PM if they don't reply.

Edit:added Bravos for clarity.
 

JerryPH

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But not impossible to find:





If you are in the USA, Call Liberty Bellows, thats what I would do if I was in your situation! :)
 

JeffJetton

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I've had my Bravo 72 for many years. No problems with the reeds, reed blocks, or bellows. It's my go-to stroller.

What I have had problems with is the bass machine. Nothing major, but the pistons seem a bit flimsy. In my case, that resulted in one of them bowing a bit over time, leading to a sticking button (due to the piston rubbing against the lever). Not hard to fix, but annoying.

The other repair I had to do a few months back was the bass cover. It's screwed in right into the wood with not-very-long screws. One side eventually stripped out. A bit of wood filler in the screw hole seems to have done the trick for now.

Bottom line, they're decent enough boxes. But half-retail is probably what they should retail for. :D
 
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trek4fr

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Update: I called Liberty Bellows but all they have available at this time for the Concerto is the old '50s/'60s style (gold grille, gold paddles) and I'd prefer the newer Concerto III that looks almost identical to the Bravo (black treble hood, white buttons). I don't want to have to pay for replacing all the wax and leathers in an old accordion.

I had the seller thoroughly check out this Bravo 72, as much as possible. It has 2 bassoon reeds that are partially not working (on bellows in or out). All the M and MM notes and bass notes work. It looks like new. The seller will let me have it for $700 USD with Hohner gigbag, so I should be able to get most of my money back out of it if I decide that it isn't for me. The seller offers a 7-day return policy. Hopefully, the stuck reeds just have dust in them or something simple to fix. Knock on wood covered with celluloid. ;)

Thanks to everyone for your information and help. We'll see how it turns out. :D
 
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trek4fr

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Update 2: I received the Bravo 72. I freed up the 2 bassoon reeds quite easily and they work fine now. The bass machine seems okay (for now). But semi-following Jeff's advice, I removed the four short screws and replaced them with longer ones that get more traction. Plays and sounds well for a stroller. Thanks again to everyone for your opinions/experiences.
 

JeffJetton

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Glad to hear! I think you got a good deal there. Congrats!
 

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