• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Hohner Solist MB2 Freebass piano accordion

Arnaud

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
18
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
Spotted this model for sale recently for 1600. I want to add a freebass accordion that also has stradella to my collection. Still learning but know that at some point I will want to venture into classical and maybe even into tango that allows for left hand countermelody beyond just bass note and chords. Would those who know this instrument and the baselli bass system consider this a smart purchase, given my wishes?
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,687
Reaction score
2,078
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
I have a bit mixed feelings about the Hohner Solist MB2. It is a nice entry-level convertor accordion, but not more than that. Hohner really tried to save on the production cost as much as possible (they tend to always do that except on the Gola), and it shows.
P2203256.jpg
You can see that the plastic register sliders are not "covered" (so they can easily fall out), and the plastic base of the reed block forms both the cover and seal. There is no leather or other seal between the reed blocks and the soundbar... and you can see the reed blocks are made of cheap wood.
P2203252.jpg
The bass side consists of 3 rows of melody bass and 5 rows of standard bass. You see what looks like two register switches, but they actually are not registers but are an octave coupler. (They are harder to press because they do more work than a register switch.)
The bass side actually has only 58 reed plates, for 58 notes (3 row C-system). But the "registers" sound like there is a choice between L and LM. However, what happens is that the notes of one octave higher are just "coupled in" to give the LM sound, and in the highest octave you only get L because there is no higher octave to couple in. It's a clever trick to give you the illusion that the accordion has 58 notes in the melody bass in LM (which would require 116 reed plates), at half the cost.
When you say the price is "1600" I guess you mean US$ and I would not be willing to pay that much for a Solist MB2. Of course sale price is a matter of finding a compromise between the high value the vendor thinks the accordion has and the low value the prospective buyer is willing to pay.
 

Arnaud

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
18
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
I have a bit mixed feelings about the Hohner Solist MB2. It is a nice entry-level convertor accordion, but not more than that. Hohner really tried to save on the production cost as much as possible (they tend to always do that except on the Gola), and it shows.
P2203256.jpg
You can see that the plastic register sliders are not "covered" (so they can easily fall out), and the plastic base of the reed block forms both the cover and seal. There is no leather or other seal between the reed blocks and the soundbar... and you can see the reed blocks are made of cheap wood.
P2203252.jpg
The bass side consists of 3 rows of melody bass and 5 rows of standard bass. You see what looks like two register switches, but they actually are not registers but are an octave coupler. (They are harder to press because they do more work than a register switch.)
The bass side actually has only 58 reed plates, for 58 notes (3 row C-system). But the "registers" sound like there is a choice between L and LM. However, what happens is that the notes of one octave higher are just "coupled in" to give the LM sound, and in the highest octave you only get L because there is no higher octave to couple in. It's a clever trick to give you the illusion that the accordion has 58 notes in the melody bass in LM (which would require 116 reed plates), at half the cost.
When you say the price is "1600" I guess you mean US$ and I would not be willing to pay that much for a Solist MB2. Of course sale price is a matter of finding a compromise between the high value the vendor thinks the accordion has and the low value the prospective buyer is willing to pay.
I was hoping you would reply to my post because I find your responses to always be technically sound and helpful. With all this info (which the seller opted out of including, saying instead that this was the top model for its time), I will definitely pass on this accordion. Maybe I'll hold out for a used Bugari 289 C (such as the one I believe your wife owns). Thanks again for your detailed reply.
 

Arnaud

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
18
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
I was hoping you would reply to my post because I find your responses to always be technically sound and helpful. With all this info (which the seller opted out of including, saying instead that this was the top model for its time), I will definitely pass on this accordion. Maybe I'll hold out for a used Bugari 289 C (such as the one I believe your wife owns). Thanks again for your detailed reply.
Thoughts regarding the Scandalli 342C converter vs Bugari Artist 289 C?
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,687
Reaction score
2,078
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Thoughts regarding the Scandalli 342C converter vs Bugari Artist 289 C?
I'm not all too familiar with Scandalli model numbers. I play in the Dutch Symphonic Accordion Orchestra where Bugari is the most popular brand (almost all Artist Cassotto models) and Scandalli is second. I have of course worked on both types of accordions. I have a slight preference for Bugari over Scandalli. The most popular model is the Artist Cassotto 289/ARS/C. There is a C4 (LMMH) and C5 (LMMMH). I have played the 289/ARS/C5 for a few years (until I made the switch to CBA) I can wholeheartedly recommend the 289/ARS/C (whether C4 or C5). It's a joy to play and also pleasant to do maintenance on.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,687
Reaction score
2,078
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
What I did not yet mention: according to the (incomplete) Hohner model list found on Internet the Solist MB3 was produced between 1977 and 1981 so this instrument is between 41 and 45 years old. This means that when you buy this instrument problems like dried-out (stiff) larger valves are likely to become a problem in the next decade, as well as dried out brittle wax... not a great investment!
 

Vladimir M.

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
40
Reaction score
45
Location
Slovak Republic
Hi Paul,
but they actually are not registers but are an octave coupler.
Does this solution not increase the failure rate of such a bass mechanics? What do You think about it? They saved costs on voice plates, possibly also on the weight of the instrument, but perhaps at the expense of more sensitive mechanics.


And I have another problem with such a technical solution. If I play on the free base with both voices (choirs - 8´ + 4´) then I have options limited to a range of up to one octave. Because if I press an octave combination (e.g. adjacent buttons for tones C) then I don't get the right combination of tones 8´+4´ + 4´+2´ but only 8´+4´+2´ due to the octave coupling. In the highest two octaves only 8´+4´+ x´. An unacceptable solution for me...
Acc1.jpg

Best regards, Vladimir
 
Last edited:

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,687
Reaction score
2,078
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Hi Paul,

Does this solution not increase the failure rate of such a bass mechanics? What do You think about it? They saved costs on voice plates, possibly also on the weight of the instrument, but perhaps at the expense of more sensitive mechanics.


And I have another problem with such a technical solution. If I play on the free base with both voices (choirs - 8´ + 4´) then I have options limited to a range of up to one octave. Because if I press an octave combination (e.g. adjacent buttons for tones C) then I don't get the right combination of tones 8´+4´ + 4´+2´ but only 8´+4´+2´ due to the octave coupling. In the highest two octaves only 8´+4´+ x´. An unacceptable solution for me...
Acc1.jpg

Best regards, Vladimir
You are right about the missing note when you play an octave. You do not get the double 4' note because there is only one. That makes for a different sound (8-4-2 instead of (8-4-4-2). The owner of the accordion had no idea how the melody bass worked and had never noticed the octave coupler trick to require fewer reeds... So technically we are right to complain but in practice it does not seem to be a problem. In any case it's better than for instance the Polyphonic 400 which only offers a single-reed melody bass.
 

Similar threads

Top