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I may have found the one.

Mr Mark

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In lieu of large sums of money and the ability to travel freely internationally due to the broader situation, I am happy to have found this little gem on the weekend - and felt the need to share. It was definitely worth the three hour drive to check out and the price was right at 200$!

Hohner Tango II B. Looking at the Hohner accordion list this was manufactured in 1939? It looks very similar in age and appearance to my Verdi II - same colour scheme anyway but in way better shape.

It is in fantastic condition for its age, and despite needing new valves I think I can get away with spot wax repairs for now as the wax is still pliable. Everything looks original, even the wax. Is this unheard of for wax to last that long?

The bellows are in great shape and the leather/cork feet/pads look to be in very good shape also - they do clack pretty good but I actually like it like that with this little box.

The switching mechanism is a bit sticky on one side and a screw is loose/stripped (probably the reason for the stick). It is also wedged behind the backpad, is there a trick to taking these off?

Anyhow, I like it being very light and covering everything I need on the 80 bass side. The LMM options are fantastic sounding, what I was looking for in switching between musette to single reed, with the added bonus of being able to add in a master reed for extra depth. All with two palm switches. I do believe the bass has an extra quint reed which in this case actually sounds pretty good, not too overbearing - high pitched for just the right amount of carnival...

I actually find the overall tone balance to be fantastic with excellent range on the treble side given there are only 34 keys. There is even a neat little window feature on the top end so you can see which register is selected.

I might go with leathers again on this to keep it real and try my hand with them. I will probably also add a mic at some point, and look forward to experimenting a bit to get that right also. It's really out of tune right now and a lot of choking reeds but heck I played it for about three hours today anyway.

She might be the one...
 

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jozz

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nice!

it has the same bellow straps as my Preciosa from that era

only recently found out it can clip onto itself.... used to leave them dangling 🤫
 

Gonk

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Nicely scored! Has those sweet old reeds.

The work done on the pallets suggests to me that the wax isn't original, and this has had a general refurb at some point in the past 20 years. (It would indeed be very weird for it to be pliable after 80 years.)

Glad you like the Hohner "free percussion section." That said, it's not hard to put on new pallet facing, if you ever want to.
I second the decision to go with leather valves. Less buzz and click from them.
The backpad / palm switch cover usually has screws you can remove in order to pull the whole thing back.
 

Ventura

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awesome ! congrats !

suggest doing the reed valves (new, or at least touched up with a dab of Lexol)
before you worry the Tuning

and

KNOBBY are you looking ???? this is the kind of old project you should be working with
not that Delicia

this old Hohner actually is worth refurbishing
 

Tom

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Beautiful, congrats Mark!
 

JeffJetton

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Quite a beaut!

And no grille-mounted register switches in lieu of two palm switches? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Interesting!
 

debra

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Great find. Best of luck with it.
However, In about 50 years of playing the accordion I have learned that there is no such thing as "the one" in terms of accordion. Every accordion has its strengths and weaknesses, and no accordion has everything you want. (In case anyone doubts this, an accordion that has all the features you want will not have the size and weight you want, and vice versa.)
 

Mr Mark

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Dingo - personality in spades!

jozz - I didn't realize that on these at first either, but now that I've had a few my only complaint is the screw is so small it seems to strip out easily, so I don't end up snapping it to itself anyway to reduce potentially doing just that!

Gonk - yea I'd find it hard to believe the wax is that old. Sweet reeds indeed! I probably will reface the pallets at some point but for now they aren't leaking, I've done them before so it'll be a nice project some weekend. Unfortunately the back pad is rivetted on over the switch arms but I might be able to get at the switches from the reed chamber side of things.

Ventura - I think it'll be new wax and reeds. The leathers are pretty done and its as good a time as any to learn. Tuning is last for certain - there's no other way. Interesting to note there is a stamp on the back pad which reads A=440!

Thanks Tom!

Jeff - New to me too, they aren't nearly as easy to switch either but I'm sure I'll find a way to get used to it. No distractions for the audience this way, just some hidden magic switch!

debra - You are absolutely correct, not one will have everything I want - something I have come to love and appreciate about accordions - everyone is a character. However; in about five years of playing I have gone through about thirty different models, rebuilt a couple, retuned a couple and played them all to beans - in that time I have definitely learned what does not work and this unit doesn't check any of THOSE boxes. It's just the feel, the tone, the way the spacing and angle of the bass buttons is perfect, the keys are the right width, I have plenty of range, the weight is negligible, and the voicings are superb. I can actually fly on this thing. If anything I might like some switchable options on bass and rounded key edges but the bass is great anyway and I've got sandpaper for the keys!


Now to find some leathers...any suggestions on a North American supplier? Canadian?
 

wirralaccordion

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Do these Hohner Tangos have a 5th row of bass buttons that double up for use as the dominant seventh and the diminished chord by missing out the root note?. If so how do you find this feature? I only ask because I myself have recently purchased a Marinucci 80 bass with this configuration of bass buttons.
 

dunlustin

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Go down one and use the VII chord:
For Cdim: F7 = F A C Eb take away the root = A C Eb
Cdim : C Eb F# A so F7 gives you 3 of the 4 notes
 

wirralaccordion

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Go down one and use the VII chord:
For Cdim: F7 = F A C Eb take away the root = A C Eb
Cdim : C Eb F# A so F7 gives you 3 of the 4 notes
Sorry Richard. My meaning was more along the lines of do you find this feature of value in your playing and or does it make the accordion lighter in weight etc, not how do you physically find it.
 

Mr Mark

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Paul vDV, I am not sure. This date was quoted in the ad, as well I cross referenced it with the Hohner list on this site, those are the only things I have to go on.
 

Mr Mark

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wirralaccordion, both; lighter weight and smaller is best for mobile applications and the lack of this note does in no way impede the things I actually play.
 

Mr Mark

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Paul vDV, The wine colour is exactly the same as mine, the pinstriping and grill are not. So both yours and his are from 1938 and mine is from 1939? I am referencing the document in this thread btw https://www.accordionists.info/threads/hohner-accordion-list.173/ .

The one in this video is exactly the same as mine, sticky switches and all (sticking slide in the reedblock as it turns out)
 

AccordionUprising

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Haven't dealt with them yet, but https://wilsonmusic.ca in Ontario has some parts for Hohner accordions on their website. I'd ask them for leathers.

Hohner directed me to two Canadian distributors: Wilson in Ontario, and Coast Music https://coastmusiconline.com in Montreal.

(I'll be emailing both about getting one of the new Hohner XS's (extra small?) since they just released a CBA version.)
 

AccordionUprising

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I do believe the bass has an extra quint reed which in this case actually sounds pretty good, not too overbearing - high pitched for just the right amount of carnival...
Do you mean that the bass chords have an extra note? That might be from before it became standard to leave out the 5th note from the 7th and dim chord buttons. I knew somebody who had an accordion like that which might have been from the late 30s or so. It didn't sound good when they tried jazzy chord combinations.

Clever players started clipping those notes out with pliers. It became standard to leave them out as time went on. I'm not sure exactly when this started, or when the new standard became the norm, maybe in the late 1940s?

Check and see if chord combinations that use the 7th and dims buttons, like the 7b9 on guides like https://accordionchords.com/category/7b9-chords/ work on your accordion?

I am not really a musician, so I can't say I understand this stuff, but my friend's older accordion didn't sound jazzy, and this was a good excuse.

(Thanks to lmschgo for mentioning that cool chord site.)
 

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