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My New Baby Came!

JerryPH

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I was going to wait until after COVID passed and go get it myself, but thanks to the encouragement of my friend and some kind people here, I asked to have the accordion shipped and it arrived here yesterday!

MyImPeratorV-1.jpg

A Hohner Imperator V, and I thought it was something special before I ordered it... but it exceeded my expectations before I completed playing 2 chords!

So, what makes this accordion so special? Well:
- 41 key treble and 120 bass instrument
- 5/5 reed setup in LMMMH format
- DOUBLE Cassotto.
- The internal metal construction, Hohner calls it “Metallbauweise”
- 21 unique registers +1 Master palm switch. Hohner calls it “Doppeloktav” registers.
- It was produced and manufactured in Trossingen, Germany from 1961 to 1973.
- a true 29 pounds WITH straps, however I will be adding wider straps so let's say 30 pounds.
- With the exception of the Imperator VS, I believe there is no other accordion out there like it!


MyImPeratorV-12.jpg

Hit a nice chord and instantly you are hit with 2 first impressions:
- Its very LOUD
- The quality of the sound is so RICH

I knew that this accordion was going to be very versatile due to it's 22 unique registrations, but during the first hour that I had planned to just get to know the accordion and it's sounds, I found myself going from register to register and hearing it and having songs pop in to my head one after another, that I had to play that matched that sound! Jazz, folk, traditional, classical, Irish, zydeko... this accordion does it all and it does it well!

The accordion is smooth and easy to play, the treble keyboard is fast (almost but NOT quite as fast as my Hohner Morino VI N), the bellows are light and easy, volume and bellows control is above average. The bass is strong, authoritative without being overbearing. It compliments the right hand to perfection via it's deep and rich sound. The 7 bass registers less versatile than the right hand, but still amazing.

Another surprise came when I tried the switch which closed and opened the baffles of the treble-side grills. In effect it audibly takes a LMMMH tone and turns it half way to a LMM or LMMM sound, by effectively reducing higher frequencies WITHOUT volume loss of the low and mid tones (most affected are those reserved in the highest M and H reeds). it cuts the H reed down about 50%, and the highest of the M reeds by maybe 30%... without affecting overall volume, and it is super pleasant to the ear in BOTH modes and adds even more sonic versatility.
Speaking of the front grill, what a beautiful design. That wave effect makes you snap your head back for a second look and the gentle rise to the center is something that, again, I have never seen in any other accordion that I ever saw.

I am really happy that I was able to finally get this accordion, I'm going to have countless hours of fun with it! :) :)
 

debra

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"Baby" is certainly a misnomer for a 29 pound accordion, but it looks gorgeous and I'm sure that regarding sounds it is the most versatile accordion in existence. It is essentially what a non-existent Atlantic V with cassotto could have been, but Hohner decided to call it Imperator, a very appropriate name. The Atlantics always had a bit of a sharp tone, especially the H register, and this is caused by the "Metalbau" but the sordino is quite effective at making the sound more mellow. Some people with an Atlantic left the sordino closed all the time.
Enjoy your new "baby"! They don't make them like this any more!
 

mgavrilov

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Congratulations, Jerry! We are looking forward to hearing you play it :)
 

NickC

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Congratulations. It looks like a beauty! I’d love to hear some of those registers.
 

JIM D.

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"Absolutely Gorgeous" Were did you manage to find it ??? I know Liberty Bellows has a few.
 
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JerryPH

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Thanks everyone!

Jim, our mutual friend has had one for the last 3-ish years... that's where mine came from.
(New England Accordion Connection and Museum... aka: Paul Ramunni!). Seems while everyone is downsizing, I have no issues playing the bigger boxes. My last 2 accordions came from there, and in fact... when I first saw them in 2017, they were practically beside each other, though at the time I really wasn't looking to purchase, but that tiny Free Bass caught my eye. Years later, it was the Imperator. It's just such a special accordion, if it had MIII free bass, it would be freaking perfect. :)


Last2.JPG
 

nagant27

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Congrats jerry! Playing an accordion for the first time is always exciting, especially a gem like this. I’m glad you finally got it and it’s everything you hoped it would be. This is a great hobby!!!
 

Zevy

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Congratulations. Play it in the best of health!
 

embers

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Congratulations on your special accordion purchase; it sure is a beautiful instrument! Glad to hear your good friend and others encouraged you not to wait. I agree with you that "countless hours" of musical enjoyment are ahead.
 

Glenn

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Do you find the 5 voices in treble gives a different balance to this accordion?
I have a 5 voice Accordiola and even after all these years I still have the impression that the weight is more “forward“ than my other accordions.
 

JerryPH

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Glenn,

Both my 5/5 accordions have a forward bias, that's because they 29 and 34 pounds... lol
Kidding aside, I don't find this accordion (the Imperator) with an obvious forward weight bias any more than my Elka or Iorio. This may be due to the slight weight savings caused by the metal case design.. My Hohner Morino VI N... yes a massive difference forward bias feel in comparison. It's just made to be used sitting down, but that's the nature of this kind of beast. Take a bow with that thing, and you are going to topple forward. :).
 

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