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Question about strange 1800s melodeon

Big Squeezy Accordions

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Hello, I am restoring a very old "Imperial Accordeon" melodeon. It has 3 stops. The ones on either end are an octave apart. What is highly unusual is the the middle stop activates a set of reeds usually a 6th, but sometimes a 5th above the lower reed. I have a Hohner Imperator with a quint set of reeds (a 5th above the piccolo reeds), and have worked on Tiger accordions with the quint a 5th above the clarinet reed, but have never come across an accordion with this feature. I'd be curious to know if anyone has seen this before.
IMG_20220723_191829259.jpg
 

Gonk

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Interesting for sure. Do the reeds, valves, and wax all match and look original?
 

Big Squeezy Accordions

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Interesting for sure. Do the reeds, valves, and wax all match and look original?
Yes, absolutely. It has long zinc plates like a bandoneon with brass reeds. The plates were held in with nails and no wax, though I substituted screws and added wax around the edges after working on the reeds, most of which had become misaligned. It shows no sign of ever having been worked on before.
 

Gonk

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Very curious indeed. I'd post it over at melodeon.net!
One more question occurs to me - are the notes on the 'quint-ish' plate all in exactly the same scale as the other plates?
 

Big Squeezy Accordions

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Yes, all the notes are in the key of B, except for some that really far out of tune. I was planning to post on melodeon.net and am just waiting for my registration to be approved. For anyone interested, here are the notes (as I believe them to be intended, some being a semi or even whole tone out of tune) from lowest to highest:
1. close D#3 B3 D#4, open E3 C#4 E4
2. close F#3 D#4 F#4, open A#3 F#4 A#4
3. close B3 F#4 B4, open C#4 A#4 C#5
4. close D#4 B4 D#5, open E4 C#5 E5
5. close F#4 D#5 F#5, open G#4 E5 G#5
6. close B4 F#5 B5, open A#4 F#5 A#5
7. close D#5 B5 D#6, open C#5 A#5 C#6
8. close F#5 D#6 F#6, open E5 C#6 E6
9. close B5 F#6 B6, open G#5 E6 G#6
10. close D#6 B6 D#7, open A#5 F#6 A#6
 

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Hmm, ok. But if you don't "correct" the ones that are a semi or whole step out, what do you have?
 

Big Squeezy Accordions

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Hmm, ok. But if you don't "correct" the ones that are a semi or whole step out, what do you have?
The low and high "regular" reeds on 8 close are G, which I assume was intended to be F#. The high reed on 9 close is C rather than B, and the high reed on 10 close is F rather than D#. Since none of those notes would make sense on a 10 button B melodeon, it's safe to assume that they are just very out of tune on account of the thing being at least 130 years old.
 

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