The Morino Revived!

November 29th, 2019

It’s been about a year now that I have wanted to get the Morino all tuned up and looked at… after all, the old gal is moving in to her 46th year of existence with me! Funny thing is that I know that it is going to be expensive, but that’s not the biggest challenge… that was ever reserved for finding someone that has the experience and knows what they are doing.
Back in March I was trying to have JimD do the job for me through my friend Paul Rammuni, however some serious health issues and an abundance of work on his end all conspired to prevent him from finding the time to dedicate to my accordion.

I looked around for other people but hey were either simply overpriced or under-qualified. Time rolls by as it does, I had my cancer operation and that added several months to the waiting.

I then tried Julie here in Montreal, she had first looked at my big Hohner a few years ago to work out a few kinks it had after sitting for over 3 decades. Turns out that she too was very busy and not even in Quebec at the time, but she did mention that by mid November she would be back and able to look over the Hohner.

November 15th I dropped it off and we discussed some of the things that I wanted her to look at:
– The valves
– Any air leaks
– Tuning. I wanted everything within 1 cent of where it was supposed to be<br>- A special request… German accordions have some of the dryest tuning around and the musette/violin tuning is at around +, – 10 cents. I asked her to increase that ever so slightly to 12 cents. Not quite Italian levels (around 15 cents), but enough to make it sound slightly different than every other Hohner Morino VI N out there! 🙂

It turns out that the valves were all ok and that there were no leaks, major or minor, to be found, however not only was the tuning off, especially with the higher piccolo reeds, but that the tremolo was not balanced very well.  I also had a bass-side reed that fell out and needed to be re-installed during the tuning process.

These were all issues that she addressed, and and as I write this blog entry, she has had my accordion for exactly two weeks.

Around 4:00pm this afternoon I received her email that it was ready, and I looked over her email with the final invoice and what was done. I verified what time my bank closed, as I needed to rush over before they closed so that I could take out the money and I made it there and back with 15 minutes to spare!

It’s time to bring my baby home!

I made arrangements to try to beat the traffic and be there around 9:30AM. This is the day that I am going to start practicing and using the Hohner again and see if I can get a little bit of my classical music “jive” back. I love my Roland for the fun side of music, but the Hohner is, was and ever will be the instrument of choice for the more serious music in my heart.

More to come tomorrow after I pick it up, play with it and post the results right here!

November 30, 2019

Well, no accordion for me today.  It seems that when I experimented with the piccollo reeds, they were not voicing properly… so she needs a couple more days with it.  Since I am working all week, that means I can only get it next Saturday.

Oh well, I guess that means more to come later.  🙂

December 8, 2019

Yesterday morning I went to pick up the Morino, very excited to test it out.  Parking at her location is limited and we have to have someone in the car watching so that I don’t get a ticket.

I walked in at the appointed time, and tested out the piccolo reeds, and they were much improved.  This is an accordion that needs to be played long and often and I know that they will further improve over time as well.  That quick test done, we pack her up and I take her home.

Once at home I have leisure to test out everything, and it sounded glorious… up until I hit the middle B note on the clarinet reed while pushing in… it sounded like a sick duck!  I try several more times, same result.

A quick call to Julie and she seems surprised and I ask about her availability for Sunday morning for me to drop it off for her to look at, she was open to it after asking if I was comfortable with opening it up and taking a look myself (I said no, this thing is too precious for me to play around with, though one day I know I will need to be able to get around the innards of accordions).

She mentioned that the clarinet reed was in the Cassotto, and after the call ended and arrangements made for time to drop it off were made, I started thinking… the clarinet reed block was in the Cassotto chamber… it gave me a thought.

Before going to bed, I sat the accordion on the couch in playing orientation, covered it and went to bed.  Sunday morning I sneak down to the basement at 6:00AM and test it out… bad note was still there.

I started testing all the other notes, in all the different registrations and nothing was out of whack except that one note. 

At some point, I stopped just pressing keys to test and started playing, but I played louder than normal, wanting to exercise the accordion a little, and help me get back the feel of this beautiful behemoth.  Every time I would hit that sour note, I concentrated on it being while I was pushing in, so I could hear it.

This went on for about an hour… and then it just happened… that note started sounding perfectly, no longer the imitation of a sick duck, but a perfect “B” in both pull and push orientations!

I kept playing for another hour or so, often testing out that “B” note, which responded with perfection.

Coming out of the basement, it was time to send an email to Julie letting her know that I was not coming back because the accordion had decided it wished to behave.  She will be gratified to know that it’s all good and that she would be notified if anything else was needed.

And so another chapter starts, the beginning of my being able to practice on the big Hohner and the end of her being out of tune.