My Hohner HM 36 Issues..

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew Morse 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #1535

    Steve Gajdos
    Participant

    Hey!

    I have a used Hohner HM-36 and while I play on it it does have some issues. It appears that about three keys wiggle (B1, C1, and G2) from side to side and leaves large gaps between the other keys. This results in the loose keys getting stuck together by moister when I get it warmed up. This really slows my hand down and makes the melodica unplayable at the worst moments. Has anybody else experienced this and know how to fix it? I also need to get under the keys to clean the instrument as the pervious own got something sticky under the keys and it also likes to get sticky when it warms up. I’ve had it apart to try and clean it but the space under the keys looks unreachable. I hope someone can help me, it’s a sweet sounding melodica but because of these issues I at times have to use my cheap-o Hohner Performer 37 which is just not as nice.

    Thanks

    Steve

    #1546

    Kevin
    Participant

    Hi Steve,
    I’m afraid I can’t give much technical advice but only moral support.
    I haven’t figured out a way to remove the keyboard without potential damage? I’m going to take another look inside mine this weekend.

    #1547

    Steve Gajdos
    Participant

    Thanks

    I love this melodica.

    #1975

    Jordan
    Participant

    I’d like to bump this up.
    I purchased an older Piano 36 that I might have to return. All but two of the keys have EXTREME side-to-side wiggle, and I’m assuming this isn’t typical. I haven’t been able to recover much info online. I’m refraining from opening this baby up to peek around, as I don’t want to make matters worse. Right now, I have the option to send her back, but if there’s an easy (read: cheap) fix, I don’t mind doing some work. Could there be bushings in there that have just fallen apart? I do hear some pieces rattling around inside.

    Thanks for the help, all.

    #1976

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Jordan, a few weeks ago I posted a topic “Hohner Melodicas, old vrs new” Where I state this same issue. I have a Hohner piano 36 and a professional 36. Yes there is a lot of slop in the piano 36 in comparison to the professional but it is still a nice sounding melodica in general. I am not sure of a fix for this issues. Is it a prestige looking melodica or does it look like it has been through war? I think in one of the pictures I posted you can see the gaps on my piano 36 and do not see this in the professional.
    Melodica-Me

    #1977

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Should read prestine not prestige

    #1978

    Jordan
    Participant

    It’s not in pristine condition, but it’s surely not beaten up. The gold-painted band has been rubbed mostly off, but the rest of the finish is rather nice. Okay, so I got antsy and decided to carefully open it up to inspect the inside. When I took the rear cover off, I found two clear plastic bushings rolling around. What exactly keeps the keys sitting snug? Are there spacers/bushings between every key? Did these two bushings somehow go at each end of the melodica keeping everything snug? I can’t pinpoint their abandoned location with my eyes.

    Mine aren’t just slightly crooked; they wiggle around like loose teeth. It’s pretty impossible to play since the keys always get stuck and grind/knock on the adjacent ones.

    I’ll take a look at your other thread.

    #1979

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Wow, that’s not normal. My piano 36 just has un even gaps between the keys, but do not get stuck. They do clank as a norm.

    #1980

    Lowboy
    Participant

    Jordan,

    I own three Hohner Piano 36s. Two are vintage (pre-gold trim) and one is ten years old and happens to be apart right now.

    The white keys on both the new and vintage 36s are about as tight as on any other melodica I own. Only my new Yamaha P-25F has tighter white keys, but the difference is insignificant.

    The black keys on the vintage 36s wobble about the same as any other melodica I own. However, the black keys on my newer 36 with the gold trim wobble like crazy. I never noticed this before until I took the newer 36 apart about three weeks ago. The funny thing is my playing was never affected by it and I never noticed it before.

    Even the black keys on my new Yamaha P-25F, a precision melodica if there ever was one, wobble substantially compared to its white keys.

    So I would say the black key wobble is maybe not such a big concern. But the white key wobble sounds problematic.

    I do not see any bushings or spacer plates in my modern 36, although I have not taken the keys off yet. But I can see pretty good in there and there does not appear to be any bushings or spacers.

    Sounds like a mystery. The only conclusions I see as viable are: (1) someone banged really hard on the keys for many years damaging the pivot points, (2) the keys or pivot points or melodica frame are warped due to exposure to extreme environmental conditions, (3) the side-to-side play is the result of a factory quality control issue, or (4) there are bushings or spacers in there that I cannot see in mine that have warped, shrunk, or disintegrated.

    Does the melodica seal well? If you blow into hard, is there any leakage? If so, I believe it could be an indication of abuse or exposure to harsh environmental conditions. A leaking melodica is not good either.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #1982

    Lowboy
    Participant

    I should have said, “If you blow into hard WITHOUT HOLDING DOWN ANY KEYS there should be no leakage.”

    Lowboy

    #2051

    Jordan
    Participant

    Thanks for the input, Lowboy.

    I’ve been out of town for a few weeks, but I actually sent the Piano 36 back before I left. The seller was nice enough to work with.

    I found no issues with air leakage. I searched quite scrupulously for the problem, but the issue was either out of eye sight, or just some unnatural defect that came with age. The only funky evidence were those two little, clear plastic “donuts” or bushings that I found rattling around inside. They were barely bigger than metal BBs, but they had a hole in the center where it looks like something was once running through.

    Again, this was a widespread issue affecting every key but two of ’em. The second white key from the top, and the second from the bottom were both tight and solid as could be. Very strange. All the others might as well be loose teeth. When a single key was pressed, there was about an 80% chance that an adjacent key would be pushed down with it.

    On a lighter note, I picked up “Piano 32,” not a Student or Instructor model. From what I can tell, this was the run that was replaced by the Student model, and not in production anymore. It has the older-style grey case, but the stamp is slightly different than the 70s/80s/whenever vintage models. I’m hoping this is still when the reeds were considered better (and from the German factory). At any rate, it’s got a nice little sound and nice tune. And best of all, the keys aren’t wobbly!

    #3400

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Oops! [double posting]

    #3401

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    HOHNER PIANO-36 — UNEVENLY SPACED KEYS REVISITED

    Several people have reported loose keys and uneven spacing between the keys of their Piano 36. I’m not sure about the looseness of keys, but in thinking about how to deal with the problem of the high A, B and C keys sticking together, I discovered this morning that by slipping a tiny screwdriver in between keys and pushing in one direction or the other, I could easily adjust these spaces. It took about two minutes to adjust all narrow and wide gaps and make the whole keyboard even. There are no more problem keys. Although some are easier than others to wiggle back and forth, this doesn’t seem to be a problem. I suspect that this can also be addressed by the same method, but doing so might do more harm than good.

    While we’re on the subject of the Piano-36, does anyone know where to obtain a spit vent cap for this melodica or what might replace it?

    #3402

    Lowboy
    Participant

    I looked around the house at toothpaste caps and other caps on tubed medicines and preparations. I found one that fit. I don’t remember which product I got it from.

    Lowboy

    #3406

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Here I was rummaging around the kitchen. I just found a cap that fits pretty well. It’s from a tube of Costco Kirkland brand hydrogen cortizone. Brilliant!

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