Sorrento/Chordiana

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Dee Cook 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5859

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    This is a distinctive Italian model that appeared as both a Sorrento (shown here) and a blue Chordiana, probably in the late 1960s or 1970s. Some of the Italian models in this style are hard to take apart as a result of being stuck together or glued. That appeared to be the case with this one, but then I discovered that once the bolts in the bottom are removed, the keyboard and works lift out from the top, rather than requiring the removal of the bottom plate. So we are able to access the reeds and see that there are no reed plates, each reed is individually mounted as on a Clavietta or the Hohner Professional 36.









    I didn’t try to clean this up at all before taking these photographs, so you can see the particles and flakes from the decomposing gasket material. All notes play, though there’s one key that sticks and so plays at a subdued level when other keys are depressed. I’m guessing that this can be easily fixed, but I’ll delay that until I have time to clean this up and replace the main gasket. I have too many other melodicas on the workbench at the moment!

    #5866

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    The Chordiana (which was available in alternative color schemes) is of somewhat different design, so I was incorrect in saying it is the same instrument as the Sorrento. Possibly it’s from the same manufacturer.

    Chordiana

    #5870

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    Alan, the Sorento is very interesting, can you compare the tonal qualities in comparison to the Clavietta or the Hohner pro 36. can you compare the reeds as well.
    Thank you
    Melodica-Me

    #5873

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    I have a Chordiana coming, Melodica-Me, which I suspect will also have individually mounted reeds. That’s the feature that I’ve been looking for in these relatively obscure Italian models. The seller hasn’t tested the Chordiana, so I don’t know whether it even plays. But when it arrives, I’ll do what I can to make some closer comparisons between the individually mounted reed instruments I have: the Hohner Pro 36, the Clavietta, the Silvertones (34 and 25), the Sorrento, and the Chordiana. I’m sure there are some others, and they’re probably all inspired by the Clavietta. The 25 key Silvertone, the Sorrento, and the Chordiana all have an almost identical bottom plate with five distinctive hexagonal bolts — which give the impression that these instruments may have come from the same factory. Here’s the bottom of the junior Silvertone:

    Not all of the aforementioned (in my collection) are playable or fully playable at this time, but obviously the big question is whether or to what extent the individually mounted reeds produce a superior or at least relatively distinctive sound. Well, the Pro 36 and the Clavietta stand out in that way, though differently. I’ll see what I can do.

    #5880
    Daren Banarsë
    Daren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Great line of enquiry Alan. Really interested to hear how these individually mounted reeds sound. And wether they are indeed superior!

    #5890

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    My Chordiana arrived, so here are some more photos:








    #5891

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Okay, the set-up of the Chordiana is very similar to that of the Sorrento. It comes apart in the same way, by removing the five bottom bolts and then prying out the from the top. This Chordiana is in a little better shape than the Sorrento. All keys work on both, but both are leaky. I’ll try to tighten them up and try to get some sound samples for comparison with the Clavietta.

    #7788

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    I have just recently acquired a Pinocchio Pianino by Orcana, which is the same instrument as the Sorrento and Chordiana. As a Pinocchio enthusiast (The Adventures of Pinocchio), I couldn’t resist! However, this one is in much better playing condition. I will be starting a separate thread on the Pinocchio after I’ve had the chance to examine it more carefully. My new icon is a photo of the tiny music stand that mounts on the end of the Pinocchio.

    #7792

    jacob smith
    Participant

    Hey Alan. My Grandpa had left me 2 vintage Pianicas. (I believe they are 50-70 years old) and 1 Hohner Melodica (soprano). All have the original cases and the Pianicas have the manuals with them. My wife and I are having another baby and going through all our stuff, making some room and saving some money. I see you are one of the most active users and wondered if you would b interested in them (or if anyone else is).

    Here’s what I got
    P-32 (it does not say p-32d, it does not say Yamaha anywhere, it does say made by Tokai Gakki Co. LTD)
    P-25 (artist ltd. pianica by Tokai)
    Honer Melodica Soprano)

    All are in very good condition and sound really good)
    If you are anyone else is interested shoot me a text at 630-532-8227. I’ll send some pics / videos.

    Thanks- Jake

    #7793

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Hi, Jacob.

    The Artist Ltd. is a very nice vintage Tokai Gakki. However, I have two of them. That model seems to have been distributed mainly in the U.S., though it was made in Japan. They are not hard to find in good condition at reasonable prices ($30 or so).

    Whether there’d be interest in the Hohner soprano would depend to some extent on which model it is. If it’s either a button (as opposed to piano style) keyboard or the small key piano style, these are plentiful. But if it’s in pristine condition, that would make it more desirable. If it’s a later Piano style Hohner, there might be more interest, again depending on condition.

    The “P” designation was introduced around 1970. If the label says just “Pianica 32” or “Yamaha Pianica 32,” and has small rather than full size keys, then it would be one of the first Pianicas, introduced in 1961, manufactured by Tokai Gakki and sold as a Yamaha and also as a Tokai Gakki. I have two of these but might be interested if it is in pristine condition. (I have two that are in decent condition.) This is what it looks like, though the one with the full size keys looks very similar:

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Alan Brinton.
    #7824

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    NOTE: The Sorrento shown above is not the same as the Chordiana, though it seems likely that it comes from the same manufacturer and/or designer(s).

    #7981

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    The range of keys on the Sorrento is different from that of the Chordiana: C to C, as compared with the Chordiana’s G to G.

    The Sorrento also appeared as the Universal, shown here:

    I have just refurbished my Sorrento. It is moderately airtight and now playable. I had to shorten one spring to give it enough tension to close the air hole pad well enough to stop that note from playing all the time. The keyboard, mechanisms, springs, etc. are virtually identical to those of the Pinocchio Pianino and to those of the 25 key Silvertone Orgamonica Jr. The sound of the Sorrento is indistinguishable from that of the Pinocchio Pianino. The housings are different, but internally this is the same instrument.

    #8330

    Dee Cook
    Participant

    Any sound samples yet (or did I not see them). Loved the sound of the Pinocchio Pianino (I too am a fan of Pinocchio, so this is really great). I just ordered one supposedly in “playable” condition based on your review and sound postings.

    Just wondered if the sound of the two models compared as closely as you thought they would.

    Thanks.

    #8332

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    I did play them side by side and found the sound to be the same, D, but maybe I’ll make a closer comparison. I will be interested to hear about your Pianino when you get it. By “playable” sellers often just mean that sound is emitted when they blow into it and press keys down. Unless it has been worked on, it will need new gasket material and maybe some tweaking of a spring or two and of key pad alignment. But what I discovered was that these are fairly easy fixes.

    #8333

    Dee Cook
    Participant

    I’m expecting as much from your experience (also the age). Your detailed descriptions of your rehab process will be very helpful! Thanks. Dee

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