Hohner Atlantic with bass damage

Accordion Repair – Hohner Atlantic IV De Luxe

Accordion Repair – Hohner Atlantic IV De Luxe

I tune and repair accordions both privately and for The Accordion Shop which has branches in Sunningdale and Rochdale. Last week I was repairing a Hohner Atlantic, the same instrument that you hear on the Pogues albums and the choice of many professionals. Hohner have been making this model for years but recent ones have an all metal frame which is unusual for accordions (usually wood).

Hohner Atlantic with bass damage
Hohner Atlantic with bass damage

Damaged Bass Mechanism

Sometimes accordions that look like this just have a clip or bolt loose and can be mended quickly and easily – this one was not like that and it took me several hours to get all the buttons working again. You can also see that the bass coupler mechanism is broken….

Hohner Atlantic in bits
Hohner Atlantic in bits

Other Problems

Other repair jobs on this box included the Treble Couplers, replacing some broken reeds, and tuning the whole instrument

Broken reed protrudes through coupler
Broken reed protrudes through coupler

Chain of Destruction

A broken reed tongue had lodged through the coupler mechanism preventing it from closing – and because of this I guess that the buttons themselves were then broken by being pressed too hard.

Treble Reed Blocks
Treble Reed Blocks

Lots of Reeds to Tune

Accordion reeds tend to drift flat over the years – dust and damp are the main causes. any extra weight on the reed tongue will send it flat and both rust and dirt were present on this accordion. These are the treble reeds – played by the right hand – 4 reeds for each of 41 keys on each direction of the bellows – that makes 328 reeds to tune on the treble side alone!

Hohner Atlantic IV De Luxe
Hohner Atlantic IV De Luxe

Back in One Piece

After a load of TLC this box is back together and ready to strike fear into the hearts of non-accordion players everywhere.

4 thoughts on “Accordion Repair – Hohner Atlantic IV De Luxe”

  1. Hello, may I the total price of repair for that instrument? Also, the cost to replace the reeds for that instrument. I have that same instrument, but some reeds have rust.

    Thank you,

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve,
      Repair costs are based on time and vary a lot! I charge £30/hour plus parts and have a page with details here The best thing is for me to see the accordion and quote once I know what I’m doing. Rusty reeds often only need cleaning and tuning but you can get brand new ones from Hohner for 7-12 euros depending on size – it quickly adds up so re-furbishing existing reeds or getting hold of a broken accordion to take reeds from is almost always cheaper. You can also ring me to have a conversation about what may need doing and how long that might take. 07814 439566.
      Cheers
      George.

  2. Hi George
    First of all, THANK YOU for all you post. Invaluable.
    I have inherited a collection of accordions and after MANY MANY hours of YouTube and other online research I am on my way to reconstucting the smallest of them: A Hohner 12 bass with 25 piano keys. I had the keyboard out over a year ago and improved the action, however I still hear a slight rub on one key and I am having a difficult time pulling the spindle out again. Any suggestions?
    I feel so at one with my Dad in this project (He died a year ago at age 100). We are both lovers of music and mechanics.
    As a note…. I completely modified the bass, replacing the thirds with a second reed tuned to the fifth. Also changed it from Bb-F-C-G-D-A to F-C-G-D-A-E to make it more guitar player friendly. Its been fun. (Most of the time)

    1. Hi Elinor,
      Thanks for your kind comments. I think knocking the 3rds out of a 12 bass is a brilliant idea – I guess it makes it sound quite rocky or Baroque even – and now you can use the chord buttons for major or minor chords – very nice.
      Stuck spindles are tricky – if you have enough sticking out to grip then I would try twisting it – lots of turns and then twisting and pulling. I have got one out by drilling a hole in exactly the right place at the other end and using a punch and hammer to push the spindle rather than trying to pull it. you can buy the little chrome covers so that accordion now has them on both ends! Good luck, George.

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