Bontempi B9 (reed organ with pressure sensitive keys)

This tablehooter is not an electronic keyboard, but basically a blower operated, keyboard- shaped plastic accordion with 12 single finger chord buttons and a volume slider that controls the air pressure. Great is that it is (at least theoretically) full polyphonic and has pressure sensitive keys for very expressive playability.

This "Electric Chord Organ" behaves very similar like the Graber Rogg CTX 1300, thus I will only describe the differences to the latter (see there for details).

different main features:



The huge and bulky case is not really pretty and badly oversized regarding how ridiculously little is inside. Unlike the Graber Rogg CTX 1300, the Bontempi B9 plays a bit unpleasantly loud and volume can not be set reasonable low. Fortunately here at least the case can be opened for repair; I glued a piece of thin sheet plastic onto the slider in the volume control vent to reduce the minimum air flow; but this also reduces maximum volume and makes the instrument sooner run out of air with polyphonic play. While the control panel shows the model name "Bontempi 9", the bottom sticker calls it "Bontempi B9", thus I am not sure about the genuine model name.

Attention: Under the key valves there is a thin beige foam rubber mat (of polyurethane?) that dissolves over time and makes the keys get stuck in the up- position and move badly. Thus if you want to buy a reliable chord organ, then the Bontempis are possibly not the best choice; at least the mat should be replaced to solve this problem. Also urgently keep machine oil away from the foam rubber when you oil the motor bearings, because it can dissolve rubber into a sticky mess, and even its vapour may dissolve foam rubber over time. I therefore recommend to oil the mechanism only with thick silicone oil (latex care product available in sexshops), which won't harm any rubber parts.

A Bontempi B9 variant with even 18 chord buttons was released as Bontempi 13, and lots of technically very similar variants exists in many different colours and with shorter keyboards. Even a fake woodgrain stand of wacky plastic and pressboard was made to give brown versions of these cheap beginners tablehooters the visual appearance of a fullsize home organ. On eBay you can find tons of such Bontempi "Electric Chord Organs" very cheaply, because yet nobody really seems to like them despite they have pressure sensitive keys.

 removal of these screws voids warranty...    
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