Reply To: Suzuki A-27 (1963-75)

Michael O’Keefe

I recently acquired one of these beautiful melodicas, and will post a photo of it and its original mouthpieces as soon as I have an image hosting account setup somewhere. In terms of its visual aesthetic it’s pretty much the coolest looking melodica I’ve ever seen (looks right at home alongside a Wurlitzer 200), and it sounds incredible (very delicate sounding, for lack of a better term; its tone is antithetical to the dark and solid sound of the Hohner hm-926/927, and more diffuse/less-focused than the sound of a modern pianica, all while being particularly breath-sensitive, allowing for very easy and dramatic control of the amplitude dynamics). The keys are maybe a bit clackier than I’d prefer, but the raw sound makes up for that minor shortcoming.

I have a couple questions for those of you more familiar with its inner-workings:

1. Firstly, the water-valve has me a little perplexed, even in light of Mr. Brinton’s photos of the interior. Is the condensate supposed to escape via the button’s hole, or does it just sort of release into the case itself? I’m hesitant to play it much without a better understanding because I don’t want it to deteriorate due to excess-moisture.

2. Do the small screws holding the melodica within the outer case fit into threading in the metal of the case’s body, or is there some sort of nut or insert within it that I should be aware of when disassembling?

3. Finally, there’s a superficial, hairline crack (which doesn’t affect airtightness) where the mouthpiece fits in; would you guys recommend stabilizing that crack (maybe with a superglue and baking soda mixture or something) or leaving it well enough alone?

Thank you guys for your insights, and thank you for providing an excellent resource here in general.

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