Hello Jeff, I purchased the Excalibur Triple Crown a while back and returned it faster than what it took to get me open the box. Do not buy into the “Hand tuned” BS. I have just about all the best Melodicas you can find, and that melodica is not on the list. I use both Hammond’s 44H and Hyper for live and recording as well. depending on the sound you are looking for it is best to look on You tube and hear them both. Look up Monsters of Melodica “Giant Steps” and you will here the Hyper on the solo (more of a soprano sax sound, then look up Monsters of Melodica “Sugar” and you can here the 44H on the solo, a bit darker. For the best in tone and warmth it would be the Vibrandoneon. The cost of these will take you way over the Excalibur budget. I am not sure of the sound you are looking for so a few hints would help. I also own the Hohner Professional and Solist Both great melodicas as well but you will have to hunt these down since they are no longer made. You can purchase the Pick up for the Piano 36 and Modify it to work with these. This pick up is not as good but there are a couple of others on Ebay that are made for accordions that will work. For a Preamp, I use the Sansamp Paradrive (not Bassdrive) you need the mid rage cut to tweak the sound. Most everyone on here has their favorite weapon of choice, read the reviews and who has written them and ask away, we are all on here to help.