Reply To: Yamaha 32 (vintage) Part II: Pianica P-32

Alan Brinton

Happy Friday, Daren! Shouldn’t you be in some pub? I spent many an evening at the Museum Tavern, and elsewhere around there.

Each tiny spring sits on the shaft of an adjustable bolt. I checked the play and tension of all the keys before putting it back together. They were so well in sync, though, that I wasn’t tempted to make adjustments. Yes, this one is just as airtight as the P-32D or P-37D. It weighs 710 grams, as compared with the P-32D’s 655 or so, and it is of very solid construction.

Did you notice (most obvious in the 5th photo) that the cover on the bottom of which the reed plates are mounted has a ridge of solid plastic that narrows from the marked end on the right to the unmarked end on the left? So the solid plastic sound board (if that’s a proper designation) ridge follows the open ends of the reeds. I don’t know what affects that or the placement of the reeds has on the sound. However, I do know that this Yamaha Pianica has a different sound than both earlier and later models. Lowboy has also played this model and wasn’t enthusiastic about it. He has raise the question of the extent to which the edgier sound of some older models in comparison with newer counterparts is a function of aging, as opposed to differences in reeds or design. I was hoping to do a reed transplant to try to address this question. But I believe the reeds are the same, and the reeds on this one look brand new, like the ones on the P-32D shown in the comparison photos. The older made-in-Japan P-32D I posted about recently sounds exactly like a new P-32D. So it looks like the sound difference with this one is a matter of design.

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