Reply To: Video or audio record comparing popular instruments

Alan Brinton

This is a difficult topic, Rodion. Distinctions are made between types of sound, and it is sometimes said that one melodica has more of an accordion sound, another more of a harmonica sound, another more of a clarinet sound or whatever. But those are not the same thing as differences in the quality of sound. After reading your comments, I just now spent some time comparing a Hohner Student 32 to my Yamaha P-32D, which is the melodica I play the most. I love the sound of the P-32D and don’t care much for the sound of the Hohner. I suppose they have a somewhat similar type of sound, but in my opinion the quality of their sound is radically different. The Yamaha has a warmer, richer, smoother, more mellow sound. The Hohner has a thinner, tinnier sound with much less character. Such judgments are, of course, somewhat subjective, and most of us are not sure what language to use to adequately describe the differences we hear. Also, I think you have to play the melodicas yourself, and not just hear them played, to get a clear feeling for the differences between melodicas and for your preferences. And it becomes clearer over time as you get used to the particular instrument. It’s sometimes like a beer or a wine that you really like when you first taste it, but it does not stand up over time. After a few occasions drinking it, you find you don’t really like it. Or the reverse happens.

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