Pip-Le-Fou, most Asian manufactures of Pianicas and Melodions provide the same product to different distributors with different product specifications. You may find a melodica that looks identical but the quality of the materials may vary based on what the distributor (name of the company on the melodica) thinks is best for their market share. For example the plastic maybe of lower grade on a cheaper melodica, lets call it “Joe’s Budget Melodica” or higher grade for the more expensive ones that “Bob’s Professional Melodica” distributes. Though the same basic look, you may find that one plays and sounds better or not as good as the other. You need to play them both to compare the tone and response. And yes you will find that there are similar lookalike Melodica’s/Melodions that in fact are the same with a different name, usually the cheaper models. An example of higher-grade materials and lower grade material could be found easily. Compared the white keys of a Suzuki MX-37 with the white keys of the Suzuki Pro-37A, you can see that the quality of the plastic is higher in the Pro-37, and even better on the Hammond 44 (Suzuki product as well) This goes for the quality of the reeds, springs, gaskets, all the way to the case they come in. The cost of the Hammond 44 has an added cost, just because it carries a name that is known for excellence in performance and quality throughout the history of the products name “Hammond”. Suzuki was smart in licensing the Hammond name for their higher end Melodions. Most likely if not for the name it would just be another high end Melodion with a built-in pickup. It would definitely cost more than the Pro-37 but much less than the price the Hammond 44 has now. Suzuki in my opinion is the leader in the Melodica/Melodion world today, satisfying the beginner, student, and professional. Hohner does have their share of the market but their products have not been of the caliber of thier illustrious past. Suzuki like Yamaha products are marketed strong to children and students, it doesn’t hurt that In Japan, it has been part of their school curriculum since the early 60’s. Schools in Japan teach students the harmonica, Melodica and the Harmonium, “Get them hooked on Melodica’s young! That’s what I say”. Though Hohner was the inventor of the “Melodica” Suzuki has seamed to be the company most dedicated to satisfy the beginner and professional by creating a wide range of products for all ages and abilities today. I play just about all melodicas, and I love my older Hohner professional grade melodica and wished they had kept the quality that represented the Hohner name in today’s melodicas. Hey Hohner, it’s never to late.
Monsters of Melodica