Reply To: Tuning Standard


I just jumped into melodica land with the purchase of a Suzuki M-32C new from Japan. Tuning is important to me, as I want to include melodica into the bands I play with which are quite varied from Bluegrass–>Rock and Roll–> Jazz –> Soul. Most of the guys I play with are picky about tuning…I generally show up with a keyboard (Nord Electro and/or accordion) and woodwinds (mostly bigger saxophones and flute). I also have a Fender Rhodes in my studio…I maintain all these and have a small repair business where I mostly work on saxophones and vintage electromechanical pianos (Rhodes, Wurlitzer, B-3, etc…). As many have alluded to, I need to figure out the tuning thing before I expose my bandmates to this beast. Please complain if you want, but I will be posting my experience here in this tuning thread…this is the first edition.

The chart below shows the first careful data taken on my Suzuki M-32C…I tested it at both mezzopiano (the quietest that I could get a steady reading) and forte (the loudest where I could get a steady reading). I tuned at A=441 as this is where most bands I play with set up. It allows for some warmup and rarely are any instruments flatter than A=440. Keep in mind in this range, 1 Hz is about 4 cents of tuning. I also included a chart that Alan Brinton kindly shared with me from a year or so back on another modern M-32C.
Tuning chart of new Suzuki M-32C

As you can see, both of these horns (my reference) seem to be ‘centered’ at A=441. Alan’s data was taken at A=440, so I corrected it by 4 cents. For my horn, red is LOUD and blue is soft, Alan’s data is in green. Note his data roughly tracks with my horn and falls in between my loud and soft curves. Quite a wide curve at the extremes. Looks like about 5 cents between loud and soft.

I’m going to try and set up with regulated pressure feed and test a couple of ranges after I blow it for a few hours and see if it is ‘settling in’. Stay tuned…

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