Reply To: Yamaha Pianica 36, P-36

Alan Brinton

Very solid construction throughout. The more closely I examined these two Pianicas, the more I was convinced that the Pianica 36 (P-36) was Yamaha’s answer to the Hohner Professional 36. It has the look and feel, the solidity, the attractiveness of a professional musical instrument.

The shaft venting mechanism with the button at the mouthpiece end is, in my opinion, as executed on this model, the most effective “spit valve” to be found on any melodica (with the possible exception of the kind of screw caps found on the Suzuki Pro-V37 and on vintage 36 key Hohners), though some might not like the location of the button.

Here, now, is the only undesirable feature of the Pianica 36/P-36, and it’s a significant problem.

As can be seen, the reed chamber cover is sealed and cannot be removed without breaking the seal, which I am unwilling to do at this time. I have been playing the P-36 and its tuning is acceptable to me; but if it needed tuning, the seal would be a problem.

Prior to breaking the seal, the metal strip with the 7 screws has to be removed.

This Pianica, which weighs 943 grams (as compared with the P-32D’s 790 grams) does not have a hand strap. This instrument is quite a handful.

I have illustrated in so much detail because I think this is Yamaha’s premiere vintage Pianica. I think it comes the closest to occupying a place among vintage Japanese keyboard harmonicas comparable to the place the Hohner Professional 36 (and to some extent its successor Piano 36) occupies among vintage Hohner Melodicas. The Suzuki 36 key Melodions are very good, but not in the same class with the P-36.

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