Reply To: Report on the Hammond Suzuki Pro 44 Hyper

Alan Brinton

Look at the Gapping 101 thread I started recently. Watch the video in particular. Gapping is something to be done carefully, especially on an expensive model like the Hammond, but we don’t need Ben Carson or surgical tools for this. A conservative way to start would be to use a plastic toothpick (I use Doctor’s Brushpicks — on my teeth as well!). You might need to use a razor blade or needle to get under the end of the reed and lift it just enough to get the end of the toothpick under there, and then raise it up gently several times and after a bit hold it there and keep upward pressure on it for a while. Be patient and repeat to see if that does the trick. The toothpick should be flexible enough so it can’t exert enough force to threaten the reed. Some reeds will respond well enough to just this to open the gap; others are too springy and require a more forceful approach.

What you’re describing is fairly common with a reed or two on a Yamaha Pianica. If it’s the gap, it is unlikely to resolve itself. When the gap is too small, what typically happens is that the reed chokes and/or fails as you blow harder. It’s more common in more aggressive (more abrupt and louder) playing.

I’m not sure what that Hammond warranty actually means. But I think it’s highly desirable to be able to tune your own melodica — at least with one you use a lot — and to do gap adjustments and such when needed. If possible, it would be good to work on a less expensive melodica first.

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