Reply To: Take Apart Suzuki M37C

Alan Brinton


I have disassembled many Suzuki models, all the current metal tray and lots of vintage models. There’s nothing especially complicated about taking apart or reassembling the M-37C. Once the outer screws are removed, gently work the end pieces off and then lightly pry the front edge of the tray toward you and carefully rotate up from the tray in the front. Some of these models don’t require that, as you can slide the melodica out. Use a good quality screwdriver that’s the right size for the tiny outer screw heads. Be especially careful about one thing, however. The outer screws screw into little brass inserts inside. These can fall out and be easily lost. So I advise working over a towel and keeping an eye on them. If you move the opened melodica away from your workspace and turn it upside down, at least one will probably fall out. Be sure they’re in place when re-assembling.

The cover of the reed chamber has larger screws and and is easily removed.

Suzuki reeds are typically less likely to choke than those of a Yamaha. They have slightly wider gaps to begin with. They’re also made of heavier and springier metal than those of a cheap melodica. Players who blow vigorously are more likely than some of us to have reeds choke. Reeds on a cheap melodica are much more likely to twist than those on a metal tray Suzuki, but it’s important to apply even pressure (up or downward) and not use a narrow pointed instrument in applying that pressure.

I think I posted photos and disassembly info on the M-37C earlier, but here are some again. You’ll notice that the M-37C has a black rubber patch to the right on the bottom, on the lid of the reed chamber. Some of us refer to this as a bladder. It absorbs some of the air at the low notes, expanding and contracting. This is why you experience some delay at the bottom end, which enables those notes to resonate more fully, but which also requires more wind and makes them seem less responsive. The older 36 key models didn’t have this, and the current M-32C (which I prefer) doesn’t have it. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing is to some extent a matter of opinion and personal preference. Also, though, there’s a range of notes on an full size alto melodica that’s easiest to play and get good sound with — most of the notes, that is. As you get toward the bottom, more air is required, and as you get to the top, the sound tends to thin out and more skill is required. I’ve never played any other wind instrument, but isn’t this also a challenge with some of them? It may be less noticeable on a cheap melodica.

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