Reply To: Can only buy one melodica ever, so which one?

Alan H

Thank you ASAF SINAI and Alan Brinton for the information and suggestions. Yamahas are more readily available for me than Suzukis, but I’m not sold on them yet. (Do you know if customs will add a charge if I buy from Japan?) The Yamaha P32-D (blue) on US Amazon looks childish to me, but if the sound and play is okay, then that’s not a big issue. I’m not sure what is meant by a “darker sound” for the Suzuki A-34C, but it intrigues me, although I have not found any videos of it being played. I found some mention of Yamahas having trouble with keys giving out after being used and one needing to either let the instrument rest before they will work again or having to open it up and fix the gaps. I’ve also come across mentions that Suzukis can have trouble with even key responsiveness (i.e., lower note keys not being as responsive to the same amount of air as higher note ones). And I’ve seen references to no melodica arriving in tune. So, quality issues seem to be problems with both companies, which has me concerned about buying any model. I think I’ve ruled out the Suzuki M-37 Pro as a video I came across had it sounding loud and “harsh”. And a 44-key instrument is just too big. What is meant by a darker sound for the Suzuki A-34C? Are all of these alto models? Is cleaning the split valve/draining the instrument easier on Suzukis or Yamahas? Are models with the same number of keys from both companies of comparable size and weight and do they play about the same? (I know I’ve played some pianos where it took more pressure to get a sound out of the keys than others and some where keys were slower to rise back up than on others. That could have been related to age and not who made them.) How often do they need to be tuned and since I can’t do that myself where, in general, might I look to find someone who could (the nearest music stores within 2 hours of us focus on guitars and other stringed instruments, so I’m not sure if they could recommend someone or not) and about how much might it cost to pay someone to tune a melodica? Thank you for any additional help you might be able to offer. I can easily get lost in details and minutia and hope I’m not asking too many questions, but I think I might be done asking at this point. I guess it comes down to instrument quality out of the box, sound, ease of playing and cleaning, longevity, and the cost of upkeep.

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