it took me quite a long time to read your article thoroughly and understand it word by word (I’m not too good at technical terms in english). But now I got the impression that if Kevin is the next Hermeto, you are the ingenius engineer to develop the best melodica the world has ever seen, regarding all our requirements and fullfilling our secret wishes. Again you explained to me theoretically what I tried to find out by practising, and, yes, it sounds completely logical to me.
I personnally would prefer longer keys although this would mean an increase of weight, but for me it’s all about control especially when playing fast. Increasing resistance at the air vent end would mean (am I right?) to take stronger springs, but that would increase the danger of the felt sticking at the edge of the air vent which could lead to an uncontrolled opening (with some melodicas you have the problem that you need a certain power to press the key, and then it opens all of a sudden and you lose control – and I guess this is the result either of sticking keys or sticking felts).
In the forum “Other free reed instruments” you’ll find a topic called “A melodica transformation”. Just a few weeks ago I bought a Hohner harmonium that I want to transform into a Basso melodica (I would go down to the low “C”!). This harmonium works with levers like a Vibrandoneon and has keys of 14cm in length and levers of 13cm, measured from the fulcrum. According to your theory this would mean that bending would be much easier with such an instrument. Well, I can’t predict when I will have finished the transformation, I’m not a good craftsman and need help to do this, but as soon as I have done I will try out bendings and report.
Thanks anyway for believing in my theory and trying out if it works; also thanks for your comment on my recordings.