Reply To: Mouthpieces & Tubes

Steven Morris


Sorry if I’m late to the party- my name is Steven and I’ve been subscribed to and have been enjoying Kevin’s YouTube channel for a few years now. I had a Hohner that went horribly out of tune and I gave up for a while. By watching some YouTube videos and reading instructions on tuning my appreciation for melodicas has returned!

I finally caved in and got a Suzuki and ordered the very set of mouthpieces (and some extras) posted by Quetscher.

Here is a link to the Melodion catalog from the Suzuki website:

Please check out the last couple of pages for mouth piece info (I believe the current info is only available in Japanese). Most of the information is the same as previous years, but I think some of the wording is slightly different.

The availability of their mouthpieces, the repair/maintenance kit, and the PDF instructions/catalogs made me go with Suzuki. I live in Japan so it’s been easy to acquire these kinds of things.

Here is a list of the currently available Suzuki Melodion mouthpieces with some comments (rough description + rough translations + opinions):

Basic tube model, used when instrument is sat on a desk etc., weak attack/less condensation?

L-shaped basic tube model, used when instrument is sat on a desk etc., no opinion *never used one

Basic model A, includes a stopper to prevent one from putting mouthpiece too deep into mouth & easy to do tonguing, tip is shallow & small/uncomfortable/better attack

Basic Model B, curved shape to allow player to see the keyboard better (as opposed to Model A), the long & narrow opening is awkward/bad for tonguing

Standard Trumpet Model, Doesn’t enter the mouth-therefore it’s easy to do tonguing, decent/sharp attack/slightly small opening

Custom Trumpet Mouthpiece, bigger opening creates more resistance allotting for softer melodies, my favorite model/great for tonguing/attack not too sharp & not too soft

Special Short Model, its short length allows for increased dynamics, attack is too sharp/metallic style plastic is uncomfortable/if you don’t like the MP-121 you probably won’t like this either

Short Model, its short length allows for more “direct” expression because of less air loss (which can be interpreted to mean that Suzuki believes a longer mouthpiece=Less attack), same as above minus the metallic bit

“S” Model, the player can perform more accurately because the shape allows for a clear view of the keyboard during play, no opinion *never tried one

Flexible Mouthpiece, keeps whatever shape it’s been bent into, no opinion *never tried one

“L” Joint Long Model, it allows for less wasted motion because the tube is pointed towards the performer, no opinion *never used one

Extension Model, uses the same pipe as the MP-161/MP-181 attaches to your melodica/any [Suzuki] mouthpiece of your choice can be connected to the end/extends up to 22cm, no experience- but I imagine some might be interested in this one!

Trombone Model, its shorter than normal shape allows for quicker response & more volume, similar to (Custom Trumpet Model) MP-132 but with more volume and less focus

Incidentally, I also purchased the repair/maintenance kit which states in the manual that it is best to tune your instrument based on your mouthpiece. IOW, I believe a Short Model mouthpiece will have a stronger attack which would cause notes to go sharp for an instrument tuned for use with a Tube Model mouthpiece.

Re: Dynamics
I believe the reed clearance has a WAY more noticeable effect on dynamics than your choice of mouthpiece. I think in the end a mouthpiece ought to be chosen for individual comfort rather than its dynamic qualities. In all fairness though, adjusting reed clearance & tuning and subsequently testing said adjustments can be a tedious process.

Here is a link to Suzuki’s MRT-01 manual:
Please refer to the second page for English instructions. It’s separated into parts A, B, and C. Part B has an explanation of reed clearance.

Also, the construction of the MX-32C makes me wonder about the significance of mouthpieces. Half of the opening is blocked off! Can anyone confirm if this is the case for any other Suzuki models?

I hope this helps everyone! I was really interested in all of this and am glad I got the set of mouthpieces. I prefer the Trumpet/Trombone models to everything else, but I can see how different models could be utilized for different kinds of performances & different techniques.

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