I’ll take Melodica-Me’s word on this one, especially since he has experience with bass melodicas and can actually play one. I’ll go back the comment I made in another discussion to the effect that this is just a different kind of cat that has to be played differently. I’m guessing that the small buffers/bladders on the other Suzukis (M-37C and A-34C) serve a similar though more limited purpose. It seems apparent that the bass melodica is a more difficult instrument to play. When I’ve been playing for friends, they want to hear the B-24 even though I’m struggling with it. They like its sound. So I won’t give up on it, but maybe my attention should be on playing bass parts with Band-in-a-Box accompaniment. That would be a good kind of reading and playing exercise for me anyhow.
My B-24 does have a serious leakage problem, though, and I may try blocking the holes to see if I can isolate that. You might be right that if it’s played softly or if you’re not jumping octaves, the bladder doesn’t matter so much. But it’s also harder to control how loud I’m playing on this melodica, though that may be partly because of the bladder. And the bladder surely contributes to the kind of delay in response that bugs you, Kevin.