- May 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm #2402May 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm #2403
I’m a professional piano player of 35 years that has recently got into playing Melodica on stage. Been doing it for about two years. I’ve purchased a 37 note Honer and modified it to have a condenser microphone inside with an external pre-amp to be able to plug up to a PA system at live venues.
I’m wanting to take the next step and purchase one that has been designed by professionals for the specific purpose of connecting it to an amplifier and/or PA system.
What I’m seeing as an alternative to my homegrown Honer is an Excalibur Triple Crown Pro Melodica with Mic. Pickup. I see it advertised for about $199. Is it worth the money? is it a piece of garbage? I’m really in need of some guidance from folks that have been playing Melodicas for as long as I’ve been playing pianos! Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance Melodica World Community!
JeffP88May 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm #2404Melodica-MeParticipant
Hello Jeff, I purchased the Excalibur Triple Crown a while back and returned it faster than what it took to get me open the box. Do not buy into the “Hand tuned” BS. I have just about all the best Melodicas you can find, and that melodica is not on the list. I use both Hammond’s 44H and Hyper for live and recording as well. depending on the sound you are looking for it is best to look on You tube and hear them both. Look up Monsters of Melodica “Giant Steps” and you will here the Hyper on the solo (more of a soprano sax sound, then look up Monsters of Melodica “Sugar” and you can here the 44H on the solo, a bit darker. For the best in tone and warmth it would be the Vibrandoneon. The cost of these will take you way over the Excalibur budget. I am not sure of the sound you are looking for so a few hints would help. I also own the Hohner Professional and Solist Both great melodicas as well but you will have to hunt these down since they are no longer made. You can purchase the Pick up for the Piano 36 and Modify it to work with these. This pick up is not as good but there are a couple of others on Ebay that are made for accordions that will work. For a Preamp, I use the Sansamp Paradrive (not Bassdrive) you need the mid rage cut to tweak the sound. Most everyone on here has their favorite weapon of choice, read the reviews and who has written them and ask away, we are all on here to help.
Melodica-MeMay 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm #2405Alan BrintonParticipant
There aren’t many people who’ve been playing melodicas as long as you’ve been playing pianos, Jeff, but Melodica-Me has comparable experience as a professional musician and knows what he’s talking about.
If you Google “Excalibur melodica reviews” you will see several complaints about quality and about the business practices of the company that sells them. Maybe you’ve already seen those.May 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm #2406
Hi Melodica-Me and Alan,
I appreciate your input to the discussion. Based on the price and the way that the re-seller was talking to me, I figured as much. I use my Melodica much the way Donald Fagen uses his in Steely Dan. R&B, Jazz, Blues…etc. I’ve found acceptable results with my Honer 37 note instrument with a condenser mic internally installed and an external pre-amp. My main issue is I’m just having a hard time with even volume from top to bottom. I think that what I need to do is move the mic lower inside to make the deeper notes more prominent in the mix.
FYI: I just purchased a Line 6 Relay G30 – Guitar Wireless System to avoid being tethered to my mixer. Wow! what a great piece of equipment!! The classic loss of lows and highs obtained from older wireless systems and the interference, have been eliminated. I have a wedding that I’m doing this Saturday. I usually will get on the dance floor to get the crowd worked up, and I almost always get tangled in my cable. I’m so stoked to have ultimate freedom!! The price is low enough that one would think it is a piece of junk, but sound and performance-wise it is awesome. I have however heard that the battery cover that serves as two of the essential electrical contacts is somewhat flimsy. That would be the only drawback that I see. Nothing that a hunk of Gorilla(R) Tape wouldn’t take care of. 8 hours from two AA Alkaline. Considering that I’m using the instrument as an addition to my piano playing rather than as the sole sound, it should last for many gigs.
Thanks again for the advice, and if the spirit moves you, you can acquire the line 6 for about $199 from http://www.sweetwater.com.
Jeff PertchikNovember 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm #3423Alan BrintonParticipant
Jim Laabs Music, which markets Excalibur melodicas, is currently advertising new vintage Hohners such as the Piano-36 and HM models, as if they are currently available. When I contacted them about the possibility of ordering one, their response was the old “We’re currently out of them, but have we got a deal for you!” The deal is an Excalibur. I personally would not do business with these people. Some other sites also list vintage Hohners but at least indicate in their ads that they are out of stock. I’m also disinclined, however, to do business with these vendors, unless there’s reason to believe that they actually have recently had some in stock.
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