Hammond-Suzuki 44 v2

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #11687
    Avatareckso
    Participant

    44Hv2

    Looks like there are now v2’s of the 44H and 44HP.
    So far, the 44Hv2 feels/plays the same as the 44H. According to the seller (Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia), only the accessories are different.
    – The new gig bag is the same one that comes with the Suzuki PRO-37v3, but with a Hammond logo.
    – The metal mouthpiece has been replaced with a floppy plastic tube.
    I’m very disappointed over the mouthpiece change. Here’s hoping that Suzuki continues to sell the metal ones separately.

    #11691
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Thats a shame, so overall its a step down?

    #11700
    AvatarAntonio Freixas
    Participant

    I just bought this. It’s a step up for me. Wonderful action, smooth sound.

    I don’t have the 44H. The literature says that the 44H has three mouthpieces. The 44Hv2 has two of those, so it seems that one was dropped and not substituted. The same floppy tube should have come with the 44H.

    I have no complaints. And Liberty Bellows had an amazing price.

    #11701
    Avatareckso
    Participant

    I guess I forgot that the original 44H came with the plastic tube. 🙂

    The v2 gig bag is definitely an upgrade, but yeah, I’ll be missing the metal mouthpiece.

    #11707
    AvatarAntonio Freixas
    Participant

    Hey, I just looked at mine: Serial number 00052!

    You know you can buy the mouthpieces, right? I’m not sure where you are, but here’s Suzuki’s European web site page for mouthpieces: http://www.suzukimusic.co.uk/products/melodion/accessories.html

    The MP-161 is pricey, but then, the 44Hv2 price I paid was low enough to more than make up the difference. Plus, it’s probably for sale somewhere on eBay. Finally, if you have a 44H, can’t you just use the mouthpiece from that?

    #11709
    Avatareckso
    Participant

    Yep, I ordered a MP-161 the same day I ordered the 44Hv2. I just think it’s unfortunate that they’re no longer included.

    Practically, I think the metal mouthpiece is a very useful option, and I want players to have that option out of the box. I learned that metal mouthpieces were even a thing only because my instrument came with one, but others will no longer have that benefit.

    Aesthetically, I think the metal mouthpiece gives the instrument a greater degree of dignity, while the floppy (to me, clownish) mouthpiece diminishes its dignity, and contributes to the perception of the melodica as a toy. The inclusion of the metal mouthpiece contributed greatly to my positive first impression of the 44, and it’s a bummer that others won’t get to experience that.

    #11761
    AvatarAndré Sant’Anna
    Participant

    I’m wondering if the pickup sound system has improved over the previous model. Did it?

    #11799
    AvatarLamar
    Participant

    Hey, Antonio and others – my HPV2 is #67. It did come with a shiny metallic finish on-the-end mouthpiece. I ordered an extension tube, spare breathing tube, and sealed reed set from Japan (via eBay) and am waiting for them. I just checked – the mouthpiece is plastic with a shiny gold or brass color coating, I think. I’d like to find out what that little o-ring is and toss some in the bag. I also have a M37-C, and I’m VERY new to melodicas. I play organs and keyboards as a hobby, and I first heard of melodicas by seeing the Hohner models for sale at Sweetwater… last month.

    #11800
    AvatarAntonio Freixas
    Participant

    Congratulations and welcome to the world of melodicas!

    I believe the correct nomenclature for what you bought is 44HPv2 (“HYPER”). If that’s correct, what you have is different from mine. It’s important to get the nomenclature correct as these are two different instruments and it’s sometimes hard to know which one is being talked about.

    If your mouthpieces are like mine, you should have received two, one of which is short, plastic and has a gold finish on the tip. There should also be a tube with a 90 degree connector.

    It would be VERY nice to know the size of the O-ring. You can buy mouthpieces made for Yamaha’s Pianica and they will fit, but it uses a slightly smaller O-ring and so the fit might not be quite as good. However, these mouthpieces are very easy to find (and cheap). If you had a set of the larger O-rings, it would be easier to adapt them to the Suzukis.

    Enjoy your melodicas!

    #11803
    AvatarLamar
    Participant

    Thanks! It is an HP. I’ll post if I find an equivalent of the o-ring.

    #11813
    AvatarLamar
    Participant

    Folks, I got an interesting email from Dan @ suzukicorp.com. I had written to inquire if the suzukimusic.com domain and website, which is currently a Wix-web framework spacekeeper, was intended to become a full-service US Suzuki/Hammond site including parts for melodions. Here’s what he said back.
    ***
    Lamar
    Yes, we are revamping the website and should have that done to resume business as normal hopefully next month.
    ***
    “Resume” from Covid, that is, and the worldwide business depression… I had written to him at suzukicustomerservice @ kmcmusic.com and Dan answered from education @ suzukicorp.com

    I see their website says that they “partner” with several music companies, including Suzuki. Here’s the KMC Music main website:

    https://kmcmusic.com/

    It would be lovely not to have to order reed plates, breathing tubes, nipples, o-ring, gaskets, etc. for Suzuki and Hammond melodions from Japanese merchants. (Although I’ve had no problems doing so.)

    It would also be lovely to see Suzuki move into US school band and music departments with a full-fledged support program. (This is what “education” @ suzukicorp suggests to me.)

    #11848
    AvatarPál Krammer
    Participant

    Are there any videos or sound samples which compare the 44 and 44HP side by side – that is, same player, same song?

    From what I’ve been able to discern, the 44HP seems brighter and louder; the 44 more mellow – but when listening to different players and songs, it’s difficult to really know.

    #11868
    AvatarLamar
    Participant

    As an aside, I’m impressed with just how softly I can play the Hammond. My modern Performer 37 will puff past the reeds at soft wind velocity that makes sound on the Hammond. I know we get what we pay for, but what engineering makes the Hammond more sensitive?

    So have we ascertained that the only mechanical difference between the 44H and the 44HP are the perforated case and the number of mouthpieces?

    (Oh, and the Performer 37 comes with a very nice case. It’s a little nicer than the Hammond case.)

    #12928
    Avatareckso
    Participant

    Lamar,

    The screw-on plastic strip that covers the reed plates is different between the H and HP. I think the service manual calls it the “air box lid”, so I’ll stick with that (please correct me if I’m wrong). This is the piece that the mouthpiece plugs into at one end, and has the spit tube at the other.

    On the H, the air box lid has a plastic lip that covers the area under the keyboard.

    On the HP, the air box lid has no plastic lip, and the area under the keyboard is open.

    From what I can tell, this plastic lip is a primary determinant of timbre. The two different metal back covers also influence timbre, but not as much as this lip, in my experience.

    When I put a 44H air box lid on a 44HP, the 44HP sounds much more like the 44H (i.e. a smoother, less twangy sound).

    When I put a 44HP air box lid on a 44H, the 44H sounds much more like the 44HP (i.e. a more raspy, more harmonica-like sound).

    Here are photos of the air box lids I own. You can see the models/serials on the top stickers.

    44H
    44Hv2
    44HP

    There’s another big difference between the H and HP, but I haven’t figured out what is responsible for it:

    For me, it is _much_ easier to move air through a 44HP than through a 44H or a 44Hv2.

    I feel as though I have to “push” air through the 44H, like I have to fight to get the notes to fire when and how I want. I find it very difficult to play fast fingerwork on 44H/44Hv2 for this reason.

    The 44HP requires no “push”. Notes fire with the tiniest sliver of air, and I feel like I have much more control over how and when they fire.

    The 44HP blows like the M37C or Pro37v3, while I have never played another melodica that blows like the 44H/44Hv2. It is extremely frustrating to play the ‘Gavotte en rondeau’ from Bach’s third violin partita on the 44H, while on the 44HP, the notes just “fall out” of the instrument. Even simple trills are more difficult for me to execute on the 44H.

    My 44HP has…

    – an air box lid from a 44H
    – the solid metal back cover from a 44H
    – a keyboard from a 44H
    – one of the red ends from a 44H 🙂

    …and while this gives the 44HP the smoother timbre of the 44H, it still moves air with the ease of a 44HP.

    I’d appreciate any insight into what’s going on here, as I’d love to be able to modify my 44H and 44Hv2 to blow more like a 44HP.

    One last note: air distribution in general is _significantly_ worse on my 44Hv2 than on my 44H, to the point where, for wide chords, I have trouble getting the high notes to fire _at all_ without overblowing the low notes. I don’t know if that’s a new ‘feature’ for the model, or a defect in my particular 44Hv2, but it is unpleasant (and unreliable) to play.

    Hope this helps. Cheers!

    #12931
    AvatarLamar
    Participant

    Being the first air-blown instruments I’ve ever played (I’m 61 now), I’m enjoying the light feel of blowing into the 44HPv2. Thank you for a comprehensive answer and the pictures.

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