Hohner Airboard

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    I have a stack of the vintage Hohner Melodicas (student models) as well as a cheapie generic one and use them occasionally but not that often. I saw the Hohner Airboard advertisement in Guitar Center and it got me thinking about getting a better one. The very first thing I thought was that the Airboard 37 was just a “hip” paintjob on the old Performer 37 which is a bit cheaper. Instead of buying both and tearing them down to compare, I figured I would call Hohner’s customer service and simply ask. The Guitar Center sales person told me it was a new improved design with better reeds and a YouTube video of some company that sells them said the same.

    Hohner Customer Service confirmed that the Performer 37 and the Airboard 37 are the exact same melodica with the only changes being the flexible mouthpiece and case.

    So there you go…


    Steven Morris

    This was totally off my radar having just bought a new melodion, but thank you for the heads up!

    It’s a shame that their way of marketing the instrument is by giving it a new paint job rather than improving things that really count.

    In Japan, at least, it’s apparent that it’s an instrument for kids- and therefore doesn’t need to be very precise (granted they are sturdy!).

    I think anyone who has recorded melodicas knows what a PITA they can be when it comes to tuning. If a new design that distributes the airflow more equally and was properly tuned before it went to stores then I think people might take the instrument more seriously.

    I’m all for fun paint jobs on instruments, but I’m not sure who benefits from this one…

    Rick Reid

    I bought an Airboard 32. It’s has a fun look but is not really different than most other melodicas. The yellow, bendable mouthpiece that seems to be made from parts that were designed for some other (possibly plumbing) use. It has a black plastic gasket that is a little too tight. The gasket on mine got damage after using it only a couple of times. Without the gasket, the mouthpiece won’t stay attached to the melodica. (The mouthpiece has threads, but corresponding opening in the melodica does not.) I took the damaged gasket off and wrapped the threads of the mouthpiece with a lot of teflon tape. That works okay.

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