Hohner Melodica, classic versus new

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  • #1790
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    I want to start a new discussion, mainly about the Hohner’s old versus new. Today I was practicing and decided to play my old Professional 36 that I had not played in a while, simply because I have been playing my Hammond 44 and Vibrandoneon consistently over the last few years than any of my other melodicas. I had even played my Piano 36 more than I had played my Pro. 36 and for the life of me I can’t think of why I stopped playing it. Was it the weight of it, the tone or could it me that it’s a little softer in volume than my other melodicas, I could not figure out why. So I decided to play the same song “Dindi” with my (3) Hohner’s, the Professional 36, the Piano 36 and my Supeforce. I started with the pro. 36 and what a great warm and rich tone and feel this instrument had. I was once again in awe of this instrument as I was over 15 years ago when I bought it (used). I could not put it down. I then played the same song this time with my piano 36, it was day and night I was instantly disappointed in the feel of this instrument. The harsh clanky keys the honking tone of the lower notes, I could note believe what I was hearing. Finally I played the Superforce and was so discussed with the sound of this instrument I put it down after just one verse. I decided to play other songs that I felt would fit each melodica, for example, I used the Piano 36 on a Latin jazz tune my Mongo Santamaria (Afro Blue) and wow it sounded pretty good. I then tried it with the Professional 36 good but maybe to smooth so then I tired the Superforce and well, it was awful. It seemed like every song I would play with the Superforce sounded “do I dare say it” a cheap toy 🙁 I now started to think what was Hohner thinking when they discontinued the Professional 36 and then replaced it with the Piano 36 and then discontinued it and then replace it with something as awful as the Superforce or the Performer 37, what evil plan could Hohner have to take over the melodica world. Could it be the new shock and awe “Airboard” dazzle us with color and a pretzel looking thingamajig mouth piece, what new Frankenstien’s monster melodica would they create next, I hope it’s not an App for my IPad that looks like a melodica!!!!!! Ok so I know it’s coming soon. For what ever reason Hohner has I am sure it’s not in the interest of the professional musician. Please good or bad, I want some feed back on this one. I have heard some nice recording posted lately using the Piano 36. What do you think is next for Hohner. Better yet let me ask “Whats next Hohner”
    Melodica-Me

    #1799
    AvatarKevin
    Participant

    Too late they already came out with the app when they released the airboard!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH7w6jOhYUg 🙁
    but now I’m confused between the Professional 36 and the Piano 36? I was thinking there were two names for the same instrument?

    #1801
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Kevin, yeah I knew it was coming, I was just making a point that its about flash and no concern about creating a new high quality melodica and more concern about creating an App. It’s quite sad. Now let’s talk about the Professional 36. Many people believe they own a “Professional 36” when in fact they own a Piano 36 because the Piano 36 is considered a “professional melodica” I have even seen adds that show a Piano 36 and call it Professional 36 adding to the confusion. The Professional 36 does not have the word “Piano” anywhere on the melodica. The Professional 36 is a much more refined melodica than the Piano 36′ the tonal quality of the Pro. 36 is more of an accordion sounding melodica well sort of. The keys are more refined and the gaps between each key is tight and even where the Piano 36 has wider gaps with more play. The Pro. 36 is much heavier than the Piano 36. The Pro. 36 has individual reeds like an accordion and not a reed plate also the interior is wood and not plastic. Note: I have never opened my Pro. 36 so I can not confirm this last statement. I have only read this information. The overall size of the Pro. 36 is wider, longer and thicker than the Piano 36. Side by side they do not look alike. I will ask Troy to add the Professional 36 to the review page. I own both the Professional and the Piano and will take some pictures together tomorrow and post them.
    Melodica-Me

    #1802
    AvatarKevin
    Participant

    That’s some pretty interesting information Melodica-Me. I’m anxious to see your photos.
    So, do I understand that the professional was an older model that was replaced by the Piano 36?
    Or, were they both available at the same time?
    Yes it’s sad to see Hohner’s attitude after being the lead manufacturer for so long.
    There is a real gap between the high end plastic melodicas and the Vibrandoneon.

    #1803
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    I do not have any data on the history of the Professional 36 or even the Piano 36 so I cannot confirm when they first came out or the progression. Hopefully someone on here may have more information. As I understand, the Professional 36 came out first then the piano. I picked up my Professional 36 somewhere around 2000 (used) from a musician friend of mine. I purchased the Piano 36 about 4 years later. I wish I could find more information on these Melodicas, not even on the Hohner site do they discuss the Professional and Piano history or construction. I will post pictures late tonight.
    Melodica-Me

    #1806
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Here are some pictures of the Hohner Professional 36 melodica and some of the Piano 36 for comparison.
    Melodica-Me
    http://i355.photobucket.com/albums/r445/BigPwr/Hohner%20Professional%2036/7a5b661a5fe60367586fb49b4fb0ea04.jpg

    #1807
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Here are some pictures of the Hohner Professional 36 and the Piano 36 for comparison.
    Melodica-me
    http://photobucket.com/albums/r445/BigPwr/Hohner Professional 36

    #1808
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Having issues trying to upload some pictures of the Hohner Professional 36 and the Piano 36
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    #1813
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant
    #1816
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I have lots to say to Hohner and about vintage melodicas, but I must get to work. I will contribute later.

    However, I would love to hear what the Professional 36 sounds like. Thanks for the photos Melodica-me.

    Lowboy

    #1818
    AvatarKevin
    Participant

    Melodica-me, I’m all full of questions, such as how is it constructed, is that back one piece of metal (or plastic) similar to the curved metal tray design that Suzuki has been using lately? Are the end-caps plastic like on the Piano 36?
    I think I need to be patient and see what else you reveal to us.
    Everyone else, is the name HM-36 referring exclusively to the Piano 36 then?
    Like Lowboy, I’d love to hear a side by side comparison recording!

    #1819
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Kevin, it is one solid piece of metal and it is flat. It curves up around the end that wraps up to the back of the keys with slots for the sound to come out. The end caps appear to be a hard plastic, the finish is almost a brush look and almost looks like wood but I would say plastic. I have never opened it and don’t know what to expect so unless it needs a tuning it will remain closed. This Melodica is in perfect condition. I will be back home on Saturday and I will try to find some time to record both the Professional and the Piano and post it. I think I am going to start using it more. Like I mentioned before I don’t know why I stopped playing it. its been in a box in my closet for at least 8 years and just took it out recently.

    #1820
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    My pleasure Lowboy, I am hoping to have some time to record both Melodicas this weekend, if so I will post.
    Thanks

    Melodica-Me

    #1821
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Melodica-Me,

    Your reaction to the differences in sound were, I assume, based on what you hear while you’re playing. I’m curious as to whether your reactions would be the same listening to recordings of the same playing. I only recently started recording my playing and was surprised how different my impressions are listening to the recordings of different melodicas from what my impressions have been while playing.

    I’m sure with melodicas the big profits for Hohner are in selling models like the Fire and Superforce, so that they don’t have much motivation to continue the older tradition. Maybe as the melodica is taken more seriously by professional musicians they’ll have second thoughts. Suzuki, for whatever reason, appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Maybe because the market is different in Japan.

    #1838
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Hello Alan, as a former recording engineer and studio musician before that, without any doubt or hesitation my reaction would be absolutely the same. The tonal quality or timbre of these two Melodica’s are as far apart as you can throw them. I will say that even though a specific melodica may not sound the way you would like, this does not mean that the same melodica would not work for a different application. I have many Melodica’s simply because I play different styles of Jazz and the “one size fits all” melodica would never work for me. This is the same reason why guitar players usually own several different guitars.
    Like most manufactures (of any product) you target and market to your consumer. The youth student market is huge where as the professional Melodica player is well you know? The creator of our beloved melodica has chosen to simply phase out this part of their catalogue and companies like Suzuki and Yamaha have embraced it. It’s a shame.
    Melodica-Me

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