Hohner Piano 36 or Suzuki Melodion M36 – any advice?
- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 3 months ago by jelte.
December 4, 2021 at 7:47 pm #13825
First of all, thanks for all your contributions to this website and forums, found a lot of helpful information here for my Pianica P32D.
The Yamaha Pianica has been a great companion for many years, however the sound is a bit sharp and ‘nasal’ to me. And I’d like to be able to play not so loud, the Pianica is rather loud for me. So I’ve been thinking of buying another melodica, and locally there are currently a Hohner Piano 36 on offer ($50, no mouthpiece) and a Suzuki Melodion M36 ($70, with mouthpiece and hose).
Both are vintage instruments but I don’t know so much about them. They seem both to be good instruments, but could you give some advice on the difference in sound and build quality (e.g. key response)? What do you think of the pricing? And is a mouthpiece for the Hohner easy to get in Europe, or do mouthpieces of more common or recent Hohners fit as well? And could I mount a hose/tube on it?
A lot of questions 😉 any help would be greatly appreciated, or links to pages where these models are discussed/demonstrated. Thanks!December 9, 2021 at 1:44 pm #13827
I did some research over the days and bought the Hohner, because of the positive experiences of the players on this forum. It’s one from the 70s I believe, and it’s in great shape. The sound, the feel, the responsiveness of the keys, all are amazing, what a difference from the Pianica. It’s gonna stay with me for a long time!December 10, 2021 at 7:07 am #13828Melodica-MeParticipant
Hello Jelte, both the Piano 36 Melodica and the M-36 Melodion are good Instruments. I need confirmation of the M-36 generation you are referring too. The original (1962-1974) had the pointed ends the second/third generation (1974-1998) did not and continued the same body style for the M-36B and M-36C. I Own both the Hohner and Suzuki and both sound completely different. The Suzuki is brighter than the Hohner (if that helps) Both are rugged and stand the test of time. As for the mouth piece for the Hohner melodica, the newer Hohner Melodica mouthpieces to not fit the Piano-36, but they are available on eBay and at the official Hohner Website (https://www.hohnershop.com/melodica-mouthpiece-for-piano-36/). The Hohner will tend to be a bit more clanky than the Suzuki.The Piano 36 is made of Plastic and Same for the Suzuki, but the 1st/2nd and 3rd Generation Suzuki are made much better especially the 1st generation. Both when purchased used stand the chance of lots of leaks the 2nd and 3rd Generation M-36 I have found to be more air tight, but you still stand the chance of purchasing one with leaks. The rule I use when I purchase used melodicas are “If the look like crap, chances are THEY ARE”. The more complete they are and kept clean with their case, chances are they have been well taken care of and will operate much better. I hope this help.
Melodica-MeDecember 10, 2021 at 9:57 am #13829
Thanks for all the information, Melodica-Me! It’s hard to find info about these older models, so it’s valuable to hear about them! I read that the Hohner has a darker and more mellow sound, and as I found my Pianica often too harsh, I decided to buy that one (also because it was $50, against 100 for the Suzuki). I received the Hohner yesterday, and it blew me away, what a beautiful sound! I’m not home now, but will post some pictures after the weekend.
Here’s the Suzuki, seems like the 1st gen and it seems to be in great shape! Is it one to chase after?
Photo (hope you can view it): linkDecember 14, 2021 at 9:39 am #13836Gerald de PeraltaParticipant
@Jelte: That one’s in a better shape than mine. But if lifting is not your cup of tea, be advised that the older M-36 is heftier than the newer generations. Also, the older M-36 sounds shriller than the mellow sounds of the newer-gen M-36s. Still a blast to play despite the weight (my left wrist got a bit sore after playing it once).December 14, 2021 at 10:51 am #13838
Hi Gerald, thanks for your help! Then I’ll let the M-36 rest for a bit, and first enjoy the mellow sound I was after in the Piano 36.
I’m very curious if anything can be said about the time of construction of my Piano 36. I noticed there are slightly different versions of the instrument. Or, if impossible to tell from the photos, is there a period in which the majority of the Piano 36’s were produced?
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