Hohner Student 32 gasket leakage


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    Nathan Vander Wilt

    I recently purchased two melodicas in fair condition. One of them is a Mylodica with a missing reed, which it looks like the only thing for it is to replace the inside with another Melodyhorn.

    The other is a Hohner Student 32 which leaks air badly such that using the tube it’s barely even playable. The keys are also “sticky”… all apparently due to aging gasket material once I opened it up.

    I know this has been discussed before but it seems there are many answers and I’m not sure what the best route will really be. For the gasketing around the chamber what should I use?

    * various gasketing “sticker tape” sold for other purposes
    * silicone caulk — curing before re-assembly vs. gluing together semi-permanently
    * chapstick?!
    * what about butyl tape?

    The same original material was used for each of the key valves but I’m inclined to leave that alone. The keys have “settled in” to the material and it takes extra effort to “pop” them out when playing. However, I would have to carefully cut out 32 squarish holes to restore it exactly (not to mention disassembling the whole contraption for access). With a pre-cut strip it’d be an easier proposition; but I contacted Hohner and got the impression don’t provide any parts/support for their melodicas at all, whether old or new — so unless anyone has ideas the sticky keys might be something I just live with.

    Paul Durham

    Have not seen it yet, but I got a Student 32 on ebay for $9 + $9 Shipping. It is without a case but reported to be completely working. If this is the future of used melodica prices, why invest $$$ and labor in repairs. Many Hohner clones are out there in the $30 range brand new and can be favorable in their comparison. So you must ask yourself if the student 32 is special enough to save. Best wishes, Paul

    Nathan Vander Wilt

    That sounds like a nice deal Paul, and not a terrible price even if it turns out to be for parts.

    I did work my own Hohner into a package deal with the Mylodica, but all the same… I’m might be learning a lesson re. used melodicas. Now I just “won” a Melodyhorn on eBay, at a relatively high minimum bid. Hoping it does fix the Mylodica. If not, then for the low price combining to nearly $100 plus all my research… there’s a chance I end up with three worn-out melodicas instead of just getting a decent new one in the first place :-/

    But I digress… sounds like your vote on the Hohner Student 32 would be to consider it fully depreciated, caulk it shut, and leave it out for the kids to play [and PB&J sandwich] on?

    Alan Brinton


    A Hohner Student 32 is simply not worth making a project of, period.

    The Mylodica, on the other hand, has value because of its uniqueness and wooden case (though not everyone is enthusiastic about as a playing instrument). The Melodyhorn will require modification, as you can see examining the one that’s in there, basically closing off the end where moisture is vented. I don’t think that should be too challenging. Ideally, the Mylodica would be modified so it includes moisture venting.

    Paul Durham

    Not faulting you for wanting to learn something about melodica repair, but the next time you are able to spend about $100 it would be smart to look at the Suzuki M37. It is a metal framed instrument with great resonance that I think you would really enjoy playing,

    Nathan Vander Wilt

    The M37-C does look really nice, and only about $60 on the US Amazon site at the moment! Absolutely would have been a better option in hindsight. I will have some explaining to do when there are four melodicas in the house, but after a long/tiring/somewhat frustrating but mostly all invoice-able week at the grindstone the allure of a NON-project was too great 😉

    I’m calling this my plan: enjoy the M37-C directly in the music room, attempt to fix the Mylodica using the Melodyhorn, then slap the Hohner together and Mylodica leftovers together to divest as parts or donate to a charity shop. Meanwhile I’ve brought this thread fairly off-topic, so I will try to update with any notes from any slap-dash repair of the Student 32.

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