Honer hm 32?

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  • #1968
    Avatarsimchaleh
    Participant

    Hi everyone. Im sorry if this has been posted in the past, i cant find it anywhere though.
    Im looking into the honer hm32 model. Found good one on ebay for decent price.
    Is this melodica the same quality and build as the honer piano 36, or is it a lower quality?
    Thnks.
    Sb

    #1970
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Simchaleh,

    I own several Hohner HM 32s (Piano 32s) and several Piano 36s. They are not the same. The design and the sound of these two melodicas are quite different. I plan to complete a review of the HM 32 soon, but to summarize for you edification, the HM 32 is an intermediate quality melodica. The key action is not exactly smooth. The keys are somewhat clanky, and the key throw is short. It does not sound as loud as the Piano 36. Most people would look at this melodica and not see anything remarkable.

    Yet the Piano 32 is my favorite melodica at this point in time! There are three things going for this melodica in my opinion. First, the sound. I play the blues and this melodica has a darker, smoother sound than most melodicas. It fits the blues almost like a harmonica does. Second, the lower notes bend pretty easily and pretty deeply (essential for blues music). Third, the sound is projected from the back of the melodica. Hence, as I have noted in several posts, you can hold the melodica against your chest in various ways to block and unblock the sound holes. This brings with it dramatic modulation of the sound such as: wha wha effect, tremolo effect, and dark to bright variation in tone.

    So if you are into the blues, this could be a good melodica to get, understanding that it also has limitations, particularly in the keyboard action as noted above. If you are into other genres, and want a traditional bright, accordion-like, rich sound, the Piano 36 or other brands of melodicas might serve you better. I will have a lot more to say in my review of the HM 32, which I hope to post in the next week or two. I will follow this post with another post about the supply of these HM 32 melodicas.

    Lowboy

    #1971
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hohner stopped manufacturing the HM 32 (and HM 26 and HM 27) in Germany three years ago. However, Bill at the Hohner Shop discovered some new old stock in his warehouse and has them for sale. They have been posted on Ebay in recent weeks and I bought a couple of sets (HM 26 soprano, HM27 alto, and HM 32). His reserve prices on Ebay were approximately $52, $54, and $65 for the various models. You would need to email Bill to find out what he would sell them for directly from his shop. The Hohner shop can be reached at Harmonica@Hohnerusa.com.

    The soprano 26 is really just as functional as the 32, maybe even better for soloing.

    General observation: note bending occurs best on the low notes. Wha wha and tremolo effects occur best on the high notes.

    Lowboy

    #1973
    Avatarsimchaleh
    Participant

    wow intresting! thnks for the feedback. i actually went for it because i wanted the quick key action of the honer 36 piano. but what your syaing about the bluesy sound is exactly what im lookn for. and i couldnt pitch for the extra $ to put in on a honer 36.
    its my first melodica (im a pianist,organ player), so i hope it wont be a hard adjustment. i read in some places that theyre harder to blow to get notes than other melodicas?

    #1992
    Avatarsimchaleh
    Participant

    update:
    i got my melodica in the mail. i have to say, that being my first melodica, i cant give any comparison. however i did try other melodicas in the music store (the angel horn) and i can say, that this melodica certainly feels like an instrument, and not like a toy, like the oher melodicas ive seen.
    i was very happy and surprised by the tone, which came out deeper and less shrill to me than other melodicas ive heard.
    just out of curiosity, ive read that the hohner 36, has wider keys than most melodicas. is this true also about this honer 32?
    i cant say about the key action as i havent enough experience with other melodicas, but also i enjoy it.
    also, lowboy, you mentioned that this melodica is considered intermediate. would that mean that you would consider it a lower quality than the yamaha pianica which people here rated pro? thnks

    #1998
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Simchaleh,

    Exactly which Hohner model did you purchase? A vintage HM 32 made in Germany or a new Hohner 32 made some where else?

    Did you buy it new or used?

    To answer your question, I think all the Hohner melodicas I have (all are vintage) are very well constructed. I would say some design features (simpler mechanical action, materials of construction) would make the HM 32 a bit more intermediate level than say the Hohner Piano 36 from a playability and sound perspective. However, I actually like the sound of the HM 32 (though my bandmates are telling me they prefer the richer brighter sound of my Yamaha P25F on some songs). The soundscape of a song really dictates which melodica to use. Some melodicas fit perfect with some songs and sound out of place in others.

    The Yamaha P25F and P32D are very high quality melodicas in my opinion. In fact, after owning an P25F for a couple of weeks, I just purchased a P32D. The Yamaha’s design and precise fit and finish, the compact feel that Alan talks about, and the keyboard action are impressive. Clearly Yamaha is using modern materials and production techniques to create a great melodica. You can buy these Yamaha melodicas on Ebay now from US dealers for about $60 to $65. That is a pretty good deal if you ask me.

    So, the good news is, if you can buy both (vintage Hohners and modern Yamahas), you can have quite a variation in sound to fit various soundscapes and to keep your audience interested.

    Lowboy

    #1999
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi Simchaleh,

    To answer your other question, all the keys on all my vintage Hohners are the same width. When I compared the width of the keys on my vintage Hohners with the width of the keys on my new Yamaha, there was about half an inch difference between the two melodicas over a two octave range. The Yamaha’s 25 keys were in total about half an inch shorter in width than 25 keys on the Hohners. I can’t even tell the difference when playing. Lowboy

    #2000
    Avatarsimchaleh
    Participant

    great thnks for all the info.
    i bought a honer hm32 piano from ebay.
    believe it or not it really looks new to me. in any case its in amazing condition. i would like to shoot for a yamaha 37 at some point, so that i will also get a sound difference, and more keys.

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