Melodica closest to accordeon sound

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    Hello, Everyone!
    Can you advice melodica which has sound closest to accordion.
    I have several Hohner ones. New plastic one is more like a trumpet.
    I think, the body must be metal one to resonate and produce rich sound. Wooden will be too expensive 😉
    What can you say about Japanese and old Italian ones?
    Thank you in advance.

    Johan Pieterse

    I would say the Yamaha melodicas are your best call if you want a more roundish accordion/harmonica sound. There are also some generic melodicas that closely immitate the yamaha sound. the alto Angel Melodyhorn also comes close but also give you abit of a concertina sound if you play the right cords. I hope some of the more experienced forum members can also voice their opinnions here.


    Based on this comparison Italian and Hohner have more deep resonate sound
    But I think it will be hard to find Italian now.

    Alan Brinton

    It’s not so hard to find vintage Italian melodicas, Max. But it is hard to find one that is in playing condition. Most are leaky and need to be repaired. The materials that were used for gaskets and other seals and the glue did not hold up well over time. These materials dried up and crumbled in almost all the old Italian melodicas.

    There’s a lot of disagreement about which melodicas sound like which other instruments. You might try a Suzuki MA-32, which was introduced in the 1980s. This has a all-plastic body, not a metal tray like the other best Suzuki’s. It usually comes in yellow. There are lots of them, and they are easy to find at very low prices on Buyee. Most of the cost is for shipping. It’s one of my favorite models and is worth owning even if it’s not the sound you’re looking for right now.


    And here is where melodica taste becomes so subjective.
    To my ears the Suzuki sound just like an accordion.
    The Yamahas are a little more harmonica sounding.

    I don’t mean to spite Johan’s post.
    I’m pointing out that we hear melodica qualities differently.

    I think part of that is because there hasn’t been a definitive melodica recording by a definitive melodica star. What drives a great deal of instrument sales are players wanting to sound like a certain artist on a certain record. “What guitar does Eric Clapton play in the Cream years?”. “What sort of electric piano is Ray Charles playing on What’d I Say? I want to sound just like that.” and so on.

    I suppose the closest thing we have are the many recording made with vintage Hohners.
    Unfortunately no one manufactures melodicas that sound like that now, including Hohner.

    Max, I’m afraid it may just be trial and error where you have to try a few to find a sound you want.


    Thank you Alan and Kevin for your answers.

    Alan Brinton

    Another word about the little old Italian melodicas such as the Chordiana, Max. The brands under which these were sold also in some cases sold small accordions and/or small electric chord organs. I have some posts in the Vintage Melodicas Forum showing the kind of work that can be done to make one of these playable.


    This Chordiana looks close to metal grey Hohner Piano 26. Does it have similar sound?

    Hypothetical question: is there multi voice melodicas with tremolo and musette (wet tuning, like accordion ) ?


    Yes, the vibrandoneon comes with 2 voices, which could be tunes at (nearly) the same pitch, to create a tremolo. That’s how mine arrived, before I changed the tuning. And it sounds very much like an accordion

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