- December 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm #7990mudboneParticipant
I’m new to melodicas (and wind instruments in general– I come from piano/keys background) and just received a new Suzuki M-32C today. Unfortunately one of its keys (A2– A in the middle octave) is sounding intermittently. The key goes up and down just fine but sometimes the note doesn’t sound when the key is depressed although the air seems to be passing into the melodica alright (no resistance to breath I’m giving it). I know melodicas often need some tweaks upon arrival, so hopefully this is nothing serious and won’t require me to return it (shipped from Japan so that would be a pain). Can some of you melodica experts weigh-in on this and point me to a simple to follow troubleshooting/repair protocol for this?
MudboneDecember 12, 2016 at 10:33 pm #7992Alan BrintonParticipant
This is almost certainly a matter of reed gapping, mudbone, with that particular reed needing to be opened up slightly. The difference may be visually noticeable when you open the melodica up and view the reeds from the side. The gap can be opened up (widened) easily by gently lifting the open end with a soft plastic toothpick and pulsing it up a few times and holding it up. Or you can slide a thin strip of cardboard from a business card or matchbook cover under the open end of the reed, down about 2/3 of the way to the base, and gently pry up a few times. You don’t want to overdo this. What you’re doing with the pulsating or holding up is to create a new “set point” that has the open end of the reed separated a bit more than it was from the reed plate. But you don’t want to create a noticeable bend in the middle of the reed. Just do it a tiny bit and then repeat if necessary to get it where you want it. This is a less common problem with a Suzuki than with a Yamaha, and the problem is less likely to recur.December 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm #7997mudboneParticipant
Thanks for your reply, Alan. I played for a few hours yesterday and the issue with the note not sounding seemed to become less frequent with use (i.e. it more reliably sounded as I played it), however it is still not totally resolved. In your experience does this issue ever play itself out without needing to open the melodica and manipulate the reeds? Also, do you recommend getting a cheaper melodica (<$40) to first practice manipulating reeds on? If so, any particular models that are decent for learning to work with the reeds of the Suzuki m32c or other more upscale models?
MudboneDecember 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm #7998Alan BrintonParticipant
Yes, sometimes this issue resolves itself. Also, if you work with a particular note, sometimes you can get it to play. And then there are some melodicas that unavoidably have notes occasionally sticking and it’s something you just have to live with.
The Suzuki Study 32 is a pretty good cheap melodica. It has more fragile reeds with which it’s easy to bend notes. But I don’t think you need practice on this. Just do it gently and with patience. I end up adjusting some gaps almost every time I tune a melodica. The reeds of the M-32C are pretty durable. It’s a great melodica.
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