Samick A-27 (Suzuki A-27)

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    Alan Brinton

    Let me begin with my rationale for acquiring this Melodion, which was to acquire a Suzuki counterpart to one of my favorite melodicas, the Yamaha P-25F. Although Suzuki made a variety of metal tray 25 and 27 (and even a 26) key alto Melodions in the past, the only current small Suzuki Melodions are the Andes A-25F, which is not really a melodica, and the MX-27, which is a more cheaply constructed all-plastic model. I have been searching for some time for an A-25C (1987-91) or a 1975-89 A-27, with no luck on either count. Having recently determined that that A-27 is the same as the Korean manufactured Samick A-27, I jumped at the chance recently to acquire the Samick. I was also inspired by the red tray of the Samick, though not by the yellow Dye applied by Samick to its white keys and end pieces. When the Samick arrived, I was disappointed by the fact that it leaked air and appeared to need some work, and also by its sound and quality of construction in comparison with the Yamaha P-25 models. So here is what it looked like and an account of what I have done with it.

    Strange color contrast between the melodica and its plastic case.

    The finish of the vintage Samicks, as illustrated by the last photo seems to be less durable than that of corresponding Suzukis. Whether this suggests other quality compromises in the Korean-made Samick/Suzukis I’m not sure. The design seems to be the same, but fit and finish show some signs that the quality of the Samicks may be compromised more generally and also has me wondering about the sound, though I don’t have the corresponding Suzuki for comparison.

    Alan Brinton

    Once outer screws are removed, the end pieces come off without too much trouble, and the keyboard slides easily out of its metal tray.

    Fit and finish issues. Now, at this stage, I ran into difficulties. All four bolts securing the reed chamber cover were too tight. I suspect that this was how it came from the factory rather than the work of a previous owner. Each of the main screwhead bolts engages a plastic receptacle that slides into the bottom of the reed chamber, underneath the reed plates. Two of these had become stripped, and the only way to remove the screws was to carefully drill them out. I was able to replace the one on the end with a small nut. I had to remove a reed plate and four keys to extract the other receptacle, and there was not reasonable approach to replacing it. So I filled the holes with a hardening gasket maker and hoped three bolts would suffice. After reassembly was completed, leakage was reduced to a tolerable level, though not to the level of most vintage Suzukis and Yamahas.

    Drilling out the two problem bolts destroyed the plastic posts through which they were inserted.

    Alan Brinton

    The reed plates, reeds, and other parts appear to be standard fare for 1980s Suzukis.

    I decided to refinish the endpieces in a satin black semi-gloss for the heck of it. Here are photos of the results.

    This looks the part of a Suzuki counterpart to the Yamaha P-25F. It has a cool look, better in person than in the photos. It has a Suzuki sound, though not really distinguished in relation to earlier Suzuki 25-27 key models. And it does not have the airtightness of some of them or of a Yamaha. Though I’m guessing I’ll appreciate this Samick more as time goes by, I’m disappointed. It has not met my expectations. And it raises doubts as to whether a vintage Samick is quite the same thoroughbred as its Suzuki cousin.

    Daren Banarsë

    Thanks for all the info Alan. Very nice mod!


    Very cool hot rodded melodica. Lowboy

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