Samick SM-36A

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    Alan Brinton

    Most Samick Melodihorns are Korean versions of Suzuki Melodion models, almost identical though somewhat inferior (in my opinion) in fit, finish and materials. The SM-36A (same design as the SM-36B that appears here under Reviews), however, does not closely resemble — in external or internal design or in tonality — any known Suzuki model. Standard Suzuki mouthpieces also do not fit this Samick. So it is a distinctive model, except that it also seems to have appeared as a Sae Chang Melodeon, (Sae Chang is also a Korean brand). The Sae Chang of which I have photos actually has the Samick name on it but was paired with a Sae Chang case that identifies its instrument as an M-37(!), but the instrument and case both bear the same logo, also shared by my Samick SM-36A. Here is a photo of the purported Sae Chang.

    Sae Chang 37

    Now photos of the Samick SM-36A:

    The SM-36A is an unusually thin keyboard harmonica, especially for a full sized model. Disassembly takes us directly to the reed plates; in other words, there is no separate internal reed chamber.

    The sound is distinctive. I haven’t decided yet what to think think about it. Some would, I think, find it to be “thin” or “shallow,” lacking in depth and richness.

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