Suzuki A-34C

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  • #1843
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Follow-up on “Suzuki M-Series” — I included the A-34C with the M-32C and M-37C because these all have the same kind of construction and very similar sound. I decided to take the A-34C apart this morning after noticing that if I blow and suck on it with the spit valve closed and no keys depressed, there is a bit of give and take, as if the instrument contained a baffle (not sure if this is the right word). My suspicion was based in part on the fact that the Suzuki Bass-24 has a large baffle on the top of its air chamber, which I believe accounts for the delayed response of the Bass-24. Well, I discovered that the A-34C does indeed contain a baffle, one that’s much smaller and to which air is vented through a 1/4″ hole. This melodica has a very good seal and leaks no air. Apparently Suzuki’s engineers figured out that baffling the air flow improves the performance of the melodica. My guess is that this is an improvement on what was attempted with the Bass-24. I haven’t yet disassembled the M-32C or 37C, but I do not notice the same affect with them, which suggests that they are not similarly baffled and that this is an innovation on the A-34C. Here now a series of photos, the first showing the black rubber baffle and the hole through which air is pushed to it. The baffle itself is a thin layer of some kind of rubber, under which are some slight bumps, probably to create an air space.

    #1844
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    #1845
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    #1846
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    #1847
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    #1848
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    As with other Suzuki metal tray melodicas, the inner melodica does not slide out the end. You have to gently spring back the front lip of the tray and rotate the inner melodica up and out. The scrfew driver handle is in there just to hold it in position for the photo.

    #1849
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Like the M-32C and 37C, this is a very solid, nicely crafted instrument. The reeds here show evidence of more serious factory tuning than is typical.

    #1850
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    One more observation about the A-34C. It weights less than the M-32C even though it looks the same and is slightly larger. I won’t know for sure until I disassemble the M-32C, but I notice that the metal tray of the A-34C is quite light, 122 grams. This is noticeably lighter than the Pro-37v2’s metal tray (though I don’t have a weight reading for that). So I’m guessing that the tray is thinner on the A-34C than the tray on the M-32C.

    #1851
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I am separately posting photos I just took of the M-32C; but now that I have also disassembled it, here are a couple of comparisons:

    A-34C is baffled; M-32C is not. What difference this makes is not clear to me, but I haven’t made close comparisons and might not detect differences that are there in any case. They sound about the same to me.

    Metal tray weights: A-34C 122 grams; M-32C 208 grams.

    #1875
    AvatarKevin
    Participant

    Hi Alan,
    I’m a bit baffled by your baffle?
    Is the rubber patch sealed on all four sides?
    I’m suspecting it may serve as an air-release or air regulator? It would keep the reeds from the shock of getting a full blast of air (something I’ve done many times when I’ve accidentally hit a key while blowing out the moisture),or possibly it’s to equal out the volume as no one note would ever get a full serving of air.
    Have you tried playing without the cover and feeling to see if any air escapes from around the flap or if it’s sealed does it seem to expand like a balloon? Also if you aren’t afraid of damaging the reeds have you tried playing as hard as you can?

    #1876
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    The rubber patch is sealed all around, Kevin, and I’m sure no air escapes. I didn’t think to try blowing while able to view the patch, but I’m sure it expands and contracts but not with any balloon effect. I think your suggestion about it’s serving to reduce the shock on the reeds makes sense. When I felt a bit of give and take that made me suspect something like this, I also could hear a slight flapping sound in both directions, like a diaphragm maybe? The material is thin, firmer than the image you may be having, flexible enough to become concave or convex but not to inflate. It’s clearly meant to go out and in with the air pressure, so that it buffers the air flow. I’m sure there are other instruments and devices that involve similar design and that there must be better terminology than what I’m using. I would be afraid that blowing as hard as I could into one of my favorite melodicas might cause damage.

    It occurred to me that someone who had the inclination and reason for doing so could probably install a similar device on any melodica. Maybe you and I could go into the aftermarket melodica baffle business. Between us we could come up with a list of benefits: protects your reeds, stabilizes tuning, facilitates circular breathing, creates jobs, cures the common cold.

    #1885
    AvatarKevin
    Participant

    Marvelous idea Alan! My mind is racing with our marketing slogans. “Baffle your blower”,”Don’t be a blowhard” or my favorite “Get the patch!” 😉

    #2044
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Tuning Note: I have been checking the factory tuning of my A-34C, after having played it for a while. I checked at A=440 through A=443, and it is closest to A=441, so I’ve decided to use that standard for this melodica. After repeated readings in relation to 441, I find only seven keys that are more than 3 cents off, only three that are more than 6 cents off, and just one that’s terribly off, G4 at 16 cents flat. So I will tune just those seven keys. Pretty good factory tuning, in my opinion, except for the G4.

    #6826
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I will be posting photos and information about the earlier Suzuki A-34, the School 34, under the thread for that model started by Pianonymous. The School 34 is the long-time (1972-92) predecessor of the current A-34C. There are some differences, but it’s essentially the same Suzuki Melodion.

    #6835
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    thanks for this information.
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