Yamaha Pianica 32A
September 7, 2015 at 6:54 pm #5906
This thread was preceded by earlier discussion under Yamaha 32 (Vintage) – https://melodicaworld.com/forums/topic/yamaha-32-vintage/
I have recently had the extraordinarily good fortune to acquire a brand new Yamaha Pianica 32A. The 32A is the early to mid 1960s successor to the orginal Yamaha/Tokai Gakki Pianica, the Pianica 32. This one came in absolutely mint condition in the original box, unused and apparently stored under ideal conditions. It looks and plays like a new instrument, which is to say comparably to a new Yamaha P-32D. I have an “older” Pianica 32A, so I will be able to make comparisons. But this one has no problems with sticking keys, air seepage, or any other annoyances of 1960s melodicas. The Pianica 32A typically does not come in a plastic case. This one does, so that it probably comes from a late production run, which means around 1970.September 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm #5907
Great find! Any advantages/disadvantages compared to a new P-32 D?
Shannon MSeptember 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm #5908
A few differences, Shannon, that could be regarded as advantages or disadvantages one way or the other: (1) Although the sound is quite similar, it is a bit softer on the Pianica 32A. (2) The Pianica 32A has a “rod” spit valve mechanism, as compared with the common button mechanism of the P-32D. The rod button is pushed from the mouthpiece end. This is a far superior kind of mechanism that allows air to be vented much more freely, but some won’t like the push button location. (3) The P-32D is typical of current 32 key melodicas, starting at F, while the Pianica 32A starts two keys higher at the G. (4) The distance each key depresses is shallower on the Pianica 32A than on the P-32D, so that it’s easier to play glissando on the Pianica 32A. (5) Some may be influenced as I am by the distinctiveness and aesthetic satisfactions of a recognizably vintage instrument, in this case including the metal tray and conservative two-tone color scheme. I love my P-32D and wouldn’t give it up for the Pianica 32A, but the 32A in good playing condition is a desirable vintage melodica.September 8, 2015 at 7:37 pm #5909
Thanks, Alan. There are so few opportunities to try new melodicas (I have absolutely no access to them) that the vintage instruments at reduced prices are very tempting. However, it is something of a pig in a poke. I have been generally satisfied with my vintage purchases, but the only new melodica I own is a Hohner Performer 37, which is definitely not of the same quality as my vintage Hohners. And some of my vintage instruments needed/need some work (e.g. clavietta, Hohner professional 36) Good to hear that at least Yamaha (and also apparently Suzuki) is still making quality instruments.
ShannonSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm #5910
Can’t go wrong with a Yamaha P-32D or P-37D or a Suzuki M-32C or M-37C, Shannon. No risk with any of those, and they’re a huge step up from the Hohner Performer 37.September 9, 2015 at 12:31 am #5911
Where are you Shannon, if you don’t mind saying?September 10, 2015 at 2:16 am #5914
I live in central North Carolina. About an hour from any major city. Right now I have a house full of melodicas (very susceptible to MAS). Over a dozen at last count-vintage Hohners, Suzuki’s, and a Clavietta. My current fav is a Melodion 36, although I recently acquired a Melodion MA-32 Super II, which is quite nice as well. Having loads of fun with all of them. My most recent was a Suzuki b-24. Certainly more challenging to play, but I really like the sound. Breath control certainly harder, but that is my problem, not the instruments.
Sorry to get so off-topic. 8^P This is all great fun!
ShannonSeptember 10, 2015 at 3:19 am #5916
The MA-32 has a unique sound.
I think there are few places where one can actually go and see or try out melodicas. Beautiful state, North Carolina.September 12, 2015 at 6:28 pm #5927
Hi guys, this is off topic, but, Shannon, you are in North Carolina?! Did you know we have a melodica band right here in Asheville (people in it are from Hendersonville, Black mountain etc)? There are 5 of us and between us we own at least 40 melodicas (is this a sign of MAS?). So if you want to try out modern Yamahas, Hammonds and Suzukis, we’ve got piles of them. And you are welcome any time to sit in – we play every kind of music we can.
That pianica A32 has got the range that I covet most.
BarbaraSeptember 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm #5929
Do you have a Pianica 32A, Barbara?September 13, 2015 at 12:29 am #5931
Alan, No I don’t. I love Suzukis, however, and now will keep my eye out for one. !!September 13, 2015 at 2:06 am #5933
I have another one coming. Maybe we can work something out.September 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm #5936
Wow, Alan, that would be great!September 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm #5937
I’ll get back to you on this in a couple of weeks.September 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm #5983
On my profile, you’ll find my email address. If you contact me, we can talk about a P-32A.
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