Hohner Student 32

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Hohner is a musical instrument manufacturer with a reputation for innovative design and invention. The company was founded in Germany by Matthias Hohner in 1857, who began making harmonicas with his wife and one other employee. During the 1950s the Hohner company added a newly invented instrument they named ‘melodica’ to their catalogue. The melodica was a success, and was soon copied by several other companies around the world.

Make: Hohner
Model name: Student 32
Reed type: Multi reed plates
Dimensions: 41.9 x 10.2 x 4.4cm
Weight: 590 grams
Keys: 32
Country of manufacture: Unknown
Player level: Intermediate
Features: None
Year of manufacture: 2007

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3 Reviews

  1. Daren Banarsë

    Daren Banarsë

    In an all black plastic casing, this is the most conservatively stylish of Hohner’s 32 note melodicas. It is minimalist in design, and very comfortable and lightweight (580 grams) to hold. The 32 keys are 18mm wide, 84mm in length and have a 5mm pressing depth. They are all evenly balanced, with a comfortable light touch and minimal key noise. Glissandos and fast playing are no problem on this keyboard.rnrnrnrnThe tone is clear and strong, perhaps not as smooth as some of the more expensive melodicas, but it does have its own warm reedy character which will suit certain types of music. The reeds are reasonably responsive on the whole, though less so at the bottom octave, especially the last few. This means there is a gap between blowing into the mouthpiece, and the resulting sound. Is this a problem? It depends on the style of music being played, and how important the accuracy of the timing is. Slow tunes will work well, and fast intricate melodies will suffer.rnrnrnrnAll in all, at the budget price the Hohner Student 32 is sold for, it offers value for money. A strong tone, and a sleek design, it makes a good introduction to the world of melodicas.

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    This was my first Melodica, and I only have one other to compare it to (a vintage Hohner Student model), although I am a fairly experienced harmonica player (and so know the characteristics and sound of reeds very well). I have taken this instrument apart to inspect its build quality, and because it needed some reed work. The reeds and reedplates are typical of the "upper" end of Chinese-made reed instruments. I can compare it directly to "Leo Shi" brand Bass, Tremolo, and Octave harmonicas that I own, and the quality is similar. Much better than the cheaper Chinese made reedplates, but not as high quality as German-made or Japanese-made ones. The low notes, especially, needed gapping, as did some of the highest reeds too. Out of the box, one of the low reeds was rattling, and periodically sticking. I had to adjust it with a reed-wrench to sit straight in the slot. After those adjustments, it plays very well. It is still quite "airy" sounding, however, as the reedslot tolerances are fairly low (and so quite a bit of air escapes around the sides of the reeds). The keyboard is okay, although the plastic keys feel light under my fingers, and there is a fair bit of "clacking", especially when playing fast. It's not a big deal for playing to a mic on a stand, but makes it hard to use a contact mic (piezo) since those clacks are picked up strongly. rnrnI'd agree that this was a pretty good introduction to the world of melodicas, and I do like this instrument well enough. I'd recommend this to someone who didn't want to buy a used/vintage instrument, but was on a budget and wanted to get into Melodica.

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    I like this model a lot, although I have yet to play a "high end" melodica. Basically, I was happy with the price on Amazon (reduced to £30 if I went for the red one). It is a deep red, and sort of maroon; so it looks good enough. I agree with other reviewers about the gapping on lower pitched reeds. It is suitable for my needs, and I think the tone is decent for an instrument at this level. The case is made of hard, sturdy plastic. I may or may not be brave enough to look under the hood, but I'm sure I'll be tempted if the tuning goes. For now, I am satisfied.rnrnI have played this medodica and one open mic, and it was a solid performer. We were doing Thunder Road in F, and I don't have an F harmonica, so played the melodica for the intro and outro. Then we asked if anyone in the pub knew what the instrument was, and no one did. LOL

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