July 27, 2014 at 7:37 am #2858
Dear fellow melodica players,
I am reading your excellent melodica site for weeks now and I also posted a review about my Hohner Ocean 32 but I missed the opportunity to introduce myself, so please apologize for that!
I am originally a piano/keyboard player but am now even teaching melodica in my own little music school in Austria which I started a year ago. The melodica teaching is part of a franchise music school system (Musikschule Fröhlich) which then moves on to accordion and accordion orchestra. So I came to know and love the melodica through my educational experience. For teaching kids between 5 and 8 years we use the Suzuki MX-32, which is in my opinion even superior to the Hohner Student (the new chinese-made at least….).
I am also thinking about starting a “professional” melodica ensemble, my dream would be to play gospel-type music and maybe classical christian hymns and stuff like that.
I am right now searching for a good pro melodica for myself, and am grateful for your work through this site, I think I found what I was looking for. I think I will go either with the Suzuki M-37C or the M-32C or the A-34C. So if there are any suggestions regarding this, I would be thankful.
Keep up the good work! Greetings from Austria: Balazs (which is actually Hungarian by the way….. but we have a long history of monarchy going on here 🙂July 28, 2014 at 9:55 am #2866
Hi Balázs, welcome to the forum. It’s really great to hear about your background. I think you must be the first melodica teacher I’ve encountered 🙂
I hope you do get to form an ensemble soon!July 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm #2869
Jazzman 1945 is our other professional melodica teacher.
I have all three of those Suzukis, Balázs, and very much prefer the M-32C and A-34C over the M-37C. The M-32C and A-34C are very similar to each other in terms of playability and sound. There’s not much to choose between those two except for the range of notes. I have played them both quite a lot for the past several months. The M-37C is also an excellent instrument, but I find it clumsier to hold, and it does not have as clean a sound as the other two. It is also a bit harder to disassemble and reassemble because of the way the melodica fits into its metal tray; the configuration is the same, but the fit is tighter, so that more prying is needed against the tray, especially when putting it back together. For some people, though, having the full 37 keys would be a reason to prefer the M-37C. I like 32 keys and prefer starting at F rather than at G, so I like the M-32C best. The unique key range of the A-34C is cool, though, and makes it special.
I’ve mentioned this before, but on all three, the screws in the end pieces engage tiny metal inserts, which is a good thing since they don’t screw into plastic; but it’s easy to have one fall out and be lost if you’re not careful.July 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm #2873
Thanks Alan and Troy, I also appreciate the advice on the Suzuki M32-C, I think I will get one of those or the A-34C, which one will be cheaper 🙂 It´s a little bit more expensive ordering from here through Amazon, and I could not find any other source that would ship to Europe for reasonable prices ( have to pay customs anyway for things from Japan….).
Teaching melodica is really a lot of fun plus there are a few very special things that is just not reproducable on a piano, one is instant dynamics through simultanous blowing.
I tried to post a picture of some of my happy melodica students from last year but cannot figure out how to do on this forum, any help? 🙂
Thanks again: BalázsJuly 30, 2014 at 1:36 am #2879
Welcome to the forum. I look forward to your insights on melodica playing. Perhaps we will get to hear a recording or two of the music you play in Austria.
By the way, I recently purchased a Suzuki A-34C to compliment my M-32C. I like the A-34C a lot. Then again, I like the M-32C a lot too. To me, the A-34C is slightly smoother in its tone. It could be my imagination, but if you hold a key down on the A-34C and honk a note using your breath, the note seems to sustain a few milliseconds longer than on the M-32C. I can’t say for sure, but that is what I heard in a quick comparison. Maybe the “rubber” bladder in the A-34C has something to do with this. Maybe I am all wet. I will provide more definitive information and a review of the A-34C after I play it more. I was on vacation the last two weeks so I did not get to play it much.
I agree with Alan, tonal range may be one of the most important factors in the decision. The two melodions are very similar otherwise.
LowboyJuly 30, 2014 at 2:30 am #2880
The A-34C is a tiny bit softer, I would say, on the low end. But these two melodicas are solid from one end of the keyboard to the other. As much alike as they are, though, I wouldn’t give up either one of them.July 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm #2883
Somewhere, and some few weeks ago, I read official Suzuki information (user guide, web brochure, or website; I can’t remember exactly) that stated the A-34C was designed to produce a different tonality (lower, mellower, softer?) as it was intended for ensemble playing. I assume this was to create a gentler, more harmonious sound when 8 to 10 melodions are playing at the same time.
I notice a very subtle difference between the A-34C and the M-32C, and can’t imagine it would make a difference in an ensemble. However, I have not experimented enough yet. More to come after I do a closer comparison.
LowboyJuly 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm #2885
Sounds interesting, thanks Lowboy and Alan. So I will definitely wait for your final verdict about the A-34C in comparison to the M-32C in the review then.
Have fun with your A-34C! Thanks: BalázsJuly 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm #2886
Fascinating, Lowboy. I’ll be interested to hear any further observations about this. I’m glad you got both of these melodicas, as I think they’re quite special and am interested in the relationship between them. There seems to me to be very little difference between them, and I’m hard pressed to describe what I do hear. The M-32 is a bit crisper? But, oddly enough, I have my M-32 tuned to A=440 and my A-34 to A=441. Possibly that’s masking some of the difference.
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