I’m not sure how to respond to this question, but since nobody else has….
There is no doubt that there is significant variation in the loudness of melodicas. A Clavietta, for example, is at the low end, and a vintage Hohner Piano 36 is near the high end. A current Suzuki M-37C is louder than a Yamaha P-37D. Volume is easily measured, of course, and I suppose someone could make side-by-side comparisons though I don’t know of any effort to do this. Perceptions of loudness are not always confirmed by actual measurements, due to the influence of factors other than volume. In my experience, it’s easier to get a bad, honky sound out of a louder melodica than it is out of a more subdued melodica. I gave my Performer 37 away and never played it much, but to the best of my recollection it was not an especially loud melodica in comparison with other brands, maybe somewhat louder than a Yamaha but not as loud as a Suzuki. Unless you really need to project the sound, as on stage without amplification, louder is not necessarily better. Larger melodicas tend to be somewhat louder than smaller ones.
Thank you Alan. I watched the video comparing 13 different melodicas and founded it really interesting and informative. But it seemed suspiceous that they would all be so different yet matched fairly closely in volume. I would be interested to know how much volume adjustment was done in the mixing.
Hi Fred, yes, good observation – each melodica recording was matched to a similar level. This is because the backing track is at a constant level, and any weak melodica signals (from a quiet instrument) would be too quiet in comparison to the backing. In the same way, any loud melodicas would be too loud for the backing!
So you can only use the video to compare the tone of the instruments. I can’t remember any particularly quiet melodicas apart from the Clavietta.
If you’re looking for a quiet instrument, and don’t mind a vintage model, try a Clavietta, it’s lovely!