Photo—-Tubing and Fixture for Hohner Melodica
December 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm #7913
Following up with the discussion with Dos Tazas about tubing, I will start a new thread so that others can contribute knowledge they may have without Dos Tazas’s thread getting too far off track.
On Hohner Piano 26/27/32s, the following tube arrangement (giant inside diameter) will give you the deepest, fullest sound (see photo below). The copper elbow fits into the inlet hole on the melodica. You may have to sand the outer diameter of the end that fits into the melodica to get it to seat reasonably well.
This large diameter tubing definitely provides a fuller sound on the Hohner Piano 26/27/32 and provides a large volume of air on tap. These Hohner melodicas already have a huge inlet channel and reed chamber volume relative to other designs. I consider this a good thing that is accentuated with the large tubing diameter. I can’t explain why yet.
Again, the problem is finding 5/8-inch tubing that is flexible, light, non-toxic, and non-pinching.
Here is the photo.
Regards, LowboyDecember 4, 2016 at 11:14 pm #7914
I have hard rubber (or flexible plastic) clear tubing that looks similar to what you have going into the fitting, Lowboy. Inside diameter 3/8″, outside 9/16″. It wouldn’t be flexible enough for most players who want to use a tube, but it’s good for a short stretch or for adapting from one piece to another.
The first photo shows it attached to the Hammond/Suzuki gooseneck extension. The fit is tight, as it is in the second photo with the tube fitting for the mouthpiece end of a Suzuki tube. This clear tubing fits inside the mouthpiece opening of a Piano 26/27, but it’s a little bit too loose. I like to use this fitting as a mouthpiece with some of my small Suzukis, especially the short key Suzuki Study II.
The Hammond/Suzuki gooseneck entension is long enough for playing with two hands if you’re leaning over the melodica. Using both fittings, the gooseneck could be extended with the clear tubing.
Something that also deserves mentioning is that the feel of the keyboard is radically different when it’s being played on a flat surface as opposed to being held in the left hand. It seems to me that the tactile aesthetic of playing a melodica is thereby lost. I can’t see how this would work at all for Lowboy’s playing techniques.December 5, 2016 at 1:40 am #7917
The trick is to keep the inside diameter as large as possible. I need 5/8-inch inside diameter, thin-walled, flexible, light, black, non-toxic, non-pinching, smooth-bore tubing. It preferable should have diamond studs. 🙂
I have completed comparison recordings and the large tube provides a noticeably fuller sound on the Hohners. Gets me one step closer to “the” sound when playing acoustically.
Unfortunately that clear plastic tube is stiff as a board.
LowboyDecember 9, 2016 at 10:33 pm #7980
I ordered this corrugated tubing from Amazon, and it arrived today:
Amico 5/8″ 2M Black Soft Corrugated Tube Cable Pipe Bellows Hose
A Yamaha mouthpiece fits into it perfectly. When I blow through the 2 meter tube, there’s a loud whistling sound, whose pitch goes up or down depending on how hard one blows through it. However, when it’s used with the Yamaha, linked with a short piece of 3/8″ OD (outside diameter) rubber tubing, there’s no detectable whistling. This tubing is less flexible than a typical melodica tube, but it would be usable. It comes curled up, but it is easily straightened. It’s impressive looking. A short piece of the harder clear tubing shown above would make a more secure connection.
I wasn’t ready to cut the tubing yet, so you see the whole two meters here. Similar corrugated tubing is available in other sizes and under other descriptions. And it’s cheap.February 19, 2017 at 12:19 am #8258
Hi Lowboy- I’m interested in the copper elbow fitting you rigged up – looks unique. However, it’s a little hard to picture it connected. I just bought a Hohner Piano 26s. Is there any chance you could post a photo with the entire moutpiece and tubing connected to a melodica. Your description of the sound it produces is intriguing. Thanks!February 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm #8259
Hi D Cook,
Below is a quick phone photo of the copper elbow connected to a Piano 32. A Piano 32 is identical to a Piano 26, but the 32 has a few more keys). I like the concept of large diameter tubing, but this tubing is so stiff that I cannot use it, unless I can figure out a way set its shape. For experimental purposes when testing this tubing, I did not use a mouthpiece. I just blew into the other end of the tubing.
What we need is corrugated, highly flexible, non-kinking tubing with a 3/4-inch inside diameter. With such tubing, we could further develop and prove the concept (that wicked-large tubing offer advantages in tone and expressiveness on these melodicas, which have large entrance channel and reed chamber volume).
If my initial observations of deeper tone are confirmed with the new tubing, playability does not suffer, and expressiveness increases, then it would be relatively easy to attach any mouthpiece you desired.
LowboyFebruary 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm #8260
Here is my current tubing setup. There is much room for improvement. LowboyFebruary 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm #8262
Thanks – I just bought the Hohner Piano 32 model pictured above on ebay at a price that suggests I’ll need to do some tuning – we’ll see when it arrives. But I will definitely be trying this set-up when it’s time to play. Thanks for the photos and additional explanation! Diane CFebruary 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm #8263
As someone with Asthma who sometimes uses a nebulizer, for corrugated tubing, medical supplie companies immediately came to mind. The nebulizers use small diameter non-corrugated tubing. However, vaporizers, corregated aerosol tubing…a number of different diameters available depending on the respiratory need.
Here’s one company – http://www.vitalitymedical.com/corrugated-aerosol-tubing-81344.html
The one pictured is 7/8 in diameter. Still searching for the 3/4 in (19mm comes reasonably close, BTW).February 19, 2017 at 8:37 pm #8264
I’m thinking the 7/8 in diameter might be close enough to adapt?February 19, 2017 at 8:49 pm #8266
Maybe with an airplane clamp and slits in the end of the tubing.
It all depends on the outside diameter of the copper fitting.
If you know of a source of such 7/8-inch tubing that meets the requirements, I would be willing to give it a try.
LowboyFebruary 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm #8270
A bit of tube is only a few dollars. Unfortunately, the shipping is $7 plus unless you order more than $25.00 worth of supplies.February 21, 2017 at 1:41 pm #8278
Thanks for this tip Diane. I order some of the medical tubing. In addition, I searched the web using different search terms and found what I think is the ideal 5/8 ID tubing for the copper fitting. Here is the link. LowboyFebruary 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm #8279
Thanks – I’ll be interested in hearing how it works out. DFebruary 26, 2017 at 1:38 pm #8307
Lowboy, could you post a link to your comparisons? I’m wondering how the wide mouthpiece affects the sound?
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