Suzuki A-34C vs M-32C
April 7, 2016 at 1:28 am #7024
I was doing some research and stumbled across this forum. I see from older posts that at least one person (Alan B) on this forum has both of these instruments. I currently own a Suzuki M-37 and recently picked up a Studio 32 at a local store just because I wanted something cheap and light for a trip I went on recently. But I want to now get something that is small and light but of better quality.
Originally I was researching the M-32C and then discovered that there is an A-34C, which intrigued me because of it’s different range. I would probably use the extra higher notes more than the low F/F# notes. But I’m wondering what other differences there might be. I see an older post from Alan that mentioned that the A-34C is a bit lighter even though it is longer.
I’m hoping that Alan or anyone else can comment on any differences in things like the feel of the keyboard, tuning instability from moisture build up, expressiveness, venting differences, or anything else that comes to mind. And if you also happen to have experience with the M-37 and can comment on how they compare to that, that would be a bonus.
Thanks for any help,
YorgosApril 7, 2016 at 1:37 am #7025
I almost forgot, any suggestions of where to order from for a good price on these? I live in Vancouver, Canada, but can also ship to the U.S. and pick up there. I may just order from our local L&M store since they deal with Suzuki, even though I’d be paying a bit more.April 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm #7026
I am also interested in this topic, especially if there is a volume difference between the M-32C and M-37C.
KumaApril 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm #7040
Amazon Canada has the M-32C for $112 Cn with free shipping. That shipping would be from Japan and would probably take about two weeks, assuming that it’s in stock. There’s no problem with shipping from Japan.
I have all three. I rarely play the M-37C because I like the sound of the other two better (a bit less harsh) and because they are both lighter and more compact. I play the M-32C regularly, but I’ll get the other two out and see how much more specific I can be about noticeable differences. The A-34C and M-37C both have a rubber bladder at the lower end that expands and contracts, thereby slowing down response and (in theory at least) providing truer sound on the lowest notes. I believe the volume is a bit greater with the M-37C, and the sound of the A-34C is a bit more muted and mellower (pleasingly so, to my ear) than that of the other two. The key action is excellent on the M-32C, which I’ve been playing a lot the last few days. This is one of its distinguishing features, though maybe not in relation to these other two models.April 8, 2016 at 11:50 pm #7043
Thanks for the quick reply, Alan. I believe you said in an older posting that the A34 has a bit of a deeper body compared to the M32. Do you find any difference in comfort holding the A34 vs the M32? Also, in your comment above regarding the key action, can you clarify? Is the action on the A34 identical or is it different than the M32 but still good?
Part of my concern shipping from Japan is that I don’t know if Canadian customs will throw extra taxes or duties on top. If they do, I could just order it from the local music store for about the same money and can return it a lot easier on the chance that there are any defects.April 9, 2016 at 12:52 am #7044
The M-32C fits more comfortably in the hand, for me at least. I have average size hands. The A-32C is about 1/4″ deeper. I’m just now comparing the two. There is some difference in key action, comparable to differences in action between electric keyboards. I would say that the M-32C has somewhat more “realistic” action, a bit more like the action of a better electric keyboard, a real piano being the standard of course, from which all melodicas are far removed.
If “small and light but better quality” is what you’re looking for, Yorg, I would recommend the M-32C. The M-37C is heavy and bulky by comparison. I enjoy playing the A-34C, but among the three I find myself always gravitating toward the M-32C. It fits most comfortably in the left hand and is more easily balanced. Whatever other melodicas I have (and I have many), I would always want to have an M-32C. For its size it is relatively heavy in comparison with the A-34C, but this gives it a more solid feel. These Suzukis come pretty well tuned, and they hold their tuning well. I can say this with the most confidence of the M-32C since I have played it so much. All three of these models vent very well. They have what I think is on the whole the best venting mechanism, which has worked better on some Suzuki models than on others but which is close to perfection on these current models. Appearance-wise the M-32C is more attractive than the A-34C in terms of having its “vent” holes on the tray in both the front and back rather than in just one line on the bottom. I don’t know whether this affects the sound.April 9, 2016 at 4:12 am #7046
Thanks again for all the feedback.April 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm #7049
Yes, thank you Alan for the informative replies! The rubber bladder in the A-34C and M-37C seems misguided to me, a saxophone player, since it takes volume/timbre options away from the player. I’m interested in buying one that can play loud (and still have a nice sound), so I think I’ll try the M-32C first. It seems like it has many advantages, and plays only a bit less loud than the M-37C. Cheers, KumaApril 9, 2016 at 10:51 pm #7051
Kuma, thanks for pointing that out. I own the M-37C along with a couple cheap Suzuki melodions (e.g. Study 32). I do notice that the intonation of the attack of the notes in the low note range might be more stable on the M-37C but the Study 32 is also more expressive/dynamic and maybe a bit louder, overall. I’m not sure how much of the dynamics is due to other internal air-flow design and how much the lack of a baffle is a factor.
Regardless, I am more interested in expressiveness so I will probably opt to try the M-32C over the A-34C (since the A-34C has the baffle and is also a bit more “mellow” sounding according to Alan). Similarly, I agree with your decision to try the M-32C over the M-37C.April 9, 2016 at 11:13 pm #7052
The Study 32 is not a bad melodica, especially in comparison with other cheap melodicas. The reeds are much cheaper but also (and probably as a result) easier to bend notes with, so I can relate to what you say about its expressiveness, Yorg. One of its drawbacks is, at least in the ones I’ve used, poor venting. A year ago Christmas, Amazon had the Study 32 for about $18, and I bought them for three of my grandchildren.April 10, 2016 at 8:42 am #7053
Wow, that’s a cheap price. Yes, it has bad venting and the intonation starts to go out as moisture builds up. Just to clarify, by expressiveness I actually meant more about the volume/tone dynamics, although note bending, of course, can also be part of expressiveness. It seems like I get a bit more dynamic range and can get a punchier sound (like horn shots) with the Study 32 than with the M-37C. Maybe it’s mostly perception just because the Study 32 has a brighter sound. When you mentioned about the A-34C sounding a bit more muted and mellow, I figured I’d rather go with a brighter sounding instrument that can sound punchy when needed. (BTW, I just blow direct or through a plastic mouth piece, never through a hose.) In addition to the M-32C, I think I will also be ordering a Yamaha P37D for something with a (from what I’ve read) smoother/mellower sound that also has the extended note range.April 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm #7055
The Yamaha will complement the M-32C nicely, and it is better suited to playing without a mouth piece.
Here’s a fix that worked for me for the Study 32 venting problem:
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