Suzuki A-25F Andes

 
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The Suzuki corporation was established in 1953 in Hamamatsu, Japan. It has since grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of musical instruments for education.

Make: Suzuki
Model name: A-25F Andes
Reed type: No reeds
Materials: Cover & Keyboards: ABS plastic, Keyangles: Aluminum
Dimensions: 360 x 262 x 56mm
Weight: 1000g
Keys: 25
Country of manufacture: Unknown
Player level: Intermediate
Features: Pipes
Year of manufacture: Unknown

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4 Reviews

  1. Quetscher

    Is it a flute? Is it a melodica? No, it’s the Suzuki A-25F Andes!rnSounding like a sopranino flute with exactly the same range (f’’-f’’’’) but played like a melodica, it can help you to add a new colour to your melodica playing without having to learn to play flute.rnThe Andes comes with a short pipe, a hose and (great idea!) a neck strap. Unfortunately it has no bag, which is a little disappointing for an instrument costing 199€.rnThe keyboard action is great, it works very smooth, glissandi or fast repetitions are no problem at all.rnTechnically the Andes works like a hybrid between melodica and panflute. Notes are produced by blowing air into pipes, the higher the note, the smaller the pipe. The big advantage is that you can play whole flute chords.rnOn the other hand there is a big problem with the pitch which reacts immediately on the blowing pressure. The harder you blow, the higher the note gets; you have this with panflutes, too, but by changing the angle between your lips and the pipe you can influence the pitch. Only thing you can do when playing the Andes is trying to bend the note a little bit, but that doesn’t work too good.rnSecond problem is the sound: deep notes sound quite nice, but high notes become airy and hollow. You can change the sound a little by covering the upper slits of the shell, but when playing acoustic it still sounds a little harsh.rnAll in all to me the Andes seems to be an instrument for special effects, for example doubling the melody an octave or two higher (listen to that great example by James Howard Young)rnrnhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UEdhLluyHgrnrnor playing flute chords, sometimes for playing solos, but not for too long, or it will become a little unnerving.rnrnPros:rnKeyboard actionrnNeck straprnFlute sound with keyboard techniquernCan be played polyphonic (chords are possible) rnrnCons:rnQuite expensivernNo bag includedrnProblems with the pitchrnSounds a little unnerving when played too longrn

  2. HonkBox

    I enjoy my Andes, the key action is great, and you can get a nice tin whistle effect, but the keyboard allows polyphonic sounds and chordal harmonies.rnrnMy neck strap keeps coming undone. It looks like a design flaw--there is a piece on the strap meant to easily slide over a button on the underside. Unfortunately, there is no way to lock the mechanism and it slips off as easily as it slid in.rnrnIt does not come with a bag, but I found a soft sided laptop/brief case at IKEA that the Andes fits into perfectly with room for music books.rnrnAir pressure does not just affect volume, as it mostly does on a melodica, but also affects tonal quality. Too much and you play sharp, too little gets you pickles. So breathing technique needs to be pretty consistent. I wish it's range was slightly larger.rnrnWithout the neck strap (which I don't use) it can be a little awkward to hold. Worth $300? Probably not, but still a fun instrument.

  3. Em Saintduloup

    @Honkbox, on my Andes strap, there's a triangular wouden block which blocks the chord. Thanks for the tip on the bag!rnrnI agree about the dynamics issue (pitch and the shrill high notes, as I play the recorder too, its the same as the sopranino recorder but the high notes are more pleasant and reliable on the Andes.rnrnthe Andes is indeed more off a gimmic instrument but it holds nice surprising sound effects (especially in the low register) if you carefully select the repertoire (Pink Panther genre/ folk) and range of the melody.

  4. Stefan Scherbik

    I've had one of these for a few months now and the first thing to note is that before you start playing it, people will ask if the mouthpiece is a crank. That boneheaded question will come up 9 times out of 10. And then when you try to explain that it's like a melodica, but has pipes instead of reeds, it will be followed up with "what's a melodica?"rnrnIt's a most enjoyable instrument of decent quality. However it will likely leave you wishing that it had a lower range. With a similar range to a sopranino recorder, those higher notes can be pretty jarring. The second octave is also quite a bit louder than the handful of lower notes. Ergo, if you're trying not to play too loudly, you'll need to do a lot of practice to be able to transition smoothly between the two halves of the instrument.rnrnBecause higher-register recorders and piccolos and tin whistles are much more capable instruments, the only reason to buy an Andes melodica is that stunning flute harmony. There's a reason recorder ensembles are still around today, and it's because flutes making chords and doing counterpoint sounds really good. Normally with flutes, you'd need to stick two of them into your mouth (at the expense of range) or play a double-flute to be able to get harmony when playing by your lonesome. But with the Andes, playing multiple notes is as easy as playing the melodica. When you're in a drum circle and you break out that sweet flute machine, things are bound to start kicking up. And when you get a hang of breath control, you'll be bending notes all over the place.rnrnNow if only Suzuki could take this concept and apply it to different kinds of reeds. Single reeds (like those on clarinet and saxophone) and double reeds (like those on oboes and bassoons) would probably sound pretty badass given the melodica treatment.