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New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E #3020913 12/26/19 05:45 AM
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Mark Schmieder Offline OP
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http://www.suzukimusic.co.uk/products/melodion/alto.html

I found that link by chance, while trying to find information on how the Suzuki Pro-37 V3 Melodion differs from V2. This was the only place I found that information, but it also surprised me with the admittedly-expensive new W37 wooden model, which is said to absorb some of the higher harmonics for a mellower and more balanced sound (though I found the one demo at their site, a bit TOO tame). It is certainly gorgeous to look at.

I can't find any audio demos of Pro-37 V3, but it seems the sound will be the same anyway. They took away one mouthpiece, switched the style of the long tube extension, and added two strap hooks. Here's the user manual:

https://www.suzuki-music.co.jp/app/uploads/PRO-37v3-manual.pdf

Note how the new logo is very much like that of Leslie.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 12/26/19 11:52 PM. Reason: improved title

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020915 12/26/19 06:03 AM
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It took a little navigating, but I made my way to the Suzuki Global site and found a bit more info:

https://suzukimusic-global.com/prod...;products_cate_cd=11&products_cd=152

There's a Bach demo on that page. And the following demo was linked from the Pro-37V3 page (maybe it's a V2 though?):

https://suzukimusic-global.com/files/pro-37v_music.mp3

I think it is probably still the case that the Hammond-44P (which I owned for many years) and 44-HP (a different sound) are more pro though.

The Suzuki Pro-37 has tapered reeds though, and I'm pretty sure (from spec sheets etc.) that the Hammond doesn't.

I really dislike the 44-HP sound, at any rate. I can't remember if the keybed design is the same for the Hammonds as for the Pro-37's.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 12/26/19 06:11 AM.

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020916 12/26/19 06:18 AM
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Here's a W37 wooden melodica demo of "I Got Rhythm", going into "Take Five":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_DHCCkFv0M

It definitely has a mellow and dark character, a bit closer to certain harmonicas or even some accordion types.

I don't think I like it, after all of these audio demos. Anyway, it costs well over $1000. Here's another demo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ris1_xL2Dkg

In reader comments, it is stated that this can only be bought directly from Suzuki (probably made on demand).


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020917 12/26/19 06:29 AM
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In this older three-way comparison video, I like the sound of the Yamaha Pianoca P-37 the best though, and despise the Hohner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrEe06KQHrU

It seems the Yamaha keybed is the best quality overall, with overall better responsiveness, but blows more like a harmonica whereas the Suzuki is more like a brass instrument.

I think I'm inclined to give the Yamaha a try (it's the only one I've never had my hands on), but I'm curious to see if the Pro-37v3 has a keybed upgrade.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020918 12/26/19 06:41 AM
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I just ordered the Yamaha P-37E Pianica in Brown, at 15% off before that sale ends. It should arrive by New Year's (and probably a bit earlier).

Super-low-risk, and if I don't like it, I may gift it to my godson in college, who would probably enjoy a small, portable, simple instrument to relax on when he's not practicing oboe.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020956 12/26/19 03:56 PM
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Tonal qualities aside (which can be somewhat subjective with melodicas), the Pianica 37 is a very nice instrument, very responsive and playable, feels like it must cost much more than it does.

That wooden Suzuki is tempting. On the melodica tonal variation scale from extremely annoying to just a little bit annoying, it's very close to the latter end of scale. But the price is hard to justify for still being a melodica.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020975 12/26/19 05:07 PM
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[img]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeuchNoc0y8[/img]

At 1:40 is my main inspiration for wanting a melodica. For the longest I assumed it was Stevie Wonder on chromatic harmonica and I couldn't figure out he got to the notes (I play chromatic). But I see from the video comments that I wasn't the only one to make that mistake.

For the price and harmonica-like sound I would consider the Yamaha.

Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020991 12/26/19 07:12 PM
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Just got a Yamaha Pianica 37D as a gift. It is a beautiful instrument. Gonna spring it on the fellas at the gig tomorrow... no more harmonica solos on the electronic keys...YAY! w00t


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020996 12/26/19 07:34 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline OP
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Anyone know the difference between the newer Pianica 37E that I just ordered, and the Pianica 37D?

I'll see if I can find some lit to compare, after eating. I'm pretty sure the 37E model is really new.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020998 12/26/19 07:53 PM
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Yamaha Pianica 73D product page:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/winds/pianica/p-37d/index.html#product-tabs

Yamaha Pianica 73E product page:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/winds/pianica/p-37e/specs.html#product-tabs

The presentation style is quite different, but it is at least clear that the new model is slightly heavier.

I'm going to download the user manuals now, and compare that way instead.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3020999 12/26/19 08:01 PM
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Not much info there either; mostly some safety instructions. But it is clear that the 37E has a slightly nicer housing and also a better case/bag.

It's about $12 more, so presumably they made some tweaks to the reeds, keybed, or both.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021003 12/26/19 08:28 PM
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Mark,
Here's a link to a comparison thread on Melodica world forum. These guys are fanatics and diy'ers that are on a par with the best of this forum!

Yamaha 37D vs 37E

The review didn't fully answer my questions, but in general what I got about the difference with the 37E:
- weighs slightly more, has a modified enclosure such that the guts of the 37D and E are the same but the enclosure is slightly different. One guy went so far as to swap out the guts of the 37D and place it in the 37E with good results

- has a more muted sound overall, which one reviewer appreciated, hopefully addresses some of the honkiness that melodicas are easily prone to. The swapped out guts didn't change the sound, but the enclosure did

- slightly? more air needed to play, esp higher range

- the 37E that the original reviewer bought was very out of tune

I'm disappointed that no one addressed the increased pressure needed to play towards the back of the keys. I've had several of the 37Ds, and the keybed on the first was better than the second, not as noisy and loose. The kind of playing like was done in the link you provided where your left hand is playing from above the keybed, is SO much harder because of the increased resistance towards the back of the keys. To me, even just playing one handed, this issue is very noticeable and slows down my playing, feels very cheap to me. I do appreciate the mini keys however, while playing with one hand I've got a really good reach

It's close to a consensus on Melodica world the last time I checked that the Pianica 37D is the best value / sounding for under $100 melodicas, having a good tone and being fairly in tune from the factory.

Am very curious what you didn't like about the Hammond melodicas you've had with the pickup- how is the action, and is the sound objectionable to you with both of them? Pickups conveying acoustic sound well, or better results with a mic? Perhaps after you've gotten the 37E you can post a review of the hammonds vs the Yamaha?

I would appreciate a mellower tone myself, might pick up a 37E if I read more favorable reports.

Last edited by Randelph; 12/26/19 08:56 PM.

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021028 12/26/19 10:54 PM
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Cool, thanks, that info is in-line with what I suspected. Not too surprising that changing the enclosure would alter the sound. I'm glad that it takes more air now, as I was a bit concerned about that aspect when I placed the order. I think the Hammond might have required more air at the back of the keys as well, come to think of it.

I liked the Hammond fine, except for the key click noise, and the weight was a bit much on a 44-key board if holding it for long periods of time (I never used a strap).

Mostly, I fooled myself into thinking I could easily pick up Chromatic Harmonica, but that proved to be a bridge too far, yet by the time that realization sank in, I had already sold the 44, and then sold the Hohner harp. I'm a strong believer in never buying the exact same thing twice.

The pickup bothered me on the Hammond, so I always played it naturally. But I'm more into melodica as a jazz and latin instrument than anything else.

It's possible that the Suzuki W37 wood model would appeal to me at a lower price, for a mellower flavour. I do look forward to hearing/seeing more audio/video demos over time.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 12/26/19 10:54 PM.

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021029 12/26/19 11:00 PM
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The addition of a foam layer, and the slightly graded approach to the keybed's support, seems pretty significant, now that I've read the breakdown and comparison at that forum.

As the primary parts remain unchanged, the writer suggests your 37D could serve as a parts backup for the 37E. I imagine this will become common practice.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 12/26/19 11:00 PM.

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021155 12/27/19 08:45 PM
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Sorry if this old news to some of you but it was new to me;

https://youtu.be/zua831utwMM?t=81


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021825 01/03/20 03:39 AM
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My Pianica P37E in Brown just arrived an hour ago, and I've been playing it non-stop ever since, going through Bossa Nova and Classical pieces.

Unlike the Hammond 44 that I owned until a few years ago, this model feels immediately like an expressive and organic musical instrument without one ounce of cheese or compromise, and I thus feel incredibly inspired on it! With the Hammond, it always felt like I was just doing the best I could to mimic sounds in my head. Those sounds come out of the Pianica as the default. :-)

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/03/20 03:41 AM.

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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021848 01/03/20 12:11 PM
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good to hear, Mark. I've been gassing for a melodica for several years now, I can see this one in my immediate future.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3021955 01/04/20 12:43 AM
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I thought I remembered Yamaha offering similar add-on mouthpieces to Suzuki, but now I can't find the info, so maybe I'm just remembering what I saw in the Suzuki user manual that I linked at the top.

If anyone knows where to find additional mouthpieces for the Yamaha, or if the Suzuki ones are compatible, let me know, as I'd like to get a trombone mouthpiece, and so would a trombonist friend.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3022485 01/08/20 03:17 AM
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I'm pretty sure I just got confused due to having found the detailed specs from Suzuki for all of their available mouthpieces, and that Yamaha only offers the two that the Pianica ships with.

Does anybody have both at hand, where they could measure the diameter of the connection (and maybe its depth) to see if the Yamaha add-on mouthpieces might couple properly with the Pianica and be usable?

This would probably have to be done with the newly current 37E that I bought, as the mouthpiece is new vs. the 37D and thus the diameter might not be quite the same, or maybe just the resistance.

If this can't be easily resolved, I may just figure out how to order the Suzuki Trombone Mouthpiece, and if it doesn't work, offer it for shipping-only costs to anyone who has a Suzuki or Hammond Melodica/Melodeon.


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Re: New wooden Melodica from Suzuki + V3 update to Pro-37 [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023473 01/13/20 10:33 PM
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This may have been mentioned last year, but Medeski has switched to the custom-built wood melodicas from MyLodica:

https://melodicas.com/wood-mylodica/

https://melodicas.com/product/soloist-wood-soprano-melodica-2/

I might be tempted by that $300 soprano model above, but need to listen to some audio demos first, and can't do that at work.


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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023484 01/14/20 12:21 AM
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Before he passed, B. Romel built me one of these. The guts was a hard bopper. Made it kind of dark, but still a fun build.
[Linked Image from linwoodbell.com]

Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023486 01/14/20 12:36 AM
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I just ordered a rosewood Suzuki in F# last night.

Curious how the rosewood will tame the harshness and shrill factor in the next-to-highest harp key (I already have a High G harp so wanted a different key for this one).

I enjoy playing the Melodeon more than harmonica, and feel like the Yamaha Pianica is a bit closer to an accordion sound than a mouth harp.

Nevertheless, I do hope to put some time into Harmonicas this year, and to finally master the basics, as I only know folk-style which allows multiple notes to sound.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/14/20 12:38 AM.

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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023488 01/14/20 12:46 AM
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It'll make it darker. I need to buy a couple Suzuki's. I haven't tried them.

Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023502 01/14/20 02:36 AM
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Yeah, that's what I'm hoping, which is why I chose the Rosewood for my highest-pitch model. I ordered a few yesterday with the 20% coupons, as I can always whittle down the collection later once I am more familiar with all the variations currently available, including different tunings. I may go for a Paddy Richter model also at some point, for Celtic music. I now have two with country tunings.

I collected the preferred Hohner models first, last year, after having previously dumped my Lee Oskar set in the late 90's and tried and failed on Chromatic Harmonica a few years back. One of the diatonic models I bought yesterday is Seydel's Orchestra S Session Steel model (I ordered Low C, which is an octave lower than a regular C model), as it uses the same hole positions as a Chromatic Harmonica and thus is a good way to start training towards Chromatic Harmonica after first getting sufficiently good at Diatonic Harmonica.

All of the ones I ordered last night are Suzuki or Seydel, including the Vox Continental I in A (I already have the Vox Continental II in D, and the Hammond in Eb).

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/14/20 09:01 AM.

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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023504 01/14/20 02:46 AM
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Harmonica is a struggle for me and I don't play it as much as I should or would like to. I have a couple within arms reach here where I sit and work, but just don't give it the time I wish I could. I can't really blow solos on it, but I can learn a melody with practice and try to deliver it in a way that might be acceptable. I only play it on my own sessions because it takes me too long to get something I like. I have to really work at it. I've got the harmonicas, native Am. flutes, and guitars laying around and don't really play any of them well, but even so...it's nice to use them on tracks and no one is around to watch me suck and play wrong s#!* for hours...they just hear the finished thing and think I can play. lol

Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023530 01/14/20 08:29 AM
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I'm not fond of how those MyLodicas in wood sound, to be honest, and Medeski's endorsement is from 2006 which is ancient history as it's before he switched to the extended range Hammond model.

If I was going to go for wood, I'd probably save up and splurge on the new wood model from Suzuki.

As for harmonicas, which are somewhat related, I went crazy during this 20% extended weekend sale from several vendors, and ordered a bunch of unusual ones to try out and see how they fit in.

My theory is that this steep a discount won't come around any time soon, and over half are on back order, so I'll be able to evaluate the early arrivals and cancel some of them after reassessing.

I ordered a couple in the two-down octave: a Hohner Thunderbird Low Low F, and a Seydel Low Tone Bold Body in Low Low F -- the demos for both sounded best in this key, so I'll compare and choose.

I've had some bad experiences in the late 90's and early 00's with harmonica players that overplayed and weren't very good, but in recent years, I have played with some dynamite harp players.

So I've been rethinking my stance on the instrument, and expect to add some harmonica parts to a fair number of my originals, where I have been blocked for some time on next steps.


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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023562 01/14/20 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Schmieder



I've had some bad experiences in the late 90's and early 00's with harmonica players that overplayed and weren't very good, but in recent years, I have played with some dynamite harp players.



With you there...when I used to go to a lot of shows during that period, two common "uh-oh" moments were when a band would come on stage and it was either a) rock band with harmonica player or b) rock band with violin player. 90% of the time they tried to fill every non-vocal space with their "embellishments". Oy vey.


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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023592 01/14/20 04:55 PM
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I've only been in one band with a harmonica player and I was young and playing Hammond only and the singer/harp guy was Southside Johnny. This is like in '71. He turned me on to all the great players and knew all the records to listen to. If you haven't seen it, check out Horn From The Heart...the Paul Butterfield doc.

Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023651 01/14/20 09:58 PM
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Mark Schmieder Offline OP
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I actually had a slip of the finger last night as I had intended to order the Hohner Thunderbird in Low G instead of the semi-redundant (due to my Seydel order) Low Low F (one whole step lower than the Low G, as octave naming for Harmonicas starts with the assumption that the basic range is G3 through F#4).

I don't mind though, as it'll allow me to better judge the Hohner Thunderbird design (fairly new) vs. the brand new Bold Body design from Seydel. I've also asked The Harmonica Company for advice on whether Low G would even be the best key for Irish music (my purpose in grabbing an ultra-low voicing, so as to not sit above the Violin), as I'm not certain that cross-harp technique is used in the lowest register due to the extra strength, air, and support required to get those notes and to also have them be focused (remembering the struggle I had with the Hammond Bass Melodeon).


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Re: New Melodicas: Suzuki W37 (wood!) + Pro-37v3 + Yamaha P37E [Re: Mark Schmieder] #3023907 01/16/20 04:07 AM
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Here's a good example of harmonicas emulating accordions; perhaps more convincingly than a Melodica!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maoM95Jpvx0

The same trio playing accordions while also pushing and pulling air through their harps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYhG5FnjRGA

And for solo chromatic playing, I'm quite impressed by this expensive model from Seydel (and especially the player):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuxD8V7Tsv4

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/16/20 04:17 AM.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, G5422DC-12, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager

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