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Melodica problems?


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Merry Christmas to all my fellow KB'ers! :laugh:


My parents bought me a melodica for Christmas. It's just a cheap Hohner Student 32 - my dad said he ordered it online from Guitar Center. It's a blast to play!


There are a couple of "issues" with it though. First is that it's somewhat out of tune, particularly the bottom F. It might be just the way I'm playing, but I'm not sure.


The second thing is that the keybed is very uneven. It doesn't really affect it's playability, but it's a bit odd to see how offset the keys are from each other.


Are these normal things to expect from a cheap student model, or is there something more seriously wrong with this thing?

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I have a Supra 32-key model - Supra is sort of a distributor of generic, inexpensive instruments and music equipment around my parts, and I have to say, I'm always quite satisfied with their products - I swear by their keyboard and mic stands, much less expensive, and sturdier, than the horrifically more expensive QuikLok alternatives that I have, that are definitely out to kill me.


Anyhow - my model cost under $50 - it's definitely for enthusiasts, really, and not professional use. The keybed feels much different than any keybed I'm used to - it's light and a bit bouncy, but it's even, and also, it sounds pretty in tune. Depending on your flow of air into the music and the mouthpiece you use, you may find that the pitch you get out of it is slightly off.


Producing a lower frequency requires a lot more air, so I'm not particularly surprised that it sounds out of tune - the reeds are probably cheap as well, so even with improved playing, it may still sound a bit out of tune (as my low notes do).


My advice to you - have a blast playing it, you'll get used to these differences. When I play it, I usually stick to high/mid-range notes, and I try not to play too many chords, sticking to single-note runs.


I think you have a fine melodica that will serve you well! :)

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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I have a student 32 too. It's possible that there's some dirt/dried spit in the problematic reed. Very gently blow into the mouthpiece with the offending key depressed and gradually increase the pressure. This often brings keys back into tune.


As for keyboard unevenness, I don't have this problem. Perhaps quality control has gone right down the tubes recently? (mine is about three years old and is a good instrument).

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If it looks more uneven than this, then I'd return it:






It could be that Hohner are cutting corners these days, but it sounds like you've been palmed off with a dud...

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bourniplus, it's just a sheet of aluminium. It partially covers the holes where the sound comes out so it acts like a mute. Not that much quieter, but a little more mellow in tone.


I don't use it that much these days as I mainly play a little soprano Suzuki, which I prefer (better tone and I like the slightly higher range).

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  • 3 weeks later...
Based on your pics, you got a dud, SMcD, I've never seen a melodica keybed that uneven, particularly on a new unit. I'd send it back for replacement.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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