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Melodica Technique / Hammond 44HP quirk?

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  • Melodica Technique / Hammond 44HP quirk?


    Anyone else get a Hammond 44HP? It's a great instrument and I love it. Nice tone and very portable. Very expressive. Did I mention it's VERY portable? The small keys are interesting.. they take a little getting used to, coming from full size keys, but it makes it easy to reach larger stretches and find some interesting intervals that I don't normally fall into.. It can be fun playing it through a delay, whammy, and Leslie.

    Unfortunately there seems to be a little bit of a quirk with mine and I was wondering if anyone else has experienced it with the original 44 or the 44HP. Sometimes it seizes up on me... it seems like it primarily does it in lower registers, and possibly more often in cold weather. At first I thought it was a single stuck reed, but when it happens, I cannot trigger any other new notes. Trying to inhale a little and create some back pressure does not seem to fix it... it seems that you can only wait a few seconds for it to fix itself. It always comes back and there doesn't seem to be any lasting permanent effect, but unfortunately those few seconds in the middle of a song can be quite annoying to say the least.

    Considering that the lower notes take more air to sound, and that it seems to happen a little more if playing multiple low keys, I'm wondering if I somehow manage to exceed the available air pressure and close some valve. It doesn't really make much sense... has anyone experienced this issue? Anyone taken theirs apart and looked inside?

    I believe the unit is still under warranty. Just curious if this is a common issue with melodicas, something known to happen under certain circumstances, etc.

  • #2

    Keeping those low notes playing has been a bit of a problem for me, but far worse was when a few months after I bought the instrument a 44H, a huge air leak developed. Luckily our Australian supplier negotiated with Suzuki to pay for repairs if I took it to an accordion repairer who had to re-glue a long rubber seal behind the reeds. I wonder now after reading about your problem if it is also a leakage, but when mine does it I feel I can control it by playing higher & coming down to the low notes again. They certainly don't respond well to blowing too hard. 

    I do love this instrument. I think it works best when I plug it into my little Vox amp & play it gently.