Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Melophone -- a (baby) grand pretender!

If it's true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then unlicensed knockoffs of the Stylophone are evidence of its popularity and success. A few months ago, I found this colorful, vintage styloclone on eBay.

Rather that dutifully copy the official Stylophone design, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the "Melophone" made some rather clever tweaks. I find the baby grand piano shape of the cabinet both cute and kind of hilarious.  It makes me imagine a full-sized piano with metal keys and a stylus the size of a pool cue!

This model also features a rather prominently mounted combination on/off/volume rotary switch. I find it easier to use than comparable rotary switches on some of the official Stylophones of the same era, but it kind of disrupts the piano motif.

And the sound?  Well, not so good.  The basic tone is fine, but there's no vibrato switch, and a few of the keys are rather out-of-tune.  That could just be due to age, though.

Now I just need to find a tiny candelabra.