30 note boxes have a wider range of notes as well as more notes in the scale (in essence, it has the black keys as well as the white keys on a piano). I do hear about plastic gears breaking occasionally, so metal gears are generally thought to be better, but I don't have metal gears and I've been fine so far.
Many thanks for the input Erin.
Clearly I have seen the machine that plays the paper strip with holes, but I haven't seen a machine that makes the holes in the paper strip. Is it a labour of love and a very manual affair to create the strips?
It sure is. I have seen people online with machines that use lasers to punch out the holes in the paper, but obviously that would be a lot of work to create/obtain.
Okay - I have a machine now! 30 notes and metal gears -- sweet! I need some melodies now.
I personally had plastic gears (originally bought with the music box) - the problem was, that "regular" sturdy paper was getting busted after few uses. You don't want to spend hours creating the tape and then wrecking it in less than hundred times of playing the melody. So I've decided to get really thick paper. And that's when the plastic gear broke. So I got myself metal gears from Amazon (for like 10 bucks + shipping - overall pretty expensive in my opinion but that was the only place I found spare metal gears - if somebody knows any better place that ships to Europe, please give me a hand). I didn't have a problem since. Maybe only with the metal pole that you rotate with. Mine is getting cut because of the friction but the pole is so much easier to replace (and I don't think that the problem with the pole is connected to the fact that I use thick paper). So it truly depends on you and what your priorities are - if you are an occasional player who doesn't mind spending quite a bit of time on punching holes and then doing it again way sooner than with a thick sheet of paper (which tbh is even biger pain to punch holes into and you need to be even more precise than with "regular" one :D) then plastic gears should be ok for you :) Good luck!
It would be even more fun to have not just a 30-note music box, but also the 20-note and 15-note ones. The more the merrier! :)
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