What’s up?
I registered here because i want to get some support while i am learning to sound like you guys. Now i want to buy new harmonica because my old one sounds really bad. From reading this forum i know that hohner special 20 is most recomended for noobs. But here are few harps who is almost the same but price is different and maybe some smart harmonica player could give me advice which one would be better for me.


Still problems with bending…but everyday better and better. Is marine band and special 20 the same?


They are basicly the same (IMO), the Marine Band has a wooden comb while the SP 20 has a plastic comb. The reed plates on my Marine Band protrude enough to be irritating to me.
I prefer the SP 20 myself, its good to go right out of the box. I have read here other brands need to be tweeked a little before they sound right. If you want to spend $30 on a new harp and have to work on it when you first get it, more power to ya.
Bending isn’t an overnight trick, once you learn to do it you hve to learn to do it on different holes and then you have to learn how to control them while playing.
Good luck with your learning! Stick with the SP20 at least while learning, you"ve got enough headaches ahead without tackling tweeking a new harp as a newbe!

Howdy Help! <<<funny! hehehehe!>>>

The Marine Band 1896 and the Marine Band Special 20 are not the same…

One is a wooden comb with nail brads holding it together…

The other (Spec20) is plastic comb with easy to remove screws holding it together…

The tones are different; maintenance is harder on one than the other…

So for virtually the exact same price, go for the one most peeps recommend as OOB harps. And that = Special 20 in C!


Keep us posted!

Have fun!


Keep on Harpin’!

Special 20’s without a doubt!


The marine band is a legendary harmonica, but the SP20 will be way better for you. The protruding reed plates really bother me on my Blues Harp, and I’m sure the marine band would be similar. Also the wood is harder to get a good seal on than the plastic. SP20 for sure.

If you are just looking to be different, the Bushman Delta frost is built similar to the SP20, but IMHO the sp20 plays better.

true about bending and thx for helping me out guys…Gues i will buy theese http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300493098859&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT , but one question before buying, theese harps are available > in a Special Country tuning with a major 7th in cross harp position. < I can not image how they would sound with country tuning. Is this option makes it easier to play good old songs like iron man by black sabath or it is only for folk songs??? And maybe it is worth to pay extra!

I bought hohner hot metal harps two months ago to be different :D:D now i hate them…almost everyday i need to open them up because of shitty sound…

Country Tuning or Major 7th Tuning is basically changing the 5D F to F#…

One can actually do this themselves; and it allows one to bend the usually unbendable 5D from the F# to a G…

For straight harp tunes makes the 5D F# sound funky.

The 5D F#/G therefore is used more in Country music to add flavor.

You’ll probably find yourself in better shape by getting the Spec20 C already tuned straight up with its compromised tunings and learning from there.

Good luck!

Keep on Harpin’!

Howdy Helpis, and welcome to the forum.
Listen to the guys here on the forum. They know what they are talking about.
I bought a Marine Band the other day, even though I wanted a Spec 20 (the guys told me to get Spec 20’s).
I got it because I got a GREAT deal, and I wanted ONE harp with a wooden comb. That’s just my quirk. I like wood, and I wanted to see how the wood acts over time (I know wood will shrink and swell with the weather and breath). I knew the drawbacks when I bought it.
Admittedly, this harp plays like a champ, but remember the remark about the way the covers are held on? That’s very true.
All this said, maybe I’ll buy more wood comb harps in the future, but for my early learning period, I plan on sticking to Spec 20’s. JP’s site seems to offer about as good a price and shipping as you will find anywhere else.