Hole size and spacing

After months of playing only Session Steels, I picked up my Special 20 and Suzuki Promaster recently. I found the Special 20 much more comfortable than I remember and the Promaster much worse. Then my DaBell Nobel arrived and I wanted to love it, but I found it nearly as hard to play cleanly as the Promaster. Then it dawned on me that the Promaster has really small, closely spaced holes. The DaBell too. But the Special 20 holes seem huge by comparison.

Has anyone else found hooks size makes such a large difference?

What size holes/spacing do different harmonica have?


Hello @bpcleary,
First of all, I warmly welcome you here in our forum. I can answer your question with “yes”. I play different Hohner, a Seydel Lightning and a Fender. The Hohner and Seydel have the same hole spacing and size, the fenders have a slightly wider hole size. At first I didn’t notice it with the single notes and slides. Since I am completing the “Beginner to Boss Course”, I have just arrived at tongue blocking and this is where I notice it. It is more difficult with the fenders, which works well with the others. Surely the difference will go away with more practice, as well as other initial problems. Many greetings from Astrid


Welcome to the forum! I’m not sure about the spacing of various harmonicas. But I also find Special 20’s fantastic, and Promasters not so much.

I’m not a big fan of any of the Seydel harps that I’ve played either. I think I’m just more of a brass reed guy.

Thanks for sharing. I’ll be interested to hear @slim’s response to your post here…

Rock on,


Hi @bpcleary,

Hole size and spacing are two (what I call) personal factors with some people seeming to be able to play pretty much any harp regardless of those two and others more comfortable with, say, larger holes or closer spacing.

I am sure you will eventually find yourself in one or the other of these “factions” of players.

For some harp models it is possible to buy custom combs that are made for that model’s reed plates and these combs can give you somewhat different hole sizes and/or spacings.

– Slim