Spec 20s/Marine Band

I just joined the forum. I’m taking JPs lessons (for a week and a half now) and I have a question.
I got a few new Special 20s when I started, and then I bought some older ones, on Ebay to have one at home, in
the car etc. I notice that most of them are “Special 20 Marine Band” but a few are just “Special 20”. I first got interested
in harmonicas because my Dad got several when he was stationed in Germany, many years ago. Now I’m trying to do a little something with them.
My question is: Is there a difference between the plain Special 20s and the Marine Band versions? And what might it be?
(I also have a “Boy Scout” harmonica that looks just like a Special 20). It’s in “C”.
Are all these harmonicas the same? I haven’t finished going through them all to clean them up, and fix them up (knock a few dents out and such), but, so far they all sound a little different to each other…
TIA! Bill Shamblin
btw. I am comparing Cs to Cs, Ds to Ds etc.

Well, I don’t know how old the Spec20s you got on Ebay are –

All the Spec20s I possess have the Hohner logo and “Made In Germany” stamped on them…

So again, IDK what you have there.

The Boy Scouts and similar lower end Hohners are usually made in China. So there are differences between them and Spec20s.

But you’ll find all that out if you decide to invest in those, which I and others don’t necessarily recommend.

In any event:


Keep On Harpin’!

The Hohner Special 20 has used the same reedplates as the Marine Band since the Spec 20’s introduction (hence the confusion), the Spec 20 is a Marine Band with a plastic comb (a perfect plastic comb by the way). Not knowing what year your dad’s harps are there is no way to tell if there is any difference, but if they where made before the introduction of the Spec 20 there may be, I don’t know for sure. For a beginner the Spec 20s offer a harmonica more suited to the slobbering first attempts to learn than the Marine Band, which has a great tendency to swell form moisture. Post a pic of one of your dad’s Marine Bands form the top and bottom angles and we’ll go from there.
Super Prez

Thanks for the responses! I don’t know the age of the Ebay SP20s, they are in soft plastic pouches and
labeled “Made in Germany”. Four have the SP20 and Marine Band markings. One only has the SP20 marking.
My Dads harmonicas are from the early '70s.
The “Scout” is, indeed, “Made in China”. I got it just because I tend to collect things. ;-} I also won’t mind
letting it bounce around in the glove box. I also have an American made 1947 Magnus “Lone Ranger”
harmonica. That one won’t leave its sealed box as it is in factory new condition. Told you I “collect”.:slight_smile:
I’ve just started cleaning them all up and making repairs/adjustments, so far my accordion tinkering
seems to have prepared me for the job pretty well.
Thanks again! Bill

That Lone Ranger sounds pretty cool, can you put up a picture of it?