special 20 and a manji

i just started playing harp
i bought a special 20 and a manji ,C to learn harping

well i like the blues sound .

i find the special 20 easier to play very responsive .seems so easy to play and sounds blue to me
i think i like my wifes special 20 and would buy more special 20 sin other keys

the manji is harder to play at first as it seem to need being used for bit before the reeds started working nicely. it was like a pressure biuld up blowing in it ,but now its much nicer …
not sure of that clear sound that it makes …but it sounds great anyways



so ,now i am not very good and i just started playing harp,

but i would say that the Manji ,is not as good as the special 20 hohner …

the reason why.

The hohner , is smooth sliding with the nice plastic holes .

but the manji has metal plates that stick out beyond the holes causing the lips to hurt …

the hohner is so smooth .

the manji is my waste of money .the reeds are tight
ill never buy another harp that is built like this .unless its fixed nicely first.


it hurt

as you grow technically and musically - you will change your mind.

Good luck.

p.s. I started with sp20’s too and even thought them to be the best diatonic model. Now I can’t play them anymore.

Hi Jim

thanks for the uplift ,

but thats enough to put a beginner to quite.

well its the sharp nicks that are on that small thin plate .
its as if they piled the parts in frount of them banging the plates to gether ,
making small nicks on some egdes .
quality control
and i whated something i need not fix .
now then I have some 2000 grit sandpaper to smooth the nicks and sharper edges …?


if you want something that does not need to be fixed - forget about harmonicas. They all need fixing and tweaking.

For example, I spend 8 hours tweaking an instrument before I can play it.

hi Jim

I hear you.

Your harmonicas ,very nice perfectly done sounds great too me …

good going …

i build stuff soon too,I’ll . be tweaking a harp amp I am making …

i sure enjoy hearing the harp and playing…

tom .

that MANJI

well its been 3 hours of smoothing the mouth plates .

well . it much louder and its comfy on the lips .

and easier to play .


But do you like it? Was it worth the trouble? Would you buy another? Do you think it sounds better?

As I follow this thread I have been stymied. As one grows technically and musically their ability to play an OTB harp diminishes, or the desire diminishes? Sheesh

I just can’t play the way I do. If I take an OOTB, my sound and playing will instantly suck.

hi well .
sound that comes out of the manji now sounds like the ad for it …

I thought it was an out of the box harp.

but maybe i just had one of those harps.

its the bugger sharp edges that i should have smooth out befor playing …

well manji sounds like a winner .now

and yes it does sound sweet to my ears.compared to the special 20 … after sanding it smoother ,
as you both have said …in time when i grow with harping it will become obvious.

but for now i need to let my lips heal …
and just play afew minutes at a time …
still harping ,


I think its every man down their own road with their own harmonica!

Whatever works! I’ve heard amazing songs played with a $2 junk harp, and some not so good ones with a Manji!

All in the music and the musician, somewhat less in the instrument!

Peace Out!