Special 20 vs. Marine Band – size matters to me

I started the Beginner to Boss course with a Hohner Blues Band that I’d gotten for free through a promotional thing, and then a couple of months later I upgraded to the five-piece set of Special 20s. Not long thereafter, I bought a Marine Band in C just because I wanted to try it. I’ve pretty much alternated my daily sessions between the Special 20 and the Marine Band ever since.

I definitely like the sound of the Marine Band better. But I like the feel of the Special 20 A LOT better!

It’s not just that the plastic comb on the Special 20 doesn’t beat up my mouth like the wooden one on the Marine Band does, or that the corners of the Special 20 are less pointed. The biggest thing for me is that the Special 20 is a physically larger piece of equipment and easier for my big hands to deal with. It often seems like the Marine Band gets swallowed up in my hands like a bluegill going down the gullet of a largemouth bass. It shifts around in there, and thus becomes more difficult to play.

I’m wondering whether anyone else has experienced this type of deal and what some alternatives might be going forward. I could send an email to Hohner asking them to make the Marine Band bigger, but that probably won’t work. I’d actually take the harshness of the wooden comb in exchange for that incredible Marine Band sound, but I just can’t get around the size thing.

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The Hohner Golden Melody is a bit larger than the Hohner Special 20. The size difference is not big but it is bigger.

Also the Seydel 1847 models are a bit larger than the Hohner Marine Band harps.

– Slim

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I’ve never messed with a Marine Band, but I hear they are quite small. Can anyone tell me how they compare size-wise to the Blues Harp?

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I have never owned or held a Hohner Blues Harp, but according to the official Hohner home page the Marine Band Deluxe is 10 cm (or 3.9 inches) long while the Hohner MS Series Blues Harp is 10.5 cm (or 4.1 inches) long.

– Slim

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Much obliged for the info, folks. I might have to give a Blues Harp a try.

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Thanks, Slim. I guess I should have thought to look there. I love the Blues Harp even though it requires some mustache wax to keep me “safe” from it. I’m still trying to work up the courage to try a Marine. Band… If it it is smaller, AND grabs hair AND is nailed together, I think I’ll put it off a little longer.
Tom

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You are very welcome, @Java .

If you want to try a Marine Band then I strongly advise buying the Marine Band Deluxe because it has screws rather than nails!

– Slim

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Hey if size matters to you, you might actually like the Hohner Rocket. Of all the Hohner line, it feels the biggest to me. I’d like to know if @robertchartrand2104 agrees with me?

Here’s a recent post about I made about it, in case you missed it.

Rock on,
Luke

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I love the Rocket because it’s design and seal means that you don’t have to force it. Most importantly and accordingly, it is so much easier to bend notes. I also own a Suzuki Manji and several Lee Oscars but won’t go back. More accomplished players may not feel the need for a Rocket.

Hope this helps.

Robert
The Great White North

(Snowed two days ago) 😀

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Thanks much, gents. I just may have to give the Rocket a try.

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Micky Raphael (harmonica player for Willie Nelson) plays the Rocket Amp’s! So it’s not just for beginners, Robert. They’re fantastic harps.

Listen to @donyash tone here on his Rocket amp:

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