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Product 420592

Hohner 1896/20 Marine Band Harmonica

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The one, the only, the original -- the harp that was there when harmonica blues was born. Made famous when played by every serious harmonica player ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The diatonic harp of choice for generations!

The one, the only, the original -- the harp that was there when harmonica blues was born. Made famous when played by every serious harmonica player from Little Walter to John Lennon, Paul Butterfield to Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and many, many more. The result of over 100 years of tradition and German craftsmanship, it is still the number one choice of top professionals and the most recognizable model all over the world, known for its full tone and wood comb. Play the Marine Band and be a part of history. Available in 12 major keys, lower and higher octave and minor tunings.

FEATURES
  • 10-hole diatonic
  • Pearwood comb
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 38 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I'm sold

I finally learned to play harp this year. I take it seriously and have been looking for my ideal harp. Like many beginners, i bought a blues harp because of the name. I...Read complete review

I finally learned to play harp this year. I take it seriously and have been looking for my ideal harp. Like many beginners, i bought a blues harp because of the name. I already had one in D from years ago on another attempt to learn. I bought one in c and loved it. The one in D has issues. It is much less consistent in many ways. Like many beginners, i read a few reviews and decided not to risk it on a marine band. I bought suzukis in two different models. They are great.After 5 months of SERIOUS playing and being in a real blues band, I decided i was ready to tackle the marine band if all the harsh reviews were right. What was i waiting for is all I can say! This harp sounds like no other..period. Now, I can make any of my harps do most anything i want, but this one overblows on holes 5 and 6 right out of the box! It has the tone i was seeking. There is a grit I haven't been able to copy in a couple of covers we do. The marine band has it! Yes, I had to tweak hole 3 draw to bend the way I want it to. It was adjusted a little too big in the gap. A tweak with a toothpick with the covers still on is all it took. The same type of tweeak on hole 5 and 6 blow and now the overblows are on command, but they were already there out of the box! I played it for a week allowing the comb to swell and nevwer felt any discomfort. Finally, I just trimmed it with an exacto knife to remove any possibility of it later. I know..this may seem like a load of adjustments, but I put new strings on my new guitars, too and set the actions the way i like them. My music is important to me and my band's fans. I want it to be right for my part. Having my instruments fit and play right for me is my responsibility. I replaced the mouthpiece on my trumpet with one the proper size for my fat lips too. No big deal.Get a set of these and play them. if they need a nudge here or there, do it and play.I am going to have a whole set of these when the economy permits..I have enough harps to gig with right now. You can bet the next bucks i get for my share of a gig will buy a partial set toward that end. Someday, i will buy more suzuki promasters too, but marine bands will be first!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Very Disappointing!

I just received my new Marine Band and it appears to be the same good ol'harp of years gone by. But when I played this thing it was so out of tune it sounded...Read complete review

I just received my new Marine Band and it appears to be the same good ol'harp of years gone by. But when I played this thing it was so out of tune it sounded horrible. I can't believe Hohner would actually sell this. I've heard little kids toys in better tune.This will immediately be sent back. Guess I'll try Lee Oskar.

Reviewed by 38 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Best harp I've ever played

By Jim-FXUIF

from Rowley, MA

See all my reviews

I've played Blues Harps, Big Rivers, Marine Bands, 1 Sp 20, and 1 Lee Oskar, which I bought to replace a broken MB (from falling on top of it, not from playing it). I fixed that MB recently and the LO is now a spare. The warm tone of these harps is unbeatable! The comb does swell up some after long periods of playing (if you use a lot of tongue blocking), but I've never found it to be a problem. Then again, I might just have callused lips from 9 yrs of trumpet.My only complaint is that they're held together with nails instead of screws so it's difficult to take them apart to clean/adjust/retune reeds. Carefully removing and replacing the cover plates in order to repair some reeds on one didn't seem to hurt the air-tightness, but I doubt it could be reassembled as is without major air leakage if the reed plates were removed from the comb. You can find instructions online for converting a MB to use screws if you?re willing to put in some extra work for an easily maintainable harp

 
5.0

The voice of The Blues

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

The Hohner 1896 Marine Band Harmonica is simply the BEST Harp for The Blues. Its deep, warm tone only gets better as the harp ages. I have one in "A" that is 8 years old and it is still going. I own 8 Marine bands and love them all. Along with the both the Hohner Blues Harp and The Big River my Marine Bands get much use and they keep on wailin'. Excellent, excellent Harps.

 
5.0

bluesblaster

By northern-string-bender

from maine

See all my reviews

I have been playing harp for over 20 yrs. and have tried them all. There are some brands that play a bit better in some keys but they are often inconsistant in quality. I have found that overall in consistant quality the marine band leads the pack hands down. Only drawback is the swelling of the comb if played long or wet.. This can easily be corrected by shaving the swelled portion off with a sharp razor blade, ( cut away from your holding hand and body )It won't be a problem after that. I have found there quality improved in the last 20 years. I have no problems bending and find them best for octave and high end playing to be very responsive and clear. Amplified ( though a mic ) I find them tops as well. It's hard to beat the true grit sound of a marine band..

 
4.0

It's a classic

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

The Marine Band has a classic sound. It is great for a beginer. It's pretty smooth-sounding. But there are some downsides. It is really hars on your lips. Once while jamming It cut my lips so bad I could hardly play.And the reed plates aren't super durable but it's a good harp.

 
5.0

my favorite harp!

By zephyrazure

from Chehalis, WA

I love the 1896 Marine Band Harmonica! The wooden comb gifts you with a sound that cannot be duplicated anywhere. I disagree that this harp isn't for beginners. If fact, I find the Marine Band easier to play than some of my plastic combed harmonicas. The is definitely my favorite harp!

 
4.0

tone for the ages

By Harpenstein

from La Mesa, ca

The MB is the grand daddy of all the harps. With some tweaking ie a little time, machine screws, nuts and fixing the usually off factory tuning it can be a real gem. I usually tear mine down and rework them,as purchased stock you just don't know what you're gonna get. If you're interested in customizing e-mail me,maybe I can help you out.

 
5.0

great harmonica

By Brodie-eTxhr

from akron ohio

See all my reviews

This is my second harmonica. My first being a cheap one made in china. I can see why the pros use these because they sound amazing. I got mine in G and love it. The wood is really smooth and i cant understand why people would say it isn't good quality. It's loud too.

 
2.0

Horrible!

By Blues949

from dallas, Texas

I bought this because I have heard that it is a wondeful harmonica. Then when I take it home the whole harmonica is bent so when I move the harmonica on my lips it cuts me because the wood separaters are sticking out. I'm very unsatisfied.

 
4.0

Pros and Cons

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

There's no doubt, the Hohner Marine Band is one of the greats. I even kinda like the way the wood swells and sticks out... it helped me get single notes when I first started. However (and I think I'm alone on this one), I go through em like toiletpaper. It seems like I can't get the 2nd draw reed to survive one week.

 
5.0

Great Investment

By andrewgobel

from York, Pennsylvania

The Hohner Marine Band Harmonica was my first harp. It's got a superb sound, and with a little practice, an easy bend. The engravings are equisite, and the wood comb makes this harp look really rich. The ONLY drawback (literally) to the whole harp is that after a few hours of playing, the wooden comb will swell slightly due to moisture and bow outward. I read that this does not impact the sound in any way, but it is slightly visually displeasing and can do a number on the lips. That said, I plan to purchase a plastic comb harp to practice on, and will stow my Marine Band away for special occasions.

 
5.0

nice harp

By TENichols

from Philadelphia. PA

See all my reviews

great tone. i have an A and its incredible. its my favorite harp out of the 5 i own. its also very small which makes hand techniques really really easy. definitly a great harp overall, highly recomended.

 
5.0

From Experience

By Hook Williams

from Linden, CA

See all my reviews

As an experienced harpist there are things you should know about this before buying it. If you are into the blues or are a serious musician this is the perfect harmonica. The pros play this because of its tone. For a beginner, although being a mediocre beginning harp, the wood does warp and it will hurt your lips(so you may wanna wait until you play dry enough) and also it is a little tougher to bend on than plastic combs because of the wood suction problem.However when you start to play on and amp and record this harmonica becomes the perfect extension of your soul. It has a very versitile warm tone heard on recordings by little walter, big walter, sonny boy williamson I and II, sonny terry, and many more.

 
5.0

Nice Loud Harp

By HarpPlayer20

from Venezuela

See all my reviews

I own a marine band and a blues harp ms, In comparison they're very similar, wood comb, bright sounding, and nice sound projection, but, I found the marine band better build than blues harp.They both have wood comb, but if you look closely, they're different types of wood, The MB wood's grain is a lot more tight, and the comb is sealed in the inside too (inside de holes, through the long of the reeds), while the blues harp ms wood has a very open grain type, and is not sealed inside the holes, I'm sure the blues harp ms is a lot more likely to swell than MB's, the comb quality in the MB is higher.I cannot compare sound, because they're on very different keys, the Blues Harp is on a very high pitched E, and the MB is on a low pitched A, so... is hard to tell wich one sound better, im sure they sound very similar.I would get Marine Band over Blues Harp, even tough the Blues harp has replacement parts, im sure the comb wont last as long as a MB one, so they're not worthy of repair.

 
5.0

Best sounding harp ever!

By steelandbanjo

from Whitney, TX

See all my reviews

I have 6 different models of Hohners including Special 20 & Golden Melody, plus a Bushman Delta Frost. The Marine Band blows them all away in terms of sound & responsiveness. When I go for a note it is there instantly & the sound is amazing. Not one bad note on any hole, & even my Bushman has some bad notes especially in the high register. The wood gives it a way better tone than plastic combs. THe ONLY drawback of this harp is it's REALLY hard to bend. Otherwise its perfect. If I could find a harp that sounded & played like a Marine Band but was easier to bend I'd pay 40 or 50 bucks for it!

 
3.0

Very Disappointing!

By Rich-Bpa1T

from Boise, ID

I just received my new Marine Band and it appears to be the same good ol'harp of years gone by. But when I played this thing it was so out of tune it sounded horrible. I can't believe Hohner would actually sell this. I've heard little kids toys in better tune.This will immediately be sent back. Guess I'll try Lee Oskar.

 
4.0

Nice sound but feels rough

By Doc Twister

from UK

See all my reviews

It feels very rough on the lips as you play and is not the most airtight of harps you can get but the sounds that you can achieve are worth it.I certainly wouldn't recommend this for a beginner as the taste and feel of the mouth piece would probably put you off but once you can play, its a shoe-in for the collection.The prototype for all harmonicas past, present and future and for just that reason it should be owned by all players.

 
5.0

Best Sounding Stock Harp

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I started out using the Special 20 without trying a bunch of others. I got used to the feel and sound, and then by chance found a bunch of 1896 Marine Bands on sale. They were priced as such because they were some of the more obscure keys. The sound you get from the Marine Band is WAY brighter and clearer than the Special 20 (IMO) and I plan to replace my 20s with the Marine Band.

 
5.0

Break In

By jet-_jR9Y

from Tucson

I've played dozens of models since the mid 70's and the Marine Bands are my favorites. In my opinion you have to patiently break' em in if you want them to last years and stay in tune. When you first buy one don't bend or overblow- just play cowboy for awhile. Make sure it's reasonably in tune right away and return it if it's not. If it is in tune be patient. The importance of wood combs diminishes when you use mics, amps, effects. For my money nothin' blows as sweet as a marine band.

 
4.0

A tad Overrated

By poppa reed

from zebulon, NC

See all my reviews

Its a fine harmonica, sounds okay. I have one in the key of F. But I dunno, when I'm going through my green bullet it just doesn't have the "hmph" that i need. I really don't like talking down about a classic. I wasn't around in 1896, so maybe there not making them the same anymore, but for me, pro harps and special 20s do it. But for a green bullet I think the pro harp is an unbelievably warm powerful sounding harmonica that provokes the dirty electric sound very nicely.

 
5.0

Much better than I expected

By DareToBeADaniel

from Baltimore, MD

See all my reviews

I just bought this harp yesterday and after hearing so many bad reviews about it I was really amazed at the sound quality of this instrument. I play a Lee Oskar and I like the sound on this better. This harp is much smaller than I had expected, which is good because its easier to hold and make hand effects. Yes the wood comb swelles forward but it has not been a problem for me yet and the tast of wood is not that bad. the reed plates extend over the comb a little but not much and if your careful you wont hurt yourself on them. however, I really dont think a wood comb sounds better than plastec. I think this harps great sound comes from the reeds being so close to the holes. The only down side so far is that the parts are not replaceable.

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