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Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica  D

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Whether you're playing down-home melodies on your back porch or fronting a blues band, the 590 Big River harmonica gets the job done. This reliable w...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A raging-loud, comfortable staple harmonica for beginners and a sure performer for seasoned veterans.

Whether you're playing down-home melodies on your back porch or fronting a blues band, the 590 Big River harmonica gets the job done. This reliable workhorse offers Hohner's highest standard of German quality. Featuring a 10-hole, airtight, plastic body for increased volume, an open-ended cover for sound projection, and contoured covers that are comfortable to hold, the Hohner 590 Big River harmonica really delivers the sound you seek.

The Hohner 590 Big River harmonica is an attractive and robust harp model that's a fine musical instrument for beginners, with solid volume and easy playability. The 590 Big River is also the choice of seasoned veterans and professionals, who recognize the harmonicas strong, dependable performance and German quality at an affordable price. The Hohner Big River can be called one of the best-valued harmonicas on the market. It has the quality and durability of Hohner's Special 20 and Marine Band harmonicas, yet it's more affordable, plus it has the advantage of replaceable reed plates, which is a money-saving alternative to throwing away out-of-tune harmonicas.

Choose your desired key!

About MS-Series harmonicas:
The acronym 'MS' stands for Modular System, an integrated concept of Hohner's harmonica designs. MS-series harmonicas benefit from innovations that improve their playing characteristics and also significantly facilitate maintenance and handling. All MS-series parts (combs, reed plates, and covers) can be combined individually. Simple screw connections allow for easy assembly. This benefit offers players the possibility to adjust the instruments to their individual requirements. For example, some players prefer the body of one model and the cover plates of another, and so a "custom hybrid" is possible for the discerning player. Easy-to-install replacement reeds are available (see item: RP565 MS Replacement Reed Plates).

About Hohner:
Hohner is a family company founded in 1857 in Trossingen, Germany by Matthias Hohner. Hand-made quality and close attention to detail has set Hohner apart from the beginning. A top leading brand in harmonicas, Hohner harps are distributed worldwide. Hohner harmonicas are played on the street by buskers, in intimate nightclubs, on festival stages, and even in Carnegie Hall. Despite a diverse harmonica line used in music from country to classical genres, the most famous Hohner harmonicas are their simple, 10-hole diatonics used frequently by blues, rock, country, and folk musicians.

FEATURES
  • 10-hole diatonic
  • Standard (Richter) tuning
  • Reeds: 20
  • Reedplates: brass; 0.9 mm
  • Plastic comb
  • Length: 10 cm
  • Hohner harmonicas feature:
  • Improved reed profiles to increase reed life by over 200%
  • Precision die punches to ensure reed plates with unparalleled air tightness
  • Improved tuning accuracy (through investment in innovative new tools)
  • Extremely stable stainless steel covers that won't tarnish and are easy to clean
  • Dynamic range and highest volume of most any commercially made harmonica
  • Super-fast response at all volume levels
  • Easily adjustability for overblows

Ol' Man River is just waitin' for you to blow some sullen Southern sound through the Big River Harp.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Hohner590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica
 
4.3

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to play (19)
  • Consistent (17)
  • Quality craftsmanship (16)
  • Good audio (14)
  • Warm tone (11)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment (12)
  • Small venues (7)
  • Soundtracks (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (11), Professional musician (9), Novice (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Value

Hohner has a winner with their Big River harp. They offer many different models of harmonicas, and the Big River is German made with a modest price tag compared to most of their...Read complete review

Hohner has a winner with their Big River harp. They offer many different models of harmonicas, and the Big River is German made with a modest price tag compared to most of their others. It has a plastic comb and is put together with screws for ease of maintenance. The covers and comb have support pillars, which is a nice feature if you've ever accidently crushed a harmonica. The design is of the new Modular System, which allows you to swap out reed plates if desired. Frankly, at the current price, I would just buy a new one if needed. A hard plastic protective case is provided, with a good design for air circulation. The right end of the harp is painted with the letter of the key, and the back of the comb is painted with the name Hohner. These two features give a quick reference as to orientation when you pick it up to play at a gig. Just don't clean the letters with alcohol, as they do come off (I found out the hard way). The notes on mine are tuned as accurately as most Hohners, and the tonal quality is quite good. This model is one of the best bargains in the diatonic harmonica world. Highly recommended!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sounds good, feels solid but does not last long

The sound is full and in tune, the construction feels solid; after all it is made in Germany. However, this is the 3rd or 4th harmonica in this line that only lasted a...Read complete review

The sound is full and in tune, the construction feels solid; after all it is made in Germany. However, this is the 3rd or 4th harmonica in this line that only lasted a few months. As I mentioned, I am NOT a hardcore heavy user, so I expected a lot longer life out of these instruments. I hope to find another option that will last longer. I wish someone would offer a solid intermediate harmonica that wouldn't break the bank--somewhere in between the current offerings of crap and high-end.
I am a full-time live singer-guitarist who only plays harmonica on a handful of songs during my gigs. The Big River series seemed at first like a real step up from the cheap harmonicas I had been using (Jambone, etc.) but it has been a disappointment.

Reviewed by 33 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

New harp player

By Ron-1lCim

from Lynn, MA

See all my reviews

Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

Over the last few years I have purchased about 12 of these in various keys. Easy to handle, I like the sound and as an introductory harp it seems professional to me. I can hit the Highs and lows and through my Champ 600, the sound blends perfectly with the blaring guitars. I don't know if the more expensive harps sound much different but for the price I paid I happy with my Big River harps and I will eventually own the complete set.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Value

By Jimmy J

from Way up North

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Great Value

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Accompaniment
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

    Hohner has a winner with their Big River harp. They offer many different models of harmonicas, and the Big River is German made with a modest price tag compared to most of their others. It has a plastic comb and is put together with screws for ease of maintenance. The covers and comb have support pillars, which is a nice feature if you've ever accidently crushed a harmonica. The design is of the new Modular System, which allows you to swap out reed plates if desired. Frankly, at the current price, I would just buy a new one if needed. A hard plastic protective case is provided, with a good design for air circulation. The right end of the harp is painted with the letter of the key, and the back of the comb is painted with the name Hohner. These two features give a quick reference as to orientation when you pick it up to play at a gig. Just don't clean the letters with alcohol, as they do come off (I found out the hard way). The notes on mine are tuned as accurately as most Hohners, and the tonal quality is quite good. This model is one of the best bargains in the diatonic harmonica world. Highly recommended!

    (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent Harp

    By A Spencer

    from Connecticut

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

    It had taken me a while to sift through the remarkable variety of harmonicas that my friend had been playing (25+ years) before having to move from the Pocket Pal (my Girlfriend 'acquired' from me) to something more suitable for my own abilities. The Hohner Big River Harp appeared to have all of the features that a person can purchase with pocket cash. I understand that technology has progressed instruments to areas that I did not consider; for example, wood vs. resin. However, this harmonica has opened a bit more than anticipated and I admit that Hohner (as well as the others) know what a variety of sound that can be produced and what the musicians want; enough of a variety in order to develop ones own individual sound and style.
    The recessed comb seat promotes very good sound. It allows for slightly more mating surface area between the comb and the reed-plate (lateral stability). Not a 'pretty harp', but the sound will get your attention and playability is as good as any other harp to include more expensive models. I prefer the resin comb. Yes, the wood looks nicer and has its own resonance, but the resin comb definitely has its place and is here to stay. I wonder what other composite materials would be useful for this application (poly-carbon, Grivory, Teflon, stone)?
    The Engineers/Musicians appear to have done quite a bit of homework for this product. Everything appears to have a tight fit. The combination of a recessed reed-plate and the bead on the plate by the mouthpiece end that mates with the cover-plate are just plain smart. The resin comb appears to put more of the sound on the reeds instead of resonating through the wood. Yes, this makes a different sound, but also makes a remarkably stable instrument.
    This instrument is an excellent value; perhaps, the best value for a harmonica that can easily be used by beginners or professionally.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Good harp, not the best

    By Tubatoothpaste

    from Central Illinois

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

    I've had several of these. If you cast about the web, you'll find that most sites recommend that you upgrade, especially if you're going to bend a lot of notes. I'll recommend it for beginners. I'll also recommend it for a decent practice harp to keep in the car. Also for the weird keys like Ab that you hardly every use. Once you're at the intermediate level, consider Special 20 or Golden Melody.

    (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    590 Big River harp

    By Jimi 69

    from Tampa,Fl.

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

    These are good harps.I have them in keys of G-C-D & D low,this covers most of the music I play For me.they are best for practice as they sound as close to the Marine Bands as you can get.I do use Marine Bands when playing out or @ our jam sessions.Have played these for 2yrs. now & only blew out 1 in G,so I would recomend them highly.However you just can't beat the sound & durability of the Marine Bands [I still have 3 in their old paper box that play well after 30yrs],that's the only harp that I'll use when you want to be at your best.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best Value

    By flin1

    from kansas

    About Me Novice

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent
    • Easy To Play
    • Quality Craftsmanship
    • Rich Sound
    • Warm Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

        I've been playing harmonica now for around 8 months and can bend and play single notes pretty well. I even played the harp lead for "What I Like About You" with my band recently, on my Big River (D) and they were pretty impressed. Anyway, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents to say that I think this harp is way underrated. My other 3 harps, C, G and A, are all Special 20s and they're good too but my Big River can totally hang with them and it's cheaper. That makes it an excellent value. I'd say it's the go to harp for beginners 'cause you can take it on stage someday and not have to shell out for a better one when you're ready.

        (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Sounds good, feels solid but does not last long

        By Soulful Beach Groove

        from Culver City, CA

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

        The sound is full and in tune, the construction feels solid; after all it is made in Germany. However, this is the 3rd or 4th harmonica in this line that only lasted a few months. As I mentioned, I am NOT a hardcore heavy user, so I expected a lot longer life out of these instruments. I hope to find another option that will last longer. I wish someone would offer a solid intermediate harmonica that wouldn't break the bank--somewhere in between the current offerings of crap and high-end.
        I am a full-time live singer-guitarist who only plays harmonica on a handful of songs during my gigs. The Big River series seemed at first like a real step up from the cheap harmonicas I had been using (Jambone, etc.) but it has been a disappointment.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Excellent everyday substitute for Marine Band

        By Webster

        from Corvallis, Oregon

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Easy To Play
        • Quality Craftsmanship
        • Rich Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

            I play in a club band. I would recommend the Big River over the Marine Band for everyday use. It has a reed plate comparable to the Marine Band, and the difference in the sound is miniscule. The Big River has a plastic comb between the reeds, instead of wood blocks. Wood block combs are a problem if you wet down the reeds before you play, like I do, because they can swell up and cut into your lips. I use the Marine Band for recording, but the Big River is better for everyday use and gigs, and it's quite a bit cheaper.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Blow, Gabriel, Blow

            By JSR Studios

            from Bethlehem, PA

            About Me Novice

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Play
            • Quality Craftsmanship
            • Rich Sound
            • Warm Tone

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment

              Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

              Great blow for the buck. Costs a little less than the Lee Oskar, but I think it has a better feel and better tone. I only wish that instead of getting a multi-page advertisement and an insert on tuning alternatives, that there would just be some "harmonica basics" for a beginner like myself, maybe even a song or two tabbed, and a scale of the actual harmonica purchased

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Best bang for the buck

              By TShip

              from Jacksonville, FL

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Easy To Play
              • Quality Craftsmanship
              • Rich Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Accompaniment
                • Jazz Clubs

                Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                My favorite harps are Hohner Special 20s but, with the significant rise in price of the better quality harps, I have reached a compromise and have been purchasing the Big River harps. While not as warm or easy to play as the Special 20s (or the Lee Oskars), you get a decent sound and playability with these harps for a much lower cost.

                I personally find these easier to play than the Hohner Pro Harps and Golden Melodies - I don't like the Pro Harps finish and the Golden Melody harps are narrow, making it more difficult to form an airtight seal with the lips, especially when using a brace.

                An added bonus is you can replace the reeds with MS replacement plates.

                (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                . big river harp

                By gospel 3

                from ironton,Mo.

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Pros

                • None

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                    big river harp is the worst. leaks badly go for the special 20

                    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Awful Harps

                    By tweedledee

                    from Salt Lake City, UT

                    See all my reviews

                    Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                    I had every major key of the special 20 harp besides the F. I didn't know how much I'd use it so I went with the Big River on the presumption that based on the price it wouldn't be much of a step down and I'd get it for cheaper. I should've paid the extra ten dollars and gotten another special 20. The Big River takes a lot of effort to get to sound good. Trust me, you might not know how good of a harmonica player you are until you try a nice harp. Spend the extra money.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Easy River Bend!

                    By smilingdog

                    from St. Louis MO.

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Easy To Play
                    • I would discribe this as load and crisp!
                    • Quality Craftsmanship

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Small Venues
                      • Soundtracks

                      Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                      I am trying different harps in the key of A, looking for a flexible reed that can be bent and allow vibrato in blues songs particularly Smoke Stack Lightning. This will do that for sure by running it through a delay pedal and tube amp. However, I think I'll go with a blues harp next round because they are a stiffer reed and growl a little deeper if that makes any sense.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Best Bang for the Buck

                      By Chugalug

                      from Gulfport, FL

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Decent Bending
                      • Good Overblows
                      • In Tune
                      • Loud
                      • Quality Craftsmanship
                      • Rich Sound

                      Cons

                      • Hard Break-In

                      Best Uses

                      • Amplified
                      • Blues
                      • Country
                      • Rock n Roll

                      Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                      Great Value from Hohner. My G was in tune, needed no adjustment. Thicker 1.05 reeds, than the .9 mil reeds. Not as a warm tone like the Marine Bands, But much cheaper than an 1896 Marine Band. A bit harder to break-in than my standard Marine Bands, because of the thicker reeds. But I have been playing a C Big River for about 2 years. It responds fast, good single note player, and split (toungue) notes. I have no major complaints.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Big River growls with the best of them!

                      By Big Leg Hambone

                      from Lexington , NC

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Easy To Play
                      • Quality Craftsmanship
                      • Rich Sound
                      • Warm Tone

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                          I've been playing blues over 30 years. I've tried every kind Honner has come out plus Lee Oscar. Due to the fast increase in the price of harps and me being hard on them I trued the Big River. For amplified blues harp you can't beat the value because you still get a rich sound and easy to bend notes with also. The price is right for me to keep spares of all the keys I carry.

                          (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Still made in Germany

                          By TN.Frank

                          from Crossville, TN.

                          See all my reviews

                          Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                          Just picked up a Big River in the key of A at a local music store. Quality is nice, sounds a world better then the Blues Band that I picked up the other day. Of course the price of the Big River is almost 5x more but hey, you get what you pay for. Makes me wonder what the ever more expensive Special 20 would be like??

                           
                          5.0

                          Yes, I am very satisfied with the big river harmonica.

                          By Bob

                          from Fort Wayne, IN

                          About Me Experienced

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Play

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Accompaniment
                            • Soundtracks

                            Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                            I use it for my enjoyment as well as I play specials every other month at my Church

                             
                            5.0

                            Love this Harp!!¡

                            By Bam Bam

                            from Cedar Point, NC

                            About Me Novice

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent
                            • Easy To Play
                            • Quality Craftsmanship
                            • Rich Sound
                            • Warm Tone

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                                It sounded great right out of the box, it has a warm but powerful sound. I liked it so much I just order 2 more in different keys.

                                 
                                4.0

                                I would buy again.

                                By stephen

                                from oregon

                                About Me Experienced

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Play
                                • Quality Craftsmanship

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Accompaniment

                                  Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                                  I use big rivers to accompany myself playing guitar.

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  I only buy Big River

                                  By Frodnew

                                  from Jacksonville, Fl

                                  About Me Professional Musician

                                  See all my reviews

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Consistent
                                  • Easy To Play
                                  • Quality Craftsmanship
                                  • Rich Sound
                                  • Warm Tone

                                  Cons

                                  • Does not bend as easily as say, Special 20's

                                  Best Uses

                                  • All types of music

                                  Comments about Hohner 590 Big River MS-Series Harmonica:

                                  Because of the price hike in harps, I came across the Big Rivers by accident and loved their sound but mostly their price. Now, I only use Big Rivers. I play professionally and the only thing about these harps is that you need serious mileage to bend notes well. Because of the price, I can't complain. However, be aware the price of these harps are going up. I have two complete sets of these harps and my back up blues harps. I'm set.

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