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Product 420670

Hohner Special 20 Harmonica

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Awesome response, superior bendability, and the sweetest tone ever. The Special 20 harp is the first choice for those learning to play. Its special a...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Classic tone and great durability.

Awesome response, superior bendability, and the sweetest tone ever. The Special 20 harp is the first choice for those learning to play. Its special airtight design makes it the most recommended go-to harp for harmonica players of any style, including blues, country, folk, or rock. The plastic comb doesn't absorb moisture, making it longer lasting. Harp of choice of harmonica virtuoso John Popper (of Blues Traveler) and played by Bob Dylan on his 2007/08 tour. Chances are your favorite player has several of these harps in his case. 12 major keys plus lower and higher octave tunings.

FEATURES
Pro quality
Richter tuning
All major keys
Genuine brass plates
Plastic comb
Bolted-on covers
Hinged plastic case
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 68 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (56)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great instant playability, key-to-key consistency

I have been playing harps seriously for about three years. I have Special 20s from G through F, and they have always impressed me, not only with their out-of-the box playability, but also...Read complete review

I have been playing harps seriously for about three years. I have Special 20s from G through F, and they have always impressed me, not only with their out-of-the box playability, but also with their consistent tuning and blow-draw air resistance from key to key. I have tried Lee Oskars, Bushmans, Herings, and others. They all have their good points, but I keep coming back to the Special 20s. What do I like so much? The Special 20's plastic comb is both tight and waterproof. It doesn't rub my lips raw nor leave the taste of brass in my mouth. The top and bottom covers are curved much more ergonomically than most harps; I hate all the sharp edges on the 1896 Marine Bands. I have to tweak and re-tweak the reed gaps on new Lee Oskars in lower keys, but not my Special 20s. The Hering 2020s are nicely made, but they start out a blowing awfully tight--and they are heftier than I like. And both the Oskars and the Herings have comparatively thick mouthpieces; better, perhaps, for players with bigger mouths than mine. The Bushmans are nicely finished harps but expensive. They also have an overly sweet high-end response, I think. Yes, I have blown out a reed or two in a Special 20, but that happens with metal fatigue...and it will happen every time with every harp if you fail to respect those micrometer-thin reeds! I find the Special 20 tone varies nicely with your playing dynamics, with your hand modulations, or with your amp settings (when playing through a microphone). The only way to improve these harps--are you listening, mein herren?--would be to make the reedplates in the Special 20s both replaceable AND economical enough for it to make sense to bother. It also wouldn't hurt to go all the way with the ergonomics and round off the corners of the comb. Finally, do as Lee Oskar does his key labeling: in nice, contrasty markings on both the back and the end of the comb, giving both first- and second-position keys. THAT Special 20 would be unbeatable!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Tuning problems

I bought one in E that had tuning problems. The sound it makes is nice if you get a good one. I prefer Hohner's Golden Melody model.

I bought one in E that had tuning problems. The sound it makes is nice if you get a good one. I prefer Hohner's Golden Melody model.

Reviewed by 68 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Hohner Special 20 Harmonica

By Joe Harp

from NYC area

The Hohner Special 20 is the finest harmonica on the market. I've used them for over twenty years, and have tried every other brand, and nothing compares.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Its good

By LLITTLE

from ME

I started off with this harmonica. I like the sound quality but I cant bend the notes, I got this harp in a key of A

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

sp 20

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

this is a very nice german made harp! !i hope they stay at it i had a time with it myself,but this harp bends as easy as any and easier than many!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very Responsive

By bcwall

from Stillwater, OK

I am an intermediate harp player and I play with a bluegrass band in college. I had always used the Hohner Old Standby because they were cheap and easy to get. When I wore out my G harp, I decided to upgrade to the Special 20. I pulled it out of the box and without break-in, it played wonderfully. The responsiveness of this harp is truly amazing! If you are a beginner or intermediate that is looking for a good quality upgrade, the Special 20 is the way to go.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Oskar is a loser

By s335335@yahoo.com

from Durham, NC

See all my reviews

I've played a Special 20 for years. Some of my friends have been recommending that I try a Lee Oskar so I did. Not even close. The sound and feel don't compare. If you want the real thing, buy a Hohner. If you want to mess with a pretender, buy the Oskar. After playing one lick on a Special 20, you'll toss the Oskar, just like I did.

 
5.0

so easy

By TENichols

from Philadelphia. PA

See all my reviews

This is the perfect beginners harp. Perfect for someone with low experience. It's easy on the lips because of the plastic comb and no sticking out metal plates like on the golden melody (although that is a great harmonica). Pretty simple to bend right out of the box, so don't let it tempt you into blowing it out quickly. Perfect for beginners, if you're experienced go with an MS Blues harp or a Marine Band (I like the wood sound).

 
5.0

Good harp for beginner to pro

By zeb-y6DAL

from Chicagoland

See all my reviews

This is a good harmonica because the reedplates are recessed into the plastic comb for a great airtight fit. It also sounds good, is easy to bend notes on and feels good in the hands and on the lips. I've wrecked a couple of these by overblowing but that's a common occurance on most 10 hole diatonics if you play them a lot and play them hard like I do. I like this one much better than some of the wooden comb diatonics. The Special 20 is always a good value.

 
4.0

A good basic harmonica

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Good for players of all skill ranges. Good basic!

 
5.0

Remarkable!

By Harpo

from India

See all my reviews

I bought my Hohner Special 20 about four months ago. When I blew on the holes for the first time, I knew exactly what everyone meant by the term, "warm sounding". The quality of sound is so good that I forget all my troubles whenever I play it! I've heard that these harmonicas don't last long. Well, I haven't been playing this harp for a very long time so I can't comment on its durability. Therefore, I'm gonna give this harmonica a perfect 10!

 
5.0

Great Harmonica

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

the special 20's are easy to play and sound great amplified.Listen to John Popper and see.

 
5.0

My 60th anniversary with Hohner!

By Honey tree

from Chattanooga, Tennessee

That's plenty of time for me to declare Hohner a winner. I practice harmonica at least one hour per day and have found Hohner to be very reliable. My only complaint, they don't last long. The special 20 is my favorite.

 
5.0

Nice

By MZ8243296ismybass

from Saratoga Springs, NY

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

I am reletively new to harmonica, so I spent alot of time finding the right one for me. I'm very glad my search led me to this harp. The thirty dollars seemed like a steep price at first, but after playing this for a few hours, I realized how much it is worth it. Sure, I wouldn't use this harp to fill in less common keys, but one in C, and maybe one in G (I play banjo along with it), and it should plenty to learn on. The case is a nice bonus as well.

 
5.0

Good performance, quality harp.

By Craigster

from Baltimore, MD

See all my reviews

I play Special 20's, Big Rivers, Lee Oskars and Bushman Soul Voice brands. This harp has tone with the best, but suffers in durability when playing hard blues.

 
5.0

Outstanding first harp to learn on

By megans_paladin

from CA

I just started to play the harmonica daily in the last several months, and you can't go wrong with the Special 20's sound, quality, and ease of use!

 
5.0

Hohner, The best period.

By Bun'z Kustom Guitarz

from Sturgeon, Bay, WI

See all my reviews

I've been playin' harmonica all my life, and without a doubt, Hohner's are the best. The special 20's are very versatile. I started playin' old country & polkas and now play the blues. I am confident when grabbing 1 of my 20's, that they will be consistent. I have had my "C" for 15 years, and is still in tune. With all instruments, proper maintenance is a must. I even still play my grandpa's 40 year old marine band, which plays like it is new. Trust me, my harmonicas get massively abused and drenched with spit, but with good care they'll out last me and my son. Hey John Popper has showed how great the special 20's are. When played correctly the Hohners can not be beat, I tried.

 
5.0

OK, here's the real deal....

By D.O.-jEtw7

from Johnstown, PA

I have been playing harp for 30 years (mostly rock and blues). played just about every diatonic harp you can name, and the S20 is the the one that I have settled on for the past five years or so. Why? - comfort, consistency and tone. In other words - playability. All other harps have their good points, but for overall qualities, in my opinion, this harp can't be beaten. The band I play in is high energy and my harps get a lot of abuse, but if you break them in gently they are fairly durable. I read a couple of reviews here about how the S20 is not durable. All I can say about that is they must not have broken them in correctly. Also, I have never had a bad one right out of the box. The only downside is that the replacement reed plates are too expensive. So, I just buy new. If you could get replacement plates for a reasonable price, this harp would be a definite "10".

 
5.0

Easy Playing & Great sound

By Handy-Andy

from Echo, AL

See all my reviews

I am a beginner and a senior (67). I was looking for a harm that had great sound and didn't take an exceptional amount of wit and wind. I have bought four other harps in the same key prior to the special 20MB. This one has everything that I was looking for and some.

 
4.0

smooth playing, but fragile

By blueswithafeeling

from priddis, Alberta

See all my reviews

The special 20 features a smooth plastic comb and good airtightness. It plays well right out of the box, bends easily, and has a warm, rich soft tone. Most players will find this harp easy to play. It allows a bit more expression in playing than the Lee Oskar harp. Note that the special 20 does not last long- I have destroyed several of these in a short time of playing, but because they do sound different than the Lee Oskar harps, I have a number of them. There is no problem switching back and forth between harp brands because the comb is essentially the same. Note that Hohner promotes the Cross Harp as a more durable product- it is not, and is more expensive.

 
5.0

Love these

By hankstone

from Long Island, NY

I have been blowing harp- not just blues, but melodic stuff too- for 40 years... started witht the Marine Bands, went to the Hohner Blues Harps for years. Tried the Special 20's when they came out and have adopted them as my standard. Tried the Lee Oskars recently, and although I kinda like the sound and playability, they just don't seem to hold up like the Special 20's.Some years ago I bought a box of 12 Johnson harps, all for $55, have been replacing the keys with Hohners as I need them, the Johnsons are terrible, but at least I have a nice case!

 
5.0

the best harmonica ive ever owned.

By sing2mecali

from california

See all my reviews

Well im not an achomplished professional harp player or anything but i think i am knowladgeable enough to know what a good harmonica is and what a bad harmonica is.To me this is defenatley a good one. It sounds beautiful, it is easy to play and bend notes, and it did not take long to break in. i own about 5 or 6 other harmonicas and have played many more but this one is by far my favorite.i wish i could have learned on this instrument, it would have made the learning process so much easier, but hey i am still learning new things and this is making it easier. get one in every key you want.

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