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MF MD HG01 Electric Guitar Month 06-19-18

Hohner 980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica

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Product 420560
Product Price $0.00
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The Koch Chromatic Harmonica tuning is like the 1896 Marine Band with the slide out, but when depressed has chromatic capabilities allowing full chor...Click To Read More About This Product

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The best of both worlds!

The Koch Chromatic Harmonica tuning is like the 1896 Marine Band with the slide out, but when depressed has chromatic capabilities allowing full chording in the first three holes. Heavy chromeplated covers with excellent intonation, this model comes packaged in a protective vinyl snap case.

  • Marine band with slide out
  • Chromatic with slide in
  • Chrome covers
  • Vinyl snap case

The Hohner 980/40 Koch is perhaps the most versatile harp ever made. Get yours today!


Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Hohner980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


Not your grandpa's blues harp

By CoachT

from Myrtle Beach SC

About Me Professional Musician

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  • Consistent
  • Quality Craftsmanship
  • Rich Sound
  • Warm Tone


  • Learning Curve

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about Hohner 980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica:

This is not grandpa's blues harp but, if he wasn't inclined to learn the chromatic he might just like it.

All this is, in simple terms, is a standard blues harp (Richter tuned 10-hole diatonic) with a sharping lever. Don't push in the lever and you have the same notes as a typical blues harp, push the lever and you go up a half step (sort of like overblowing but available on every note with less effort.)

It's different from a chromatic because the scale (and chords) are the same as a 10-hole blues harp and not solo tuned like the chromatics. Otherwise the functionality is the same.

So, let's say the tune you wanna play has an F# in it. A 10-hole in C doesn't have an F#. You can try to bend down the 6-blow to get the Gb (equivalent of an F#) or, if you have this, you can just hit the lever on the 4-draw and BAM a nice, clean F#. F# just happens to be the leading tone 7th of G and G is the crossharp key of a C harp. Which is actually the same as country-tuned harps, there's a major 7th but this with you have both in one package.

Wait, there's more. That's just one example. Since you can raise the pitch of every note on the harp by a half-step, you have a full chromatic above hole 4 while also keeping the clean chord vamping function in the bottom. Draw 2-3-4 = I of V (G), blow anything = IV of V (C). Cool trick too.

There's more too - it'll do some pretty neat tricks for those who need neat tricks. It's heavier than a 10-hole blues harp though and it has a tone more like a chromatic than a 10-hole. The learning curve takes a touch of time as well but not nearly as much as a full chromatic.

She's also not cheap, worth the money but not cheap. Folks who play blues harp style in crossharp most of the time but need an occasional full chromatic for a melody riff will appreciate the function. It's in melodic lines that this one shines. It's definately massive overkill for begginers or for folks who do strictly second position three chord trick vamping though it would work fine for those too.

(9 of 13 customers found this review helpful)


F N Sweet

By Karate-Cheese-Burger

from RVA

See all my reviews

Comments about Hohner 980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica:

The koch allows you to play a standard diatonic style, you can bend on it nicely, but also it has a button to change the reeds to a half step up into another diatonic scale, you can do some stuff here, I don't know what, cause I'm still messing with it to find where all those notes are hiding, but it's worthwhile. I've never played a standard chromatic and I can't compare whatever this is, but this harmonica is freaking bombproof. Just solid; I've read air leakage can be a problem here, but it's not anymore than the hohner blues harp or big river, which are probably worse. I wouldn't go out of my way for one; however if you got the money you might as well, it's not a disappointment, it lives up to the value and will probably last quite a long time.

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