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Hohner Golden Melody vs Special 20

Although the Hohner Special 20 and Golden Melody sit within the same Progressive Series range, they are, in fact, quite different harps. In this guide we'll take a quick look at some of the major points of difference in order to make it easier for you to choose the correct harmonica for your needs.

The Golden Melody is now on its second revision, but its primary features remain the same; a 1950s 'streamliner aesthetic', equal temperament tuning and excellent airtightness.

The Special 20, in comparison, has undergone one revision in its lifetime, when it moved from the Marine Band range to the Progressive Series, but, despite what some players may have thought at the time, the change amounted to nothing more than a couple of extra holes in the reed plates to enable compatibility with the Rocket harmonica.

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, Hohner has chosen not to recess the reed plates on the Golden Melody, which makes the Special 20 a better choice for those who like an mouthpiece unencumbered by metal edges.

Start playing and other differences become apparent: the Golden Melody is exceptionally airtight and responsive, and its equal temperament tuning makes it ideally suited to melody lines. The Special 20, in comparison, is a smidgeon more 'breathy' and produces sweeter sounding chords.

Although the Golden Melody has retro 1950s looks that suggest it may be more of a clean and simple harp for playing traditional melodies, its responsiveness and clear single notes make it a superb harp on which to play the blues and fast single note licks.

It is, however, usually a fair bit more money than the Special 20, and the rugged simplicity of the latter may suit the needs of more harp players.

Hohner New Golden Melody Harmonica
Hohner Special 20 Harmonica
Harmonica NameHohner New Golden Melody HarmonicaHohner Special 20 Harmonica
Harmonica TypeDiatonic HarmonicaDiatonic Harmonica
Number of Holes1010
Comb MaterialPlasticPlastic
Number of Reeds2020
Spare Reeds Available?YesYes
Musical StylesBlues, Rock, Pop, FolkBlues, Rock, Pop, Folk
Available KeysA, B Flat, D, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, F Sharp, D Flat, A FlatA, B Flat, D, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, G High, F Sharp, D Flat, A Flat
Price from£51.99£33.99
View details & BuyView details & Buy
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