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Hohner Special 20 Marine Band vs Progressive

For much of its life the Special 20 was part of Hohner's Marine Band range of harmonicas. However, in 2015 the German company decided that lumping the Special 20 in with traditional wood comb harmonicas that formed the rest of the Marine Band range didn't really make sense. Thus, the Progressive Series was born, and which now features a number of modern blues harps with ABS combs.

So, what is the difference between Special 20s that formed part of the Marine Band range and those which are Progress Series harps? The short answer is not very much - in fact just two extra holes in the reed plates to allow interchangeability with other Progressive harmonicas, such as the Rocket and Rocket Amp.

Do a quick search of the internet, however, and you'll find many players still seeking out the Marine Band Special 20, using the argument that it is a superior harmonica. This all stems from a temporary decrease in quality at Hohner during the period when the change to Progressive Series Special 20s was made. Players who bought these new instruments were often disappointed in them and reached the conclusion that the new models were somehow different from the old and were, therefore, fundamentally inferior.

The truth is that current Progressive Series Special 20s are just as good as the Marine Band models - in fact they're virtually indistinguishable from them - and have been since Hohners quality control of this model improved, only a few months after the launch.

So, in conclusion, you may be able to find some new old stock Marine Band Special 20s at a dealer somewhere in the world, but don't expect them to play or sound any better than a brand new Progressive Series model.

Hohner Special 20 Marine Band Model
Hohner Special 20 Harmonica
Harmonica NameHohner Special 20 Marine Band ModelHohner 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, G High, 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£33.99£33.99
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