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Hohner Thunderbird vs Seydel 1847 Classic

For harmonica players who wish to extend their range below standard G, options are fairly limited, especially if you want anything lower than Low C. Hohner's Thunderbird and Seydel's 1847 Classic both offer a wide range of low tunings, albeit at a premium price. Let's look at these two harmonicas and determine which is most suitable for your needs.

The Thunderbird is effectively Hohner's low tuned version of the Marine Band Crossover, and features the same swell-free, lightweight mambo comb as its standard tuned sibling. The cover plates, however, are quite different, with an asymmetrical shape that provides greater space for the thicker reeds at the bottom end. Price wise, its more expensive than the Crossover, and considerably more than the 1847 Classic.

The Classic uses a different body design in the low tunings to the standard tuning harps – again to allow space for the thicker reeds to vibrate freely. However, Seydel's solution to this issue is to fit wider cover plates across the width of the harmonica, rather than the slanted body used by the Thunderbird. This makes for quite a thick harmonica, although most players soon become used to the size.

Both harps are swell free and have excellent tone and response. The Thunderbird is a touch more lively, but also feels a little less durable than the Classic. It is, however, extremely swell-free, and is nicer to play for long periods than the Seydel.

The Classic hits back with a much greater range of keys, including several low low tunings. The Hohner, in comparison, offers only low low F at the very bottom end.

Hohner Marine Band Thunderbird Harmonica
Seydel 1847 Classic Harmonica
Harmonica NameHohner Marine Band Thunderbird HarmonicaSeydel 1847 Classic Harmonica
Harmonica TypeDiatonic HarmonicaDiatonic Harmonica
Number of Holes1010
Comb MaterialWoodWood
Number of Reeds2020
Spare Reeds Available?YesYes
Musical StylesBlues, Rock, Pop, FolkBlues, Rock, Pop, Folk
Available KeysLow F, Low E, Low D, Low E Flat, Low C, Low B Flat, Low Low F, Low G, Low AA, B Flat, D, Low F, G, C, F, E, B, E Flat, G High, F Sharp, D Flat, A Flat, Low E, Low D, Low F Sharp, Low E Flat, Low D Flat, Low C, Low B Flat, Low Low F, A High, A Flat High, Low B, Low Low F Sharp, Low Low E, Low A Flat, B Flat High, Low G, Low A
Price from£94.99£59.99
View details & BuyView details & Buy
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