That's totally boogalishus!
Hello, Reed and Keith.
Yes, I have a 48-year obsession with the harmonicas.
But, in my defense, about a third of those harmonicas
were given to me as gifts (Hohner 48 Chord; Suzuki SCT-128;
Seydel Pulmonica; Suzuki Alto Single; Hohner Chordomonica II;
Hohner 53-4 Tremolo Quartet; Victory Octave Bass; Hohner
Comet 2-sider; Hohner #220 Trumpet Call; Hohner Echobell;
And, many more were bought used, or were the result of trades.
(In Trade, one trade for $150: a dozen Hohner #280s; a dozen
Hohner #270s in different keys; Hohner Polyphonia 8; Hohner
Polyphonia Vineta #4; Hohner Chromatica #263; a complete
set of Hohner Polyphonia glissando harps.
I very rarely buy new harmonicas. Up until this year, I haven't
bought new harmonicas since the mid 1990s. My harps don't
wear out. I play them all, but not on a regular basis, they are
1. H.A.S.: Do you suffer from it?
Yes. mostly impulse buying.
2. How do you control it?
I can't. Harps are cheap compared to any other
musical instrument except recorders. I'm also a collector
3. How many (harmonicas) have you got?
Well over 300. I just bought 5 Suzuki PH-20s, and
have a Power Slider Bass assembly bought for
my Hohner bass.
4. How many more do you need? None, but I'm
interested in the Antankamatic's Turboslide slide
chromatic, with magnetic steel reeds. Here we go
John "Wake Up and Take More Lessons" Broecker
The Tombo Alto Horn changed it's name to Alto Pipe Horn, circa 1981.
It seems to have a sliding pipe cover, like today's Suzuki Pipe Humming
diatonics and Hohner Puck. If the APH does have a sliding pipe, it can be
removed for maintenance. It has no screws holding the pipe in place. The
Alto Horn has the same setup as todays Suzuki Alto Single.
On the Hohner Polyphonia #8, each chord has a separate bass note, below
the 3-note chord. The bass note may be played with the chord, or as an
"oom-pa" rhythm , with the bass as the "oom", and the chord as "pa".
It may of course, also be played in a triple meter, such as "oom-pa-pa".
We can't estimate the value of either harmonica, without hearing the playability,
and without seeing the harmonicas' physical condition.
Hello, Bob. Sorry for the delay. I'm nursing a cold.
Some of the photos were too blurry to identify a
specific model, so those at guesses. The monetary
value of these harps is up to the buyer & seller.
FROM YOUR POST #7650,
in order of listing:
1. Hohner Echo Elite, made for the Chicago
worlds Fair, 1933, with cover designs by John
Vassos, art deco style artist. A tremolo harmonica.
2. Hohner Rhythm & Blues harmonica, 2 models
listed in the 1971 Hohner catalog:
#HH-8703: black plastic comb, a chord harp with
blow chords F, G minor, Bb; draw chords D minor,
C7, G7. The photo looks like this model.
#HH-8702: maroon plastic comb; blow chords C,F,G7;
draw chords Bb, Eb, G7.
Whichever model it is, it's filthy. Don't attempt to sell it that way.
Soak the harmonica in warm water with a drop of dish detergent,
for about 10 minutes, then swish it around in the water, rinse it
under running tap water, air dry.
3. Hohner Beatles harmonica: There were two Hohner models
made from 1964-'66(?); and plenty of fake versions. This is a
standard Richter system blues harp.
Type A: made in 1964, the box has the photos and names
mis-labeled. This is a collectable. Hohner made the corrections
on the box, in type B. Hohner also sod these harps in a blister pack.
4. Hohner #270 Chromonika II: made for the German-language countries.
it's the twin of the English language Hohner #270 Super Chromonica.
The Super Chrom has been made since circa 1924- present; the Chromonika II
was made from circa 1930-1950, maybe later.
The #270 is a slide chromatic harmonica (both harps). Prior to 1928, they had
external slide springs. In 1928 William Hausler, charman of the New York
Hohner office, developed and patented the internal slide spring (safety pin).
The boxes of your #270s appear to be of the vintage 1930s-'40.
5. Hohner Chromaticas were a series of "orchestral" harmonicas, including
bass harps, chord harps, and "glissando" harps. The glissando models were
no-slide chromatic harps, made from the mid 1930s (a guess) to the 1980s.
The photos of your glissando harps are too blurry for identification, but the
models #262 (blow only) and #263 (blow and draw) have two screws on
each cover's tabs, and the #261 has one screw each cover tab, and is blow-only.
The Chromatica glissando harps have a range of almost 3 chromatic octaves.
6. Hohner #56 Echo, 2-sided tremolo harmonica, keys of C-G. This model has
been made from 1921- present day. It has 48 double mouthpiece holes per side,
(96 reeds), and each cover has 16 holes.
7. Tombo #1180 Alto Horn: This is a no-slide chromatic harmonica, 3 octaves'
range, C tenor ("Alto") range. This model shown in your photo was made before 1981.
The earliest date is unknown.
8. Hohner #53-6 (?) Tremolo Sextet, keys C-D-F-G-A-Bb, each key on a different
tremolo harmonica. The photo is too blurry to identify the brand Hohner. Several
companies have been making tremolo sextets since the 1880s. If this is a Hohner,
this model was made (a guess) between 1950- present day. It appears that some
of the harmonicas on the sextet have been replaced: black combs and red combs
are seen in the second photo.
9. Photo # 024; Hohner #266 Chromatica single reed bass harp. This is a scarce harmonica,
usually in the range of G-G, two octaves. It was only made a short time, from (a guess)
1930-'40(?). This bass harp has no mouth plates, and is a no-slide chromatic.
10. Photo #025: Hohner Polyphonia #8: This is a 3-deck, 36-chord harmonica, blow only.
The top deck is 12 minor chords; mid-deck is 12 major chords; and bottom deck is 12
dominant 7th chords. There are no augmented or diminished chords. This harmonica was
made from the 1930s- mid-1950s (a guess).
11..Photo #026: This is a Hohner Polyphonia no-slide chromatic glissando" harmonica,
2 octaves' range. The photo is too blurry to identify the model number and description.
The Polyphonia series of harmonicas were designed by Hohner employee Borrah Minevitch
between 1924-'28, for Minevitch's Harmonica Rascals band.
When you request information about harmonicas:
1 Photos are helpful. Photos of the top, bottom,
front (performer's) side, and back (audience side)
will help in providing much information. If the
harmonica has a case, photos of that will be welcome.
2. The harmonica's physical condition is important:
Does it show signs of wear, dents in the metal covers;
Is the case in useable condition? Has it been modified,
customized or changed from the original factory specifics?
3. Is the harmonica playable in all mouthpiece holes? Is the
harmonica in tune? Are there reeds missing or broken?
4. A used harmonica will usually be worth less ($) than when it was
first sold (new, original retail value). Unless it's a rare harmonica
(fewer than 10 known to be in existence). Rare antique harmonicas
are popular with collectors, for their scarcity.
5. The value in $ for any object is determined by the seller and buyer,
but we can estimate a $ value, based on the above conditions 1-4.
6. Don't expect to make a fortune ($) in collecting harmonicas. The hobby
or profession will be more costly than profitable.
The harmonica you've shown in your photo is a Hohner catalog #267,
Chromatica 48-Chord harmonica, made from circa 1930-2012. It was
first advertised in the 1953 Hohner (English language) products catalog.
By that time, it had it's chords placements changed at least 4-5 times.
Chord harmonicas are factory-designed to play mostly background
accompaniment to melody harmonicas (diatonics, slide chromatics, etc.).
Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
For the players by ear, try this free website
for harmonica players. It's a play-along site,
with harmonica tablature included.
You may download and print the tablatures freely:
The Hohner Steve Baker Special was a 14-hole, single reed per note,
diatonic harp, using the Hohner Marine Band #365 comb. The SBS
was made circa 1990-2015(?). It may have been made earlier, by
a year or two. Available in keys C,D,F,G,A.
The SBS was a Richter system harp, with the first 3 holes a duplication
of the standard Marine Band #1896, holes 1-3, but added an octave lower.
It added an extra hole on the high end, with the scale's "mi" note exhale, and
"ti" note inhale.
Your Brendan Power Lucky 13 seems to be about the same as the Hohner
SBS, but with one less hole at the high end.
Is that a Lucky 13, designed by Brendan Powers?
Is it set up (reed placement) like a Hohner Steve Baker Special model,
with one less chamber than the SBS?
Nice Work, Ricksilverfish.
Do you have a sound file?
If yes, please post it here. We'd like
to hear your microphones, even if the
sound is from our lowly computer speakers.
Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Is this SPAM?
Here are a few solutions to sticky valves on valved harmonicas.
Single reed per note diatonic harps don't need valves, because
there is only one exhale and one inhale reed in each chamber.
With slide chromatics, there are 2 exhale and 2 inhale reeds in
a chamber. One of the two exhale or inhale reeds in a chamber
must be closed off while the other is being played, so valves are
Double reed per note diatonic harps don't need valves, because
each reed has it's own chamber.
Some solutions for pesky Mylar valves sticking and popping.The best
solution is warming the chromatic harmonica for 2-5 minutes, before
using it. Try any, all or none of the se temporary fixes:
1. On a single layer valve, take a pin, and stick the pointed tip, from
the valve top, through the open end of the valve. This will set up a "pimple"
on the bottom of the valve, allowing the condensation to be evaporated.
2. On 2-layer mylar valves, slide a small piece of news print (newspaper)
between the lower valve part and the reed plate, then slowly and carefully,
pull the newsprint off the reed plate. Do the same thing between the 1st
and 2nd mylar layers.
3. On a 2-layer valve, halfway from the open end to the closed end of the valve.
use a paper clip between the two mylar layers. Open the paper clip to a straight
wire, and slide it between the layers, perpendicular to the ends of the valves.
Press down lightly on the top layer, creating a "kink" between the two layers.
4. Use a hair dryer, about 1 foot (12 inches) away from the valve, to dry the
5. Use a "car wax" on the reed plate. Just a very small amount on the index finger
will be wiped across the reed slot. The car wax will melt under heat, and will
prevent a moisture build-up. Do the entire outer valved reed plates before playing.
This is a long-lasting solution. You will not ingest any car wax.
Only the valves that are outside the chambers will need this treatment. They are
exhale valves. When we inhale, our breath direction is not into the harmonica, but
from the harmonica. The inhale breath is a room temperature breath, so no
condensation will occur, in most cases.
Welcome to the Harmonica Club. You have many new friends here.
Try this free website for listings of harmonica players near you.
It's the site of the National Harmonica League, UK:
Sussex, Wisconsin, USA
Hello, Reed Smith.
For outdoor playing, I use a Seydel Chromatic Standard,
12-hole slide chromatic. In an experiment, I played it in
a snow blizzard, and it worked fine. It's a solo system harp,
like the valved slide chromatics, sold in the key of C only.
Valveless slide chromatics use a "discreet" comb, where
each reed has it's own chamber (like a tremolo harp).
No valves are needed, but the slider mechanism's holes
are much smaller than the traditional valved slide chromatics.
The Seydel Chromatic Standard is a valveless harp, and
produces a weaker, thinner tone per reed than the valved
chromatics. Valved harps won't work in a snow blizzard.
Try a hand warmer (used by hunters). Wrap the harmonica
in the hand warmer for 3-5 minutes.
The best performance temperature range for any valved
harmonica is 98-108 degrees Fahrenheit (37-42 degrees Celsius).
The valved harmonicas need to be on or near the human body
temperature of 98.6 Fahrenheit (38 C), for optimal performance.
When we play a valved harmonica without warming it first, our
breath of 98.6 F is transferred to a harp's room temperature
of an average 72 F. Condensation forms on the valves, slowing
or stopping their movement.
Valves are, in my opinion, absolutely needed on a slide chromatic
harmonica. Unvalved slide harps such as the Hohner Koch Chromatic,
or other brands' 10-hole slide harps, leak air, making it more difficult to
produce a full tone.
Warming the harp to our breath temperature helps to avoid condensation.
Another alternative is to cool down the breath, by drinking ice water before
playing. Some performers claim that they have a gag reflex to ice water,
and prefer to warm the harmonica.