Swan 16 Hole 64 Tone Chromatic Harmonica
|Price:||$65.90 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- For cleaning this harmonica, only can use alcohol, do not use water.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, I lucked out. Actually, the Swan is a much better instrument than the Hurricane Harp, even though it is cheaper (maybe because it comes in a practical black plastic case instead of an oversize faux cherrywood box with brass hinges). The one I have has good response over the whole four octave range except for one reed: the sharpened draw reed on the top hole (16) is unuseable but I think easily fixable. (The Hurricane Harp has several reeds with chronic problems that have resisted attempts to fix them.)
I have the impression that the Swan 1664 is generally built to a higher quality standard than the Hurricane Harp 1664. It is certainly easier to play and tuning of the reeds, especially in lowest octave, seems more accurate. The slide became a little sticky after playing for a while. I dabbed on just a little WD 40 using a toothpick and that took care of the stickiness.
The Swan 1664 is actually better adjusted right out of the box than my Hohner Super Chromonica was (I had to fiddle with the reeds to make it playable). The tone is comparable. The professional 1664 chromatics like Suzuki, Hering, and Hohner selling for three to four times the price are presumably better than my Swan but I suspect only marginally so (certainly not three to four times better). For me as an amateur player Swan 1664 is perfectly adequate. I enjoy playing it.
Now, this is not a Hohner Super64x. It's not a Suzuki SCX-64. But it's in tune, pretty well made and it's held up to some aggressive playing.
Considering this harmonica is about 1/3 of the price of a similar Hohner or Suzuki, you really can't go wrong as a beginner or someone who wants a 16-hole to play around with without spending much.
If you are game for opening up the harp and maintaining your own harp, you can really make this a playable instrument for any level player. It leaks air like crazy, so if you've been playing a Suzuki or a Hohner CX-12, you'll be very dissapointed. But after I added a small bead of beeswax (from a local beekeeper) above the inside of the slide mechanism, it was fantastic. I'm more used to the 12-hole chromatics, and being able to dip down into the range of a tenor sax is great fun. The build quality of the Swan is pretty decent so it can hold up to a little customization.
What I would recommend, if you're a chromatic player and you buy one of these (or for any chromatic player) is find the Hohner YouTube channel and watch their series of videos on chromatic harmonica maintenance and repair. When you can keep your own axes in tune and working right, and make the slides quieter and the valves more responsive, it makes playing the chromatic harmonica much more enjoyable and effective.
One big complaint is that the plastic insert in the case that holds the chromatic is so cheap that it didn't survive delivery. It just fell apart the first time I removed the harp from the case.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great 64 chromatic. If you are just learning and want to experience a harmonica with more octaves this is a good choice. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Doreen Serb
The Swan Master 1664 phosphor Bronze Reed Harmonica is an impressive instrument. And thats just for starters. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Rich
I am very pleased with this product. Plays like ones I remember when I was younger. Sweet tone, a pleasure to learn all over again on this baby! Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lightstone
I just wish that it fit into the box better. The tone needs a little work, but it was very good quality for the price that paid for it.Published 23 months ago by bookandcdfreek
This "Swan 16 Hole 64 Tone Chromatic Harmonica" was purchased for my son. In his words "Except for the bottom four holes, the harmonica plays well. Read morePublished on October 10, 2013 by George Schiro