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542/20 Golden Melody Harmonica

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the 542/20 Golden Melody Hohner is an especially airtight harmonica with a strong, full-bodied sound. The curved ends provide extra holding comfort, and it's ideal for overblowing. Get the one virtuos... Read More

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the 542/20 Golden Melody Hohner is an especially airtight harmonica with a strong, full-bodied sound. The curved ends provide extra holding comfort, and it's ideal for overblowing. Get the one virtuoso Howard Levy prefers. Curved cover plates extend the entire length of the harmonica, providing increased resonant capacity. Reeds are set close to the open-framed mouthpiece and respond to the most subtle of commands, making the Golden Melody perfect for overblowing as well as bending.

  • 10 Single Holes, 20 reeds
  • Plastic comb
  • Length: 4 1/8"
  • Keys: G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#
  • Customer Reviews


by PowerReviews

(based on 8 reviews)

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Reviewed by 8 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Quality Control Issue

By Robert Hann

from National City, MI

One of the reasons I tried one of these harps is it looks like it would be comfortable in hand. The package came....I opened it. It did feel nice. I gave it a blow..... THE 1 HOLE DRAW....DIDN'T! Play with it a bit.... still no 1 draw. OK...Let's jam without it. When I jam, I "keep time" by squeezing the harp between my thumb and index finger. Cheap plastic harps give me a 'crack' or 'snap' each time I do. So does the Golden Melody. I was very disappointed and canceled my back order for another one.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)



By CoachT

from Myrtle Beach SC

This is probably my favorite diatonic for tooling around on and playing hymns, folk, and old-time - aka "melodies". There's a reason the name is "melody" and not "blues" - this one is really sweet and clean (well tuned) best suited toward folk songs and particularly good for that 50esque "cowboys around the campfire" sound. It's especially sweet in the low keys (G and A) with a sort of lonesome timbre. The tone quality and response is even from bottom-to-top. It's really easy to blow and draw individual pitches with the usual exceptions of draw2 and the far right. It doesn't bend as well as do some of the others; but then, it's not intended for that sort of music. Other than the design elements (plastic), it would be great for period reenactors looking for an appropriate sound for the music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All of that said, it'll play blues better than any of the $5 harps out there if you just happen to have one but if you're wanting bluesy classic tone then the Marine Band or MB Crossover will probably make you happier than this one. The slight curve shape is very comfortable in small hands and helps prevent lost mustache hairs as well as looking a bit retro. Plastic comb and screws (as opposed to nails) makes for a sturdy harp that you don't have to worry as much about having out in the rain. The hard plastic case is great for protecting it in the pocket when 'out and about'. All around, top quality for a mid-range price.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


sharp edges

By Mick

from Chattanooga, TN

Plays very well, especially the high notes which play considerable easier than other harmonicas I have. I like the rounded shape which fits in the hands nicely. Nice rich tone. However, the two brass ridges that run along the top and bottom of the blow holes have sharp edges (for the full length, and at the ends) that will have to be rounded (by sanding or filing) to keep from cutting my lips. Othewise would have given it 5 stars.

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(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)


Great For Playing Melodies

By Sleepy Bill

from Martinez, CA

Most harmonicas are "just" (justified) tuned or compromised tuned, meaning that a couple of the notes are slightly out of tune, to make the chords sound better. The Golden Melody is "equal" tuned - tuned the same as a piano - making it better for playing single note melodies. It has a sweet, somewhat bright sound that, combined with the equal tuning, makes it an excellent choice for playing hymns, standards, show tunes and the like.

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Good Harp

By Allen

from providence, Rhode Island

probably the best harmonica for overblowing so if ob's are important to you, this is the harp for you (these are the only harps i will use) but if you just play blues or folk and don't care to ob, then i would get a marine band because they're more comfortable and i think they have a better sound.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great for New Players

By Tyler

from Goshen, IN

I got a hohner special 20 for christmas last year, and bought a golden melody shortly after. I prefer the golden melody, mostly for comfort and sound. The golden melody is easier to bend, and is great for someone looking for a harp to learn on, and then keep for more advanced stuff. Its true the sound is very clear and light, so its more difficult to get the thick blues licks, but the ease of bending makes up for it. I've been playing for 2 years, and still prefer my Golden Melody over any other harps I own.

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(22 of 27 customers found this review helpful)


Good but not for blues

By Bluesbird54

from Guilford, CT

The Golden Melody harmonica is a very nice, easy to hold harmonica for either beginning players or experts. The sound is smooth and clean and the harmonica itself is durable. You should note that the harmonica doesn?t fit in holders well so it is difficult to play it while you are playing the guitar. You should also understand that this is too clean for a blues harmonica and it is really hard to get a blues sound from it. Other than that this harmonica is a nice value.

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(14 of 17 customers found this review helpful)


Good harmonica

By Songwriter99

from Fresno, CA

The shape of the Golden Melody doesn't work as well in a harmonica holder, which I use when I play guitar, which is why I switched to the Special 20, but I've had one Golden Melody more than 20 years. It still plays great. Otherwise it's a great harmonica, very comfortable to hold

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