I Don’t Play Hohner Special 20s Anymore

Check out my features on the PowerDraw, Lucky 13, and the Yonberg:

Jake endorses Yonberg harmonicas
Get your Yonberg harps here:
D2 TYPHOON Key of C: http://amzn.to/2A9Q0eW
D2 TYPHOON Key of A: http://amzn.to/2lEXe7r
D2 TYPHOON Key of F: http://amzn.to/2hw55ji
D2 TYPHOON Key of D: http://amzn.to/2z5npak
D2 TYPHOON Key of Bb: http://amzn.to/2xMIeGc
D2 STORM Key of C: http://amzn.to/2z6LAW1
D2 STORM Key of E: http://amzn.to/2ymo36j
D2 STORM Key of A (Black): http://amzn.to/2z7klKW

Jake attends Christian Leaders Institute https://www.christianleadersinstitute.org/. Christian Leaders Institute offers internet-based education curriculum and materials to any individual who desires a Christian-based higher education.

Old School Blues t-shirts: https://www.oldschoolmusiccompany.com/collections/clothing/products/old-school-blues-harmonica-t-shirt

Jake’s website: https://jakeknowsharmonica.com/home

Visit the Lee Oskar site: http://www.leeoskar.com/ (tell him Jake sent you!)

Hohner Special 20 Harmonicas can be bought here:
Key of C: http://amzn.to/2pkqvVR
Key of A: http://amzn.to/2pkcbN9
Key of G: http://amzn.to/2o9rJmU
Key of Bb: http://amzn.to/2oW5mhO
Key of F: http://amzn.to/2o9Ch5r
Key of E: http://amzn.to/2orEBkx
Key of D: http://amzn.to/2oPMDGp
Set of 5 with case: http://amzn.to/2orJn1o
Set of 3: http://amzn.to/2o9AD3P

Jake recommends these instructional books.
Harmonica for Dummies: http://amzn.to/2fuKIVj
Blues Harmonica for Dummies: http://amzn.to/2hNqGGD


John Doe says:

I agree with Jake. The Special 20 is a great harmonica and a working man’s classic. But I feel the Lee Oscar is a better alternative as a basic harp because it sounds just as good (or better…to me it does, and bends seem easier), is built as well, is cheaper to own and repair, and offers more tuning options.

TwentyOnePilotsTrash says:

can i buy your merch

bohemian46 says:

If I am not mistaken , the Special 20 is “just” tuned and the Lee Oskars are 12TET, as is the Golden Melody. I am interested in the other harps you mentioned but find it annoying and inconvenient that you did not enunciate or at least put an interjection or reference to them other than check out your web site.  I have a dozen Special 20s. a Few Lee Oskars, some BUSHMAN’s, and some Golden Melodies.. formerly owned some overrated defective unserviceable Brazilian crap..  all have their charm but still leave me looking for an orchestral/professional quality harmonica, I’m not “cheap” I will pay for quality. Thanks  for the reviews.. but needed a more simplistic definitive delivery of  your choices, ie don’t make me go looking elsewhere.. Bag the sunglasses.

HarpTee says:

I’d like to try a Yonberg but the price point is just stupid. Yonberg would sell a shed load of these at £30 at £55-60 imo they can go forth and multiply

bsonenthal1 says:

Jake ….so this video was I dont play special 20s anymore….sorry but after rereviewing some of your harp reviews.. almost every model came with a comparison of that harp and your special 20…which is to say that your reviews werent balanced..Review a harp on its own merits …instead of a comparison review…thank you

Rick Moro says:

Thanks Jake gives me something to think about been at 39 years could use a little mixing up, I do love my 20’s though

Shyamalkumar Dhar says:

I didn’t know why feel sorry for you

Mike Evans says:

Hi Jake I was looking around for a good c harp and o found Suzuki harp just wondering what your suggestion is if I should get it awesome video!!!

Craig Penton says:


Trent Mason says:

Jake, what special tuning did you get the Power 13 in?

Trent Mason says:

I’ve played so many. Didn’t expect you to say Lee Oskar as a great one, but you are right in pointing out the minor availability and the “less expensive” reed plates. Dunno man, I love Suzuki so much and my go to harps tend to be Honer Blues Harps. I leave them in my car and they hold up fine. Because they are around, I play them a lot and feel comfortable on them. Also, if they get ruined, they aren’t so costly that I’d cry. Oh, and I like my Hohner Pro Harps too. I know. I know. I’m one of those who likes Honer Pro Harps. They look cool and sound good.

Stan Anderson says:

Dear Jake,
I have a small problem with my harmonica. The 3 draw on my 10 hole C scale easttop harmonica sounds off. When I try to draw into it, it makes an irritating low pitch sound. When I use my finger to block the other holes and then try to do it provided that the cover is on, then it sounds fine.

I don’t know if this is where I have to post it but can you be able to help me?

michael walsh says:

Jake could you help me out , looking for a Marine Band Horner Double Reed Key of “G” made in Germany . Where can I buy one ?

george royster says:

dont like tuning of lee oskar but they are very well made

Trent Mason says:

I am inventing the Mason 44. Blown and drawn, you get all 88 keys of a piano. Sure, you said your Power 13 is long, but my Mason 44 is only 34 more holes and you get a nice workout playing it. Sure, I could have stacked it into 3 stacks of 15 holes or so, but that would be just crazy! 😉

Alan Parr says:

Gonna order one. I like the color of yours. Is it the black & white or the silver pearl? Thx Jake

john hanrahan says:

Awesome info! I killed so many Hohner Golden Melodys I had to either quit of take out a loan to buy them by the 12 pack.
You think those Yonbergs will survive? When I play, get “into it” and probably just overstress the reeds, but sometimes they just quit in the middle of a fairly mellow session.
Need a smooth playing SURVIVOR!
You think the Yonberg’s the answer?
Please answer back if you can. I’d like to get back into it. But not if they won’t last.
Hey, I even liked AND subscribed!… C’mon man, give me a recommendation, PLEASE!
And thank you.

Harmonica Man says:

I used to play Lee Oskar when I was younger. I stick to the special 20s now because of the reeds. It always seemed to me that they bend too easily and therefore easier to break and faster. Needing to have a replacement constantly became a problem for me eventually. I still have a few that seem to last forever though. Go figure.

Michael Allfrey says:

I agree with you ! Started changing mine out recently……thanks for the videos too !!!

adeco says:

Hi Jake. I have a question, the Powerdraw harmonica can be as good as Marine Band 1896?
I´m planing to get them in five keys so i would like to make the righ choise.
I apreciate your advise

El Rico says:

why does mine SUCK

william ditty says:

Hiya Jake! Just a question, are reed-plates inter-changeable to change the key of a favourite tuning? ie C to G major, or should i just buy a new one?

luciano Lee says:


Jonny Oosik says:

My older (Marine Band Series) Special 20’s were and are still super responsive harmonicas.

However, I bought a set of the newer “Progressive” series Special 20’s and they play like crap. So crappy that I get pissed off every time I look at them or even think about them.

What makes me even more livid is that despite all the review from players who have noticed this difference, Hohner still gives some bullshit political answer of how nothing has really changed. Gaslighting doesn’t work like that, Hohner. We know the difference.

Powertuber1000 says:

I have a Harrison B-Radical which was hand-made. I had them engraved my name, the company no longer exists because it couldn’t keep up with demand. It maybe the best sounding harmonica I have heard, with hardly any resistance when blowing.

Gordon Moore says:

I wish I knew if theres a different in spacing between different holes on a marine band versus a special. I’m not being able to get nice clean single notes on a special 20. Is there another harmonica that has cleaner single tones. I know tilting the harmonica should help as well. any comments would be appreciated.

FunkyHarp says:

All Lee Oskar baby. All Lee Oskar.

dougadoo1976 says:


JayNorem says:

Ridiculous. Changing reed plates on the SP20 is simplicity itself. Just one more phony fact from Jake. Jake doesn’t know harmonica, he can’t even play one.

Jay Klingensmith says:

Why didn’t you mention any Suzukis they’ve gone a long way with their hearts

Dr.Blues says:

Höhner meisterklasse 580 key D adjusted bends,overs ♡♡♡♡♡

Jeff A. says:

I have played special 20 and Lee Oscars exclusively for years. I find the Lee Oscars hole size and spacing slightly larger, and the Lee Oscars are far more durable. If cost and durability were no option I would only play special 20’s. They are so easy to play, clean and responsive, requiring less air

george royster says:

old marine bands,some custom and some pre war FAR outplay any harps I have

jesica alvarado says:

I was just gifted a blues harp. From my son’s broken held together by a ruberband. I would never buy one for myself.. but going to my blues harp…wow what else is out thr. This is so confusing. I hear special 20 everywhere. .nobody digs the blues harp. Or is it me coming from a $5 harp lol help. Top it I play all day every day after 2 weeks it’s shot. I’m so lost.

Tom Swift says:

I can’t believe that anybody is still buying Hohners. There are only two kinds of harmonicas, the ones which leak like screen doors, and the ones which are worth practicing on. Japanese-made Suzukis, Japanese-made Tombos (including Lee Oskar, of course), Seydels (yes, even the stone-age ones with brass reeds) are all good. Chinese-made Suzukis, Chinese-made Tombos, almost any other Chinese harmonicas, and essentially all Hohners, Chinese or German, are landfill. I have a Big River which is tolerable, a Special 20 which isn’t too awful, and a Golden Melody which is actually pretty good in the leak department, though it has the stickiest reeds I’ve ever encountered. Everything else? Waste of money. No more for me, I’m through. I have no idea what Hohners were like five or ten or eighty years ago; I have a couple I’ve had lying around for about sixty years now, but those aren’t playable. All my functional Hohners are from the last couple of year’s production, and most of those are just money down the toilet.

I’ve never heard of Yonberg, I’ll have to take a look.

nightrawdeluxe says:

My go-to harmonicas are Hohner Rocket Amp for standard tunings. For natural minor I always take Lee Oskar. Hohner does not provide nat. minor reedplates for my prefered Rocket harps 🙁

michael walsh says:


Thomas Groff says:

None of these are professional instruments, get yourself a custom harp from someone like Joe Spiers. These out of box harmonicas can barely sustain a consistent bend in tune.

michael walsh says:

Jake I need your help please respond I am not a musician but I am trying to help a disabled veteran who is a musician .
Time is not on his side need to locate a marine band DOUBLE REED key of G harmonic A S A P .
PLEASE RESPOND , people have told me you would help. HELP !
Michael Patrick Walsh

Bud M. says:

Which model Yonberg do you think is best for blues and bending? Thanks, Jake.

Claudio Machado says:

Hi, Jake. I bought a Yonberg TYPHOON D2TyphoonC and I fell in love with the designner and sound of it.
Do you customize your harmonicas?
I feel a hard time running the bends in hole 3

Capt. Rich says:

No talent hack here; but love honking out some notes when I can. Your dead on about the Special 20, consistent but often needs replaced. Not cost effective and frustrating.
Back home, (moved recently and haven’t found anybody to jam with here yet) when I’d have the chance to sit in with one of the bands there in Texas; it was frustrating having to go buy a new harp before I could even head to the bar.

jesica alvarado says:

My blyes harp I can change my reeds do people go through harmonicasome that quick. Or am I drooling lots. Ugh I don’t understand can what do u do get one in everything. It’s so hard. I don’t want to spend 50 bucks on something that will last 2 weeks.

paul mazurek says:

I bought

Tremolo Harmonica says:

Years ago I switched from the Special 20 to the Oskar. Mostly because of the extra tunings but also because the stainless steel covers on the Oskars didn’t rust. The 20s have stainless covers now also, but I am happy with the Oskars and never went back. Both are nice harps. My Youtube channel is mostly tremolo harp, but diatonic is my main instrument because it is more versatile.

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