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on 28 February 2011
It arrived in good time and condition in its own case with a cleaning cloth, very neat. I play the organ/piano and fairly quickly learned to play the scale of 'C'. Picking out a tune isn't easy remembering to suck instead of blow etc, however the sound is very good as this definately isn't a toy. The push button for sharps & flats works well but requires some coordination to press it and remember whether to suck or blow. In essence if you want to learn the harmonica this is as good a type as any. Just to avoid confusion this type of harmonica (a Chromatic) can play chords but is better know for tunes like 'Last of the Summer Wine'. If you search the internet there are web sites giving simple numbering sheets matching the numbered holes on the harmonica with a '-' symbol when you should suck instead of blow, this is an excellent method to get started.
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on 21 December 2010
I am a beginner so don't expect an in depth review. The one thing I did notice when I first tried to extract a tune was that it sounded just like the harmonica that Larry Adler used in the film 'Genevieve'. I bought it for my grandson and although not a Hohner its sound and build quality are excellent. He will be pleased I'm sure.
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on 9 September 2011
I've had a couple of diatonic harmonicas around for a long time and never really got on, so bought this chromatic on a whim - so cheap. A chromatic is so logical after those diatonics. I love it. Bear in mind that I've never played a quality instrument, but for a beginner, I can't fault it, in fact I can't put it down. One day in and I've played tunes in C and experimented with G and F, and confused myself with D once! If you can't find the note just try the slide.. The holes are generously spaced which suites my poor technique perfectly, flattering me into playing more and more. This little harp will be a constant companion for quite a while. If you want to try a chromo on the cheap, just buy one of these, you'll not regret it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 April 2013
As a general rule, chromatic harmonicas have 12 holes with 14 and 16 hole models coming up close behind. 10 hole instruments are more unusual. For those who aren't sure, they're actually the same in terms of tuning as 12 hole models - with just one obvious difference.

They have just a 2.5 octave range which ends at the notes F/F# rather than completing the 3rd octave and ending at C/C#. This slightly reduced note range still covers a very wide range of songs.

The Swan instrument is obviously a budget model but is still very well made. It is satisfyingly heavy and seems to stay in tune very well indeed. I find the rounded holes to be especially comfortable (see photos that I have uploaded).

All-in-all, a very good buy and an ideal instrument for the beginner, or the player who wants to switch from a diatonic harp. Unlike the Swan diatonic which comes in a hard case, it comes in a soft, zipped case which is nevertheless strong and makes for comfortable carrying in a pocket.

Obviously, if compared to, say, Yamaha or Hohner or other 'professional' instruments, then the Swan isn't in the same league. But in terms of pure affordability and value for money, it fully deserves a 5 star rating.

Also, the seller (RUMC - Really Useful Music Company) is one I've used several times and they are extremely efficient and reliable.
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on 26 December 2010
I am a beginner and did not want to pay out for an expensive chromatic Harmonica.When I saw this at such a good price I snapped it up!

Its really good quality.Its heavy and has a decent sound! I find the round holes a bit annoying though.But I recommend this to any beginner!
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on 10 January 2011
Swan Chromatic M1040: ten holes, 40 reeds, chromatic harmonica.

The price of this instrument is so low as to lead those with even the least experience of harmonicas to dismiss it as being incapable of being taken seriously. Swan is not among the most illustrious harmonica makers; I dare say that even their PR department would hesitate to consider placing them in the same bracket as Seydel, Hohner and Suzuki. Yet those looking for an inexpensive practice instrument, or beginners wanting to try their hand at the chromatic harmonica, would be missing a trick to dismiss this, or its 12- and 16-hole equivalents.

Straight out of the box, this harmonica is capable of making a pleasing sound, while the construction appears to be solid (acrylic comb with chrome covers and mouth-piece), with a slide that fulfils its function easily and without the sort of clattering one might expect from a budget instrument. The finish is decent, and the accompanying case (the one I bought has a slightly-padded leather, or leather-look, pouch) is perfectly functional and does not have that overly-shiny vinyl look that tends to characterise budget instrument cases.

So far as I can tell, the reeds are in tune and the tone is reasonably warm. My only reservation is that it takes rather more effort to get a note than with my Hohner 270 Chromonica (long considered to be the industry standard). There again, a 270 sells at around £95, while the Hohner Chromonica 40 (the equivalent in terms of size, holes and reed numbers to the Swan 1040) is over £70. Of course, Hohners are widely considered to be worth the cost; but if you simply want an extra harmonica for practice (or, as I do, as a practice harp to keep in the glove compartment), or are wanting to discover whether chromatic harmonica is for you, you can't do much better than to buy a Swan M1040 and use some of the £60 or so you've saved on instructional material.

Very highly recommended.
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on 3 March 2011
I played a Hohner chromatic harmonica (reasonably well) around 50 years ago. This one I bought through Amazon out of interst and nostalgia. It arrived in a couple of days. Slight damage had occurred to top and bottom plates during transit but this had no effect upon playing quality; seller quickly sent replacement plates and included a prepaid package for return of damaged ones. They could not be fairer than that !!

The 1040 SWAN is a brilliant beginners instrument for the price and so easy to play. After around 40 hours of use I am now interested in moving up the range.

Certainly I shall deal with Amazon and RUMC again. Try it out// It wont break your bank.

Bill Rendell
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on 17 February 2014
I was not expecting much when i bought this harmonica. However as an entry level chromatic it seems fine. It is in tune and was ready to play on arrival. I did not need to adjust any of the reeds.The volume is fairly quiet but is adequate for lone practice. There are no valves which means easy maintenance. Requires a little more wind but no problem if you have healthy lungs. Slide 'button' works smoothly. Instrument is not too large to cup. It lies comfortable in the hand. The range (starting C4 'middle C') is not overly restrictive although sometimes I have wished that it could get just a little lower to the B. I note that the price has reduced from £26 to just £19. At this price it is a very good buy indeed. Great for learning the basics.

I would recommend this to any beginner or to anyone more experienced requiring another instrument for travel or for practice. I am happy with my purchase.
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on 28 December 2011
The instrument is quite compact for a 10 hole and the holes in the mouthpiece are quite small. The sliding action was a bit stiff at first but has smoothed off after a few weeks playing. I have another instrument which cost over £50; this has a richer sound but is harder to play because of the large holes in the mouthpiece. Overall, this harmonica is well worth the money and the finnished product is as good as most others I've seen
I. Sharpe.
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on 2 November 2012
only bad point is that it is a little on the bulky and heavy side,but that is probably because this is my first chromatic harmonica and it will take a little adjusting to.
nice sound and found i could make a pleasant kind of 'tune' after ten minutes!
decent enough value for the money.
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