Customer Review

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket the difference!, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: NEW 10 HOLE CHROMATIC HARMONICA in C - AMAZING DEAL!
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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