Fake Harmonica Help Needed?
Ok. So recently I bought two Hohner Marine Band harps. One was key of E and other in a. The e harp came in a cheap-box and looked nice. The a came in a plastic case and looked not as nice but ok. After opening I noticed slight differnces. The cases look exactly the same but the one for E key had the inside holder fall out and on the back with all the information it says "CE" as the other didn't. For the actual harmonicas the front E one is painted black as the other one has the name "HOHNER" on it with unpainted background. Are either fake?
The Marine Band used to come in a cardboard box with the same design scheme as the present plastic clamshell case but the inside was red. Way long-long ago it came in a box that was red and black but it's unlikely you've found one that old. (it would have a 6-pointed star in the logo on the back coverplate)
The black plastic liner in the clamshell case sometimes comes loose - but is easy enough to glue back in. The old cardboard boxes aren't a good place to keep your harp, roaches like to eat them and then get into your reeds. Buy it a new place to live.
As was mentioned by Miles, the case should always have the Marine Band photo in black and white on the top with "Marine Band made by M. Hohner Germany No 1896" to the right in red even on the old cardboard box. The corners of the case logo are red too. The top of the harp will have an engraved image of Mr. Hohner, "Marine Band" and "M. Hohner" above the hole numbers. A440 is stamped on one side, the key of the harp on the other. Any special tuning is noted in the bottom right of the top cover plate. The back cover plates will have bunches of award medals and the Hohner hands logo dead center.
The cover is attached to the reedplates with a screw in each corner (less expensive models from China have one screw on each side) and the comb is wood (less expensive models from China have a plastic comb). On a new one, the brass under the cover plates (the reedplate) still shines.
The one I bought today has "M1896506 CE" on the back of it and there's no doubt this one is NOT a fake since it came direct. I have no idea what the "CE" is there for.
To me it sounds like you have a pair from different periods of production. If you bought one (or both) used or "new old stock" then it's possible you just have one from the older production.
PS: for those unaware: "Marine Band" is a specific model of harmonica made by the Hohner company. They are all made in Trossingen Germany and have been for over 100 years. Hohner makes other harmonicas that aren't the Marine Band and some of those are made in China.
The Marine Band IS a professional quality instrument. It's been the go-to harp for most professional players since forever.
Add: no Hohner harmonica I've seen comes painted from the factory. Some are black but they're either plastic or powder coated - not painted. This is particularly true of the Marine Band because it comes with standard Marine Band covers.
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