The Tremolo: Reviews
The Merano Double Tremolo

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Overall: A playable instrument, very inexpensive, and happily, not Richter. Needs an unusually large amount of air. The tremolo effect is almost absent, so best used for solo, not ensemble. Good diaphragm exerciser!

Price: $9.95 U.S. plus shipping from this page at Fishlips3.com.

Keys: This instrument is double-sided, meaning it is really two harmonicas in one, one of each key. It is available only in C and G.

Size: 16-tone (sixteen notes) per side.

Box: Weak paperboard box. Must be replaced more or less immediately.

Physicality: Good plastic comb, looks like it will take heavy use. Good sheet metal covers available in many different colors. Instrument is held together with screws, which is surprising in a double, and in such a low-cost instrument too. Overall feel is acceptably strong, but definitely squashable: I would wonder about ruination (perhaps a hammer and anvil could effect a crude and unaesthetic emergency fix) if I accidentally sat on this instrument on a moderately soft sofa. However, the instrument is sufficiently inexpensive that concern is minimal. If appearances are any indication, the squashability actually appears to be somewhat less than Hohner Double Echo. The reedplates are nice-looking brass. I have been tempted to send this to a custom shop with a substantial dollar maximum and instructions to "see what you can do"; I suspect the results would be immensely interesting.

Tone & Tuning: The tuning is nice and precise, and it is solo-tuned. But the tremolo off-tuning is not very present, and there is a major deficit in volume: if I attempted to deliver the same ordinary volume range on this instrument as is the norm on any of my other instruments, I would be demanding an enormous amount of air from myself, and I would expect to damage reeds over time. But it is solo-tuned, and the instrument generally works rather nicely, and so this instrument becomes very useful for a new learner, partly because it will help build a new player's air-delivery capability, and also because it is an inexpensive double, with the two keys being present.

Downsides: Relatively low volume and minimal-to-zero tremolosity. But this writer has given two of these away to new learners, and they have been appreciated.

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