The Tremolo: Reviews
Overall: A playable instrument, very inexpensive, and
not Richter. Needs an unusually large amount of
air. The tremolo effect is almost absent, so best used for
solo, not ensemble.
Price: Was $9.95 U.S. plus shipping, possibly not being made anymore.
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.
& 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.