The Tremolo: Reviews
Overall: A very good instrument. In general very much like Tombo 3121, but higher in quality. Very good feel, among the best overall. Sadly not available in most keys.
Price: US$47.50 plus shipping from Coast To Coast Music. Much more expensive than Hohner Echo Celeste, significantly more expensive than Tombo 3121, less than half the price of Tombo 1521.
Keys: C, C#/Db, A, G, D, Am, Gm, Dm. The Suzuki web site says that they're available in all keys, but this writer have not yet found anyone in the world willing to sell in most keys to destinations outside of Japan.
Box: Good strong plastic box.
Physicality: Good strong plastic comb, behaves as if it will last a long while. Good sheet metal covers. Two good screws secure into hollow screw studs, one on each opposite side, holding it all together, with more dimly visible inside. Edges of reedplates are visible, like Tombo 1521. The reedplates are very heavy-gauge metal, not brass in color; conceivably they could be stainless steel. The usual sheet metal covers are polished to a high sheen, with just a few light markings to indicate make and tones. Overall feel is very strong, even stronger than either Tombo. Heavier than a 3121, not as heavy as a 1521.
Tone & Tuning: Excellent for the mids and highs, satisfactory for the lows. Solo-tuned. The tuning is extremely precise. The off-tuning of each tone is normal tremolo, not 1521-special. Overall this could be a higher-quality edition of the Tombo 3121. The plastic comb gives a very satisfactory timbre, less rounded than Tombo 1521, almost exactly like my old Brelli, far better than my Huang Musette 24. The timbre is close to my Hohner Double Echo, but not so brash; sweeter, better for vocal accompaniment. Every note comes out smoothly and well, without exception. Chords are as easy as single notes, just like 1521. This harmonica is full-scale (solo) tuned, unlike most Hohner tremolos, so you will be able to play three full octaves in runs.
Downsides: If you need expressive lows, you'll probably want Hohner Echo Celeste or Tombo 1521. Otherwise, none; availability of keys appears no longer limited, from at least one web retailer.