The Super Harmonica
When most of us pick up a harmonica, we are only playing one side of it. Traditionally, all harmonicas and most reed instruments only require this to play. But for a brief period of time, the legendary brand name Hohner, crafters of harmonicas for the great Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and many more, developed and manufactured the world’s first six sided, tremolo harmonica.
This rare musical gem still holds the record for the largest harmonica, combining six separate harmonicas into one nifty device. This six sided harmonica, or the Hohner Kreuzwender Six Sided Tremolo, is the first of its kind. Tremolo harmonicas traditional come with double holes and double reeds. The purpose of this is to create a unique sound, different from traditional harmonicas. With two holes and two reed plates, each reed plate is tuned to the same note, with one being tuned slightly higher than the other. This creates a rich sort of special effect tone and can be found primarily on classical stages, or for special effects.
The Hohner Kreuzwender Six Sided Tremolo comes with 24 holes on each side of the harmonica for a total of 48 reeds per harmonica. In turn, this helps produce a warm vibrato aesthetic and stays true to the roots of the Hohner name, who is notorious for their warm, clean sounds.
Each harmonica is tuned to a different key included key of C, D, F, G, A, and B flat, so the beautiful part about this harmonica, is you can have each harmonica you need in one component rather than each harmonica separately. The combs are crafted out of maple and are sealed airtight to ensure all air flow stays within the central air chamber component. This is what helps the Kreuzwender Tremolo harmonica create its rich, full tones.
This harmonica can also be played in its unified form, or dismantled to play individually. Because this unique instrument is made up of high quality, true materials, it does make it prone to moisture damage over time. Being able to dismantle this instrument whether to play it separately or for cleaning purposes, is an extremely useful perk of this harmonica. It is about 11”x3 ½” in diameter and weighs about 1lb.
The best part about this harmonica is the sheer novelty of it. This product was only carried as a limited addition with a limited supply, so can no longer be found on the Hohner website for purchase. Not only is this instrument beautifully crafted and carefully designed, staying true to the Hohner way, but it has quickly become a sought after collectibles item among professional musicians, harmonica enthusiasts, and many others who have become intrigued with this device.
Today, the Hohner Kreuzwender Six Sided Tremolo can be found on vintage websites, and occasionally even on Ebay.com. It is am extremely rare musical gem to come across and is held in possession of only the biggest harmonica and music enthusiasts.