Harps, bullet mics and Cigar Box Guitars available at Like me on FB https:// Knows Harmonica Jake endorses Sugar Cain's Harmonicas Buy Marine Band harmonicas here Jake does a short review of the Hohner Marine Band Harmonica.
A Special 20 has six pins holding down the reed plate. It felt very much like a nicely broken-in Big River or a Special 20 out of the box. I attribute this to the fact that it was very nicely gapped. Classic Marine Bands, as I am sure you are aware, are notoriously had to play.
Old Special 20 showing the 6 pins holding it to the comb. Once you take out those nails, it is ruined, unless you want to spend time with it. They come from the factory with a tight gapping that makes them hard to bend.
I apologize for the horrible state of the reeds, but I bought this harp in 1992 and played it for about 4 years. I would guess that you could take the Special 20 reed plate, drill the 4 holes for the cover screws and it would fit just fine on the deluxe comb. I am sure that this is done on purpose so that the harmonica will stay true to its tuning and non-blues players appreciate this. As a blues player, I need to have the ability to bend the harp and the Marine Bands always need a period of Breaking-In while the reeds loosen up and the gap falls into place.
The holes on the bottom (show here) are threaded so that the three machine screws bite the hard brass and hold the reed plates airtight against the sealed comb.
The three holes are in the same position as on the Special 20 reed plates.
In fact, the reed plates look like special 20 reed plates with the addition of the two holes for the cover plates.
The deluxe looks very much like a Special 20 re-tooled for the pear wood comb.
The old marine band is darker because I played it for a while, and the brass has darkened.
You can see in the picture the four cover screws on the Deluxe and, if you look closely, you can see that the posts of the comb are rounded.