Originally Posted by Warfunkel
I feel the need to clarify that Marine Band is not a specific model. It is a line of harps, one of which is the Special 20. In my experience, the Special 20 is the best Marine Band model.
The Special 20 and the Lee Oscar harps sound similar. Compared to other Honers, both have a cleaner sound to my ear. I personally switched to Lee Oscar. It has a better feel to me and has the key and cross key written on it. Special 20s are great too.
At $30 a pop, harps aren't cheap. But, the price doesn't break the bank either. You can sound great with any decent harp (stay away from the cheapies). Just buy one and start playing. As you get better and blow through them, try out other brands and models. You will feel differences between models as you play more and get better and will develop a liking for a particular one.
Have fun! I love that I can stick a harp in my pocket and play just about anywhere.