Up until the mid 1970s, the Hohner Marine Band was not available in Europe and Australasia. Instead, we had the Echo Super Vamper. This was in every way identical to the Marine Band, with the exception of the engraving on the upper coverplate. There was also a 12-hole version called simply the Echo Vamper and it was identical to the 12-hole Marine Band 364 except once again for a slightly different engraving on the upper cover.
It is interesting to note that many European harp players believed that the reason American players sounded so good was because they could get this legendary harp, the Marine Band. Despite being reassured that the Echo Super Vamper was functionally identical, they believed that there was something special, almost magical about the Marine Band.
In later years, a different rumour became established. Film of Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) showed him playing 12-hole harps with the name "Echo Vamper" clearly visible (not surprising, as most his filmed performances were made in Europe and if he had needed to buy any new harps, he would have had to buy Echo Vampers instead of Marine Bands) and younger harps players began to believe that part of the secret of Sonny Boy's amazing tone was due to him playing these unavailable harps! Of course, the magic is in the player, not the instrument.
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