Many years ago as a beginner the last thing on my mind was spending a lot of money on a harmonica. That’s not because I did not think it was worth it, but just because I could not afford a $60-70 harp and I did not know how far my interest would go. After a lot of research and procrastination, I caved into my urge to spend as little as possible and got a $5 model. Needless to say, it was not good. AT ALL! Did I learn my lesson? Nope. I continued on buying cheap harmonicas until one day I decided to spend a couple of bucks more and then I finally ended up with a nice quality model. That is when I realized that a couple of bucks go a long way with harmonicas. One of the models that are pretty cost efficient but not as cheap in quality is the PLCEO Folkmaster Standard 10-Hole Diatonic Harmonica.
Folkmaster is a 10-diatonic harmonica in the key of C. This affordable model is waterproof and made of nicely polished stainless steel plates, plastic comb, and thin brass reeds. Materials used for this model are pretty standard but durable. This one, I would say, is elevated by polished design and clear markings on the outside. My biggest problem with this instrument is that the edges are sharp. This issue ruins the comfort for a lot of people and makes playing that much harder. Honestly, I expected the edges to be a bit sharp or something to go haywire because this is a very affordable model. For the price though, the issue is not as extreme. The Folkmaster also comes with a hardshell plastic case that will keep your harmonica safe if you travel around with it. Overall, while there are minor issues this is a great beginner instrument or a back up one for a pro/intermediate player.
When it comes to the sound of this instrument the low price definitely does not show. Due to a pretty decent, well-rounded construction the model offers crisp and clear sound. The tone is mellow and rich. This is an amazing option for a beginner who wants versatility in style so they don’t need to get different harmonicas for rock, folk, pop, etc. The reeds are very comfortable and easy to bend with. One issue is that the design is not very airtight so you need to put in a bit more effort to get the volume. This might be a bit tiring, especially for beginners.
While PLCEO Folkmaster Standard 10-Hole Diatonic Harmonica might not be the first choice of a pro player, it definitely should be at least one of the top choices for beginners. With quality construction and durable material this diatonic harmonica offers nostalgic sound, mellow tones, and versatility that takes it from “okay, it’s affordable” instrument to one of the best diatonic harmonicas in its price range.