Piccolos

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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fluteguy18
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Piccolos

Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:07 am

After reading all of these articles and opinions on piccolos, I started to wonder what piccolos we all play.

I play a wooden Yamaha YPC62.

Any one else?

sherbert789
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Post by sherbert789 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:09 pm

I play the Yamaha-62 also. Not half bad for its price, huh?

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:28 am

Yeah, I thought it was a good deal. when I went to buy it, I had to pick between the yamaha and a hammig. Does the hammig play $500 better than the yamaha? ....yes...... does it play $2000 better than the yamaha? no way. :?

Anyone play something different than a Yamaha?

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:54 am

"Stuck with" an ancient Armstrong Heritage (grenadilla) for the moment--though constantly, uh, shopping. Back in the day, my parents stangely didn't believe in helping kids buy costly, necessary items, like cars and instruments. So, after getting a job, "real" flute, a husband, a better car, and some home improvement accomplished, I'm now totally ready for a new picc! I'll do some experimenting at the convention (can't wait!!!!!). One of my students last year purchased the Yamaha 82 and loves it. I'm looking at Burkhart, Keefe, and Powell, though some people report funny intonation things with the Powell--amazing tone, however. Old Zentners, old Seamans, and Hammigs are all suposed to be very nice. :D

ick27
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Post by ick27 » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:25 pm

MeLizzard,

Don't discount the new Hammig piccolos either, they are excellent quality, and some people like them more than any other brand. I went piccolo shopping at the convention last year, and made a point to try as many as I could get my hands on. (I bought a Burkart & Phelan piccolo, which I liked a little better than the Hammig in the same price range.) Keefe and Burkart piccolos are really the best you can get, and you'll find that most professional picc. players play one of these. I get the impression that Powell hasn't really changed their piccolo design in a while; they seem more old-fashioned than Burkart and Keefe. Powell piccolos also seem to be the most expensive. Among other new piccolos, Bulgheroni and Weissman also seem to be well regarded, but I haven't played either of them enough to give any personal opinions.

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:48 pm

I'll take copious notes--I worry for my hand :shock: --and post my findings afterward. I did mean new Hammigs, lots of players like them. They seem to be the bang-for-the-buck entry-professional picc these days. Happily, however, I'm no longer bugetarily constrained, and if Burkhart or Keefe or something else expensive wins the contest, I don't have to feel disheartened! My flute is used, mostly what I would want in a flute, but older, and, so, at least one of my instruments is gonna be exactly what I like. May the best picc win!!!!!!!!! :D

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:25 pm

I play an old Zentner....It was actually called "the best head/body match of any piccolo I have ever played" by one of the best repair techs (who works only on artist quality instruments) west of the Mississippi, and believe me, he has played MUCH, MUCH more expensive piccs.

c_otter
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Post by c_otter » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:51 pm

I recently bought a Hammig 650/2 with a wave headjoint.

After 6 months, I happy I spent the extra chunk of change, especially since I'm hoping to play this one for a really long time. I'd only played piccolo parts twice in the past 15 years (played picc in marching band previously), and I was immediately able to play relatively quietly up to the F3. It also really helps that this piccolo is fairly in tune with itself. Just being able to pick up the piccolo and play well has really increased how much I enjoy it. What's also been really neat are the unsolicited compliments I've gotten, especially those about playing in tune. It really helps build confidence for playing in the stratosphere.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:29 am

I love the Hammig 650/2 !

however when I went to buy my piccolo, I was going to buy a hammig, but I found a much better deal. I could only tell the slightest difference in my playing between the Yamaha62 and the hammig (the wave in the lip was the difference for me). So when I looked at the prices, it was 3k for the hammig, but 1k for the yamaha *new with warranty when it should have been 2.3k* It was being sold by a dealer in holland, so I snatched it before anyone else could.

FltnPicc_David
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Post by FltnPicc_David » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:10 pm

I play the YPC-32..considering I am marching with it now, it's a good choice for both marhcing and concert ^_^ I'll get a wooden one someday.

I got it new with the 5 year warranty Yamaha offers for 650.00! I saw it in the music store and I was like" Are you kidding me? That's worth a bit over 1K!" I got it right away, lol. I felt bad tohugh because when i bought it, they told me I was lucky because later in the day, a woman was coming buy to see it and possibly buy it... o_o

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:04 pm

sounds like we both got a good deal. Yeah, I have a cheap piccolo as a back up (they copied the design of the Yamaha ypc32 *I could tell where they got the design when I tried all of the yamahas and it looked SOO familiar* :wink: ) and it was very good for marching and concert.

now it is my marching picc, and my wooden picc is for concert situations.

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briolette
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Post by briolette » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:31 pm

I believe I play a Gemeinhart 4SH...my mom got it for me when I was in highschool and that thing only cost $275 back then, but it worked well for me! It's all silver, sounded great on the field but was easy to enough to play for indoor concert stuff. I'd love to own a wooden piccolo though.

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:03 pm

Sorry, I got all excited--and busy!!--and forgot to reply. I played countless (ok, not truly "countless") picc body and head combinations, a couple dozen per brand. I made at least mental, some tangible, notes about all of them if anyone has more questions, as I'm a bit distracted by dinner prep to write a small novel now. I played new Weissman, Burkhart & Phelan, Hammig, Powell, Haynes, Keefe, and Bukhart (Lillian Burkhart began her picc-making career at Powell in the '70s), plus used Zentner and Seaman. I played, but not for my personal consideration, Burkhart Global, Powell Sonare, and several other lower-priced piccs I could recommend to students. I neglected to play new Yamahas because the store in which I work carries these, and I already know & trust them. I passed on Weissman, a little less responsive, and Keefe, because, though it was really great, it was over $1000 more than the next-expensive model I was considering.
The bottom line is still, no matter who says which flute or piccolo is "the best", it's likely only the best for that particular player. Always go someplace where you can play them yourself, as many brands and models as possible. Take along a flute-playing friend (whose ears you really trust) for a different perspective. It helps, as well, if that person can play the piccs so you can listen. For example, my perspective on the Hammigs I was trying completely changed after hearing another (fine) picc player try them in a quiet room. I had narrowed my choices to two Hammigs (four head choices), a Burkhart & Phelan, a used Burkhart handmade (about 6 years old), and two new handmade Burkharts. The other player asked whether I heard anything unusual as he descended into the middle of the first octave on each Hammig combo. (Please don't consider this a condemnation of Hammig piccolos!!). I answered, yes, I had felt a change as I played them as well. He said he thought the tone color completely changed at that point, and remarked that there was no way he could alter this response! This convinced me I wasn't losing my mind. I mean, ALL of the piccs in contention are much more responsive and in-tune than my current model, so theoretically, any one would have been a decent choice on many levels. However, advanced discrimination skills are required at such a juncture, so I became ruthless and exacting in evaluating the response, color, pitch, and feel of each instrument. My cellist husband kept saying, "It sounds good. I can't really hear a difference from the last one.". That's helpful!! It's good to know I sound like me, I guess.
I finally chose a Burkhart, handmade, new scale, new pad design, with the G# facilitator. This is a fantastic invention which closes ONE of the thumb key holes while high G# is fingered, allowing this stupendously frustrating note to sing from the picc with no alternate fingering, no extreme exertion, and no swearing. :wink: It also aids the response of high B and C. This is Lillian Burkhart's design, copied (bastardized ?!?) by a couple other makers. Keefe's version, I think, allows both thumb holes to close, which seems to really annoy the Burkhart rep who owns one. He says that's what he gets for buying the "enemy" piccolo, lol.
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:56 pm

I own several Piccolos, but the one I play the most is the Armstrong 210. This is not the piccolo I prefer, but for the money I had to spend at the time I got it, it was the most playble with the best tone that was readily available to try out. Of course how fate works out, I wound up trying a Boston Legacy 2 weeks after I bought the 210. My Shanghai Piccolo is cool, but it is a little less forgiving, so I rarely perform with it unless I get some good practice on it. I use to own a Barrington 996, but I donated it to a friend of mine. This is another good playing piccolo. I have a few "colored" pics I just play on occasion. The Purple Venus Piccolo with the silver keys is a "Babe" magnet! Needless to say, my show pic of choice

MeLizzard
I know what you mean. With brands, it is just a matter of preference. I have played on my share of different piccolos, and have found that is was not quality or price that was the issue, but simply personal playability.

It is my opinion that any "good" player can learn how to play good on any decent instrument. The price to pay is how long do you want to invest the time in an instrument that you have to adapt to.

Phineas

flutegeek1992
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Post by flutegeek1992 » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:08 pm

I play a Germeinhardt 4sph. I really do love it. I'm in high school now (no marching band though) so this works find for me. I'm upgrading to a new flute soon, so a new pic is out of the question. However, when I get to college (or the summer before) I'd like to upgrade to an all wooden pic. I played some at convention and they are beautiful!

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