Piccolos under $500?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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Piccolos under $500?

Post by PiccHearingProblems » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:58 pm

My band director asked me to play piccolo this year, however, we are unable to find any of the "functioning" school piccolos. We do have this bad brandless Chinese piccolo, but it plays obnoxiously out of tune. As I still want to play the piccolo, I was wondering if there are any piccolos on the cheaper end. I was thinking of maybe getting the Gemeinhardts, as I heard they made pretty decent piccolos or a used Yamaha (although these may be a little too pricey).
Thank you everyone for taking your time to read/answer this!

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Re: Piccolos under $500?

Post by pied_piper » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:51 pm

If you check around, you may be able to find a used Gemeinhardt 4P piccolo in that price range. It has a plastic body and headjoint but it is a respectable, reliable piccolo in that price range. Also, you might find a used Yamaha YPC-32 around that price. It has a plastic body and metal headjoint.

When buying used though, be sure that you buy from a reputable dealer that has thoroughly checked that it is in good playing condition. Otherwise you might end up having to pay repair bill that could put you way over your budget.

If you can stretch your budget a little, you can get a new Jupiter JPC1010 for a little under $700 and that is also a respectable brand.

If you read the Fluteland FAQ, you will find a list of reputable flute and piccolo dealers that should be able to help you find what you are looking for.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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Re: Piccolos under $500?

Post by SylvreKat » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:56 pm

My silver Gemi is a dream to play. Not nearly as shrill as you'd assume all-silver would be, unless I let it go shrill. I got it for $200 used, in perfect shape.

My Armstrong isn't too far behind. A little less responsive in dynamics and key action but well up to my needs. It also was $200, plus cleaning and repad (it had been stored in an attic :shock: ).

Both of those were bought used from individuals.

My Artley, as indicated in my sig line, is utter garbage. I'd love to sell it but my conscience won't permit me foisting the instrument-shaped piece of metal onto anyone else. Only thing it has over Chinese is it's sturdy. And repairable. It was bought new from a reputable music store.

Check your local Craig's List for piccs. If you're not comfortable testing it, ask your teacher or an experienced piccist to go with you.

Heck, I'd played picc for at least 15 years, and I still had a friend go with me when I checked out the Gemi, although in part because I wasn't real familiar with where the seller was and it was at night. I played it and liked it, she played it and declared "If you don't buy it I will and I don't need another picc!" I did the same before buying my Yami flute. It never hurts to have another player double-check your opinion, even if you're experienced with playing--s/he can give confirmation of what you feel and hear.

Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

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Re: Piccolos under $500?

Post by stormageddon » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:45 am

Check out Kessler & Sons' composite picc. I got one, and first impressions are very good. It plays easily, good dynamics, excellent projection, crisp articulation. It's currently retailing for $549 on their website. My only concern at that price point is durability, but I haven't been able to find any complaints about weak mechanisms or broken keys anywhere on the internet, and they've been on the market for three years now. Worth looking in to, IMO, and it works really nicely for me.

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