Reply To: Triebert recorders?

Katia J

Mostly I know Susato for their pennywhistles (though I don’t own any of theirs). I don’t need to take up any more instruments, though!

I have two Susato Kildare whistles: the Low-D and the Low-G (I recently posted a recording of the Low-G whistle in the “Recordings” section, here). I’m pleased with them. (I own various other whistles, too, but those are the only Susatos.)

FWIW, as a recorder player you’d find it very easy to play a whistle. They’re diatonic rather than chromatic, but it’s not much of a transition. If you like their tone (personally, I think whistles really suit some things), I’d say go for it.

I didn’t buy [the Ecodear Yamaha] for its looks so much as the darker voice that reviewers noted. That turned out to be true with a pleasant dash of ‘reediness.’ I bought a matched Descant/Treble pair…

I also have a soprano/alto pair of Ecodear recorders, as well as a Yamaha 304B tenor (not Ecodear). I have a regular (non-Ecodear) Yamaha soprano, too, and I have to say that I prefer the tone of the Ecodear version.

I think my next recorder will probably be a nice wooden one, though. I’m still thinking about what direction I want to go, there (and recorders or whistles are not my main instrument, so there’s that…). For now I’m content with the Yamahas.

I already do play whistle, and have for almost ten years now (don’t ask how many I own, lol…). I did find it easy to pick up D whistle fingerings when I did, because of my childhood experience with soprano recorder. In fact, whistle fingering is now the only thing that keeps me having any idea of soprano recorder fingering, since I’m now focusing on alto recorder and trying not to get mixed up between the two (so I’m essentially ignoring soprano for now. I have an easier time of not getting mixed up with whistle because of finding it easier to think of it as a different instrument, especially since it hasn’t got the chromatic fingerings).

I’ve listened to comparisons of the 300 series and the Ecodear (and of the Yamaha with the Aulos and Zen-On altos) but it’s hard to know listening to recordings… so much can depend on the recording technology, the player, whether they’re playing the same piece on each instrument they’re comparing, etc. And, also hard to know when listening to someone else play, how the individual instrument will fit you.

What seems to be universal is that the Yamaha 300 series has (to me) a more “focused” sound than the others, which I like. But also a more “plastic-y” sound as well (which I don’t so much like). To what extent the “plastic” sound has come out has depended on the individual recording/player (which is why I find it hard to tell from others’ recordings. I’ve heard recordings where I prefer the 300 series, recordings where I prefer the Ecodear, recordings where I prefer the Aulos (then we get into which model of Aulos…). I haven’t heard too many comparisons with the Zen-On Bressan so it’s hard for me to form an opinion. I’ve even heard recordings comparing plastic to wood, and a couple times I have preferred the sound of the plastic instrument (mostly for the reason below)!

(Mind you, I will make a confession: to me many/most recorders have what I consider a “plastic-y” sound at times, even the high-end wooden ones. It’s just the way a recorder, as an instrument, sounds in my mind. Other people may describe the sound differently. It’s part of the reason I’ve eschewed some plastic pennywhistles; I’ve described them as sounding “recorder-y” and I think it’s that “plastic” sound. To me a whistle tends to have a more pure and sweet sound. I don’t mean that to sound offensive, it’s just that the way my brain personally forms an impression of the sound of a recorder is, sometimes, as sounding like plastic. I don’t know if this is formed by having played a plastic instrument as a kid and so I attributed the sound of a recorder to the material it’s made from {doubtful since, say, I know clarinets and some Irish flutes are also made of plastic and I don’t consider them to sound like plastic– I can’t really distinguish the sound of either from wood instruments and to be honest with you, if you played wooden and plastic recorders where I can’t see you I probably wouldn’t be able to tell, either}, or if it’s just something about the way my brain thinks plastic “sounds.” And I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what aspect of a sound I find “plastic” like. I suspect it may be what I would describe as a more “narrow” sound, as opposed to a more “round” or “full” sound? But I can’t be sure.)