Reply To: Next step after Yamaha YRA-28B Alto (towards a Bernolin Resin)?

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Richard Hureau

Katia and Ken,
I know that the 2 Ecodear models are as I said (the differences in windway) because it is mentioned on some UK store’s website in a Q&A area (I forget which). I mean, it is an obvious question and if you search on UK music store websites, I think you’ll find it somewhere, as I did.

As far as why they marketed 2 like this, I think this is Yamaha’s attempt to bamboozle folks into actually believing that a change in the type of plastic they used (Ecodear) would make such a difference in sound. I think it is pure, unadulterated B.S. If you live in the USA, you saw one model (the 402B) which Yamaha claimed was EXACTLY the same as the 302B except for the plastic used. So, wow, when you tried them you could hear that the Ecodear sounded A LOT different. So it must be the plastic, right?

Well, turns out that if you looked at the windway, you see that they are not, in fact, the same. So gee, I wonder why that Ecodear sounds so muffled? Could it be that narrow windway? You think?

My theory (of trying to fool people into thinking it was the plastic making the difference) is somewhat ruined by the fact that I’ve been told (but don’t know for certain), that BOTH Ecodear alto models were introduced in the UK AT THE SAME TIME. I wonder if this is really true. I mean, for example, why would they give the Ecodear that has the narrower windway the same model number (except for the first digit) as the 302B? And then give the Ecodear that REALLY IS THE SAME as the 302B the goofy model number 48B? It makes no sense.

So my theory is that after they got caught in the lie that the plastic of the 402B was causing the difference in sound, they owned up to it and produced the 48B, which has the fatter windway like the 302B (and most other) recorders have. I’ll bet it sounds the same as the 302B too. I wish I could get a 48B because I like the look of the Ecodear a lot and would like to have one that doesn’t sound like it has a head cold!

Concerning the Haka model, I prefer the Aulos 509B (“Symphony”) over it. As I mentioned above, it is more like the Bernolin in size, so it is easier to go back and forth. Sarah Jeffery has a YouTube review of the Haka here:

She mentions the odd placement of the right hand finger holes, another thing I don’t like about it. This is not to say it isn’t a good alto; it is.