Reply To: Wooden Keyless Tenor Impressions


Bit of a late reply so I hope it is still of some use to you. I have the Robin tenor, and I also own 4 wooden tenors (a bit ott, I know!). The finger hole spacing on all of them is mostly similar to the Robin so not much to choose between them there. The recorders I have are:

– Küng Studio in cherry. This sounds subtly different to the Robin, but there isn’t much in it, and on the down side the top notes are harder. It’s nicely made but quite honestly it’s not worth (to me) the much greater price – even though it’s my cheapest wooden tenor it still cost about 10 times as much as the Robin.

– Marsyas in plum. I like this instrument. I think it has a genuinely better tone than the Robin, with very clear top notes. The holes are quite small and easy to cover and spacing is great.

– Tim Cranmore tenor after Hotteterre. This is not a “genuine” Cranmore instrument: I did his “make your own recorder” course and this is what I made, but it’s pretty similar to an original (Tim did all the really hard bits anyway). Mine is unstained maple, Tim’s are boxwood. It is a terrific instrument, excellent across the whole register. If money was no object, I’d buy one of Tim’s originals just to have it.

– Kobliczek renaissance tenor. This is a bit different to the others as they are all baroque type instruments. I enjoy playing it so I’m glad I have it, though I probably wouldn’t have it as the only tenor I owned. Fingering is a bit harder than the others as hole 7 is further away, and can’t be rotated in relation to the other holes. I don’t find it difficult but it is more of a stretch. It has no bottom C# and although the fingering chart says you can get bottom D# by shading the hole, it’s not easy. The bottom few notes overblow very easily. Top G# isn’t great either, though it can manage a more convincing top C# than some recorders (without covering the bell).

To summarize, if money was no object, I’d have the Cranmore, otherwise the Marsyas. It would be interesting to hear what you go/went for.