Reply To: Wooden Keyless Tenor Impressions

Ken In Dallas

Wow. You put so much into your reply. Thank you. I’m not at all familiar with Cranmore or Kobliczek though regarding the latter I am looking for a Baroque instrument rather than Renaissance. I would guess that all the mentioned tenors are keyless(?) Where I am at this point is that I’m being gifted the tenor by my wife. I’ll leave the vendor’s name out right now. I think it best. I loved the weight and speed of the Robin despite it’s problems – especially ‘in tune-ness.’ For nearly 60 years I’ve played a keyed Herwiga. It has the voice of an angel but is just plain worn out. Thus I’m needing a new wooden tenor. I also have an Aulos 311 single key. I wasn’t really thinking about getting a finer handmade instrument, looking towards less than $1000. At my age I’m fine with that, having commissioned and then playing for a lifetime my primary instrument, a classical guitar made to my body dimensions of Brazilian and Spruce. I’ll hold back from going on here about the privilege of owning such an instrument and pursuing Bach all these years as well as performing and blending with so many fine musicians with it. So… We went to order a keyless Boxwood Moeck but my wife and the vendor talked me into trying a keyed Boxwood Mollenhauer first, which is currently delayed by the Pandemic. I have a Mollenhauer Pearwood alto. After near a year of ownership, either I’ve gotten used to the voice or it’s broken in. Compared to the Herwiga the Mollenhauer is reedy to the edge of gritty to my ear. It still is till it’s quite warmed up. Thus my reservations while awaiting the ordered instrument though I’m assured an easy exchange for a Moeck keyless if I don’t like what arrives, just that that’s a far less popular instrument that therefore can’t be returned/exchanged. I accept that keyless tenors have way quieter bottom ends. I have all these reservations about the Mollenhauer, but I’m in for the ride at this point. I certainly have the musical chops to give it a try. I’m planning to record it, wait a day or two, and listen to it (hopefully) objectively. The Pandemic has made even a mid-priced recorder purchase way more problematic. If I’m truly disappointed at the end of this story and they’ve given me my vaccine shot, I’ll up my budget, hop in the car, and drive up to New England. So there you go… I am going to research your makers I’m not familiar with. I really appreciate all you put into your post above. I did rule out the Kung based on someone else’s reported experiences, and that was with a Superio. So… Thank you, and have a happy New Year, and I’ll try to post the end of the journey wherever it gets me. Stay Well, — Ken —