Ken, no apologies necessary! I’m grateful to hear from people that have experience in selecting and playing recorders. I realize that everybody’s experience with specific recorders is different, but it sure is helpful for me to get broad guidance in sorting through the plethora of options.
I like your evaluation criteria, and am adding it to my list of things to especially notice while playing different instruments. I’m also adding one of my own because of my right hand issues – ergonomics and weight of the instrument, which for me, go hand in hand.
I’m not sure my thoughts on the alto Denner pearwood vs. tulip wood vs. the Modern pear wood with F foot will be all that helpful, as I’m having problems with all of them in consistently hitting low F/F#. I was surprised this was the case for me with the Modern – the F was easier to hit than the F#. I do find my hand position especially cramped with the Modern; to a lesser degree with the Denners. I did find the Modern projected better than the Denners, especially the lowest notes (when I could hit them). I really can’t hear a big difference between the pear wood and the tulip wood – maybe because I’m a beginner.
I really wanted to find an Alto that is playable for me with my rt. hand/finger limitations. I suppose I could contact Mollenhauer for a custom design, but I don’t think that would be worth the $$$$. I have been enjoying my soprano Ecodear – just playing with it to see if I can play it easily – which I can. I’m looking forward to playing that rosewood soprano Denner, and as I mentioned in another post, I ordered an olivewood Moeck Rottenburg.
I may try out a soprano Modern on approval at some point. I really was impressed with the sound projection. And, those keys kind of take me back to my clarinet playing days!!!