Reply To: Next recorder(s): woods, size, etc.

Richard Hureau

It’s great that you are liking the soprano. I have small hands myself (although not any other problems with them), so the alto is not ideal.

I know what you mean about the Bernolin. As far as maintenance on the instrument itself – revoicing, fixing the thumbhole (i.e. adding a bushing), this type of work could be done by any competent recorder repair shop, I think. For one thing, it would seldom (if ever?) need revoicing, because it pretty much stays the same.

The cedar block can get a little funky over time. On my alto it tends to protrude a little from the mouthpiece, but if I knock it out (as shown in Sarah Jeffery’s cleaning video – not at all scary once you’ve done it even once) and then put it back in, I can get it flush with the mouthpiece. It doesn’t affect the sound or playing.

The joint thread just stays like new, except it gets slightly fuzzy over the surface from repeatedly being taken apart (after each use). The thumbhole could need a refurbishing, I suppose, after years of use, but that would just mean that the repairer would drill a somewhat larger hole and place a plastic ring into it, the same as would be done with a wooden instrument.

So, in other words, it pretty much doinesn’t change.

As far as the fluid, I agree that if you buy a resin instrument it would be good to get 2 bottles (which will last several years). But consider – the Bernolin instruments don’t clog any worse than regular plastic recorders.

When you play plastic, do you worry about the clogging? I mean is it a deal breaker? I don’t think so. I have a bunch of Moeck, Dolmetsch, and Roessler wooden recorders, but eventually stopped playing them and switched totally to plastic (till I got the Bernolins) because I got tired of having the wooden instruments revoiced (or was too cheap or too lazy).

I don’t like the clogging of plastic instruments but I have learned to deal with it without using any fluids. It was only because I got the Bernolin alto and a bottle of fluid that I got SPOILED by the unclogging created by using the fluid (just on the Bernolins; I don’t bother on regular plastic recorders, which I don’t play much now anyway). If I had to go back to the Bernolin clogging like a normal plastic recorder, well that would be sad but OK.

Hope this helps. It sounds like you already have a pretty nice soprano (the Moeck olive) so this is kind of moot anyway, I suppose – till you have to get it revoiced!! 😉