Reply To: Bernolin resin alto/soprano recorders vs. Aafab/Coolsma polyester recorders…?

Recorder Forum Home Page Forum Recorder Makes, Models and Maintenance Bernolin resin alto/soprano recorders vs. Aafab/Coolsma polyester recorders…? Reply To: Bernolin resin alto/soprano recorders vs. Aafab/Coolsma polyester recorders…?

Richard Hureau

Hi Matteo. I’m glad my Ecodear review was helpful.

I agree with you that it is not very helpful to listen to YouTube videos (or any recording, really) to judge the sound of particular models. The video you linked to was a pretty good one, I think, to give somewhat of an idea between the Yamahas. I added a comment to that video myself (after you pointed it out to me) saying it was too bad she didn’t use a higher-end Aulos (a model 509B or 709B). The Aulos she is comparing is their lowest priced model and not a fair comparison to the Yamahas.

The only thing I can add about the Yamahas is that the Ecodear feels markedly different to play. It feels and sounds muted. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it is what they tried to make it sound like, based on their advertising. They succeeded! So if you like that sound (you cannot judge it very well even by that relatively good YouTube video), it would be good to give it a try.

Of course, I don’t know your financial situation, but if you are even thinking about inexpensive wooden ones (at several hundred), it seems like a $40 Ecodear would be something you could take a chance on. It DOES sound different than the regular 300 model – more different than any other plastic recorder.

As far as inexpensive wooden recorders, I would stay away from them. I have had somewhat more expensive Moeck Rottenburgh models (in maple and palisander), and to me they are no better or worse than the best plastic recorders (like the models we’ve been discussing). I took lessons in New York City for ten years with Ken Wollitz, author of “The Recorder Book”:

and former president of the American Recorder Society. So he’s no slouch. He played a plastic Aulos (509) and Yamaha (300 series) even in concert, and had me switch from the Moeck Rottenburgh I was using. I never went back. One problem was that the Moeck I was using needed revoicing.

I understand that manufacturers of wooden instruments have improved their manufacturing process in the years since that time, but even so, they are still mass-produced, very variable wooden instruments. The point here is not that they are poor or even mediocre. They aren’t. The point is that plastic models are so good.

So you could spend $400 on a less expensive wooden model or $700 or $800 on a fancier wood model (plum, palisander, etc), and get a nice recorder that was essentially as good as the Ecodear, and requiring a lot more maintenance, revoicing, etc. A lot of people go the wood route because they feel it is more aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t much care about that anymore.

One final thing – the Prima model – um, you’re kidding, right?!? 😉