Reply To: Bernolin Resin Recorder: Choosing between 415 Hz or 442 Hz?

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Richard Hureau

Hi. Sorry to hear you are having some trouble with your Bernolin alto.

Concerning the high g, I think if you use your right-hand little finger to half cover the last hole (just cover one hole), it speaks MUCH more easily and is better in tune. The notation for this is:

/ 1-3 4-6/

You could also try covering both last holes, but I find just one works well.

I do think that this note is not the best on the Bernolin. You are running into the design of the Stanesby, Jr model here, I think (designed to emphasize the low and middle ranges at the expense of the high). If Bernolin would sell say a Denner or Bressan resin model, I’d buy one in a heartbeat. But he seems to specialize in the Stanesby, Jr (even with his wooden recorders).

As far as high C#, it is difficult, for sure. But I can nail it just about every time.

For example, I have attached a snippet from the Telemann Trio Sonata in Am that I am learning. It has a passage in it with some tough high notes and several C#. I can usually play it OK. But it gives me nervous anxiety everytime it comes up. The thing is, yes, I absolutely can play it more easily on any of my Aulos or Yamaha plastic recorders. But, it doesn’t sound nearly as good when I do. I have even considered using the Aulos for this piece, but hate to because it sounds so much poorer.

Here’s what I would recommend. First, I would buy the Bernolin anti-consensation fluid. I can absolutely say that my Bernolin will not play ANY of those high notes once the fluid has worn off. I think it is pretty much a requirement for the Bernolin resin model.

I say this VERY reluctantly, because I REALLY like the Bernolin resin and wish it didn’t seem to depend on using this fluid so much. But I do think it is true. The Bernolin is a unique instrument, with a cedar block surrounded by plastic, and it probably isn’t surprising that it acts differently than other instruments.

I have noticed that the high C# plays fine when I first start practicing, but gets harder and harder as I practice. This is the opposite of most high notes and most recorders. I think that this is because some minor condensation is occuring and making especially the high C# more difficult. You can eliminate a lot of this problem with the fluid. And it lasts for weeks.

I think it is very indicative that originally (based on reading his website) his anti-condensation treatment was BUILT-INTO his recorders (applied at the shop) and NOT treatable by the consumer. Talk about something that no one would want to buy! (You had to return the instrument to get another treatment, I think). Well, what was that all about? I think it was an attempt to alleviate this condensation problem unique to the resin model. Fortunately, he has come up with this new fluid that the consumer can apply easily and works very well.

So, I’d splurge and get a bottle. It will last at least a year. I’ve had mine for much longer and it’s still about half full.

After trying that, if your high C# is still poor, I’d send him an email. He is very nice and answers very quickly. I’ve heard of other people having their instruments adjusted by him (I’m not sure why). When I first investigated the Bernolin resin, I sent him an email asking if it could be revoiced like a regular instrument and he replied that it could. So, in other words, maybe your instrument does need adjustment. That cedar block could have changed. But, try the fluid first.

Hope this helps. Good luck with it.

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