August 4, 2020 at 11:54 am #1042
I’m looking to buy the Aulos 501S (the garklein version). However, I noticed that it’s much more expensive than the sopranino (i.e. the 507B). It’s actually almost as expensive as the alto. Why is that? Seems counterintuitive to me. Is in even worth it?
Thanks.August 8, 2020 at 2:42 am #1045Ken In DallasParticipant
If you will permit my guess rather than any insider or industry information, two things came to my mind upon reading your question. One, Aulos doesn’t sell bad instruments; and Two, when you make any musical instrument, the smaller the method generating pitch, the more out-of-tune and significant any amount of error becomes. That was a tough sentence to write as I was a music major rather than a physics major. But if you use a Guitar string as an example, if a fret is misplaced in the fingerboard by an equal 1 mm at both the 1st fret and 15th fret locations, the 15th fret’s pitch will sound far more out of tune (than the 1st fret’s) because 1 mm is a much higher percent of error at the shorter vibrating string length way up at that 15th fret. Conversely, 1mm has far less impact on intonation down at the 1st fret with its much longer vibrating length of string. I hope that makes sense.
Too wordy as all that sounds, I’d imagine that the precision and (I’d suspect) pitch-correction labor needed after the initial molding pushes the cost of production up a bit.
Remember, the Aulos Garklein (501S) is a one piece instrument. You cannot tune it yourself. And I can’t help but think about how much smaller Aulos’s marketplace is for the Garklein.
I’ve accumulated many, many plastic recorders over the 65-ish years since my first in Grade School. Most of those are Aulos. I’ve never had an intonation problem. Cost compared to a wooden instrument? I’m thinking the little Aulos Garklein is a good deal if your musical journey gets you to it. I’d be kind of worried about the intonation of any recorder priced by the inch – No?August 8, 2020 at 2:54 pm #1046Richard HureauParticipant
Also, I don’t think they sell nearly as many Garkleins as soranos or sopraninos or even altos. So it is kind of a specialty item, I’d guess. You’re much braver than I am to even get near a recorder that shrill! 😉August 8, 2020 at 3:01 pm #1047Katia JParticipant
Also, I don’t think they sell nearly as many Garkleins as soranos or sopraninos or even altos. So it is kind of a specialty item, I’d guess. You’re much braver than I am to even get near a recorder that shrill! 😉
This would have been my guess, as well: I imagine they don’t sell as many, and that tends to drive the price up.August 16, 2020 at 10:43 am #1061Aulos303Participant
Its quite difficult to make such a small instrument that will have good tuning and intonation and still be playable. Hole spacing and sizing on a garklein is different to other recorders and that requires special tooling, especially on wooden recorders.
You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.October 2, 2020 at 6:45 pm #1135
Thanks for all the comments.
I went ahead and bought the Aulos 501S garklein (arrived today). Here are some impressions:
– first of all, as expected from Aulos, it’s a very high-quality instrument, even though it’s plastic. I checked it with a tuner and it’s perfectly in tune. Very well manufactured, no flaws of any kind.
– it’s extremely small and the holes are very close together. I wear S-size gloves, I have relatively small hands with thin bony fingers, and I can barely squeeze my fingers together to cover the holes. Do not buy this if you are the chubby type, with thick “sausage-like” fingers, you probably won’t be able to play it at all.
– the sound is high-pitch and piercingly loud. As most of you are well aware, it’s an octave higher than the soprano, but it’s brighter and more shrill than the higher octave of the soprano. Furthermore, the notes from its own higher octave are almost unbearably, damagingly trebly and loud. Most likely you will be playing in the lower register most of the time. It’s funny to call this the “lower” register, because it’s anything but low.
So the question is, should you buy it? I say yes. It’s a great value! I thought it was expensive at first, but it’s VERY well made. It’s also lots of fun, not to mention highly portable. Also, my wife thinks it’s cute (we’re still talking about the recorder).
Cheers.October 4, 2020 at 2:02 am #1139Katia JParticipant
I came this close to buying one recently… still might go back and get it. I figure it might be good for playing at church and cutting through the other instruments/congregation… (and also very cute. So maybe my “justification” is just an excuse. 🙂 )
I’ve not looked at fingering charts… does it have weird fingerings?October 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm #1143
If you look at the date of my original post and of the one above, this is how long it took me to decide.
The way I see the garklein in an orchestral context is, if you already have two lines for the tenor and the soprano, you can add a third one above for the garklein, for an added level of expressiveness. Sort of like what the piccolo does for the regular C flute.
The fingering is different from the rest of the recorder family. Thankfully, it comes with a fingering chart. You have to do more “half hole”-ing, especially for the lower notes. But I’m an amateur and I have little trouble adapting, I assume a professional would find it even easier.
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