Recorder Forum Home Page › Forum › Recorder Makes, Models and Maintenance › Blackwood Recorder – Acacia melanoxylon
- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated November 26, 2022 at 10:32 am by Linden.
November 18, 2022 at 5:55 pm #1732
I’ve just heard someone playing snippets on a Moeck Ehlert in blackwood. I really like the sound but I know nothing of the wood. Had to duckduckgo! it. I’m assuming this is an Australian Blackwood – Acacia melanoxylon. Does anyone know anything about this wood? Is it a late arrival to the recorder wood party? Apparently it’s been used to make other musical instruments.November 18, 2022 at 8:46 pm #1736MaizieParticipant
The Moeck Ehlert page says Grenadilla which I think is aka African Blackwood which a quick search says is Dalbergia melanoxylon.November 19, 2022 at 10:02 am #1738
Maizie thanks! The ‘blackwood’ label really confused me unless of course they meant ‘black wood’. Acacia melanoxylon was used to make spears and delivers an analgesic which I thought was a bit risky for a blowing instrument. Brain was clearly still struggling yesterday; it never dawned on me to look at Moeck! Doh!
So, that’s what the famed grenadilla sounds like. I struggle to hear the difference between good plastic and wood but even I heard the difference there. My husband heard the snippets and thought it was me at first which is very flattering. He insists my playing has improved considerably. I asked him if he didn’t hear how beautiful it was and he used my exact adjectives ‘clear, bright’ and offered to buy me one. He didn’t know the price tag though so I rescued him: ‘No more recorders – especially wooden ones!’
What was interesting though was that I could hear the sound of the keys working and found that somewhat irritating. Some years ago, I developed hyperacusis at the same time as tinnitus and it’s just the kind of noise that would really get to me! Along with people playing with pens. So, perhaps I really do have to learn to reach the bottom notes!November 19, 2022 at 4:20 pm #1741PavaneParticipant
I have the blackwood Ehlert. It was shockingly expensive, bought in a moment of madness during the pandemic. I’m not sure that I’d pay that much money again – I initially bought a Hotteterre and that was expensive enough. I was sent the wrong one (415 instead of 442 which I was very tempted to keep, but the finger spacing was such a stretch I worried I would injure my hand) and, when I returned it and got a credit for its value, it didn’t seem too much more for the Ehlert. But maybe it was! I can confirm that it is a lovely chunk of timber though. Slightly annoyingly considering the price, it has a thumb rest, but for me it’s hopelessly in the wrong place. It is adjustable, but not very far, so I currently use a rather Heath Robinson arrangement that allows me to stick a rubber clarinet thumb rest on – not a very elegant addition to such an costly instrument.November 23, 2022 at 11:01 am #1746
@ Pavane – I think it’s one of the most beautiful sounding recorders I’ve ever heard. Can you hear the keys working? The bottom F thing is still proving challenging to me. I’m currently playing a Mollenhauer Prima which is a little shorter than the Haka and the Zen-On so a bit easier for me to play. I think the shape of the bottom holes makes a difference too. My little finger slides into the Prima’s dip a bit better.November 23, 2022 at 5:48 pm #1747PavaneParticipant
Yes, you can hear the keys – they are quite heavy and close with a definite clunk. It is nice to play – I know some people would argue that it’s not a “real” recorder but it’s relatively easy to get a good low C# (sounds very poor on all my other recorders) and just as easy to get the C# 2 octaves higher which many recorders won’t play at all, or not without gymnastic efforts of the sort that I am far too old and inflexible to even attempt. The only thing I find relatively tricky is large drops to low notes, eg in Wat zalmen which has 10ths dropping to low C or D – the C often overblows. That’s me of course, not the recorder, and I am getting better at it. See also me answer to you “what’s on your music stand?” question.November 26, 2022 at 10:32 am #1752
I’ve heard the Ehlert tenor now. It was the treble I’d heard. It’s beautiful and that word doesn’t sum it up. It’s so very pure. I’d have fallen in love with it too!
It’s a tricky thing with how much should I spend. Husband and I absolutely deplore cheap art materials given to beginners because they’re so tricky to work with and they can be so off putting. I think one grows into one’s ‘tools’; providing that there *is* some space to grow into!
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