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 Post subject: Yamaha piccolo 62 vs 82
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:35 pm 
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I am trying to decide between these two piccolos but can’t try them out. Is the 82 worth the extra money? I am looking at used instruments, so it’s only $800 difference. How is the tone with the silver headjoint? Is it a sweet tone suitable for orchestral playering or does the silver give a brighter tone?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:15 am 
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Welcome to Chiff and Fipple, Mmartindent.

Someone around here might be able to give advice, but in the event that there isn't, I might have a little advice.

First, it may actually be possible that you can have a chance to try them out. My experience is primarily with flute, but in my experience, flute/piccolo-vendors do mail out flutes for people to try and to return. I've also met flute-vendors who have events for individuals to come and try a range of flutes. Your best choices in this regard are to either (1) identify the Yamaha dealer for your regionand inquire about testing a piccolo; (2), if you have a teacher, get their input regarding who in the area deals in flutes; (3) or, if you don't have a teacher, contact a flute instructor at a local university and ask them regarding your questions as well as vendors. In my experience, all three of these options have been very useful. ---Even if you can't try the specific piccolos you are asking about, it would be worthwhile to try some piccolos to get a better feel for the differences in material. See more below...

Second, Yamaha has three levels of piccolo; student, professional, and handcrafted; the 62 is in the professional category, and the 82 is in the handcrafted category. The main advertising difference between 62 and 82 is that the 82 is "handcrafted". I don't know what the difference is in practical terms for Yamaha: anything more from me in this regard is guessing. However, I would guess that they would be very similar in quality.

Regarding headjoints, again, I think this is an area where you'll want to try piccolos for yourself. The material for the headjoint is also going to affect other elements of playing than just tone, such as attack. I don't know what your current experience is with regards to flutes and piccolos, but it would be worthwhile to try the two different types of headjoints before committing to one. The tone is also pretty dependent on the player. I can expand on that if you'd like.

It seems worthwhile to mention that flutes (and presumably piccolos) differ by instrument, by this I mean if you try a piccolo and you like it, it is best to buy that piccolo. However, if you do try piccolos and then end up buying a used one of the same model, it will probably work out OK.

---
Caveat: I haven't played piccolo but I played a silver-plated flute at a hobbyist level for several years. Now, I primarily play Irish Traditional Music now on a simple-system flute made of Delrin. However, I am trying to advise based off of what I gleaned from the flute-teachers I have had over the years, my own experience, and what I have learned from Flute-Talk Magazine and the articles regarding instrument-buying advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:30 am 
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I am upgrading from an interminate instrument to a professional one. I live in a remote town in Montana. The music store several hours away sold me the picc I have and doesn’t carry the professional level instruments. I tried the person I play tested flutes with in Seattle a few years ago shen I was on vacation (very successful—ended with me bringing home a lovely Miyazawa flute that suits me perfectly) and they were closed for the holiday. She will ship for a trial but doesn’t carry these two instruments. My flute tech has played and worked on 62’s and recommends them but hasn’t play tested an 82. He suggested I look on Yamaha’s website. I did. I didn’t find out what I wanted to know. These two instruments are on eBay. The 62 has a 14 day return, so I could hypothetically test it. The 82 is not not $800 more, which is a lot less than the retail difference in price, but it has no returns. So i’m Asking what people think.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:09 pm 
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It's not that people don't want to give advice or share opinions, but I doubt there's anyone on this board who's personally familiar with both these models. This is primarily a forum for players of traditional simple system flutes and, while some here (including myself) also play Boehm types, it's not typically our main focus and Boehm piccolo is a topic that seldom if ever comes up. So, while I could be wrong and there'll be someone along in a jiffy to give you exactly what you need, I'd have to suggest (in the nicest possible way) that you probably already know more about the models you're considering than we do and are simply asking in the wrong place. Not particularly helpful, perhaps, but probably realistic.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:25 pm 
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There's gotta be a classical flute board somewhere on the internets that'll have the expertise you're looking for, but it ain't us.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Mmartindent wrote:
I am trying to decide between these two piccolos but can’t try them out.

Having just Googled them, some serious questions (I suppose as much for you to consider for yourself as answer here)...

Why these two? Purely because you're looking at used instruments and that's what's currently available, or some other reason? Otherwise why not compare the 62 to the 81 (both wood heads) or 62M to the 82 (metal heads)? How good are you, what are your aspirations and how much piccolo do you expect to play? Perhaps (unless you're going to be playing a lot of professional piccolo), the 62 is all the piccolo you'll ever need?

AaronFW wrote:
However, I would guess that they would be very similar in quality.

Given that the 81/81R/82 is twice the price of the 62/62R/62M, I wonder? It can't be twice as good, but it should be 'better' at that differential!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:47 pm 
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I was thinking though... In my situation, I am buying Terry McGee flute that is more expensive than the going rate for the Yamaha 81. (The MSRP on Yamaha's website doesn't count. No one sells it for that much.) Yet, I've never actually seen, heard, or held a Terry McGee flute in person. If I've even heard recordings of Terry McGee flutes, I either didn't know it was one of his or I've listened to very little. I am primarily going off what I have read and what others have said. I'm able to do this based on my confidence in Terry's work. In my estimation, buying a top-level instrument from Yamaha or another company should probably be similar: one is going off of their reputation for instruments.

In the classical flute word, there is a somewhat legendary headjoint maker named Sanford Drelinger. Based on what I've heard, Drelinger travels with headjoints, the flute-player meets him and tells him what they want in a headjoint in regards to sound and he hands you a headjoint that will produce the sound qualities you are looking for and then you hand over a good bit of cash. Drelinger has a great reputation for his work and people go to him in anticipation of receiving the headjoint they are looking for and often find it. In my estimation, buying a top-level flute should be like that too. One should be willing to put out the money to the supplier and should have confidence that the supplier will give the quality of instrument they are looking for.

Peter Duggan wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
However, I would guess that they would be very similar in quality.

Given that the 81/81R/82 is twice the price of the 62/62R/62M, I wonder? It can't be twice as good, but it should be 'better' at that differential!


Well, I thought that too, but this was my thinking...
So, Yamaha produces enough flutes that I assume many of their flutes are made primarily through automated machines. (I could be wrong.) Are the student and professional models primarily made by machines, and then go through Quality Control while the "Handcrafted" ones are entirely made by people? If so, can we assume that the ones made by machines are lesser quality than the "handcrafted" ones? No, I don't think we can because there isn't a good reason for the flutes made through automation to be of a lesser quality. In fact, they could be of a consistently good quality, and could even be of a higher quality through automation. We don't have a good reason to assume they aren't good quality.

Being able to automate the production of flutes pushes the price of producing the flute down as they are able to make more in the same amount of time that it would take humans to produce the flutes. Therefore they are able to get more return quickly for the flute making machines.

Meanwhile, a "handcrafted" flute, by necessity has a labor rate for paying highly skilled flute-makers. Additionally, there is a bias towards "handcrafted" products over products produced entirely by machines; the idea being that handcrafted is better than what machines can do, however, in today's world, that cannot be assumed. But people are often willing to pay higher amounts for "handcrafted" products. So, in my estimation, it is marketing.

Again, as I mentioned in my original post, a lot of this is guessing. I don't know for sure how much is done through automation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:02 pm 
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My guess would be that while all their flutes are largely mechanically made, handcrafted flutes get additional individual attention from a craftsman, in areas like fit & finish, and voicing.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:25 am 
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Yamahas aren't bad. I knew a legendary woodwind tech who dealt only in Powell's and Haynes flutes. This was many years ago, When Yamaha first started to penetrate the US market, and he bought one. He praised it, but he still put on his 10X binoculars and proceeded to buff out the tool marks as part of his usual setup. He began dealing in them as well.

Bob

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