Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

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LowBrass
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Tell us something.: I started out on the recorder because my kids brought home cheap Lyons recorders from summer camp. I thought that I could encourage them if they had one" just like Dad's"

Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by LowBrass »

I'm pretty much a rank beginner on the recorder. I got one of Yamaha's party colored sopranos when my kids came home from camp with Lyons recorders. I figured that if they had one "just like Dad's", this might stick with them. As it turns out, I get along with the recorder a lot better than they did, and I'm looking to switch to an alto.

This is going to be a fun, take anywhere, personal enjoyment instrument. I already have 30 years on the trombone, and I'm not looking for another concert quality instrument to double on.

Here's what I need:
Needs to be for an intermediate player.
Needs to be durable, hence resin.
The bulk of my personal collection of music is stage and screen. Mostly vocal scores (Cats, Less Mis, and the usual standards). The rest is a mix of Swing and Klezmer. So I need something that sounds good playing pieces originally meant for singing.
My budget's $40-$50. USD depending on what comes with the recorder.

Recommendations?
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Peter Duggan
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Peter Duggan »

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KVehe
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by KVehe »

Yes, the YRA-302BIII or the YRA-402B Ecodear.

Have fun!
LowBrass
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by LowBrass »

KVehe wrote:Yes, the YRA-302BIII or the YRA-402B Ecodear.

Have fun!
How much of a difference is there between the ABS and the EcoDear recorders?
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Mae »

I'm a little late to the game here, but I own the Ecodears and the Aulos higher end series (I also used to own the higher end Yamaha ABS ones, but gave that to my daughter who needed a set for teaching). I find that the Ecodears sound sweeter, closer to the sound of wood than the Aulos. I can also tell the difference in how the material vibrates when I blow. ABS gives a more pronounced, hollow vibration that is more discernible than the vibration on the Ecodear. Given a choice, I would go for the Ecodear. It's sweet in the upper range, but you do have to control it, and it needs a tighter embouchure to play the high notes cleanly.

However, you can get one of the less expensive Mollenhauer Dream recorders for about $50. They have a plastic mouthpiece but a wax-impregnated body that is easy to care for. I actually own the plum wood soprano Dream, and am saving up to get the alto. I've played so many different recorders, but I certainly have my favorites. But for a beginner, I would recommend a Yamaha Ecodear or the Mollenhauer Dream.

http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com/Mollenh ... .htm#Dream
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Katharine »

I got the Yamaha 312B some time back. It's my first alto recorder, so I can't compare it to others, and I'm not very good and don't play it that often (IOW, don't expect my opinion to be based on having put it through its paces rigorously), but I like it. I chose it because I read a lot of reviews, and it seemed to come out on top. 302B/312B/314B are all the same instrument, just different looks. The faux wood grain of the 312 and 314 are a bit hokey to me, but in reading reviews I'd read that some people think the coating gives them a slightly better sound-- probably not true, but I went for it anyway. (Never having been a fan of the black/brown-and-white look anyway, the aesthetics didn't matter to me that much.)
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by AuLoS303 »

Peter Duggan wrote:Yamaha YRA-302BIII

https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/music ... index.html
Yep I have that one, its very good
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Kade1301 »

I suppose LowBrass has a recorder now, but for future reference: The Yamaha 3xx alto didn't work for me because it constantly clogged, and discussions in the German recorder forum showed that I'm not alone with the problem. I then bought the Aulos 509b "Symphony" which I played happily for two years before upgrading to a wooden one at 10x the price (I had lower priced ones on approval, but they just weren't a big enough improvement to be worth buying).
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Das »

You can read this review about Yamaha, Aulos and Zen-on alto recorders:

http://statistics-tutorial.blogspot.com ... amaha.html

http://statistics-tutorial.blogspot.com ... rders.html

For me, Yamaha has a big problem, clogging, i couldn´t play more than 3 minutes and it became muted. I have a Zen On and i'm very happy with the sound.
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by AuLoS303 »

Das wrote:
For me, Yamaha has a big problem, clogging, i couldn´t play more than 3 minutes and it became muted. I have a Zen On and i'm very happy with the sound.
Hmm I don't notice it with my Yamaha alto (YRA312BIII), not excessively anyway.
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by fatmac »

Never got clogging with my old Yamahas either.
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by Kade1301 »

That depends on the player. There are lots of people who don't have the clogging problem with Yamahas, but there's also quite a number of people who do have the problem. In which case the easiest solution is another model of recorder...
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Re: Recommend a plastic alto recorder?

Post by FrankPerrone »

I'm very late to this thread but if anyone is still following:
Plastic recorders are always going to clog more than wooden recorders, they lack the cedar block that absorbs (some) water. The main problem with plastic recorders is that because players tend to blow too softly (don't want to bother the neighbors) the water condenses. If played at the same breath pressure that would be used on a flute, oboe or clarinet the condensation is somewhat less. Unfortunately the manufacturers, anticipating players will blow softly, tend to tune recorders too sharp (recorders only have a limited tuning range and breath pressure is critical).
I have no personal or business relationship with the Antique Sound Workshop (Mr. David Green) but I have been getting most of my recorders there. David tunes the recorder to play at a normal breath pressure and also tunes the instrument to be in tune with itself. He will reduce the diameter of some finger holes and enlarge others (injection molding of plastic recorder is not very accurate).
This personal attention means the price will be somewhat more than a recorder bought on some place like Amazon but he is very amenable to giving advice and providing long term service.
The best plastic alto recorder out there is probably the new Zen-On Model G1-A Bressan. It is a revolutionary design in plastic altos. It is about $68 but the price (and sound) is definitely worth it.
Not sure if mentioning a specific seller is against board rules but I am new to this forum and apologize if I made an error. Please edit as you see fit.
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