Yamaha 300 series Recorders

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Matt74
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Tell us something.: I studied saxophone, clarinet, and flute, and have some formal training in instrument repair. I taught myself recorder, but haven’t played for some time. I used to post often at the Clarinet bboard. I am returning to recorder and need some advice. I think my plastic Yamaha alto is a bad one and would like to ask about their usual characteristics, as well as alternatives. (I learned on a Suzuki student model soprano.)

Yamaha 300 series Recorders

Post by Matt74 »

I’m a woodwind player learning recorder. I have a 300 series Alto (treble) recorder. They have a very good reputation among plastic recorders, but I’m not getting along with mine. I’m wondering if it’s a dud, and just not moulded quite right or something.

It’s always clogged with condensation - and it’s difficult to un-clog, even after it’s warmed up.
You have to blow too lightly to bring it down to pitch, so much that it compromises the tone.
The low F-A is too quiet relative to the higher notes.
The high D-F requires a considerable change in voicing/airspeed/thumb placement, and is undependable, it wants to “grunt” (lower the octave) all the time.

Does any of this sound familiar? I realize it’s a different beast altogether from clarinet or flute.

Thanks,

Matthew
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AuLoS303
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Tell us something.: I have a fascination for musical instruments of all kinds, and though I'm not a very good player I have a small collection of acoustic instruments including 2 recorders, 2 tin whistles , 3 guitars and 2 ukuleles.
Location: Darlington UK
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Re: Yamaha 300 series Recorders

Post by AuLoS303 »

Hmm I too have a 300 series Yamaha (312biii), and I don't find it clogs too badly. The lower note is hard to get clean, but a lot of that is probably down to me)
Try putting a drop of diluted dishwash liquid on the ramp of the labium.
You can play beautiful music on an ugly flute
My musical endeavours on my blog
FrankPerrone
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Tell us something.: Played sax and oboe in high school. Years later, living in apartment, decided to take up recorder as I thought it would be easier on neighbors than oboe. Been playing recorder for a few years. Have sopranino (Aulos), soprano (Mollenhauer Prima, Susato), alto (Yamaha 300, Mollanhauer Prima, Mollenhauer Denner Pallisander, Zen-on Giglio), tenor (Adler) and bass (Yamaha). Also have a lot of whistles but never really cracked (ha ha) the code as whistle technique is quite different from recorder technique. I also have a lot of harmonicas and world wind instruments (Ba Wu, Dudek, Sipsi and Nose Flute (!).

Re: Yamaha 300 series Recorders

Post by FrankPerrone »

I came to recorder playing after learning oboe and sax. I learned proper breath support on those instruments. Plastic recorders are usually tuned too sharp as new players tend to blow softly and recorder makers do not want to be accused of making flat instruments.
Blowing softly results in windway clogging though.
The Yamaha 300 is probably the best plastic recorder (except for the Zen-On G-1A) but it is a mass produced injection molded instrument. It is not inherently in tune with itself. I get all my recorders from David Green, Antique Sound Workshop, and before he ships even a plastic instrument will tune it, enlarging some holes and narrowing other (looks like hot glue melt stick in those holes).
A plastic recorder will always clog more than a played in wooden recorder as there is no cedar block in the headjoint to absorb moisture. The diluted detergent solution in the windway might help but it is a temporary fix.
I just got a Kung tenor recorder in cherrywood from Mr. Green. Sounds great and will get better with playing. It is in the low whistle/flute range. Finger spread not as bad as some tenor recorders.
Matt74
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:06 pm
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Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I studied saxophone, clarinet, and flute, and have some formal training in instrument repair. I taught myself recorder, but haven’t played for some time. I used to post often at the Clarinet bboard. I am returning to recorder and need some advice. I think my plastic Yamaha alto is a bad one and would like to ask about their usual characteristics, as well as alternatives. (I learned on a Suzuki student model soprano.)

Re: Yamaha 300 series Recorders

Post by Matt74 »

FrankPerrone wrote:I came to recorder playing after learning oboe and sax. I learned proper breath support on those instruments. Plastic recorders are usually tuned too sharp as new players tend to blow softly and recorder makers do not want to be accused of making flat instruments.
Blowing softly results in windway clogging though.
The Yamaha 300 is probably the best plastic recorder (except for the Zen-On G-1A) but it is a mass produced injection molded instrument. It is not inherently in tune with itself. I get all my recorders from David Green, Antique Sound Workshop, and before he ships even a plastic instrument will tune it, enlarging some holes and narrowing other (looks like hot glue melt stick in those holes).
A plastic recorder will always clog more than a played in wooden recorder as there is no cedar block in the headjoint to absorb moisture. The diluted detergent solution in the windway might help but it is a temporary fix.
I just got a Kung tenor recorder in cherrywood from Mr. Green. Sounds great and will get better with playing. It is in the low whistle/flute range. Finger spread not as bad as some tenor recorders.

Everybody likes the Yamahas - it must be a combination of the fact I’m not a recorder player, and it not being the best example. I got it second hand.

I wasn’t able to find much info on the Zen-On G-1 (Bressan), but I was interested and liked the undercut holes. Do you like the tone? I was going to get an Aulos Haka.

I saw David’s pages. Do you keep the head joint pulled out?

Thanks,

Matthew
FrankPerrone
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:39 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Played sax and oboe in high school. Years later, living in apartment, decided to take up recorder as I thought it would be easier on neighbors than oboe. Been playing recorder for a few years. Have sopranino (Aulos), soprano (Mollenhauer Prima, Susato), alto (Yamaha 300, Mollanhauer Prima, Mollenhauer Denner Pallisander, Zen-on Giglio), tenor (Adler) and bass (Yamaha). Also have a lot of whistles but never really cracked (ha ha) the code as whistle technique is quite different from recorder technique. I also have a lot of harmonicas and world wind instruments (Ba Wu, Dudek, Sipsi and Nose Flute (!).

Re: Yamaha 300 series Recorders

Post by FrankPerrone »

Hello Matthew
Yes I keep the headjoint pulled out. Mr. Green recommends 3-4 mm for an alto but remember that's the way he tunes them. He only sends out that are in tune at 440 hz.
I compared prices on Amazon ($35) vs. Mr.Green ($55) for a Yamaha 300 alto. The extra $20 is well worth it for getting an instrument that is in tune and for the continued support he provides. You buy on-line and you have a recorder only. You buy from him and he will take time, email or on the phone, to answer any questions you have.
I got the Zen-On G-1A last year from David and it is almost as good as my Mollenhauer Rosewood alto. It has probably the most complex sound of any plastic recorder. The second octave is "bell-like" and (for me) very easy. This is my advice only. If you found the Antique Sound Workshop website read David's advice on plastic recorders, including his comments on the Aulos Haka. It is probably very much like the Zen-On in tone. http://www.aswltd.com/guiderec.htm#plastic
Best of luck...the recorder can be a very satisfying instrument to play. It is different from other woodwinds, lacking embouchure control, but it has advantages in it's simplicity at a basic level and it's complexity in alternate fingerings.
Frank
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