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What is your piccolo setup?

#21
Not too long ago I saw a picc in the back of a junk case wrapped in plastic wrap. I couldn't make out the name, but the case looked suspiciously nice, so I asked to see it. A Philipp Hammig 650-3, in mint condition, from the 90s. $250.
Amazing! If I remember correctly they are fantastic orchestral instruments. Actually a little too mellow for what I wanted, but I'm not trying to take away from them. It has been a while since I played one, and they are incredible.

"Oh I'm sorry sir, I only have $200 on me, would that be enough?" ;)
 
#22
The Phillip Hammig has a great, fat sound (typical of conical bore piccolos), but I wasn't happy with the amount of adjustments I had to make to get it to play in tune in the middle register. It was very sensitive to what pitch center the group was tuning to. It did speak well up through the 3rd octave, but comparatively, it was like getting an 18 wheeler up over the mountain pass, where the Artley was like driving an Aston Martin. Cylindrical bore piccolos are much more responsive. The somewhat brighter Artley was perfect for live and studio recording and the scale was amazingly even and not as sensitive to performing at the various tuning pitch centers (440/442/443 - once the Bavaria Studios grand piano was tuned to 447 for "Stir Crazy". They probably did that on purpose, just to mess with Mr. Scott, who yelled, "What the xxxx is that?" and had them retune it to 443.) I would use a conical bore piccolo for classical music however.

I posted this link before in reference to the Wurlitzer bass clarinet. I'm playing the Artley piccolo throughout, both studio and live recordings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoNv_2j3HHw

The Phillip Hammig alto flute and wooden C flute are real dreamy instruments though.
 
#27
Back to the piccolo - for any doubler thinking of getting into it. I'd really recommend a cylindrical bore.
My only issue with that statement is what a cylindrical bore would do to tone. In my experience, most musicians prefer the upper register on more concial bore instruments. If you ask any oboe player which Loree oboe, "AK" or regular bore, has a sweeter high end, most would say "AK", which has a more conical bore.

That being said, so much goes into tone production, it's impossible to count anything out, so I guess try a bunch of reputable instruments, see what you like, and enjoy playing.
 
#28
My only issue with that statement is what a cylindrical bore would do to tone. In my experience, most musicians prefer the upper register on more concial bore instruments. If you ask any oboe player which Loree oboe, "AK" or regular bore, has a sweeter high end, most would say "AK", which has a more conical bore.

That being said, so much goes into tone production, it's impossible to count anything out, so I guess try a bunch of reputable instruments, see what you like, and enjoy playing.
The solution is to have at least two piccolos.
 

kymarto

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
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#30
Yes, nice playing indeed Lance. Funny to see the old ARD logo--I've been working for the other public German broadcaster for the past 17 years.

As to the conical bore--the oboe is a very different case, being a positive flare bore closed at the top. The conical-body flute is a reverse cone open at both ends, and the reverse flare only changes the relationship of the impedance maxima to the minima, supposedly having the effect of making it more pitch stable at higher dynamics than a cylinder. In any case, the effect is subtle, they say.
 
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