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Discussion Starter #1
Getting a new headjoint for an old Yamaha YPC-81 piccolo

I have a Yamaha YPC-81 piccolo which judging by it's cosmetic condition I would guess to be from at the '70s. I am thinking of getting a new headjoint of the same or similar model to see if it makes any difference in terms of volume and/or ease of getting the top notes.

Would a head joint for a YPC-61 fit the 81? Also does anyone know whether a new head joint would fit an old model? If it doesn't fit would it be possible to have a tech make it fit?
 

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When fitting a head to a cork style piccolo, make sure the inner metal liner fits snug to the inner body, not just the cork. If it leaks on the inside, it will play but certain ranges will be iffy.
 

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Fitting a non-fitting headjoint could be quite a process. as Bruce says, there are tow different fits involved. If the metal or timber parts don't fit, adjustment could be quite complicated.
Unless somebody has both heads and a body on hand, I doubt you'll get your answer re interchangeability of different models.
Perhaps write to Yamaha, who may be helpful and may not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. It looks like it's not a viable option, unless you can try before you buy, or are able to return it if it doesn't fit.
 

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Good morning Ken. The good news concerning your question is that Yamaha makes a special order, double option head joint offering for the YPC-82; that basically means that the YPC-81 should be fully compatible with the all sterling silver head joint that they make. The bad news I guess depending on how vested you are getting one, is the cost of one.

Give NYFC a call and ask a few questions that I’m sure they field almost everyday concerning this. If it turns out that even a YPC-32 head joint works perfectly as well, that might be something to consider as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Lambros. That is good to know. Unfortunately my piccolo is in another country. I guess I could buy it just before I leave and then return it if I find it doesn't fit. Also I'm looking for a wooden head. But I may give them a call.

I actually just bought a modern pre-owned Haynes head from FCNY which I am very happy with.
 

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You’re welcome Ken, and I hope that you work something out with the FCNY. I read over your initial post and realized that if you think that your piccolo is a 70s vintage, it is more likely to be a YPC61 and not an 81. Make sure you look it over when you get back home to NZ. Either way, you can also ask if the 61 is compatible with older and current Yamaha metal piccolo head joints.
 

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Ken, I have a Yamaha 62. And a pro piccolo player in Auckland is quite impressed with it, although she still prefers her much pricier Hammig.
I am totally astonished with the ppp control that she has in the top octave. I guess we all just have to practise more.
You are welcome to try/compare my head when you are in Auckland.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Gordon. It will be interesting to compare them. My piccolo may need some work as well as it's been a while since someone looked at it.
 

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Yamaha piccolos perform so well for so long with so little attention.
 

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Compared with many piccolos:
- The pads are very well made - flat, firm and long lasting.
- The pads are sufficiently larger in diameter than the tone holes to remain closing reliably. Many piccolos have the tone hole edges sealing very close to the edge of the pad, which can be likened to trying to balance sitting on the edge of a mattress that has no extra spring support at the edges... It's unstable - for the life of the piccolo. This issue is really important for piccolos.
- The pivots have good precision.
- Key cup alignment with tone holes is good.
- The linkages are relatively easy to adjust.
- The price is reasonable.
- The plating is good.

There you are... it's not often that am so positive about an instrument! :)
 

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Excellent observations Gordon. The YPC62 that I bought new a few months ago needed nothing. I’ve never bought any instrument that was set up this well. No exaggeration, seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have never got used to the ergos on my YPC-81. I'm wondering whether the key layout might have been different on the older ones.
 

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Surely, there is not much room for variation in piccolo ergos? If you've got fat fingers they will be touching each other! (Worse on a sopranino recorder.)
 
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