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Piccolo Durability

1395 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Gordon (NZ)
I have a new Global Wave piccolo and a used Haynes silver conical bore piccolo for trial.

Both very nice .

The Haynes seems very durable, & the Global Wave keys/rods/mechanism looks "delicate".

Any thoughts on the durability of the Global Wave?

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The promotion for Global Wave does not say where it is made, as far as I can tell.

Therefore we can reasonably assume it is made in China. Some Chinese instruments now play quite well.

However, if it is durable, then it must be about the first woodwind instrument from China that is. Some are barely 'OK'; others are awful.

Don't take too much meaning into the Burkart association. Many historically top brand-name instrument makers are now offering sub-standard products from China or other cheap manufacturing sources.

Untiol we reach a point, as with Japan, that instruments are PROUDLY "Made in China", never assume anything. That may happen soon, but not yet to my knowledge.
As soon as you mention "Haynes" the initial reaction you'll get is to go that route. Sure they make great instruments, but I have played a few Haynes' flutes and piccolos that I wasn't that knocked out with. Not every MKVI I've played was the "holy grail".
I personally prefer a wood piccolo with a wooden headjoint. I'm assuming the "Global Wave" pic you have is a Burkart-Phelan Global with a wave cut headjoint. This pic comes standard with gold springs, split-e mechanism, silver keys, and is all grenadilla wood. Not having a lip plate like the Haynes might make it initially more diffiult, if you are accustomed to this, but the wave cut should make the transition easier and IMHO eventually more expressive.
These are small fine instruments and do require extra care from the player and a much lighter touch than a sax. If this is an instrument I was going to keep and play I would go with the Global as I'm sure it has a more even scale and better intonation than the Haynes. Now if I wasn't sure I wasn't going to keep this instrument long term, I would go with the Haynes,
as you know you can always easily resell it. I assume that you are primarily a sax player that doubles on flute/piccolo, and if so either of these pics are are a great addition to your arsenal and I can't see the need to upgrade anytime in the near future. Enjoy!
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There may be 'dud' Haynes piccolos, and I'm certain that there are plenty of poorly adjusted ones around.

But the tapered-bore metal one I used to play (borrowed from my teacher) was I think the sweetest piccolo I ever played. So I suspect that material is irrelevant. Design is everything.

Richard brings up a good point about the accuracy of scale and pitch. If you are buying any piccolo, you need to see if the intonation works, for YOU! I did not mention this in my last post, because you asked only about "durability".

You really do need to play a piccolo before you buy. Some CHEAP Chinese ones play really well, and 5 of these MAY have better durability than a single more expensive piccolo.
Gordon, Richard,

I modified my original post to read keys/rods/mechanism "looks" delicate - "feels" replaced with "looks". Actually, the feel is very nice. Key metal looks thinner & rods look smaller in diameter than other pics I've observed (sample size small). This is based on visual observation, & not actual measurement. The look is delicate/dainty - nice. Maybe the type metal used compensates for material thinness, although the description reads "plated sterling silver over nickel silver. By durability, for my question, I mean subject to bending "easily" even if treated with care.

The piccolo is stamped "Global Boston". Not clear if Boston is part of the name or where it’s made.

"The piccolo is stamped "Global Boston". Not clear if Boston is part of the name or where it's made."

Ha! It sounds like you are being misled just as per marketing intention. If it were made in Boston it would proudly say "MADE in ....."

The strength (hence durability) of the metals used has just as much to do with manufacturing process (eg work hardening) as it has to do with the metal itself.

Reliability of adjustment will also depend on the surface finish and precision of the bearing surfaces. Unless it is appalling, it is difficult to tell by looking, or the feel, in a new instrument. If the surfaces are like mountain ranges under a microscope, then the ridges soon wear, and the bearing becomes sloppy.

Quite simply, if it is Chinese, beware. They are not known for precision, durable manufacture of mechanisms. Yet.
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