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Discussion Starter #1
The owner of RS Berkeley just dropped off this horn. Check my review before you drop your money on a new sopranino.

 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Sax Historian
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I second Erik's enthusiasm for the Berkeley sopranino. I have many sopraninos, (23) and own two Berkeleys. With another mouthpiece and real sopranino reeds, they sound even better. I use sopraninos with my saxophone orchestras and newer chamber music, and the Berkeleys are the ones I lend to my students. I personally perform on either my Selmer Mark VI (to high F#), Rampone or the Berkeley. But the Berkelely is virtually the equal to the others, at a fraction of the price. It is a highly recommended instrument.
Paul Cohen
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
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That's a great review, Erik. Very nice playing, really surprising with the stock mouthpiece.

As has been discussed before, that Berkeley sopranino appears to be exactly the same as the ones branded Allora, International Woodwinds, Howarth Chiltern and the Kessler Custom and P. Mauriat. Prices for these different models are all over the place.

With my Allora, I found that it played pretty well out of the box but had significant build problems. Once the issues were straightened out, it played extremely well. Here is my review of the Allora. It's a shame Photobucket pulled the plug on 3rd-party hosting of images.
 

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Good review and excellent playing. Hopefully others will start to recognize that the nino isn't just a dog whistle. It takes a while to develop chops that will fully bring out the tonal color, which is significantly different to playing soprano. Well done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I second Erik's enthusiasm for the Berkeley sopranino. I have many sopraninos, (23) and own two Berkeleys. With another mouthpiece and real sopranino reeds, they sound even better. I use sopraninos with my saxophone orchestras and newer chamber music, and the Berkeleys are the ones I lend to my students. I personally perform on either my Selmer Mark VI (to high F#), Rampone or the Berkeley. But the Berkelely is virtually the equal to the others, at a fraction of the price. It is a highly recommended instrument.
Paul Cohen
Paul, I think you need some more 'ninos. 23 is just a start!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a great review, Erik. Very nice playing, really surprising with the stock mouthpiece.

As has been discussed before, that Berkeley sopranino appears to be exactly the same as the ones branded Allora, International Woodwinds, Howarth Chiltern and the Kessler Custom and P. Mauriat. Prices for these different models are all over the place.

With my Allora, I found that it played pretty well out of the box but had significant build problems. Once the issues were straightened out, it played extremely well. Here is my review of the Allora. It's a shame Photobucket pulled the plug on 3rd-party hosting of images.
Thanks, Jorns. I was surprised, myself.

Nice review, yourself, too. It's super in depth!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good review and excellent playing. Hopefully others will start to recognize that the nino isn't just a dog whistle. It takes a while to develop chops that will fully bring out the tonal color, which is significantly different to playing soprano. Well done.
Thanks so much. I definitely need to spend more time with the instrument. It's got a great tone color, for sure.
 

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Hi, all. Brand new member here.

I hadn't played for a long time until I developed a want for a sopranino. This forum helped me a lot with that. I now have a Berkeley.

I love it, except for the time I accidentally popped the top spring, didn't realize it, and bulled through anyway with one octave key not working. That was an interesting experience.....

I now think its teeny little top octave hole gets plugged up easily - would trouble with high B, C, and C# be a symptom of that? How would you clean the teeny thing? I don't think a pipe cleaner would fit.

I would sure be interested in any cleaning suggestions in general. (It didn't come with any cleaning implement.) Right now I am using an oboe swab at one end and a gun-cleaning rod at the other. Does a small enough drop-through swab exist?
 
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