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If the Burkhart-Phelan is in your budget, get it and don't look back. The YPC-62 is a nice piccolo - responds easily with good intonation (for a piccolo!) and nice sweet tone. The only two reasons to get a YPC-32 over a 62 that I can think of are (a) it's cheaper and (b) it's more robust - plastic instead of wood - you can play it outside and it won't crack.

The YPC-62 has a very nice sound. But then I don't like metal heads (with a lip plate) on piccolos so I wouldn't get a 32. Metal heads are easier to play but they don't sound as good. They are less sweet with a more shrill penetrating sound. I suspect this is due to the design (shape, cut, geometry) of a head having a lip plate and riser, than the materials but regardless of the reason, that is what I observe. IMO, penetration is one thing that most piccolos already have in spades and the last thing any piccolo needs is a head that exacerbates this natural tendency. That is, unless you enjoy vibrating the skulls of your audience at frequencies that turn their brains turn into jello :dazed:

That said, I think the YPC-32 would be great if you can find a plastic or wood head for it. You can buy plastic piccolo heads for around $100. They are all cylindrical because the bodies are conical, so you don't have to worry about matching head taper for intonation because there isn't any. Maybe you can find one that fits the bore of a YPC-32. Maybe Yamaha makes one - worth checking out.
 

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saxjd said:
Conventional wisdom is that material makes no difference, that an open chamber headjoint is the template God used when he first invented flutes, and that what matters most is your concept of tone.
Agreed. But there is a big difference between the "open chamber head" - by which I assume you mean a hole cut into a tube, versus a head having a riser/chimney and lip plate. Shape and cut is well known to make a big difference in tone and response. IME, the open chamber head on a piccolo sounds sweeter but takes a bit more skill to play, compared to the more flute-like riser/chimney/lip plate head. I figure the latter is made more for beginners due to its ease of response, and for outdoor marching bands due to its incredibly penetrating sound.
 

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I wasn't suggesting that wooden piccolos crack the moment sunlight hits them - that brings to mind images of vampires :) But wooden piccolos are susceptible to cracking when exposed to sudden changes in temperature and humidity. For example piccolo makers often recommend warming up the piccolo before playing to ensure that the sudden warmth and humidity from human breath doesn't cause it to crack. No such warning or caution is needed for a plastic piccolo.
 
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