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Thread: Recorder anyone?

  1. #11
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    I gifted a black plastic xaphoon to my beloved husband who plays sax and clarinet. He likes to say it was my attempt to dissuade him from buying a tenor sax, but he and I both know that's a joke (because of course he did buy a tenor sax).

    The xaphoon is working out great. DH likes it because it's in C (no transposing) and it's not too loud, which means he can accompany his ukulele-playing wife without buying her an amp and vocal mic. The xaphoon is fully chromatic (with some cross-fingering and half-holeing) and has a range of two octaves (although, as DH insists, you do not want to hear much of that top half octave).

    It sounds more like a clarinet than a sax. The plastic ones are pretty much indestructible and weigh nothing. Between his xaphoon and my Blackbird Clara, we're ready to busk anywhere (will play for food -- often do).

    Buy the xaphoon. I think you will like it.

    ETA: The xaphoon uses a tenor sax reed.

    ETA again: As a recorder player and not a xaphoonist, and lest we stray too far off topic, I'll put in a plug for the Yamaha 300 Rottenburgh series, and specifically the simulated rosewood models with the woodgrain finish. These are plastic but they play wonderfully. I have a set of soprano, alto and tenor. The tenor was not available with woodgrain which is unfortunate because while it may or may not affect the sound (opinion online is divided) it does make the thing easier to hold. Great recorders, indestructible and inexpensive (at least compared to ukuleles) and I think everyone who enjoys playing a recorder should have at least one.
    Last edited by acmespaceship; 09-10-2016 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    I gifted a black plastic xaphoon to my beloved husband who plays sax and clarinet. He likes to say it was my attempt to dissuade him from buying a tenor sax, but he and I both know that's a joke (because of course he did buy a tenor sax).

    The xaphoon is working out great. DH likes it because it's in C (no transposing) and it's not too loud, which means he can accompany his ukulele-playing wife without buying her an amp and vocal mic. The xaphoon is fully chromatic (with some cross-fingering and half-holeing) and has a range of two octaves (although, as DH insists, you do not want to hear much of that top half octave).

    It sounds more like a clarinet than a sax. The plastic ones are pretty much indestructible and weigh nothing. Between his xaphoon and my Blackbird Clara, we're ready to busk anywhere (will play for food -- often do).

    Buy the xaphoon. I think you will like it.

    ETA: The xaphoon uses a tenor sax reed.

    This is a great story and thanks for sharing it...

    Been thinking to add a wind/reed instrument and it's been a toss-up between a decent Melodica which can do chords, or a Xaphoon-type thing, and how much breath is required is an issue - I need to start with something that will let me play a measure or two of notes in a single breath at T=110bpm, and I think that a Melodica will need MORE air than I can muster, and for that, a Xaphoon would be easier to play...

    Many years ago I picked up a 'melody-C' sax at an estate sale, completely refurbished it myself, and then got some books and taught myself to play it, but that was a short-lived experiment since my cheeks were always burning and my lungs always hurt after I played --- maybe I was doing it wrong, but being lazy, I dont want to have to work that hard to make a nice sound...
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
    -T. S. Eliot

  3. #13
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    Love the sound of xaphoons, and have suggested one to my partner (she used to play saxophone). I think she's still pondering it! Myself, I was traumatized by an encounter with a vicious clarinet in my teenage years; couldn't get a darn sound out of the thing.

  4. #14
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    Aug 2016
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    Ruislip, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    I gifted a black plastic xaphoon to my beloved husband who plays sax and clarinet. He likes to say it was my attempt to dissuade him from buying a tenor sax, but he and I both know that's a joke (because of course he did buy a tenor sax).

    The xaphoon is working out great. DH likes it because it's in C (no transposing) and it's not too loud, which means he can accompany his ukulele-playing wife without buying her an amp and vocal mic. The xaphoon is fully chromatic (with some cross-fingering and half-holeing) and has a range of two octaves (although, as DH insists, you do not want to hear much of that top half octave).

    It sounds more like a clarinet than a sax. The plastic ones are pretty much indestructible and weigh nothing. Between his xaphoon and my Blackbird Clara, we're ready to busk anywhere (will play for food -- often do).

    Buy the xaphoon. I think you will like it.

    ETA: The xaphoon uses a tenor sax reed.


    awesome

  5. #15
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    Centennial, CO
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    Ugh the xaphoon was brought up in this thread. First I'll plug this yamaha recorder which seems to be a good value:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0134BIH1K

    I've sort of gotten into XAS or xaphoon acquisition syndrome, mostly just the plastic ones. There's the original plastic xaphoon which runs ~70usd or so, Then there's exact chinese copies for ~30usd from aliexpress (don't have one of these.

    There's an "andoer/anself" copy that uses an alto sax reed, ~30usd that plays well.

    There's a pocket sax that plays a C major scale, same manuf has a Bb xaphoon that sadly doesn't have a left index finger hole (meaning no chromatic way into the upper register).

    I'm liking the nuvo stuff at the moment. I bought a dood last year that is actually decent. The jsax looks to be the most promising of the bunch:



    go to 7:30 mark to get a sample.

    and a channel with a few demos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJI...5RZAf-W_5I3CyQ
    Last edited by bnolsen; 09-10-2016 at 06:51 PM.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  6. #16
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    I used to be a lot more active with recorders and had fairly decent soprano, alto, and tenor. The tenor may have had the nicest sound, a keyless "ergonomic" model from Huber. It was designed to have easier finger reaches but even then, they got to be a little more than I wanted to deal with. I sold it and the soprano leaving just a Kung Superio alto and even that I haven't played much in years.

    I tried a xaphoon but could not get used to the breath pressure required and especially the lip pressure. It was literally painful to play.

    My favorite wind instrument by far is the Akai EWI4000s. It's so versatile between the onboard synth and being a MIDI controller. It appears in almost all my compositions.
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E Tenor - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Keystone Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE, steel string
    -KPK pineapple SLN - GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1 - gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET - Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  7. #17
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    Sep 2012
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    Centennial, CO
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    My problem with wind instruments is that the kids always seem to give me some upper respiratory illness whenever I start getting into some practice routine. I've been out of playing the past few weeks due to the last one.

    Tonight I decided to play through the whole set of them. All of the ones I have use alto sax mouthpieces and/or reeds except the xaphoon. After playing through all the alto sax reeded ones I was really having problems trying to get a sound out of the tenor reeded xaphoon. It really requires a very different embrouchure from the others, which is probably why it frustrates normal sax players so much. For them the andoer/anself is possibly a better choice.
    Last edited by bnolsen; 09-10-2016 at 06:59 PM.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
    Recorder anyone?
    Nope. .

  9. #19
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    . .
    Last edited by Dan Gleibitz; 09-11-2016 at 01:10 AM. Reason: Historically inaccurate.

  10. #20
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    Ruislip, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    Mmn that eco material is new since I left that job - wonder what that sounds like. I have a yamaha that looks like that but the mock rosewood colour. Nice instrument.

    We used to always recommend a beginner started with a good quality plastic instrument.

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