Product Reviews: Azumi AZ-S2 Flute
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“Beautiful tone and variety of colour ”
I recently returned to playing the flute after a very long gap. I set a rough price range and tried flutes from Yamaha, Trevor James, Pearl and Azumi. From the outset, the Azumi stood out for two main reasons: the strong resonant tone which could be easily obtained, and the quality feel of the mechanism.
Having narrowed it down to Azumi, I tried three different flutes. The AZ-Z1 (silver lip plate & riser, but otherwise silver plated nickel) was a good instrument. But stepping up to the AZ-Z2 with a solid silver head joint made the tone noticeably richer. (I had been sceptical about the difference a silver head joint would make, but found it to be substantial.)
I experimented for some time with the two different embouchure hole cuts available with the AZ2: Z described as free blowing; and S described as offering more resistance. (I didn’t find these descriptions particularly helpful, and trying the flutes is definitely the best way to differentiate the two types.) The Z produces a very strong tone in the lower register, and is very easy to play at this pitch. The S cut requires more precise embouchure in the lower register, but can equal this tone. I found the middle and highest register easier with the S cut. Another advantage of the S cut was that it seemed to offer more variety in tone, with more scope to play sweetly and delicately, or alternatively to blast out a really strong resonant tone. The S cut also could be played more quietly at the higher notes.
Having now played the instrument more at home, I have not been disappointed. I can readily get a variety of tone and dynamics, and can jump easily from one register to another up or down an octave or more. The mechanism works smoothly and reliably. A pleasure to play.