Product Reviews: Aulos 511B "Symphony" Tenor Recorder
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At first I thought my love for the recorders would decrease as the tonal range lowered. How mistaken I was! The tenor recorder has a beautiful, deep sound, which sound clips seldomely do justice, and if you are able to play 2 octaves (or more) you will find that the tenor's tonal range "seems" larger than alto and soprano, even when it isn't. I think this is because of the contrast between the very deep notes and the high ones being so immediate on the tenor, whereas on alto and soprano most notes "seem high" to the listener. This specific model, Aulos Symphony, is a truly great plastic tenor. It is VERY playable, it has a thick tone and you can feel some of the deepest notes vibrating in your stomach (though, of course, a tenor isn't as deep as the bass recorders!). It is perhaps the most pleasant recorder for the listener, as the tonal range allowness for great variety without the risk of shrillness that might sometimes occur on soprano or sometimes even on alto. For soprano and alto I own (and THOROUGLY recommend!!!) the Aulos haka series - they have a bright (yet seldomely shrill), woody sound and are according to many reviews I've read perhaps the "best" plastic recorders available. However, the Haka series doesn't have a tenor size. I therefore choose this one (which is also an aulos), because based on A LOT of review reading I found this to be preferable to the cheaper yamaha tenor. My very first impression of the aulos symphony tenor was that it seemed very "plasticly" - it doesn't look or sound as woody as the Haka series. However, after having played it a couple of hours I found that this was actually not a bad difference. Though I love the Haka series, I love this tenor equally, and sometimes even a bit more perhaps, as the plastic sound is actually quiet beautiful, very, very full and dark. The plastic sound actually works really, really well with the lowness of the tenor. So yeah, if I were to break my tenor I'd definetely rebuy this version.
Last note: the stretch is really not bad. My hand stretch is around 20-22 centimeters - one a piano I can reach an octave + 1 or 2 notes. This size is very average despite of gender. And after playing it for 2 hours I played it very comfortably and easily. It completely stopped feeling like a stretch because the truth is it isn't a stretch for me at all - it just seemed that way for the first hour until you adjust. So yeah, unless you have very, very small hands, the tenor shouldn't be a big problem. I recommend trying the tenor - it turned out my love for recorders INCREASE as the notes get lower ;-)