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Xaphoon?


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#1 mikeyc

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 19:38

I'm hearing lots about these "pocket sax" type instruments. Sounds like a cross between clarinet and saxophone but looks like a recorder.

Anyone got one or learning one. Are they difficult to learn if you're not a woodwind player. I've learnt brass.

They sound really great considering how small they are. I'm contemplating getting one with my birthday money / savings. Anyone got any advice?

Thanks
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#2 phantasmagoriana

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 19:51

I've seen them too and thought about getting one...would also be very interested to know of anyone has one or has played one!
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#3 sarah-flute

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 17:50

I almost bought one a while back. They do look intriguing!
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#4 mattrattley

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 17:51

yeah, i got one about 2 years ago - i got a custom low G model, fair bit more expensive but it was just after christmas and my money at that time wasn't being spent on anything alcoholic or chocolate based tongue.gif

they're pretty nifty for their size. they are in a way similar to the recorder but they play much more like a sax (they take tenor sax reeds although some have suggested alto or even bari sax reeds work better). the sound from them is phenominal, you can playing brashly like a sax as well as the chilled out, voice like clarinet sorta sound.

dynamics are pretty widespread too, the lower end being easier quieter i've found with the reverse true at the top. it's range is pretty nice too - i can get 2 octaves + 5th on my G model although for the smaller ones the upper end is limited by the reed (eg the pocket sax, the plastic one in C, will probably only go up 2 octaves from its lowest note). the other important thing is their durability - mine is very solid indeed and despite being thrown across the room on occasion it is still intact.

so - it's a worthy investment, although you have to remember the xaphoons are essentially, without putting them down (the guy who makes them is very talented), handmade bamboo instruments, but they are, in the right hands, on a par with the other important woodwinds (fl, ob, cl, bsn, rec, sax).

he's got some recordings on his website (stick xaphoon into google) if you want to listen to a xaph being played properly...
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#5 sarah-flute

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 17:55

Oh, great to hear feedback from someone who owns one!

Is yours a bamboo one?
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#6 Guest: SarahSax1986_*

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 18:16

I have frequently wanted to buy one of these and looked at them lots of time on the internet, after reading such a good review I think I may purchase one smile.gif
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#7 mikeyc

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 20:02

QUOTE(mattrattley @ Jul 11 2007, 06:51 PM) View Post

yeah, i got one about 2 years ago - i got a custom low G model, fair bit more expensive but it was just after christmas and my money at that time wasn't being spent on anything alcoholic or chocolate based tongue.gif

they're pretty nifty for their size. they are in a way similar to the recorder but they play much more like a sax (they take tenor sax reeds although some have suggested alto or even bari sax reeds work better). the sound from them is phenominal, you can playing brashly like a sax as well as the chilled out, voice like clarinet sorta sound.

dynamics are pretty widespread too, the lower end being easier quieter i've found with the reverse true at the top. it's range is pretty nice too - i can get 2 octaves + 5th on my G model although for the smaller ones the upper end is limited by the reed (eg the pocket sax, the plastic one in C, will probably only go up 2 octaves from its lowest note). the other important thing is their durability - mine is very solid indeed and despite being thrown across the room on occasion it is still intact.

so - it's a worthy investment, although you have to remember the xaphoons are essentially, without putting them down (the guy who makes them is very talented), handmade bamboo instruments, but they are, in the right hands, on a par with the other important woodwinds (fl, ob, cl, bsn, rec, sax).

he's got some recordings on his website (stick xaphoon into google) if you want to listen to a xaph being played properly...



I've heard them played on the xaphoon website. I didn't know how easy it was to produce music like that though. Is yours bamboo or plastic? I wonder if my wind bands would encorporate them if I took to learning. I'd like to think so. No one Iknow's got one so they're quite unique.

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#8 mattrattley

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 14:16

it's a bamboo one - only the standard C model is available in plastic - the costs to produce molds for them is astronomical and thus only the most common has been made available so far.

@mikeyc: very few people know about them and thus it might be a bit of a suprise for the auditionner to see one. however i think if you approached it as a "proper" instrument (ie did studies, scales, proper pieces etc.), and got good at it, then, yes, they have no reason to turn you down, although you may have to transpose an Eb clari part or possibly a sop sax part as it's quite high.

it's a cracking little thing and i for some reason haven't played nearly as much as i'd like (maybe something to do with trying to play mahler 5 on a contrabassoon glare.gif ) but if you're prepared to put time and effort in to learn it then it's well worth the money biggrin.gif

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