Are you looking to get your first piccolo or upgrade from your current one? You should consider the differences between new and used piccolos.
The right instrument can make a massive difference in your playing. So take your time, and try as many models as you can. Sometimes, that means opening your search to new and used instruments.
Here are some differences between used and new piccolos.
One of the things that differs between new and used piccolos is how much they cost. You can control for other factors, like materials, brand, and model.
With few exceptions, a used piccolo is going to cost less than it did when it was new. If the piccolo is significantly old, it may not cost that much less. But the price could go up because of inflation.
Beginner and intermediate piccolos tend to hold their value less than professional piccolos. But the condition can also affect the specific price, so used piccolos don’t always cost the same as each other.
If you’re looking to buy a new piccolo, there will probably be one available at any time. Of course, the particular model you want might not always be for sale.
But if you’re willing to shop around, you should be able to find at least one piccolo of the brand and model you’re looking for. Then, you can try a few piccolos and test them in one sitting.
When you’re looking at used piccolos, that’s not always the case. You may have to wait for one to come on the market. And if it’s a popular model, it will probably sell pretty quickly.
Over the past century, companies have changed the models they offer. That means you can find some older piccolos that companies have stopped manufacturing.
If you stick to new piccolos, you have to choose from current models. And yes, there are tons of models out there. You have a massive selection, even if you just look at new instruments.
However, if you open your search to used piccolos, that will give you even more models to choose from. Then, you can find the perfect piccolo for your playing.
C vs. Db
On the topic of selection, you also have to think about if you want a C piccolo or if you’re looking for one in Db. Most (if not all) new piccolos are in the key of C.
However, there are some older works out there that have Db piccolo parts. Piccolos in Db were common earlier in the 20th century. So you may be able to find a few used ones for sale.
But the availability is pretty limited. You might not always come across one that’s for sale. Keep that in mind if you’re looking for something specific.
Serious piccolo players will take good care of their instruments. This involves daily cleaning and care, and it also involves regular professional maintenance and COAs (clean, oil, and adjustment).
When shopping for used piccolos, look at the condition. Consider if the metal parts have tarnish. If the piccolo uses wood, check for cracks (especially those that haven’t been repaired).
New piccolos will almost always be in good condition. Some makers will even offer a warranty in case something goes wrong. When you buy a used model, you risk getting a piccolo that’s hard to play.
This is less of a difference between new and used piccolos. It’s more common to see differences across levels of instruments. Still, you will find that newer piccolos tend to have more spec options.
Over time, the technology and manufacturing processes have evolved. That means a piccolo from today will probably have more features than one from even a few decades ago.
Consider if you want any special keys, from a split E to a vented C key. Or you might want a low C or B on your piccolo. If so, you should at least start your search with newer models.
Where to Buy
If you want to buy a new piccolo, you have to go through a music shop or another reputable vendor. You could find an individual claiming they have a new piccolo.
But odds are good it’s a used piccolo in like-new condition. If someone tries to get you to pay the new price for a used model, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.
When shopping for used piccolos, you can buy from a music store or an individual. Either way, be sure you can test the piccolo before you commit to purchasing it.
New piccolos tend to be available for some sort of trial. A lot of the major flute shops will send you a few piccolos to try at home. You can also visit a store in person to try some instruments.
If you buy a used piccolo, you may not have that option. Some sellers want to get rid of their instrument and get paid quickly. Even if they do offer a trial, there are a lot of risks when you aren’t working with a big store.
The best way to test a used piccolo is to meet up with the seller in a public place. Then, you won’t have to worry about shipping. And you can save everyone’s time if you don’t like the piccolo.
Will You Try New or Used Piccolos?
Trying piccolos can be exciting, but don’t stick to new models. Sometimes, used piccolos can be the better choice. You may save money, and you can get an instrument in good condition.
Just make sure you try it before you pay so that you can reduce the chances of getting buyer’s remorse.