Pearl 105 or 165: A Comparison

Are you ready to upgrade from a student piccolo? First, you should compare the Pearl 105 vs. 165, from the specs to the feel of each instrument.

Pearl 105 vs. 165: A Comparison | Piccolo Perfection

That way, you can choose the right piccolo for you. If you can do that, you’ll look forward to playing the instrument more, so you can continue to get better at it.

Before we get into the comparison, this post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is the Pearl 105?

The Pearl 105 is a composite piccolo with a grenaditte body and headjoint. It’s an excellent piccolo for students, college music majors, and even advanced amateurs.

Features and Specs

This piccolo comes with either a traditional headjoint or a wave headjoint, so you can get the response you want. It has a nice bubble headjoint that’s easy to attach to the body.

There are silver-plated keys and a split E mechanism to make the third-octave E easier to play. The keys are spaced a bit farther apart than on other piccolos, which is nice if you have long fingers.

You’ll get a large case with space for cork grease and an extra piccolo headjoint. That makes it a nice option for players who want to swap out heads in different playing scenarios.

The piccolo also features Pearl’s standard One Piece Core Bar, which is a pinless mechanism.


  • Suitable indoors and outdoors
  • Good for players on a budget
  • Easy to play
  • Traditional and wave headjoints
  • Large case


  • Sound can be a bit thin
  • High notes are hard to play

Who the Pearl 105 Is For

The Pearl 105 is an excellent model for beginners who can spend a bit more. It’s also a nice choice as an upgrade from a student piccolo, such as the Armstrong 204, which is what I upgraded from.

College music majors can learn a lot with this piccolo, and you can get through a bachelor’s or master’s program with it. You can also play it as an adult amateur or even early in your music career.

Pearl 105 Piccolo Case | Piccolo Perfection

Pearl 165

The Pearl 165 is very similar to the 105, but there are some small differences. Consider the features and specs of this model if you want a good intermediate piccolo.

Features and Specs

Like the 105, the Pearl 165 features a grenaditte body. However, it comes with a grenadilla wood headjoint, and you can choose from a standard or wave cut.

This model also features omni synthetic pads, which are different from pads on most other piccolos. Other than that, the piccolos have the same specs, including silver-plated keys.

You get the same split E mechanism as well as a case with room for an extra headjoint. Pearl sells their grenaditte headjoint separately, so you can buy it if you want your piccolo to be safe to play outside.


  • Synthetic pads
  • Wood headjoint
  • Good case
  • Easy to play
  • Nice sound


  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not for beginners

Who the Pearl 165 Is For

The Pearl 165 can work well for a lot of the same people as the 105. If you’re an advancing student or a college flute major, you may want to check out this model.

It’s great for anyone on a budget, including adult amateurs. You can also get by with this piccolo if you’re a flute player and rarely play the piccolo but need a model for when you have to play it.

Who the Pearl Piccolos Aren’t For

When deciding on the Pearl 105 or 165, consider that neither piccolo may be for you. These piccolos play very similarly, so if you don’t like the sound or feel of one, you probably won’t like the other.

I wouldn’t recommend these piccolos for beginners because they are a bit expensive. The 165 also requires more care due to the wood headjoint.

On the flip side, these piccolos aren’t the best for piccolo specialists, unless you need a backup. I still play my Pearl 105 as a backup to my Hammig piccolo when I need to.

Pearl 105 vs. 165: FAQs

If you’re still trying to decide between the Pearl 105 or 165, here’s what you may want to know.

How Do You Decide Between the 105 and 165?

First, you should think about what you need from a piccolo. If you plan to play it outside, the 105 will be better since you don’t have to worry about wood cracking.

However, if you want a warmer tone, the 165 might help you achieve that. Keep in mind that you can essentially buy both models by getting the 105 and then buying a wood headjoint to go with it.

Can You Get a Wood or Composite Headjoint Separately?

You can get a wood headjoint or composite headjoint separately from either Pearl piccolo. If you want to make sure the headjoint will fit, buy a Pearl headjoint, but a repair tech may be able to fit other heads.

Keep in mind that wood headjoints are easier to find, especially if you consider other makers. I’ve only seen the grenaditte headjoint for sale in a handful of places.

Where Can You Buy a Pearl Piccolo?

You can buy a Pearl piccolo online or in person. Various flute and music stores sell them, but you can also find them on Amazon and other digital retailers.

When buying online, make sure to buy through a reputable dealer. That way, you can minimize the chances of getting a piccolo that won’t play and will require expensive repairs.

Should You Get a New or Used Pearl Piccolo?

It’s safe to buy a new or used Pearl piccolo. When buying a new piccolo, you don’t have to worry about it sitting in storage for years, but it will cost you more.

While you can save on a used piccolo, it may require some maintenance from a professional. That could negate the savings you get by buying a used model.

Pearl 105 vs. 165 in Review

When shopping for intermediate piccolos, it makes sense to compare the Pearl 105 or 165. Both models are great for advancing students, amateurs, and recent music school graduates.

Be sure to give both a try to decide which model is for you. And if you can’t decide, you can always buy a second headjoint to get the best of both models.

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