Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm Piccolo Comparison

Imagine wanting to start to play the piccolo but getting a cheap model that sounds terrible. If you want to avoid that, I’d suggest comparing the Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm.

Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm Piccolo Comparison | Piccolo Perfection

These piccolos are intermediate models but can work for absolute beginners as well. Read on to learn how they compare to decide if one is perfect for you.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is the Pearl 105?

The Pearl 105 piccolo is a composite model that’s great for students and advancing players. It was my first big piccolo upgrade after my initial model, and it was the first flute I bought without help from my parents.

I love how it sounds similar to a wood piccolo, but the composite design keeps the piccolo from cracking. Plus, you can choose between a traditional and wave headjoint to get the response you want. (I went with the wave headjoint.)

This piccolo is also designed with a nice ergonomic key layout. So if you have long fingers or big hands, holding the piccolo can be a bit easier.

I also like how the piccolo comes in a case with spaces for two headjoints. You can get a wood headjoint to use for indoor performances, and you can use the composite headjoint outdoors.


  • Great sound
  • Easy to tune
  • Decent specs


  • A bit expensive
  • High notes can be hard to play

What Is the Roy Seaman Storm?

The Roy Seaman Storm is another excellent piccolo with very similar specs to the Pearl 105. While I don’t have personal experience with this piccolo, it’s pretty popular among students and intermediate players.

It’s a nice choice if you can’t get your hands on a Pearl, for example. I like how a lot of the specs are the same, from a split E mechanism to the option of a traditional or wave headjoint.

This model also has an offset G key, which is becoming standard on piccolos. However, the rest of the keys aren’t as ergonomic as the Pearl, but the piccolo can still be comfortable to play.

Now, this piccolo’s case only has space for one headjoint. But that makes the case smaller, so it can fit more easily into a flute bag or another backpack or bag.


  • Excellent specs
  • Easy to play
  • Good for students


  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not as easy to upgrade the headjoint

Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm Similarities

The Pearl 105 and Roy Seaman Storm share a lot of the same features. When it comes to intermediate piccolos, I’d add both to your list of models to try.

Consider the main ways in which they’re almost the same.

Composite Material

Composite piccolos are those where the material is a combination of plastic and wood. The plastic stabilizes the wood so that it won’t crack in extreme heat, cold, or humidity.

However, the addition of wood helps warm up your sound so that it’s easier to blend with other instruments. If you play in an orchestra or flute choir, that can be particularly helpful.

I’d also recommend keeping a composite piccolo on hand as a backup. The instrument won’t crack in storage, so you can use it if you need to send your wood piccolo off for maintenance.

Headjoint Cuts

Another excellent part about the Pearl 105 and Roy Seaman Storm piccolos is that they come with multiple headjoint cuts. The cut of the headjoint can affect how the whole instrument responds.

Personally, I really like using a wave headjoint since it helps direct my air into the piccolo. But you may prefer a traditional headjoint over the wave cut.

Either way, you’ll have both options if you decide to buy the Pearl or Roy Seaman piccolo. That way, you can get a headjoint that will work for you and your playing.

Other Specs

A lot of the other specs are the same, most notably the split E mechanism. When your piccolo has a split E, the mechanism makes it easier to play the third octave E without cracking.

I don’t have a split E on my current flute, but I love having one on my piccolo. It seems like the spec has become standard on most piccolo models these days.

Playing high notes is already hard enough, so you don’t want to make it harder. A split E is a nice addition, and you can get it without paying extra whether you go with the Pearl 105 or Roy Seaman Storm.

Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm Differences

As similar as the Pearl and Roy Seaman piccolos are, there are just as many differences. And those differences come into play when determining which model is better for you.

Look into the following factors to help choose your ideal piccolo.

Specific Material

Both piccolos are composite models, but they’re not quite the same. For one, Pearl uses a special material called grenaditte to make the 105.

The only other piccolo brand that I know of that uses grenaditte is GUO. Other composite piccolos, like the Roy Seaman Storm use a more general type of composite material.

And when it comes to the Storm, Gemeinhardt (the parent company) says that they use a synthetic material. I don’t know exactly what that means, but it may make the piccolos sound a bit different.

Japanese vs. American

Another difference that may seem minor is the countries where these piccolos are manufactured. Pearl makes its instruments in Japan or Taiwan, whereas Roy Seaman piccolos are made in the US.

I’ve heard that some flute players are “Japanese” players, while others are “American” players. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, but the flutes from these countries have slightly different manufacturing processes.

If you like flute brands like Pearl, Yamaha, or Altus, you may prefer the Pearl 105. On the other hand, if you like flutes from Gemeinhardt, Burkart, or Powell, the Roy Seaman Storm might suit you better.


There are also a couple of differences between the mechanisms of both piccolos. The Pearl features a One-Piece Core-Bar pinless mechanism.

On the other hand, the Roy Seaman Storm, from what I can tell, has a traditional pinned mechanism. The piccolo also features Valentino pads, but I’m not sure what type of pads the piccolo uses.

Pearl’s 165 uses omni-synthetic pads, but they don’t specify the pads used on the 105.

Alternative Piccolo Models

You may compare the Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm but not like either one. Fortunately, you have more options to look into.

Pearl 165

If the Pearl 105 is decent but not quite what you want, try the Pearl 165. The two piccolos are very similar, but this one features a grenadilla wood headjoint.

That can give you an even warmer sound than the 105. The omni-synthetic pads may also offer a slightly different sound, but it’s not going to be as noticeable.

Of course, the wood content makes this piccolo a bit more expensive, so it’s not ideal for beginners. But it can be a good upgrade if you’ve played the piccolo for a while.

Gemeinhardt 4P

The Gemeinhardt 4P is the perfect alternative if you like the Roy Seaman but don’t love it. It’s a plastic piccolo, so it’s suitable for use outdoors and indoors.

But since Gemeinhardt is the parent company of Roy Seaman, it’s one of the most similar models you can find. I’d also recommend this as an alternative to absolute beginners.

You can play the piccolo and use it to learn how the instrument works.

Jupiter 1010

Another model to try is the Jupiter 1010. This plastic piccolo isn’t from Pearl or Gemeinhardt/Roy Seaman. However, it shares a lot of specs, from silver-plated keys to a conical bore.

What I really like about this piccolo is that the tenon on the body doesn’t use a cork. That means you won’t have to worry about the cork drying out and breaking or making the instrument hard to assemble or disassemble.

Of course, it doesn’t have the added warmth of a composite piccolo. But if you’re looking for a durable model to use as a beginner, this is a good choice.

Final Thoughts

Comparing the Pearl 105 vs. Roy Seaman Storm is vital if you want to get the best intermediate piccolo for you. While I played and loved the Pearl, I know a lot of players refer the Storm.

It’s up to you to look into both brands and models. Then, you can decide which piccolo will meet your needs.

Just make sure you test both piccolos with a drone to make sure the model you buy has good intonation.

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