Are you looking for the best intermediate piccolo on the market? You should compare Pearl vs. Resona Burkart piccolos, which are some of the most popular.
I’ve tried both of these brands, and you can get a great sound and response on any of the models. Compare the Pearl 105, 165, and Burkart Resona to determine which model is right for you.
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What Is the Pearl 105?
The Pearl 105 is an excellent composite piccolo for intermediate players. It features a grenaditte headjoint and body, which is a specific type of wood-plastic hybrid.
I love how you can choose between a traditional and wave headjoint cut. Both options come with a split E mechanism, which is super helpful when playing high notes.
Another one of my favorite things is the ergonomic design of the keys. There’s an offset G, but the E and D keys are also placed in a better spot to keep you from having to squish your fingers.
When I was ready for my first big piccolo upgrade, this was the model I chose, and it got me through most of grad school. No one even knew it wasn’t wood unless I told them.
What About the Pearl 165?
The Pearl 165 is very similar to the 105 in that they both have a composite body. Both instruments also come with a split E mechanism and a choice between a traditional and wave headjoint.
However, this model comes with a grenadilla wood headjoint, so you can get a slightly warmer tone. It also features special omni-synthetic pads that don’t come on the 105.
For better or worse, this piccolo costs more than the other Pearl model. But it’s a good option if you don’t quite like the response of an all-composite instrument.
What Is the Burkart Resona?
If you’re looking for a piccolo that’s all wood, you may love the Burkart Resona. I got to try one of these piccolos shortly after I bought my Pearl, and I enjoyed playing it.
This piccolo sounds and responds very similarly to the Pearl 105, at least to me. Of course, it has all of the specs you would want in an intermediate piccolo, including a split E mechanism and silver-plated keys.
Like both Pearl piccolos, you can choose between a traditional or wave cut headjoint. Comparing the Pearl vs. Burkart Resona, the Resona has the offset G but not the offset E or D keys.
That can make it a bit more awkward to play if you have larger hands. However, it’s one of the best piccolos out there, especially if you don’t want to spend more than around $3k.
Read my guide to the Best Piccolos Under $3000 to learn more.
Pearl vs. Burkart Resona Differences
Before you decide on your next piccolo, it helps to understand the differences between Pearl vs. Burkart Resona. All three piccolo models offer something unique, but those things can have a huge impact on your decision.
One of the biggest differences is the materials used in each of the piccolos. The Pearl 105 uses grenaditte, which is the brand’s take on a composite material.
On the other end, you have the Burkart Resona, which uses grenadilla wood. The Pearl 165 falls in the middle with a wood headjoint and a composite body.
Different materials can slightly alter the tone you can get out of your piccolo. Wood tends to be warmer, but composite materials closely replicate the sound at a more reasonable price.
The differing materials lead to another major factor, which is the cost. As I mentioned, composite materials don’t cost as much as grenadilla wood.
So if you’re tight on cash, the Pearl piccolos are worth considering. But if you have a bit more money to spend, you can look into the Burkart Resona.
Pearl vs. Burkart Resona Similarities
As important as the differences are, you should also consider what the Pearl and Burkart Resona piccolos have in common. If these things don’t interest you, you’ll want to look at other models.
The Pearl piccolos and Resona fall into a category of intermediate piccolos. That makes them perfect for advancing students, amateurs, and woodwind doublers.
You won’t want to start on any of these models, except for the Pearl 105. On the other hand, none of the models are particularly useful if you’re looking at a career involving the piccolo.
Now, if you become a professional, you can keep one or all of these piccolos in your inventory. That way, you’ll have a good instrument on hand if you need to send your main piccolo off for maintenance.
Traditional and Wave Headjoints
One of the great things about intermediate piccolos is that you start to have choice in the exact specs. You can get a piccolo with a traditional headjoint, which has a round, small embouchure hole.
There’s also the wave headjoint, which has a “wall” of sorts on the edge opposite from where you blow into the headjoint. That wave helps direct your air into the instrument.
Neither cut is right for everyone, so you should try both if you can. I ended up going with the wave cut on both my Pearl 105 and my newer professional piccolo.
Other Intermediate Piccolos
Perhaps you don’t like either Pearl model or the Burkart Resona. If you’re still looking to upgrade from your beginner piccolo, you should look at some other intermediate models.
Here are a few other instruments I’d recommend you try.
The Yamaha YPC-62 is the brand’s most basic wood piccolo. I believe this is the model I got to play on when I was in college and used a university-owned instrument.
It has a split E mechanism, and you can choose a traditional or wave headjoint, just like with the other piccolos. The silver-plated keys keep the piccolo from being too expensive.
Now, the lower end of the range can sound a bit too thin. But if the Resona is a bit out of your budget and you want a solid wood instrument, this might be the one for you.
Lyric piccolos are quite new to the scene, but they’re a great choice for intermediate players. I got to try one at the same time I tried a Resona, and the two sounded and responded about the same.
For better or worse, this model only comes with a wave headjoint. So if you prefer the traditional cut, you may want to buy a headjoint from another brand.
Now, this piccolo is a lot more affordable than other wood models, so you may have money leftover for that. Of course, you’ll also get a split E mechanism, which is basically standard on piccolos at this point.
The Gemeinhardt 4P is an excellent plastic piccolo for intermediate players. Now, it’s plastic rather than composite, so it doesn’t have as warm of a sound.
However, it is a bit more affordable than Pearl and Burkart Resona. If you’re on a tight budget and need a better piccolo than the most basic of models, it’s a good upgrade.
Of course, it’s not an upgrade if you already play a plastic instrument.
When comparing Pearl vs. Burkart Resona piccolos, you should consider which meets your needs. The Pearl 105 is best for players with a small budget and who need an outdoor piccolo.
However, the Resona is better for players who mostly perform indoors and need the best instrument outside of the world of professional piccolos.
No matter which piccolo you buy, be sure to reference our piccolo fingering chart for the best alternate fingerings.