How do the Pearl vs. GUO piccolos compare? If you’re on the hunt for an upgrade, you may want to consider both of these brands and their amazing piccolos.
But one is probably going to suit you better than the other. So keep reading to learn about these brands and their models as well as who each brand is for.
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What Are Pearl Piccolos?
Pearl piccolos are two of the most popular intermediate models you can find. I played on this brand for over three years, and it served me well through almost all of my masters degree.
Consider the models you can get and how they compare to each other.
I played on a Pearl 105 after I needed an upgrade from my student piccolo. This model features a grenaditte (composite) headjoint and body, so you can play it indoors and outdoors.
You can choose between a traditional and wave cut for the headjoint to get the best sound for you. Plus, you can get the piccolo with a split E mechanism to help play that high E.
I love how this piccolo has a more ergonomic key layout, especially since I have longer fingers. That makes the piccolo easy to hold and play for long periods.
The Pearl 165 is very similar to the 105, but there are a few crucial differences. It comes with the same composite body, but it has a grenadilla wood headjoint for a slightly warmer tone.
You’ll also get omni-synthetic pads, which can be easier to maintain. The headjoint cut options are the same, and a split E mechanism is standard on this model.
Of course, the more advanced specs make this piccolo more expensive. But it can be a good choice for players who need a nice piccolo on a budget.
Who Pearl Piccolos Are For
I’d recommend the Pearl piccolos to players who are at the intermediate level and need a good instrument. As I mentioned, this brand got me through graduate school, and many people didn’t know my piccolo wasn’t wood.
If you currently play a Pearl C flute or low flute, you may also like these piccolos. They all feature the brand’s one-piece core-bar mechanism, which is easy to play.
At one point, all three of my flutes (piccolo, C, and alto) were from Pearl. So if you like the brand, you should give their piccolos a chance.
Read my comparison of the Pearl piccolos to learn more.
What Are GUO Piccolos?
GUO piccolos are another line of piccolos that are suitable for intermediate and advancing students. While I don’t have personal experience with these instruments, I’ve heard great things.
Consider the two models available.
GUO New Voice
The GUO New Voice is a composite piccolo with a plastic mechanism. That means you can play it anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about touching cold metal.
You also get to choose from fun colors, like red, yellow, and pink. Unlike the super cheap no-name piccolos, these colorful piccolos are of great quality.
I especially like how the New Voice features a high G# mechanism, a feature you usually only find on pro piccolos. But this model is a lot more affordable, so it’s great if you’re tight on cash.
A slightly more advanced model, the GUO Grenaditte piccolo is very similar to the Pearl piccolos. It combines grenadilla wood with plastic to give you a warm sound without the risk of cracking.
I like how the piccolo is all black, including the keys, so it looks super sleek. You’ll also get the same split E mechanism and high G# mechanism as on the other GUO piccolo.
Compared to the other model, this piccolo is a bit expensive. But it’s nothing in comparison to professional handmade models, so it’s great for students, woodwind doublers, and casual players.
Who GUO Piccolos Are For
I’d recommend GUO piccolos to players who don’t have a ton of money but need a good piccolo. The New Voice is also fun for younger students who want something colorful.
Meanwhile, the Grenaditte model is better for use in an orchestra. You can get a nice, warm tone from the instrument, and it blends well with others in the group.
They’re also suitable for people who don’t play the piccolo that often. You can keep the piccolos in storage for most of the time, and they can work well when you need to break out your piccolo.
Pearl 105 vs. GUO New Voice
The Pearl 105 piccolo is a composite model, while the GUO New Voice uses a colorful plastic. Both piccolos can work well for students or as a first upgrade from a metal or plastic model.
Pearl 105 vs. GUO Grenaditte
Of all of the Pearl vs. GUO piccolos, the 105 and Grenaditte models are the most similar. Both use grenaditte as the material for the headjoint and body, so you can play them almost anywhere.
Pearl 165 vs. GUO New Voice
The Pearl 165 is a bit more advanced compared to the GUO New Voice. It’s also more expensive and contains wood, while the GUO model doesn’t have any wood. It does have more specs, though, like the high G# mechanism.
Pearl 165 vs. GUO Grenaditte
The Pearl 165 and GUO Grenaditte are similar, at least when it comes to the body. But the GUO has more advanced specs, and the Pearl has a wood headjoint for a warmer sound.
Are Colorful Piccolos Good?
When comparing Pearl vs. GUO piccolos, you’ll notice the New Voice comes in fun colors. While that’s usually a sign of a poor-quality instrument, GUO is the exception.
It’s a reputable flute brand, and you can choose from fun colors to express your style. And you’ll get a good sound out of the instrument, which can’t be said for the super cheap colorful piccolos.
What Type of Piccolo Is Best?
The best type of piccolo depends on the player. For beginners, I’d recommend an all-metal or all-plastic model, while professionals will prefer a wood piccolo.
Intermediate players can get a great sound out of a composite or grenaditte piccolos. That makes Pearl and GUO piccolos great for this group of piccolo players.
Are Pearl Flutes Good Quality?
I play a Pearl C flute and a Pearl alto and have played a Pearl piccolo in the past. So I may be biased, but I have to say Pearl flutes are some of the best, especially in their respective price ranges.
But the quality isn’t the only thing to consider. You should also look at whether Pearl flutes are good for you, and that means you need to give them a try.
Comparing the Pearl vs. GUO piccolos is essential if you want an intermediate model that works for you. I love the Pearl piccolos, and they served me well.
But I love how the GUO models have more professional specs. Give both brands a try to decide which meets your needs better.
And don’t forget to use a fingering chart to learn some alternate fingerings to use on your new piccolo.