Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82: Compared

The Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82. They’re only off by one digit, so how different could they really be?

Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82: Compared | Piccolo Perfection

If you’re looking for a nice new piccolo, compare these two models to decide which better suits you. That way, you can keep playing better and better.

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

What Is the Yamaha YPC-81?

The Yamaha YPC-81 is a professional piccolo made of grenadilla wood. It uses silver-plated keys for the mechanism to help keep the price down while offering a great sound.

Yamaha makes this piccolo by hand, which is standard among pro models. I got to try this piccolo a couple of years ago, and it’s a pretty decent instrument for advanced flute players.

Like many models, this one comes standard with a split E mechanism. It also features a conical bore, and you can choose between a traditional and wave headjoint cut.

Meanwhile, the undercut tone holes help give a better response and better intonation. That can make it a great piccolo for anyone who needs a pro instrument but maybe can’t afford some of the more expensive models.


  • Grenadilla wood
  • Handmade instrument
  • Great features
  • Easy to play
  • Relatively affordable


  • Thin low register
  • Not the best for piccolo specialists

Who the Yamaha YPC-81 Is For

I’d recommend the Yamaha YPC-81 to anyone looking for the best instrument they can get but who might be on a bit of a budget. Compared to similar models, you can save around $1,000 or more.

This piccolo is particularly well-suited for flute players who aren’t the most interested in the piccolo. You can play it in an orchestral setting or as a soloist.

What Is the Yamaha YPC-82?

The Yamaha YPC-82 is another excellent professional model piccolo. Its most noticeable difference from the other Yamaha is that it features a sterling silver headjoint rather than a wood head.

However, the bodies of both piccolos are almost identical, with grenadilla wood, a split E mechanism, and undercut tone holes to help with the intonation.

Of course, this piccolo is handmade just like many professional piccolos. And the metal headjoint means that you’ll get a lip plate, which some players prefer to have.

Oddly enough, this model costs a little more than the YPC-81. If you’re looking for a piccolo that can cut through a loud, large ensemble, it’s a good choice.


  • Has a lip plate
  • Solid silver headjoint
  • Wood body
  • Decent price


  • Not all wood
  • Not ideal for piccolo specialists

Who the Yamaha YPC-82 Is For

I’d suggest the Yamaha YPC-82 piccolo for professionals who like the sound that metal can produce. However, the wood body keeps the piccolo from being too shrill.

It’s also a nice choice if you like having a lip plate on your piccolo. There aren’t a ton of metal-wood combination piccolos out there, and this is one of the best ones I’ve seen.

Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82 Differences

It’s one thing to know the specs and features of each model. However, comparing the Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82 directly can help you determine which model is a better fit for you.

As I mentioned, the most obvious difference is the fact that the YPC-81 comes with a wood headjoint, but the YPC-82 comes with a solid silver headjoint.

These materials can give you a slightly different sound, especially since you blow directly into the headjoint. Wood is a more common material at the professional level, but a silver head can work well for some players.

Who the Yamaha YPC-81 and Yamaha YPC-82 Aren’t For

While the two top piccolos from Yamaha are great for advanced players, they’re not for beginners. These models are a bit too expensive for new players to justify.

Also, wood piccolos require a lot more maintenance than student models. You can start on a metal or plastic model and upgrade to wood later once you know you’ll like playing the piccolo.

Other Yamaha Piccolo Models

If you like Yamaha flutes and piccolos, you’ll be pleased to know the YPC-81 and YPC-82 aren’t the only options. Consider the two other piccolos that you can get.

Yamaha YPC-32

The Yamaha YPC-32 is the entry-level student model piccolo that a lot of people choose. While I haven’t played it, I have a few friends from college who borrowed these models from our university.

This piccolo sounds great with its silver-plated headjoint and plastic body. It features an offset G to help you reach that key without having to form your left hand in a weird way.

While it’s not the most affordable student piccolo, the price is well worth it. You can use this piccolo in a marching band, concert band, and any other setting.

Yamaha YPC-62

If you’re ready to upgrade to an intermediate piccolo, the Yamaha YPC-62 should make your list. The piccolo uses grenadilla wood like the more professional models, so you can get a warm sound.

However, this model isn’t entirely handmade, which helps keep the price down. That makes it a great choice for advancing students as well as music majors who are on a budget.

You’ll get all of the same specs on this piccolo as the more advanced models, such as the split E mechanism. If you’re not quite ready for a professional model, give this one a try.

Other Professional Piccolos

When shopping for a professional piccolo, choosing the best model for you is particularly important. If you find that Yamaha piccolos don’t quite meet your needs, compare them to a few similar options.

Burkart Professional

The Burkart Professional piccolo is (as you might expect) another top-level model. I got to try this model a few years ago, and it had a good sound and response.

A lot of people pair this model with a Mancke headjoint to get an even more unique sound. The body of the instrument is made of grenadilla, and it comes with a split E mechanism.

You can choose from a few different headjoint cuts, such as the Burkart, Clarion, and Wave heads. So if you want to stick with the factory headjoint, you can get a good sound.

Read my full Burkart Piccolo Guide to learn more.

Hammig 650/3

When I was ready to upgrade to a handmade piccolo, I chose the Hammig 650/3 with a wave headjoint. This model also comes with a modified wave or traditional headjoint.

Like many other pro piccolos, the 650/3 uses grenadilla wood for the headjoint and body. It also has silver-plated keys, a split E mechanism, and a high G# mechanism.

You can also get the similar 650/2 which is almost the same minus the G# mechanism. These piccolos sound great and respond very well, at least to my own playing.

Read my full Hammig Piccolo Guide to learn more.

Powell Signature

The Powell Signature is yet another amazing professional piccolo. It has a lot of the same specs as other piccolos, from a grenadilla wood head and body to a split E mechanism.

But this piccolo comes with solid sterling silver keys, rather than silver-plated keys. That can be a nice feature if your body oils tend to eat through silver plating.

Unfortunately, this piccolo can be a bit more expensive due to the solid silver content. If you like Powell flutes and piccolos, this is a good model to try.

Read my Powell Piccolo Guide to learn more.

Final Thoughts

When shopping for an advanced instrument, you should compare the Yamaha YPC-81 vs. Yamaha YPC-82. They’re not the most popular models, but they’re cost-effective.

You can get a good sound on either model, so don’t be afraid to test them out. Then, you’ll enjoy a nice response and tone quality to help you further advance.

Just don’t forget to use a drone to check the tuning of these piccolos when you buy them.

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