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#1 2010-05-09 10:09:14

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

I generally like the Yuu and recommend it as a student flute or second flute for pros.

I found myself in a situation (too complicated to relate) where I ended up with only this "enhanced Yuu" to play for a few days, so I got to spend some quality time with the instrument and put it through the paces.

Since it was the only instrument I had I played a wide variety of music on it and found it to be a very versatile and good piece of work. The tuning and response were excellent. It also plays all the notes and techniques of standard and even advanced shakuhachi well. Dai kan notes are accessible and easy to produce. Tone is good.

If you want a 1.8 and don't want to spend a lot of $$$$$ on it, this is a reasonable option.

For me personally the holes are too small but I am a freak. Maybe I'll have the holes enlarged and see what happens.

It's a good flute and makes me consider the possibilities of plastic mass produced flutes with some tweaking as a good option for low cost shakuhachi. I wish more makers would explore this direction, especially in longer flutes. It would be good to have options in other lengths than 1.8.

I wonder if it would be possible to make "blanks" in lengths like 2.0, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.7 which makers could then modify in terms of bore profile and hole size to create their own variations. Maybe someone could come up with raw plastic tubes and sell those to makers who could modify them at will.

I don't like the way the Yuu tries to look like bamboo. I think it's dorky. Because anyway the end hole is in a strange position and gives the game away. Seems to me that a smooth plastic form with no attempt to simulate nodes and bamboo texture would be more honest and have more integrity. I also think the plastic would give an option to have different colors that would celebrate the nature of plastic i.e. pink, orange or green. But that's just an opinion.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#2 2010-05-09 11:07:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

I have found that the David Brown flutes vary considerably depending upon the wood he uses. Although he would dispute that because he thinks it's the empty space that makes the sound. The Sri Lankan ebony one I had was somewhat better than the other ones I've seen of his from Australian wood. I have a foot in Sri Lanka and Australia so I am not biased.

He also maintains the same diameter even as the flutes get longer which is problematic for me. I think longer flutes need to be wider. But that other viewpoint is a typical view of the Yokoyama style Dokyoku makers.

But definitely the David Brown flutes are good for the $$$$$$.

I have been using some wooden flutes made by the dude who invented the Yuu and they are really good. But I think they're one-offs.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#3 2010-05-10 07:53:38

Colyn Petersen
Member
From: Omaha, NE
Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 46
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Tairaku wrote:

I have been using some wooden flutes made by the dude who invented the Yuu and they are really good. But I think they're one-offs.

Who is this guy? Where do you find these wooden flutes?


Though images may appear on the surface of a mirror with clarity, they are neither in the mirror, nor sticking to its surface.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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#4 2010-05-10 08:10:23

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Colyn Petersen wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

I have been using some wooden flutes made by the dude who invented the Yuu and they are really good. But I think they're one-offs.

Who is this guy? Where do you find these wooden flutes?

I bought them from the bizarre member of the forum "Gene Neil" who got them from the dude. It's a 2.0, 1.9 and 1.7. I've been using them recording Western music lately because they are in tune with themselves and with concert pitch and the tone is pretty good. I also like them because they make no false pretense of being bamboo, with stupid fake nodes and other unnecessary doodads. Also no utaguchi inlay.

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc123/Tairaku/Shakuhachi%20pics/IMG_2162.jpg


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#5 2010-05-10 10:04:57

Colyn Petersen
Member
From: Omaha, NE
Registered: 2009-11-20
Posts: 46
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Tairaku wrote:

Colyn Petersen wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

I have been using some wooden flutes made by the dude who invented the Yuu and they are really good. But I think they're one-offs.

Who is this guy? Where do you find these wooden flutes?

I bought them from the bizarre member of the forum "Gene Neil" who got them from the dude. It's a 2.0, 1.9 and 1.7. I've been using them recording Western music lately because they are in tune with themselves and with concert pitch and the tone is pretty good. I also like them because they make no false pretense of being bamboo, with stupid fake nodes and other unnecessary doodads. Also no utaguchi inlay.

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc12 … G_2162.jpg

Cool! I was considering making wooden nobekan. Just in 1.8 to start though. No inlay either. I also like the shape of these.

Thanks
Colyn


Though images may appear on the surface of a mirror with clarity, they are neither in the mirror, nor sticking to its surface.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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#6 2010-05-10 10:29:46

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Hi Brian,

I was curious to see a review of the "enhanced Yuu" but your comments and observations would apply equally to an unenhanced one in my experience.  Have you had any opportunity to A-B a Yuu with an enhanced one? I've played a number of Yuus that are quite excellent with no modifications so am very curious about how much they could be souped up.

Larry

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#7 2010-05-10 17:40:44

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Larry Tyrrell wrote:

Hi Brian,

I was curious to see a review of the "enhanced Yuu" but your comments and observations would apply equally to an unenhanced one in my experience.  Have you had any opportunity to A-B a Yuu with an enhanced one? I've played a number of Yuus that are quite excellent with no modifications so am very curious about how much they could be souped up.

Larry

I wrote the review because I was in a situation where it was the only flute I had so I was thinking about it. I also have the regular Yuu but if I recall properly this refined Yuu is better. When I get back I'll A/B them and write about the differences.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#8 2010-05-10 18:19:40

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Colyn Petersen wrote:

Cool! I was considering making wooden nobekan. Just in 1.8 to start though. No inlay either. I also like the shape of these.

Thanks
Colyn

Nobe is always the way to go. I wonder if it's possible to make a two piece that screws together, like a pool cue. cool I'd go for that.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#9 2010-05-10 21:32:33

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: Monty Levenson "Enhanced Yuu"

Tairaku wrote:

I wrote the review because I was in a situation where it was the only flute I had so I was thinking about it. I also have the regular Yuu but if I recall properly this refined Yuu is better. When I get back I'll A/B them and write about the differences.

That would be great, Brian.  Of the dozen or so Yuus I've played 4 or 5 were good enough to gig with without any modification so I'm naturally very curious. Besides, to review the enhanced Yuu without such a comparison is like talking about Wings without mentioning the Beatles or [insert your favorite shakuhachi player simile here e.g.; Christopher Yohmei:Yamaguchi Goro, Kakizakai Kaoru:Yokoyama Katsuya and so on.] Can't have one without the other...

Larry

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