World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat
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Hello, this is Neil from Naljor Creations, I provide the Shakuhachi Yuu and the Enhanced Yuu through ebay and my website www.shakuhachiyuu.com. I will attempt to answer some questions I have seen in previous posts and offer some information that may be useful for those curious about the standard Shakuhachi Yuu and the Enhanced Yuu.
Regarding Monty's excellent work in terms of enhancing a standard Shakuhachi Yuu: Changes are made to the utaguchi angle and depth. Monty increases the resonance of the RO, making it quite a bit more expressive and powerful than the standard Yuu. He will also slightly enlarge or close down various holes for more precise tuning using an epoxy that looks almost like the material the flute is made from so it is not easily noticed. Inside the bore, it would be difficult to see what he does because he uses a very small dab of clear epoxy at precise resonance points, again for more precision tuning. The joint is also incredibly strong, being enhanced with nylon binding/wrapping underneath the rattan overlay, as well as sterling silver plated rings. Hope this answers some of your questions.
Many people state their appreciation of the standard or stock Shakuhachi Yuu, and this is for good reason. It is an excellent flute to start with as well as a great travel flute. However, the Enhanced Shakuhachi Yuu really is a piece of art; a shakuhachi that will not easily sustain damage and which plays like a professional quality instrument. Again, the Ro, as well as the other notes, are stronger, the tuning is more precise, and as a player becomes more proficient the enhanced version of the Yuu will keep up with this evolution.
As for comparing the ABS resin Shakuhachi Yuu or the Enhanced Yuu with wooden shakuhachi, I do agree that wood shakuhachi offer a slightly more mellow or natural sound. However, after playing many David Brown wooden shakuhachi (which I also sell around the world) and other wood shakuhachi, I notice that the Yuu, although ABS resin or plastic, still provides a somewhat more mystical, breathy, and slightly wider spectrum tonal characteristics than the wooden shakuhachi. The wooden shakuhachi seem a bit narrow in their tonal expression or a bit stuffy to me. I am not a pro, but this is my opinion. It is also interesting to note that the bore profile of the Shakuhachi Yuu was designed/copied from a master quality shakuhachi. This is what makes the Yuu totally unique for its low price. It is the actual bore profile, not the plastic we are concerned with here. I doubt this is the case with mass-produced wooden shakuhachi.
In addition, based upon other posts I have read here in the forum, I would like to offer the following...although the Shakuhachi Yuu is mass produced, it does not just pop out of an injection molding machine and into the package for sale like a toy! I was told specifically by the creator of the Shakuhachi Yuu that after the instrument is molded, it then goes through a number of tuning processes in the hands of trained people. So once again, the Yuu does not just pop out of a mold and into the hands of the buyer.
In answer to the many requests for larger size Shakuhachi Yuu, this is not likely to happen. When I brought this specific topic/request to the creator of the Yuu, he just about screamed at me! In broken English from his native Japanese, i would translate what he said to me something like this: "YOU THINK SHAKUHACHI YUU IS TOY? THIS IS NOT TOY! MACHINING AND MOLD COST ONE MILLION YEN! [About $100,000 USD at the time.] NO MORE SIZES OF SHAKUHACHI YUU!" Needless to say, it was the last time I approached this subject!
Last edited by Naljor Creations (2010-10-23 19:23:55)
While I feel the Yuu is a very good choice as a starting out Shakuhachi, it is fairly heavy for a 1.8 as a beginner's hands are often not developed to hold this weight for too long. Yet, six months practice and this will be overcome, and time to purchase your next upgrade.