Pearl PFP-165E Piccolo Review
In 2010 Pearl took the base model of the Pearl PFP-105E piccolo and upgraded it to create the Pearl PFP-165E piccolo! It has all the quality and overall design of the original model but with two noteworthy improvements, the Grenadilla Wood head joint with High Wave embouchure and OMNI synthetic pads.
This Pearl continues to be a good investment for marching band and concert band players, but with the addition of the wood head joint, the PFP-165E is equally at home in the orchestra!
The Pearl PFP-165E continues to have all the attributes of model 105E but with more superior upgrades.
- Synthetic OMNI Pads
- Grenaditte Composite Body
- Grenadilla Wood High Wave Bulb Head Joint
- Japanese Urushi lacquer
- Precise Tonal Range
Pearl PFP-165E Piccolo Overview
OMNI pads outlast felt and improve sound quality.
The 165E model still incorporates the Pearl Pinless mechanisms, Split-E mech, and French Pointed Arms of the 105E model, but with the addition of the desirable OMNI pads and Grenadilla wood head joint. The OMNI pads are considered a superior upgrade. The pad has three layers of plastic and foam, making the OMNI pads noted for its longer life span (in comparison to its felt pad brothers). The plastic backing makes installation more accurate and the sound results in a softer tone. Plus, there will be less trips to the repair shop!
Grenaditte is a modern solution for piccolo durability.
The plastic composite body has many of the tonal qualities of Grenadilla wood with a spacious dynamic range and a precise pitch. Grenaditte is highly resistant to temperature changes and humidity fluctuations so the body won’t break or crack. The addition of the Grenadilla wood head joint only improves on its woodsy tonal quality and merges seamlessly in orchestral settings. This instrument continues to have the same impressive playability as its original model, but meets the blending quality an orchestra needs.
- Same impressive mechanical quality as the Model 105E with upgrades
- Precise Intonation
- 40-45% price increase from model 105E
- Less bright sound
Gareth McLearnon on the Pearl PFP-165E Piccolo
I'm delighted to report is absolutely fab!
The original PFP-105E is a great instrument, it's been bought by lots and lots of flute players. From people buying their first ever piccolo, right through to full-time professional orchestral players, and everyone in between…
Two years ago I had my own PFP-105E (which was custom made and specially treated with traditional Japanese Urushi lacquer) fitted with silicon Valentino pads - and the difference was incredible! I reported this back to Pearl Japan, and they found Omnipads - which are similar to Valentino pads, and decided to put these into the new wooden headed piccolo.
The end result is the PFP-165E, which I'm delighted to report is absolutely fab!
I first tried it [165E] at the Frankfurt Musik Messe back in March and was struck with the clarity and warmth of the sound, and the lovely positive feeling action of the keywork. The wooden headjoint has been treated with the same Urushi Japanese Lacquer that I've got on my own picc, to try and avoid the (sometimes inevitable) cracking that can happen in all wooden instruments - especially if there are large temperature or humidity fluctuations.
And yes, the wooden headjoint should be available to buy separately by (about) Christmas! So the hundreds of people who have already bought PFP-105E piccolos can upgrade. There's even an extra headjoint space in BOTH of the piccolo cases to accommodate this extra headjoint.
Customer Love it Too!
The Pearl PFP-165 piccolo has a great, rich sound.
Intonation is quite consistent across the octaves, and the high-wave headjoint didn't take much getting used to. The key work is snappy. All in all, this piccolo plays like one that costs twice as much.
Pros and Cons of the Grenadilla Headjoint
The Pearl PFP-165E has the desirable benefit of the warm woodsy tone, largely due to the Grenadilla Head joint; but the woodsy tone that makes this piccolo desirable in concert bands, loses desirability from marching band. The woodsy flavor dulls this piccolo’s brightness in outdoor playing. It won’t sound as brilliant as its 105 E brother, but the 165E will be more desirable for concerts and symphonies.
One must pay special attention to the 165E’s environment. It cannot be left in a cold car for a few hours and then pulled out to play in a warm room. It will crack and ruin the headjoint. Pearl tries to address this with the application of a reputable Japanese Urushi Black lacquer. If you or your child are a bit careless, you might be better off with something more durable.
A fraction of the price of a professional piccolo, but just as good.
In comparison to Model 105E, the price increase of 165E is significant (a 40-45% increase! Ouch!). However, this is a fraction of the price of a professional piccolo, and yes, there are professionals out there that use this intermediate level piccolo for their performances. Take note, the Pearl PFP-165E superior qualities has been known to outplay many expensive, professional piccolos, making the 165E a valuable find!
For a fraction of the price of many high-end professional piccolos, the Pearl PFP-165E piccolo is an excellent option for piccolo players of all skill levels from beginner to professional. The design of the piccolo produces a consistent and precise tone, the innovative grenaditte body provides durability and longevity, and with the addition of the Grenadilla headjoint, Pearl also brings versatility to the table. The 165E functions in dual superiority for both marching band and orchestra. Pearl has set a high standard and value for the an instrument advertised as an intermediate piccolo.
The innovative design of the Pearl PFP-165E garners a BIG rating of 4.5 stars!