Back in March I went to a piccolo clinic right outside Philadelphia and was shown a new Haynes piccolo that wasn’t on the market yet. The picture above is the piccolo. It’s made of a type of compressed wood material similar to what some modern gun stocks are made of that can be made in different colors. The keys and posts are stainless steel and the touch pieces are square instead of the usual circle shape. The design is supposed to be an art-deco kind of thing. There was a piccolo player there who tried it and said it played nicely. Some concerns were raised over the stainless steel posts possibly causing the spring wire to fail prematurely as the steel would bite into the springs at the sharp edges of the posts. On most piccolos the posts are made of either silver or german silver which are both softer materials than the springs themselves thus avoiding that problem. The other concern was that the keys, being stainless steel, wouldn’t be able to be swedged and refitted when the wore down. The designer of the flute claimed that the steel would not wear down. However, the prototype I got to look at already had key fitting problems and it was brand new. Maybe because it was a prototype…but still, I would think a company like Haynes would be a little more careful in that regard, especially when giving them to repair techs to inspect. The Haynes representative also stated that the piccolo is intended for the mid-range market, below 2k. Haynes is known for high end flutes. It doesn’t make sense to me for Haynes to be trying to get into the mid-range market as it doesn’t fit with their image. Time will tell. Either way, it is nice to see new designs being built instead of the copying of every old instrument of note.