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I'm considering getting a new plastic soprano recorder (a wooden one is a bit out of my budget). I've narrowed it down to the YRS 302b and the Aulos 503b. I realize they are both great plastic recorders and I am not asking which to buy.

What are the differences between the two? Are the constructions different (e.g., curved v. straight windway? Different plastic types? Better construction quality?)? Is the sound quality different (e.g., does one have a poorer quality in general? a brighter sound? a more melancholic sound?)? Are there any other differences in the two?

I haven't been able to find any expert reviews of the two. Most of them are something like "this is better than the five dollar YRS 24b i have" and "good sound quality". I am looking for an educated comparison of the two from someone who has actually played both and isn't just copy-pasting from somewhere else.

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The folks at Antique Sound Workshop seem to like the Yamaha 300 series slightly better than the Aulos 500's -- the Yamaha recorders, they say, have "a full, complex, and robust tone quality", whereas the Aulos are simply "neutral".

I haven't played the Aulos instruments, so I can't compare them directly. I would draw your attention to ASW's comments about the "wood-grain finish" versions of the Yamaha alto and soprano, though; they say, and I completely agree, that the "woodgrain" versions have a "slightly more complex and interesting sound" than the plain brown ones. If you choose to go with Yamaha, I'd recommend spending the extra money for a "woodgrain" model.

You really won't go wrong with either of these instruments. Good luck!

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