What is Antique Sound Workshop?
- For almost fifty years, we have dedicated ourselves to improving the standard of recorder playing, one instrument at a time. The above link will tell you everything you need to know (and quite possibly more than you ever wanted to know) about who we are and what we offer, as well as detailed information about our history, our publications, and our sales policies. If you can't find the answer here, there is always E-mail, telephone, fax, or [shudder] snail mail for the hopelessly retro.
Which Instruments Do You Offer?
- Our extensive on-line ASW catalogue offers hundreds of different models of recorders and a large number of other historical woodwind, brass, string, keyboard, and percussion instruments. Our sheet music catalogue contains more than 15,000 titles the last time we counted, but our annotated list of the most frequently ordered items is a good place to start. Feel free to download and print out any specific catalogue pages in which you are interested. However, if you're looking for something very specific or want professional guidance and advice, you are welcome to call us during our regular business hours Monday-Friday from 10AM-6PM.
Where Can I Find More Information?
- Our ASW Information Bulletins will provide you with concise, detailed, and authoritative information on various aspects of the recorder and its playing technique. If you need a crash course in some specific subject, this is a good place to start. Beginners will want to read the first five bulletins in the order listed. If you have questions not answered here, feel free to call us, but do bear in mind H. L. Mencken's dictum: "For every complex question, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." To which we would add the corollary: "For every simple question, the only correct answer is long, complex, and detailed."
How Do I Place My Order?
- We ask that all orders for plastic recorders, accessories, and/or sheet music be placed using our ASW Order Form. This will enable us to process and fill your order much more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Credit card information may be safely left on our office answering machine outside of our regular business hours if desired; please include your name and your credit card's number and expiration date. Because of the great volume of orders for our custom-tuned plastic recorders, we are not able to accept telephone orders for or answer calls about these items if we are also to continue to provide time-consuming custom service for such inexpensive items; they are what they are. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
When Will I Receive My Instrument?
- We confirm all orders personally and answer all inquiries promptly. A few customers have reported that they did not receive our order confirmations or shipping notifications, due to overly-aggressive spam filtration by their Internet Service Provider or E-mail client. Please make certain that www.aswltd.com and www.ups.com are trusted domains in your server and personal E-mail security settings if you wish to insure that you will receive our communications. If all else fails, look in your spam/junk mail folder. Please understand that we are not able to provide personal IT support to our customers.
The Antique Sound Workshop Blog
Current News and Notices for Our Customers
COVID-19 Update: We at ASW have been extremely fortunate in that, being a very small home-based business, we have been relatively little affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. We are still filling orders and servicing instruments on schedule. All instruments are carefully sanitized before shipment, but then we had already been doing that for many years. As a precaution, we are consolidating our shipping to just three days a week, so as to minimize trips to our local UPS Service Center.
Further COVID-19 Update: Effective 05/26/20 and until further notice, we have suspended outgoing domestic shipments of wooden instruments and other high-value items via the United States Postal Service, which has become increasingly unreliable during the past year. All current orders are being sent out via United Parcel Service, which continues to be very dependable and has an excellent track record for getting our customers' orders delivered promptly and safely.
Still Further COVID-19 Update: We have resumed shipping of non-critical items such as sheet music and plastic instruments via the postal system, which has recently become somewhat more stable and reliable. Some delay is inevitable, however, and Priority Mail rates increased 6.3% last year and an additional 2.7% for 2022, to the point where they no longer have a significant price advantage over UPS.
We have just received the new 2022 price lists for Mollenhauer and Stephan Blezinger recorders and have both bad news and good news for our customers. The bad news, not wholly unexpected, is that these makers have increased their prices substantially. The good news, however, is that the exchange rate for the Euro vs. the US dollar has just recently improved dramatically, due largely to the current unstable political situation in Europe. The end result is that we have been able to reduce our prices on instruments by these makers for the immediate future. However, given the recent volatility of the foreign exchange market and the fact that our inventory of these instruments turns over very quickly, we have no way of predicting how long we will be able to offer these current prices. We urge our customers to take advantage of our lower prices for Mollenhauer and Blezinger recorders while the financial circumstances are still favorable.
Mollenhauer has also announced several new models for 2022. Their baroque reproduction Denner-Edition soprano recorders, previously available only in stained and unstained satinwood at both a'=440 and a'=415, are now available in grenadilla wood as well. These new hardwood models provide a brighter, more focused sound with greater projection and more rapid response to articulation. Their previously revised Maarten Helder Harmonic tenor recorder, renamed Evo and provided with a bentneck design last year, is now complemented by a newly-designed Evo alto recorder for 2022. These two models, which have extensive keywork and interchangeable windway roofs, have a three-octave pitch range and unusually wide dynamic range. They are intended particularly for professional performers of nineteenth and twentieth century music and are eminently suited for use with a wide variety of modern instruments.
UPS has increased its Ground and Air shipping rates for 2022 an average of 5.9%. We pack all orders very carefully in order to minimize the cost to our customers and charge exactly the amount that UPS charges us for their services -- we do not pad shipping charges, charge flat fees, or make guesstimates as is frequently done by other mail order merchants. We will continue to provide free UPS Ground Shipping for all domestic orders that total over $500 to the 48 continguous states, but domestic orders totaling less than $500 will be billed for shipping at the new 2022 rates. We ship packages to international destinations, Alaska, Hawaii, and some other US destinations via USPS Priority Mail when there is a significant cost saving or service advantage for our customers. We are no longer using Fedex because of recent declines in service quality.
We have added to our catalogue two new innovative Solo Alto Recorders from the Küng workshop. The E3 alto is a modern design with a low E foot and extensive keywork, suitable for contemporary music and modern instrument ensembles. The K4 alto is a more traditional baroque design and tonal profile, but with greater volume and a wider range than baroque reproduction recorders.
Because of EU CITES shipping restrictions in effect for the past several years, Stephan Blezinger was unable to supply us with instruments made of grenadilla. However, we are now happy to announce that, because of recent revisions to the European Union CITES regulations, he is once again able to supply us with his Bressan by Blezinger and Late Baroque instruments in grenadilla as well as Brazilian or European boxwood.
We have recently received four excellent new anthologies of renaissance pieces for soprano and alto recorder and keyboard with an accompanying CD. These publications are welcome additions to the earlier series of four previous publications of baroque music with accompanying CD recording from the same publisher that have been available for several years. The format is identical to the earlier releases: each volume contains over 30 well-chosen pieces complemented by pedagogically and historically sound performance practice suggestions in three languages, and the CD provides recordings of both just the keyboard accompaniment and a complete finished performance by solo instrument and keyboard. These volumes provide a substantial amount of music and excellent professional instruction at the same bargain price as the earlier four releases. They are a must-have for all intermediate level recorder players, but especially for those who do not have access to or cannot afford a professional artist-teacher.
We are pleased to announce that, after an absence of several years from the American market caused by the demise of the maker's former American distributor, we are once again able to offer Zen-On plastic and wooden recorders to our customers. Even better news, we are able to offer these instruments at prices that are up to 30% lower than their previous American list prices, making them easily among the most affordable of high quality plastic and wooden recorders currently available. The wood-grain finish plastic Stanesby Jr. soprano and Bressan alto recorders, as well as their wooden greatbass recorder, are sadly no longer available. The good news, however, is that their wooden recorders have been recently redesigned and are now substantially better in tone quality, intonation, and response than the older models. Thanks to a special pricing agreement with the maker, the Zen-On cherrywood keyed tenor and the direct blow and bocal blow bass recorders, both of which now have curved windways, are less expensive than those currently available from European makers and provide outstanding performance at a bargain price.
Hal Leonard has published a remarkable and quite inexpensive self-teaching method offering a intensive programmed course of instruction which allows any musician to develop a highly accurate sense of pitch recognition in just seven weeks of study. Adam Perlmutter's Perfect Pitch Method consists of a text book, three CDs, and additional on-line audio resources as well. We highly recommend this well-written, pedagogically-sound, and extremely useful course of self-instruction to all beginning, intermediate, and advanced level players who wish to develop and improve their sense of intonation, pitch recognition, and overall musicianship with a modest amount of effort in just a very short period of time.
In 2016 Yamaha released the first additions to their series of plastic recorders in almost twenty years: their new 400 Series Plastic Recorders are identical in acoustical design to their present 300 series, but the new models are being made of a new composite material named Ecodear, which consists of 70% ABS plastic resin and 30% plant-based resin -- all previous models have been made of 100% ABS plastic. These new instruments are yellow in color and similar to boxwood in appearance, with white imitation ivory trim similar to that in the 300 series instruments. In addition to being more ecologically friendly, the new recorders have a more covered, warmer, diffuse tone quality that some customers feel is more like a wooden recorder. The Ecodear soprano and alto recorders are now in stock at ASW and are priced in between the original brown plastic YRS-302B and YRA-302B instruments and the newer woodgrain-finish YRS-312B, YRS-314B, YRA-312B, and YRA-314B models.
We are able to accept a complete selection of credit cards for payment: in addition to VISA and MasterCard, we now also accept payment by Discover, Diners Club, JCB, and American Express. Please also note that we no longer are required to submit the three-digit CCV code for VISA transactions. Our ASW Order Form has been updated to accommodate these additional possibilities for payment. As always, we ask that customers please submit their orders using our on-line order form, so that we may fill your order as expeditiously as possible.
Customers placing orders via our on-line ASW Order Form and requesting shipping via UPS Ground, Air, or International services will automatically receive detailed shipping, tracking, and delivery information via E-mail. Any delivery delays caused by adverse weather conditions or other problems will also be rescheduled and reported. If you wish to have us send this information to multiple E-mail addresses, simply provide the additional addresses in the information box at the bottom of the order form. Orders placed by phone, fax, or E-mail must be processed manually, which causes more delay in invoicing and shipping and does not allow for automatic confirmation and shipping notification.
ASW Staff E-Mail Addresses
- In order to serve you more efficiently, each member of our staff now has his or her own E-mail address. Our ASW staff directory provides you with quick and easy-to-use E-mail reply forms.
How to Place Your Order
- If you want to "cut to the chase" and place an order now, go to our ASW Order Form. If you want to send us an order by E-mail, please contact our Sales Department at sales(at)aswltd.com. You may also call, fax, or write us.
What's New at Antique Sound Workshop?
- You will find here direct links to the newest items in stock at Antique Sound Workshop. All items are in reverse chronological order, so the most recent items are listed first.
Carlton's Clearance Corner
- This link will take you directly to our current inventory of pre-owned, demonstration, imperfect, discontinued, overstocked, and closeout recorders and other historical instruments.
- We have listed the contents of all back issues of our customer newsmagazine for the last ten years it was published. Copies of some back issues may still be ordered from us, but many are sold out and no longer available. At the request of many of our customers, we have begun making available on our website a few selected articles and editorials from those back issues that are now out of print. It is a slow and tedious process, but we will add to these republished articles as time permits.