Mr. Wahl plays on hand made instruments from the Von Huene Early Music WorkShop in Boston MA, and the new Eagle Soprano and Alto recorder are made by Adriana Breukink.
Recorders may be made out of a wide variety of woods and other materials, which vary greatly in appearance and hardness. By far the most important factors determining the sound of a recorder are its design, style, and voicing though the type of wood may have some effect as well. Different varieties of woods have individual characteristics which tend to favor certain sound qualities. Relatively soft woods, such as maple, pear, or other fruit woods often produce a very warm tone but less volume than denser materials. Very hard woods such as ebony or grenadilla may give an instrument more volume and brilliance.
The Alto recorder Mr. Wahl uses is made out of Lignum Vitae or the “wood of life.” It ranks on the Janka scale of hardness, as the highest of the trade woods. It is very rare to find a recorder made from this wood. This instrument is tuned to A=440.
The Rippert soprano recorder used is tuned to A=440, and is made from grenadilla wood. It has a beautiful and sweet tone, and is very easily able to play as a solo instrument, due to the rich overtones that are produced.
The Sopranino recorder is made from tulip wood and has an ivory mouthpiece, and ivory rings. The sopranino was not only used as a solo instrument, but historically in opera it was used to imitate bird calls. This instrument is tuned to A=440.
The new Eagle recorders are modern instruments that expand the range of the recorder in both dynamics and tonality. They are made from grenadilla and are tuned to A=443.