Xaphoon Maui C

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Maui Xaphoon in C

The MAUI XAPHOON C is the original Xaphoon and the first patented instrument of its kind. Each one is built by inventor Brian "Papa B." Wittman in his small workshop in Hawaii.

We recommend the C XAPHOON especially for playing with string and keyboard instruments, C or F flute. The C instruments are slightly shorter than the B Xaphoons, which is an advantage for smaller hands. The MAUI XAPHOON C can be easily learned on its own from the age of about 6 years. On this instrument the pitches are. C -/ F -/and B -major as well as a -/ d -/and g - minor are the easiest to play.

Like the material, bamboo, the MAUI XAPHOON is more individual than the CLASSIC XAPHOON, i.e. the tuning is the same but the tone colours are slightly different. Sometimes they tend more towards the clarinet and sometimes more towards the saxophone. The sound is more natural, perhaps a little warmer than that of the CLASSIC XAPHOON.

  • Pocket sax
  • Lowest note C'
  • Tonal range: 2 Octaves
  • a' = 440 Hz
  • Made of bamboo
  • Handmade
  • To play with a tenor saxophone reed
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A beginner review
ReviewerX, 09.01.2021
Heads-up: I'm not a sax player, and have only played the Xaphoon for about 7 hours in total. So take my words with a grain of salt.

Overall it's a cool invention and is a lot of fun to play. It's very small, so I always have it in my rucksack and play in the park whenever I can. Learning to play simple melodies in C major was a breeze. Producing the first sounds took some practice but after a couple of 30-minute sessions, I could already play Happy Birthday and the Tetris melody.

The sound is very pleasing and not as squeaky as the recorder which is similar in size. Especially the lower register is surprisingly deep with a nice nasal character.

That said, I don't see myself dedicating a lot of time to this instrument. It's a fun companion with a few gripes.

Gripe #1: the lower C is difficult to get in tune. All the other notes are much more stable and easy to produce.

Gripe #2: anything above the high B requires complicated fingering, and the same for flat and sharp notes. I don't know if this is an issue with the saxophone of clarinet, and maybe I just need to take time to learn the finger positions.

Gripe #3: after about 30 minutes of playing, it becomes soggy and difficult to play.
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The Xaphoon - Indeed a swinging instrument
Henrik W, 25.09.2013
It's a beautiful instrument with, in my opinion, its greatest potential in jazz and
jazz-like music where you can easily discover the greatness of its sound. Personally, I love improvising along with Django Reinhardt's music. Only your fantasy (and skills) will set the limits for you. Unfortunately, it has some weaknesses. The Low C# tone is really weak, at least on mine. I haven't compared to anyone else's. Furthermore, it's hard to properly hit the notes on the higher octave. If you prefer a little deeper sound, I'll recommend you to go for the Bb. However, it is a small instrument which should fit really small hands, even without exerting oneself. Practice alot and this instrument will perform magic!

A booklet will come along with the fingering charts and further information about the instrument, but unfortunately, it's just written in German. I advice you to consider its accuracy to hit the perfect pitch as this is what I found the most troublesome part of the instrument. Being a brass player might help you on your way. I am, since long, a woodwind player which I think made me experience the Xaphoon as a bit inconvinient. But I'm getting used to it! Also, make sure you keep the mouthpiece as clean as possible.
Good Luck!
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Why not?
Neil945, 17.05.2013
So I saw it and thought...why not. Some much richer sounds emerge from the end of this little thing that you would credit - if you can manage it. Takes quite a bit of puff - more say than a sax, so not for the weak lungged. Also more control required on the reed pressure to get the full range of notes. Very nice quality and feel and you can still smell the hot poker that burned the fingerholes! Small, portable, versatile but challenging. Should you get one? Why not?
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fun to play
raffaeleC, 27.04.2020
it's a nice instrument. it takes some time to be able to play if you haven t played any reed instrument before but after it is satisfying. the only con that i have is about the difficulties of reaching the higher notes on the second octave.
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