Lare L. – 2021
Thank you SO much! Amazing flute and beautiful craftmanship. The Bell sounds great & natural, plays well (actually it’s easier to play than my ”main” jiari), has very comfortable holes, looks fabulous, and cannot crack. The Bell might just have become my main flute. 🙂
Update – It seems like playing the Bell (it’s now “officially” my main instrument) has raised my skills to a new level. For example, playing “pure” Kan notes (without too many extra sounds or hisses) is now a reality – most of the time!
Jean-Marc B. – 2021
Hi Jon, I am now a proud owner of an original Bell Shakuhachi 🙂 First impressions: easy to connect with and play, very nice Ro, the sound and breath is more continuous/constant than hard wood or PVC, the response reminds me of my Yozan jiari but takes much less breath. The tone is much more interesting to my ears than the wooden shakuhachi. I like the weight as it’s not too heavy (unlike my jiari), just right. The tuning is great, really precise, easily matches my jiari. I also like that I can end notes quietly with ease which I still can’t do on my jiari.
I wish I had started with this flute. This is now my carry everywhere Shakuhachi.
John W. – 2021
Jon, Good evening! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving! My shakuhachi arrived in excellent condition. I’ve only gotten a chance to spend about 30 minutes with it, so far, but it is very responsive and plays very nicely. It is also just gorgeous. The detail is amazing. Congratulations on this achievement. We live in Colorado Springs (just shy of 7,000 feet), and to be honest, I don’t think I’d ever have the heart to purchase a bamboo instrument given our climate. Thank you for your dedication to producing a fine instrument. I look forward to updating you in a few weeks when I’ve been able to spend a bit more time playing.
Dean R. – 2021
Thanks for your effort to make the Bell. It is nicely made and sounds great. I enjoy playing it and it contrasts nicely with the characteristics of my jiari. The Bell is mellower than the jiari, a trait that my wife Charlotte (and probably my neighbors) appreciate!
Thanks again and be well
Bob M. – 2021
Just to let you know the Bell arrived in Australia safe and sound. It’s a beautiful piece of art and plays very well. For more than 30 years I was a special effects make-up artist and have made many moulds out of Silicone, plaster, resin etc. Your Mould making is superb, great colour on the bell, No smell from the products you are using, which is always a worry. First class work, communication and delivery. I wish you the very best on your on-going adventures. I will be working in Africa in Jan 2022 for a month and the bell will travel with me and hopefully the African bush will be a great place for some music, not that I am that good at present.
Best wishes and many thanks
Germán S. A. V. – 2021
A few days ago I had a wonderful experience playing the Shakuhachi Bell in a Carthusian monastery in the Sierra de Sevilla. (Cazalla de la Sierra). The sound of the Shakuhachi Bell in a room that was a mosque in the eleventh century was fantastic. Its sound slid through all the walls accompanied by the silence of the stone and nature.
Dana M. R. – 2021
Your beautiful Bell Shakuhachi arrived in good order Monday, and is really lovely. So much lighter than the ABS version I’ve been practicing with! Beautiful tone, too. Congratulations on creating such a beautiful instrument.
Dana M. R.
Koji I. – 2021
Finally got the Bell today. You made me a terrific instrument. Beautiful tone and I am really enjoying it. Thank you! I have my second lesson with Hanz Araki tomorrow. He’s super responsive, kind and extremely talented- I am honored to be learning from him. Thank you again for the great recommendation. Have a great weekend!
Steven L. H. T. – 2021
Thank you sir for this exceptional instrument. I’ve only had my Bell Shakuhachi 2 days now and am already playing better. Workmanship of an instrument really does make a difference, and you have done an amazing thing in your making of an exact replica of the root end Shakuhachi ( the master flute-which you also created). I see why you choose the one you did to replicate.
I’ve only been playing a year now and, in that time,, have made significant progress with the fine beginner root end flutes I’ve purchased, but they are beginner flutes, and as I see now, lack the small refinements and details that a better made flute can afford in terms of tone and playability.
The flute plays beautifully. Tone is amazing and achieving meri notes has much improved. I’m able to find my embechour almost immediately. As I look at the asthetics of the flute I’m amazed to see the wood grain even showing in the bore. The coloration…everything so well done. Bravo!
Thank you again. Would you mind me sending you a clip of me playing it at some point?
Paul F. – 2021
Dear Jon, I received my Bell from you yesterday- thank you. I took it to the sea cave near my house where I go to practice zazen and suizen and had a very moving experience! The Bell is even more beautiful looking and sounding than I had hoped for. I have waited patiently for 10 months for my turn to come up on your waiting list and it was so worth the wait! Thank you so much Jon, for your craftsmanship and your generosity of spirit! One Love, Paul F.
A bit more feedback before I leave you in peace: I was playing Sanya Sugagaki on the Bell in the sea cave. I had to stop for a while to compose myself. The sound coming from the Shakuhachi was so beautiful it overwhelmed me- I had tears falling down my cheeks! I had to follow my breathing for a few moments before I could continue! My suizen practice with the Bell is transforming me- serenity in pervading my daily life. Thank you again so much for this wonderful instrument… One Love, Paul R. F.
Vincent W. J. V. G. O. – 2021
Dear Jonathan, I just received my Bell and couldn’t be happier. I am surprised by how warm the sound is and love that the finger holes and mouth are bit larger than on my other shakuhachi. Very comfortable. I am looking forward to a lot of practice on this instrument! Thanks so much!
Michal S. – 2021
I have spent a few hours with the bell now and what a treat this has turned out to be. It took me a good half hour to adjust, to ‘remap’ myself to a new flute, but it finally clicked. Your instructional video on aligment helped me with switching between my old shakuhachi and the bell. Now I am simply amazed at the feeling of a well-balanced 1.8 such as the bell. It’s staggering! It also dawned on me just how difficult my other shakuhachi has been all along, at least at my humble level. My best regards, Michal S.
Vincent O. – 2021
I received my Bell yesterday and I couldn’t be happier! Very well done sir! I was even able to get a sound out of it – though I wouldn’t call it playing yet. That will take some time. Thank you for giving people like me an opportunity to get a decent flute at an affordable price that we don’t need to worry about cracking! New England can be rough on wood. The lightning fast shipping was much appreciated as well [UPS]! Can’t wait to start tackling the honkyoku again. This time with an actual shakuhachi! Thank you!
Chris P. – 2021
I LOVE the Bell! Firstly, it’s such a beautiful looking instrument – so closely resembling bamboo that it’s amazing! Secondly, it’s just such a joy to play. It feels easier and more natural to smoothly move straight into the Kan register and I can’t believe how much easier it is to hit meri and Dai meri notes. The harmonics seem much easier to hit as well. I had a really good play around with all sorts of pieces including my old favourite Tsuru no Sugomori, the folk song Kojo no Suki and some Jin Nyodo honkyoku. The great thing about it being easier to play is that I can focus on other aspects of my playing. I’m sure I’ll discover lots of other things to enjoy the more I play around. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of this incredible instrument given I’ve only had it a couple of days.
Greg B. – 2021
The Bell shakuhachi, here in my hands, has a special feeling
The feeling of the Attention with which it was made, the result of development on a path for long years
It carries a certain energy
I hold something that previously did not exist, a something from nothing, a vision come to life
The long-gone shakuhachi masters of old would be filled with wonder
Such an instrument, available to all
Something that might have died off over the centuries, a rare and precious form that became harder and harder to find and produce, is suddenly regenerated and multiplied
S.J. – 2021
I cannot thank you enough Jon! I understand all of the work you put into making your Bell Shakuhachi and also all of your other endeavors such as teaching, making bamboo Jinashi Shakuhachi and playing yourself! I really appreciate the Bell, it is simply amazing! It plays so well and sounds so perfect! It’s tuning is spot on too! I feel as though I’ve met my Shakuhachi soul mate! I may be in touch with you at some point for a sample lesson. You are an awesome person Jon, and you have created an amazing gift to the Shakuhachi world! Thanks again!!
Steve – 2020
The only explanation that I can come up with regarding how incredible this plays is that you have figured out a way to time travel back to 1800’s Japan and sought out shakuhachi master makers and studied with them. Then, you traveled back to present time and integrated what you learned with what you have already done in this time period. Well done!
It will take me some time to come up with the most accurate description of the way it sounds and plays, but the best I can do right now is say that I am able to play with an “ancient” tone and feel. If that makes any sense. My partner really noticed the differences with the Bell too and preferred the sound of it!
There is a difference that I noticed with the top and I found that the shakuhachi seemed more “alive”. The utaguchi felt different and I needed to adjust my embouchure. Overall though, I feel that the Bell is easier to play.
This is truly a monumental accomplishment Jon. I am grateful for your dedication to an instrument that, for me personally, has become a spiritual practice – and which you used your knowledge, skill, and inventiveness to have made something extraordinary. I am honored to own the Shakuhachi Bell.
Sending you a virtual handshake and pat on the back.
Robert – 2020
I’m sure that you have become used to and maybe even have grown tired of hearing the following, but I have to give you my honest feedback.
This is the best shakuhachi I’ve ever played. It blows away all of the other flutes that I have with the exception of the 2.4 that I bought from you 11 or so years ago. The weight, the balance, the feel, the tone, the tuning, the way it responds is amazing! I would go as far to say that it is perfect. The analogy that comes to mind is I’ve been driving an old VW Beatle (all of my other shakuhachi) and I now am driving a Lamborghini (The Bell). It is a work of art. You are truly gifted and really “broke the mold” with this innovative invention.
As I picked it up and started playing I was totally transported to another world and after 45 minutes of nonstop playing, I was buzzing from playing such a beautiful instrument. I feel incredibly fortunate to own a Shakuhachi Bell. Thank you!
Stephen – 2019
I have several bamboo 1.8 Jiari, one very high end by a well known maker. By far the Bell is my favorite and I used it for my performance at the Summer Solstice Flute Festival recently in Utah. Thanks again for such a wonderful instrument. Can’t wait to get another!
James – 2019
Hi! I just received the bell! I like the sound better than the professional jiari I have! I’m looking forward to buying some professional flutes from you! I will start saving! My kid will be happy…and his flute sounds better than mine!
Rafael C. (who bought a Bell for his 9 year old son) – 2019
Hi! I just received the bell! I like the sound better than the student model bambu jiari shakuhachi I have! My kid will be happy…and now his flute sounds better than mine! thank you!
Xin – 2019
I have seven pieces of shakuhachi, six of them were made by Japanese master maker and one your Bell, to be honest, your Bell is my favorite, so I would like to try more different sizes of your shakuhachi. Many thanks
Kenny – 2019
I’m blown away. I’m sure you’ve heard that many times!
It looks and it feels like bamboo. I don’t know how you managed this. It plays in tune better than any other bamboo, wood, plastic or composite that I’ve ever bought. I’m still a beginner, even after 20 years of dipping in and out, but I keep coming back. The sound is lovely! Many thanks!! 🙂
Shannon M. – 2018
This Shakuhachi is awesome – you really out did yourself with this one! The Bell shakuhachi is very responsive in both ranges and the meri notes come out easy. I am always delighted with the precision of the scale and tuning with your shakuhachi flutes and this one is no exception – not to mention it looks great. This is just what I need to take to the park or tea shop and get extra time in without jeopardizing my jinashi shakuhachi that you made for me. Thanks again for the great work. – Shannon M., 2018
Stephen G. – 2018
I received the Bell today and oh my God, it sounds incredible. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the experience of playing a Jinashi flute until I received the Bell. I have been playing a Jiari flute that was supplied to me by a shakuhachi teacher in San Diego, which sounds incredible, breathy, loud and powerful. But even though the Bell is the “cheaper” shakuhachi, it is more in-tune than the Jiari, it is easier to play, more enjoyable, and it is MINE. Not to mention that it is absolutely beautiful on the outside.
I can also play it at any volume I desire, and it has this natural, mystical sound that sucks me into the experience of playing it. I just have to say, it went above and beyond all expectations and I am so blessed to have this in my possession. You did an absolutely amazing job, and this Shakuhachi will be my new companion, and I have no doubt that it can last a lifetime. Thank you so much. – Stephen G., 2018
I received the Bell Shakuhachi. You have done a fine job! I love the aesthetic of the root end and the subtle coloration. The blowing is easy and the sound is true. You were right that I love the Ro! What I am happiest about is that you are perfecting the Bell, and making it available at an affordable price for your students… which makes it easy for both students to acquire a quality jinashi shakuhachi and makes it easier for you as teacher, knowing exactly what sound the Bell is capable of making. You have done a wonderful thing!
Your work for these past ten years to create a composite jinashi replica will make life much easier for shakuhachi students of the future. Thank you, again, Jon, for your dedication, your art, and your generosity of spirit. All the best. – David Samarpan K., 2018