Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

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courtneyc
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Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

Post by courtneyc » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:48 pm

Hi! I'm Courtney, I'm new to this forum. My band director has been dropping hints that I probably made NY All-State for piccolo (I'm fortunate to live in the district with the NYSSMA president and my BD is an assistant BD of one of the All State bands, I know stuff lol), and that I should REALLY consider buying a new picc. While I own my own marching picc (I don't know the exact model, it's by Prelude, with a metal head and what I assume is a composite body), I usually borrow an all-composite from the school for concert purposes. While my school tried ordering two Pearl PFP-105s for me and our other piccoloist, both of them had the same issue where the head joint would 'wiggle' and cause leaks that prevented certain notes from sounding unless pushed all the way in (which of course led to dreadful intonation). They tried sending them back to Pearl, who failed to completely fix the problem, so now they're trying to exchange the Pearls for Gemienhardts (sp?). Either way, I'm looking for a good intermediate/pre-professional piccolo OTHER than the Pearl that so many seem to love (it sounded lovely, other than the majority of the second octave that wouldn't sound. If only it worked!) :( My local Sam Ash has a used Powell Sonare SP-500 I'm looking to try, but I've heard mixed reviews of it (NOT the new art deco 750, I believe it's the earlier model). http://used.samashmusic.com/item.php?id=50898 If I'm lucky, I can drag my parents to Flute Center in NYC to try out some piccs. I'm looking for something fairly cheap, as I just spent a LOT on a new flute this year, and this Powell seems like a good deal but a little too good to be true. Any other recommendations? Anybody know somebody selling some reputable piccolos in the Greater NY area? Sorry for the rant, lol

thefluteninja
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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:26 pm

Re: Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

Post by thefluteninja » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:44 pm

Yea, that sounds like a typical Pearl to me;)

Number one lesson as a flute buyer: NEVER BUY A FLUTE/PICC ONLINE. Unless you have played that exact flute/picc before and you know you like it, do not buy it because you don't know how well you play on that flute. Every flute/picc is different, even of the exact same model, and you want to make sure that you are getting the best flute/picc you possibly can with the money you have. You need to actually go to the place they sell it, actually play it, and then decide if you like it.

Number 2 lesson as a flute buyer: DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF TO A CERTAIN BRAND. I don't care if your teacher is Jim Walker and you want to be cool like him and buy a Burkart (Not bashing on him at all, I've met him before, SUCH a cool guy. And Burkart has great flutes/piccs by the way, which he is an artist of). Like I said before, all flutes are different, and there could be this super flashy, gold, 20K Burkart that you sound ok on, but there could be this kind of meh-looking, silver, $2,000 Yamaha that you blow the roof off with. You never know what there is going to be, so don't limit yourself and give yourself because you could be spending a lot less money for a product that works a lot better with you. Options are good so take advantage of them! If you are familiar with the Harry Potter series (I would certainly hope so), buying a flute/picc is like going wand shopping. There are many different kinds and styles, but only one perfect combination of those will REALLY work with you, so don't restrict yourself to one certain kind.

Finally lesson 3: ESTABLISH AS LARGE OF A BUDGET AS POSSIBLE. I understand you recently purchased a nice flute (congratulations, so have I! :D ), and I'm sure now you understand that when it comes to the quality of flutes, you get what you pay for! Also understand that the larger your budget, the more nicer piccs will be available to you, and like I said before, options are good, especially ones of potentially higher quality (and price). I don't know what year you are in how much time you have, but you need to be smart about this. Either you use the composite band picc for All-State (I have no idea how good of an instrument it is but you have a need for a new one so I assume it's not the bomb), you buy a decent picc now,...... OR you could save your money and get an AWESOME picc later. It's up to you.

Flute Center in NYC is really your best option regardless of budget, I would try to stay away from places like Sam Ash just because they don't really have those intermediate or pre-professional instruments you're looking for. If you go, just tell them "here's what I need (nice concert picc), here's how much I can spend" and they will pull out a bunch of picc's in your price range for you to try. Try EVERYTHING you can!

I hope this helps, good luck!

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pied_piper
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Re: Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

Post by pied_piper » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:02 pm

thefluteninja wrote:Number one lesson as a flute buyer: NEVER BUY A FLUTE/PICC ONLINE. ...
I have to disagree with this statement. Instead, I would say NEVER BUY A FLUTE/PICC WITHOUT TRYING IT FIRST.
There are many flute specialty shops that will ship you several flutes to try at home for a week (shipping fees are charged). Not everyone lives near a great flute shop and travel may not be an option.
thefluteninja wrote:Number 2 lesson as a flute buyer: DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF TO A CERTAIN BRAND. ...
Agreed. I thought I wanted a Powell, but ended up buying a Muramatsu.
thefluteninja wrote:Finally lesson 3: ESTABLISH AS LARGE OF A BUDGET AS POSSIBLE. ...
Generally, I agree, but a higher price does not necessarily guarantee the best/right flute.
thefluteninja wrote:Flute Center in NYC is really your best option regardless of budget...
Flute Center NYC is a fine place to buy a flute, but it certainly is not the only option to consider.
JL Smith, Fluteland, Carolyn Nusbaum, and other flute specialty shops are all equally worthy of consideration.
See the Fluteland FAQ for other great flute vendors. http://www.fluteland.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5859
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

thefluteninja
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Re: Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

Post by thefluteninja » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:58 am

pied_piper wrote:I have to disagree with this statement. Instead, I would say NEVER BUY A FLUTE/PICC WITHOUT TRYING IT FIRST.
There are many flute specialty shops that will ship you several flutes to try at home for a week (shipping fees are charged). Not everyone lives near a great flute shop and travel may not be an option.
Absolutely! I was referring to the situation of just seeing a cool flute online and buying it. That's why I said that you should try the flute first, but I should have mentioned that they can let you borrow a few to try if travel is an issue, apologies.

pied_piper wrote:Generally, I agree, but a higher price does not necessarily guarantee the best/right flute.
Again, absolutely. I was only emphasising a higher budget for the sake of more options.

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Phineas
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Re: Intermediate or Pre-professional piccolos/Powell Sonare PS500 Review?

Post by Phineas » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:42 pm

Number one lesson as a flute buyer: NEVER BUY A FLUTE/PICC ONLINE
There is nothing wrong with buying an instrument online from a reputable dealer. However, have some money in your budget for COA. I have only once got an instrument online that played the way I want it on arrival. New or Used. These days, it is common practice to let you have a trial period with a deposit.

Most people that buy flutes do more scamming themselves than the sellers ever will. There is a very thin line between a good deal and ripoff. Remember the stuff online may be a little cheaper sometimes, but the prices are generally relative.

That being said, going to a place that has a good stock of flutes is the way to go. Not only to support the business, but for YOUR support as a customer.

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