Which New Flute is Best Within My Budget?

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Bob Mosso
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Which New Flute is Best Within My Budget?

Post by Bob Mosso »

I want to buy a new flute for my daughter and would like some advise from the experts here at fluteland.com.

She will be starting highschool next year, with one of the best bands in southern California. See has a great desire for music, in addition to flute she plays violin, classical guitar, keyboard, recorder, and Irish tin whistle. She is taking private lessons for flute. She currently is playing on a Geneinhardt 2SP and has pointed out a couple flaws with it (intonation and difficulty with the really really high notes).

I'm a big fan of Yamaha instruments and the YFL-574HA appears to be a good choice within our budget. Here is a short list of some I am considering (with pricing from wwbw.com):

Yamaha YFL-574HA $1795
Pearl Quantz PF-765RBE $1649
Pearl Quantz PF-665RBE-CODA $1299
Pearl Quantz PF-665RBE $899

Keeping it below $1795:
-What other open hole, B foot, offset G, split E flutes belong on this list?
-Is the C# trill and D roller (CODA package) really necessary?
-Which flute is the best _value_ within this price range?
-Which flutes are considered the best within this price range?
-Any other comments or opinions?

Thanks

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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 »

Hi Bob, and welcome to the board!

I think that any of those flutes you have listed would be an excellent choice for a high schooler. I do tend to like the Yamahas, and compared to the Gemeinhardts they have very good intonation, a clearer sound and they seem to be built better. Though, any of the Pearl flutes would also be an excellent choice. I think that of the Pearl flutes you have listed, I think the Pearl Quantz 765 would be the best value. The 765 is completely silver (with the exception of the keys), unlike the 665 which only has a silver head joint and a silver clad body. Having more silver in the flute will improve her tone quality and wind resistance. I would have your daughter try BOTH the Yamaha 574 and the Pearl 765 and decide which one she likes better. The Pearls tend to have a darker tone quality that some people don't like.
Either of these flutes would be a good investment and should definitely last her through high school.

--I'm from southern California, care to post which high school she's going to? There are a lot of excellent band programs in the area :D
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

Bob Mosso
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Post by Bob Mosso »

We're in Placentia, she'll be going to El Dorado. We're always shopping at ABI for stuff, we plan to test the finalists there.

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

Welcome! I also agree that all of the flutes you listed are great flutes, and I also agree that she should play test them before deciding. I have several students on Pearl flutes and one on the Yamaha you mentioned (which is a silver plated model with a silver head as the Pearl 665 is). They all sound great, but I strongly believe that all players should make the decission based on how a flute works for them. Some others you might want to try are Sonare and Amadeus (produced by Haynes). With either of these flutes, you get a better headjoint. Personally, I liked the Amadeus (which does not come with a split E but is available with a high E facilitator) yet I did not like the Sonare, but again, everyone is different. I don't think WWBW carries either of these, but i know Fluteworld does.

As for the CODA package, I honestly don't think it is worth the money. I have found that these flutes tend to be very heavy in comparision because of the extra trill key, which is seldome used at the highschool level. And I also agree that the 765 is a better flute of the Pearls listed.

Most of all, consult her teacher. He/she should know your daughter's playing well enough to recommend a few as well, and may even have opinions on the options mentioned (for instance, some teachers do not recomment the split E). It is important to communicate with her teacher before making a purchase.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide :D

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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 »

How exciting! El Dorado has a great band program, I hope she likes it there.
If you're planning to order the flute online, make sure wherever you order it from has a good return policy or a "trial" period. You never know when a "lemon" flute can pop up...
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

I like the Buffet/Crampton flutes. So far, I have not played any others I like better than this one. You can find one for around $1500 I have the "International" model, but if you cant find that one, the 8000 series is comparable.

Phineas

LaDanseuse
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Post by LaDanseuse »

A lot of those are really expensive flutes for a kid who's just starting high school....

I'll probably get attacked for this, but I strongly hold the opinion that, when you're 13 or 14, you really don't need such high-intermediate instruments. At that stage the musician is still developing technique and tone quality, and there won't be a great difference between playing a plain silver-head intermediate flute and a solid silver flute with a split E mechanism. You might get a better sound out of a more expensive flute, but that's not the result of the musician - that's the flute. Your musicianship should be determined by your own development in technique, air support, and embouchure, not by the flute. Thus you want to build from ground up. That's why you don't hand a beginner a $1000 instrument. For the same reason, I don't recommend a split E mechanism to a 13-year-old. The high E is a horrible note on the flute, and it is the musician that needs to develop to make it sound better, not the flute. A truly good flutist ought to be able to make at least a decent sound out of ANY sort of flute. Now, I haven't heard your daughter play, so I can't make any quick judgements. BUT speaking strictly from past experience, flutists entering high school have plenty to work on in terms of tone quality.

I'm a college student playing in on a Yamaha 361H. It's far from professional quality, but it still does all I need it to do to sound good in a college-level ensemble. I even feel like I can still improve my tone quality on this instrument. And I will continue on this instrument until I have eked out all that it can provide. That's when I'll feel the need to purchase a more advanced one.

So my advice: don't purchase an expensive instrument when a cheaper one will more than suffice. I'd recommend any flute in the Yamaha 300's series, or an Armstrong (silver head, B-foot, in-line or offset G - don't know the number for it, but it's a decent flute, as many very good flutists in my high school band played it). They should be $800-$1050, depending on where you by them.

Bob Mosso
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Post by Bob Mosso »

LaDanseuse wrote:A lot of those are really expensive flutes for a kid who's just starting high school....
Good point, thank you for your opinion.

I believe in giving my kids a proper instrument to enable them to be as good as they are able. I don't want the instrument to limit their ability to play. I practice with Ashley and the intonation on her 2SP is questionable. The high Bb is very sharp compaired to the lower Bb. In general the flute goes sharp with the higher notes. We have come up with "roll this way for that note" and "roll the other way for this note", ... a lot of work just to play in tune. Also, she has difficulty hitting the very very high notes. We've discussed these problems with her teacher and with Dave at ABI, both claim these are common/normal for the 2SP.

Additionally Ashley has a strong desire for music, she's a straight A student, and she takes care of her instruments.

I want to solve these problems for her so I researched flutes, starting with Yamaha. The Yamahas did't get the EC headjoint and type 4 body until the 500 series, that's why my first selection was the YFL-574HA. Pearl was recommened by a couple flutists I know and if the 665RBE plays as well as the Yamaha it would be a great bargin at $899. I'm not so impressed with solid silver, if the 665RBE plays as well as 765RBE I'd go for the 665.

So, she will eventually get a better flute, perhaps her birthday, perhaps Christmas, perhaps just before a major performance... An instrument that's easy to play well is one that's fun to play.

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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 »

Wow! Your daughter is privileged to have a parent who understands the importance of a quality instrument. I would be more concerned about making sure that the body of the flute is really solid and well-built than the flute having a good headjoint (of course, it always helps to have a decent one!) but she could even purchase a really nice headjoint for her flute a couple years down the road.
Also, I don't know if your daughter is planning on participating in marching band in high school, but it is not advisable to march on the same flute she would play on in a concert band.
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

Bob Mosso
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Post by Bob Mosso »

It was some time ago for me but I remember marching season well... We would keep the 2SP for marching.

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

As a flute teacher, I highly commend your efforts to not only find your daughter a good flute, but to recognize when she needs one. It would be great if all of my students had parents like you! Yes, there are parents out there who go overboard and buy a flute that is beyond what their child can afford, but there are extremes the other way as well.

In college, I played a Gemeinhardt 3B Limited, which I dearly loved. It was what my family could afford at the time, and it got me far. If it had been possible, I know my parents would have done better.

I guess what I am getting at is the fact that we all know that ultimately, it is the player that makes the difference. Added to that, I believe that a student should play the best that he/she can afford (within reason). Yes, it would be quite overboard to buy a highschool student a $10,000 flute, but what is wrong with a $1000 flute if you can afford it? I have found that my students who make this jump in highschool not only progress faster, but tend to keep interest longer and have greater success in college and beyond. Why? It is usually a matter of maintenance issues or as you mentioned, things like intonation that hinders students who do not have better flutes. These problems can be delt with, but are often very frustrating. As for growing as a musician, these flutes do allow a great deal of growth without a lot of the headaches associated with lower quality flutes.

The flutes that you mentioned are very reasonable in both cost and quality. Personally, I feel that you are on the right track!

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard »

Many of my students sound terrific on various Armstrong models, though the 80 and 87 series are discontinued (can be found around with lots of dealers, still). They've been replaced with the 800 series, and several headjoint choices are available. Also, the Heritage series is great for their price, but cost a bit more. Well, not MUCH more. The Yamahas are really good, too, but cost substantially more for only subtle differences in playability. :D Good luck with your search! Your daughter's very fortunate to have a dad like you! (My parents said things like, "We don't buy cars OR instruments...", lol.)

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Picc_Chick
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Post by Picc_Chick »

Wow, your child sounds like me not so long ago when I got my current flute that I am practically head over heals for. Ashley will know by now what she plans on doing in college, or a ruff outline of it. If she is playing in the top band of a school known for its bands, then you should look into something that not only she wants, but what would help her down the road in three years when she's getting ready to go to college. I'm not saying that you should look that far ahead, just a slight nudge. lol

I myself am currently a Sophmore in High School and am playing on a Trevor James Virr. I have found this flute to be very helpfull in many different try-outs for not only a chair in the school band, but also at region and district and for my solo compition in the spring. So, if you haven't already chosen a flute for her, you might want to have her try a Trevor James. The flutes, or the ones I've seen and bought, were priced about $1,400 or less depending on what you got on it. Though, keeping a new flute secret is kinda hard to keep if you have your daughter try some out.

As to when you give it too her, if I might just give one little piece of advise, I wouldn't give it to her right before a big compition. Its better to go with what you've been working with and be nervous, then to get a flute you don't know and get extreamly freaked out.


Just my two cents.... Hoped it helped! :wink:
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Uniform ........ $125
Shoes ........ $55
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Bob Mosso
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Post by Bob Mosso »

Thanks for the comments Picc. Yeah, I don't intend to get it days before a big audition, perhaps weeks before an ordinary concert. It won't be a surprise since I want her to try the top contenders prior to buying.

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