Will a cheap flute suit my needs?

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RoseRodent
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:27 am

Will a cheap flute suit my needs?

Post by RoseRodent »

I have been researching these really cheap eBay et al flutes, and I totally understand the objections to them for the kinds of purposes that people are talking about, but I am wondering if they might be OK for what I personally need, rather than discussing them in terms of serious flute playing.

A bit of background: I am primarily a strings player, but when I joined up with an Army band I had to take some woodwind for marching band, so I ended up on flute/picc for marching band and alto sax for jazz band. I have a flute, but it's in rubbish condition, it was a cheap off-brand student instrument from the start and it was then left unplayed in a damp and dusty cupboard for years on end, so it plays, but it's nonsense. The army band supplied me a flute when I was signed up, but when I came out I handed it back.

Roll on a few years, I miss having a flute to play. I took mine in to the shop but it will cost double to repair of what it will ever be worth. I just don't have the money for even an entry level proper brand student flute.

So if what I want is a flute to mess about at home with, to play a few things every now and then, not to learn, not to progress, not to practice daily or take to orchestra, but just to pop out every now and then for the odd twiddle, are these cheap flutes going to be good enough for me? I don't want something that is as unplayable as what I already have (bent bore, pad problems, serious tarnish, mechanism shot) and I don't want to find it falls apart within 12 months of very occasional light use. But provided it doesn't do either of those things I really don't mind.

So, for me rather than for all those purposes for which these instruments are quite rightly slammed, will this sort of instrument be OK?

RoseRodent
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:27 am

Re: Will a cheap flute suit my needs?

Post by RoseRodent »

RoseRodent wrote:it was then left unplayed in a damp and dusty cupboard for years on end
incidentally, not by me! :lol:

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Phineas
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:08 am

Post by Phineas »

Check out Section 2 of the FAQ here

viewtopic.php?t=2411

You will find that people on this board are a little more open minded about things than on other flute boards. From my experience with cheap flutes, the biggest issues are the factory setup. As long as it is playable, there is nothing wrong with a cheap flute.

The only other problem I have with them is the people that buy them. These days, people buy things like this and expect them to be a pro level flute. Then get upset because no tech will work on them.

THe Musical Wheel, and Noteworthy Musical are the 2 Ebay sellers I would recommend. They have a good return policy, and have been around for a while. Not to mention their cheap flutes are actually decent. If you run into any problems, just contact them, and they will either exchange it, or return it!

Hope this helps

Phineas

RoseRodent
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:27 am

Post by RoseRodent »

Thanks I had a good read of all that. Forgot to mention I live in the UK, so the sellers might be substantially different. Would be interested in hearing from anyone who has bought a cheap flute in the UK as to how you got on with it. Like most things flutes are dearer in the UK, so I am probably going even further down the quality levels! I am also looking at a few ex-rental student flutes, so depending what I think of the response I get from the shop about maintenance I might go that way, but they have been out on schools rental programs so I want to hear what maintenance has been done on them on return to the shop.

Anyway, thanks for your reply.

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nasxxx
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Location: Bristol - UK

Post by nasxxx »

In the UK you can get Yamaha - Trevor James - Pearl - Jupiter -
Boosey & Hawkes / Others

RoseRodent
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Post by RoseRodent »

nasxxx wrote:In the UK you can get Yamaha - Trevor James - Pearl - Jupiter -
Boosey & Hawkes / Others
Yup, those are all the brands I can't afford!

It's retailers rather than brands I was looking for recommendations on, though. I can't go with a standard "reputable" seller because they don't sell such "bad" flutes! They want to sell something for someone who intends to learn and play and practice daily. I want a flute I can play for half an hour a month, tops.

BTW, is there such a thing as a Jupiter 011? I have seen ads for some Jupiter models but the Jupiter website and brochure don't seem to admit to the existence of anything below 500, 515 I think. So I am not sure if that means it's not a real Jupiter or it's just because it's rubbish they don't include information in their brochure.

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Mark
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Post by Mark »

I've got a nameless, soft metal flute that I picked up for little to nothing
on the infamous Ebay. :shock:
It is very well voiced, but has to be cared for gently so that I don't
have to keep taking it to the bench to straighten something out.

You can get a decent cheap flute, they just have their own special
challenges.

mark
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

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Callidor
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Post by Callidor »

I have a Benjamin Adams student flute (I think the model is called BAF1) that I got about two and a half years ago for under $200. All things considered, I think it's a great instrument for the price. I would definitely recommend it for your purposes. As long as you take good care of it, it'll play just fine.
"There was never a bad peace or a good war" -Benjamin Franklin

"Those who dream by day are aware of much which escapes those who dream only by night." -Edgar Allen Poe

Tarandros
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:32 pm
Location: Brighton, England.

Post by Tarandros »

Another option is to buy a used flute. I don't know what your budget is, but you can get used Buffet Crampon or Armstrong flutes on ebay for around £40. You'll probably still need to have the flute checked over by a technician so you'll still have to factor in another £20 or so. As mentioned by other posters, even the new cheap flutes might well require a visit to a technician but they are more likely to be prepared to deal with a secondhand one from a familiar make such as these.

Another possibility is to get one of these from Jonathan Myall flutes: they come in various colours, which you might not like, but they will have been set up by the shop and are priced at £99. They've got a good write up, as you can see on this link. I recommend this company. They';re very helpful and they only sell products that are reliable.

http://www.justflutes.com/pages/product-detail42642.htm

Regards, T.

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