Looking for intermediate flute to buy

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Chummy
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by Chummy »

Hi guys and maybe girls (it's the internet so IDK)

I have been playing for about 8 months now, and I am definitely feeling I am at advanced level enough to go buy a better flute. My teacher says I am at 3 year student level. I am playing often, last thing I finished was minuet badinerie by Bach, now finishing Polonaise and other pieces at similar level but I also love playing popular music by ear and improv. which is why my current flute is not sufficient. I have Pearl Flute I think it's 505 model (the cheap one with closed holes) which makes certain notes hard to play and has bigger hole than standard to cover. Very bad reliablilty overall I had it fixed for many leakages and screws 2-3 months ago or so. I was warned about buying chinese flutes, but the name Pearl didn't sound Chinese and I bought from legit shop so I didn't know at the time.

I have been gathering advice. a fellow musician friend whos band leader said Trevor James is a good company to consider. I am willing to invest money about 2-3k because I am thinking long term although in my country instruments are usually more expensive than usual. I am not willing to spend above 4k USD. But I want to try before I buy which is why I can't buy now cause of Corona. Everything's closed but I will travel to buy when it is over. I was told also by my teacher open holes are way better. I would like something that can play low B as well, because why not. Not sure if anything else I should be considering, but I appreciate help in that regard.

Sound wise, I fall for the sound of Jazz funk fusion and latino in flute. Because I mainly play popular genres, songs, jazz, I like latin- Salsa very much, FUNK most definitely, rock and Ragtime the latter is being what I am known for.
If you look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2znYwIaYzkM
These are the best sounding flutes I ever seen, not sure what makes them different than concert soprano flute, but whatever it is it makes the timbre so unique and I really dig it. I might sound noob cause I am, when it comes to Flute equipment , knowledge insufficient.

Any suggestions and recommendations / experience / advice would be highly regarded.
Stay safe and healthy everyone! cheers :P

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pied_piper
Posts: 1889
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by pied_piper »

Pearl is a Japanese company. The Pearl 505 is a respectable student level flute and not the cheap junk that can be bought online or on eBay. Being a closed hole flute, I am perplexed by your comment : " which makes certain notes hard to play and has bigger hole than standard to cover". With closed hole flutes, the tone holes are covered by pads not by fingers and should not be a problem if the flute is in good working order. If it is not playing well, a good repair tech should be able to correct those problems. If the tech that serviced your flute did not correct those problems then perhaps you should try a different tech. I have a Pearl 500 series as a backup flute and have no such issues.

Regarding buying a stepup flute, there are many you can consider: Yamaha, Pearl, Muramatsu, Trevor James, and many others. The Fluteland FAQ has a listing of frequently asked questions such as yours. It can help guide you. Read that and then come back to ask more specific questions if you need more help.
Fluteland FAQ
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Chummy
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Re: Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by Chummy »

I am sorry if I was misunderstood, English is not my main language. I didn't mean the key holes, but the breathing hole.. in comparison to other flutes which are standard and I had the chance to compare like YAMAHA and 2 other companies' models I forgot the name of. I am saying this because I gave a friend who's playing for 15 years , and she commented on that the flute is harder to play than usual mentioning also the air hole being wider. btw I just checked the writing it is a PF-500 pearl not 505, I wasn't sure but I checked it now. my flute was given to a qualified tech in the end of 2019. Even for a respectable Japanese flute having it not good to the point certain notes cannot even play after only half a year is not acceptable. the tech said about 6-7 holes had leakage and some screws were not very tight to the point he had to use glue to keep it together. I have not dropped/banged the flute and I clean it after each play.. I am aware I could have been given a specific unit that wasn't up to the QC standard to the 100%, it could have been bad luck, I don't know.
I got confused because my teacher told me my flute model is generally considered not good. I am not savvy enough to have played other stuff.
I will read FAQ thank you for your answered piped.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1889
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by pied_piper »

No problem. However, I'm afraid I will have to respectfully disagree with your teacher. Pearl flutes are very good, well made instruments. The Pearl 500 is an older model so I will assume you did not buy it new. It is possible that a previous owner did not take good care of it or perhaps a previous repair tech did not do a good job with the repairs. If that is the case, then it may not play well for very long. The Pearl 500 is a student model and the embouchure (lip) hole is sized to be suitable for a beginner flutist. If it is now too large, perhaps someone enlarged it.

Regarding using glue on the screws to "keep it together", that is an emergency fix, but not a good or lasting one. There are other ways that loose screws can be repaired.

I wish you good luck in your search for a better flute.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Chummy
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Re: Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by Chummy »

Hey piped I bought the Pearl PF-500 new in the store in June 2019. AFAIK the flute is Chinese factory made but is designed by Japanese company,
For example YAMAHA which is Japanese company makes all instruments today in China with the exception of the top of the line flagship instrument series which they do locally in Japan and the quality is much better. Built to last. I am coming from the piano world so I would know, because the difference in quality between mid range and top range models is astonishing and double the price for that reason.
back in the 80s Yamaha would still make stuff in Japan as I read why old Yammy flutes are considered way better, which is the reason. I owned YAMAHA DX7-II Synthesizer made in Japan in the 80s, it was solid like a tank.. I loved it..

But to be completely fair as well, I took out the Pearl flute a lot, it is heavily used not only at home but I was taking it to bars, to parks, friend jams regularly and sometimes it was sitting on tables, pianos,other surfaces and a couple of times even on the floor (yes I feel ashamed that I mentioned it now but nobody step on it I was careful where to place it but even so I won't be doing that again to take the slight risk)

the day after the tech handled the flute it sounded amazing i am not kidding maybe better than new!!. a month later it sounded worse as if before the fix, I think what you said about the glue temporary I am afraid because I definitely felt worsening of sound. before I took to tech I did have another problem with flute not sounding F# which I tried to mess with screws myself to solve and did to an extent... shouldn't have done that :(

thank you again mr. piper

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JButky
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm
Location: Mt. Juliet

Re: Looking for intermediate flute to buy

Post by JButky »

Chummy wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:32 pm
Hey piped I bought the Pearl PF-500 new in the store in June 2019. AFAIK the flute is Chinese factory made but is designed by Japanese company,
The factory is in Taichung, Taiwan and not mainland China. That's a huge distinction in terms of quality. FWIW, the 500 was a great flute (now discontinued). Kuwano-san was the man responsible for developing that flute specifically for the student rental market. The Idea was to keep the price point competitive without sacrificing Pearl quality as much as possible. Knowing what I know, that line was destined to not last because the company was selling it for little, if negative profit, to gain market share in the student rental market.

The biggest problem with Pearl flutes at that level is that the keywork is a little bit too soft for my taste. It is strong enough for general use, but was not strong enough to withstand normal abuse that beginners naturally place on this level of instrument.

Never did like the case. Kuwano and I had many disagreements about quality issues and I had to constantly hold his feet to the fire over them.

I don't know who your tech is, But, if it went "out" after a day.. I would take it back to them..
Joe B

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