Suggestions with upgrading to professional flutes

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sakuramimato
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Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:39 am

Suggestions with upgrading to professional flutes

Post by sakuramimato » Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:29 am

I've decided that it was time to upgrade to a professional quality flute since my repertoire is getting more and more demanding and the current instrument I play (Gemeinhardt 3SB) doesn't seem like it's complimenting the level of performance I need.

What suggestions do you guys have for upgrading to a professional type flute?

I probably won't be able to afford any of the high-end ones, but any professional series flute suggestions will help that will accomodate a high school senior who will be planning to continue playing in college.

I looked up the following brands, and any feedback or additional names will be appreciated!

- Pearl
- Altus
- Yamaha
- Allora

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:34 am

Tom Green
Pearl
Nagahara
Emanuel
Louis Lot
Sankyo
Powell
Muramatsu
Miyazawa
Burkart
Haynes
Landell

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:02 am

Yamaha 600s, Muramatsu EX, Altus (900-1100 models to start), Pearl, Prima Sankyo, Miyazawa, Armstrong Heritage, Powell Sonare, Haynes Amadeus, and Burkhart & Phelan are among the lower-priced options. Gently-used handmade, silver flutes are a good option, too. Be careful about flutes which are too old, because design and scales have changed. Some of the older flutes are much harder to play in tune. It's cool to own a museum piece or two, but if they've not been properly rebuilt to modern specs, they may be of little use in practical situations. However, I play an old Muramatsu (about 30 years), and it's a great flute. I do have to make some adjustments, though. More exensive choices include Haynes, Powell, higher-end Muramatsu and Miyazawa models, Burkhart, Brannen-Cooper, Tom Green, Nagahara, Arista, Williams, Lopatin, and many others. An almost overwhelming array of choices. Hey, at least we have a choice today beyond "Haynes or Powell, dude?"! :D
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:21 am

If you go to http://www.flute.com they have a page that lists what seems to be over 100 flute makers. I found that page very interesting. So, if you go there, you will find more makers than just what we can list off of the top of our heads. However, the ones that have been listed so far are all great in their own respect.

Just make sure you try the flute before you buy it. If you are completely set on buying a specific flute, but dont have the opp. to try the one you will buy (example: if you have to order it, and not just buy one that is already made), at the very least try an identical model. I have tried a miyazawa classic that I loved, but for me to get one, I will have to order it because there arent any for sale in my area. The instrument will be different from the test model, but in my expieriances, the differences havent been huge. But, this is just me, it could be quite different for you. Just make sure you try everything first.

sakuramimato
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Post by sakuramimato » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:41 pm

I have another question--What's the difference between solid silver and sterling silver? I thought it was the same thing. :?

Are there any reviews on the Gemeinhardt professional/Brio! series?

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:12 pm

Solid silver and sterling silver are two different silver alloys, each containing a different content of silver relative to the other metals. Shouldn't make a huge difference in playability.
I played the Brios at the convention, and liked them much better than previous Gemeinhardt offerings. Some people don't care for them at all, however. Just gotta play some and compare directly with other brands and models. I wouldn't really call them "professional", relative to most of the other brands listed, but they were alright. If a student showed up with one, I wouldn't insist they go buy a new flute.
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:58 pm

with the metal issue, you will see several names of different kinds of silver. Normally if it is labeled 'silver" they refer to an alloy called coin silver. the purity content of this alloy is usually around .90.
Sterling silver has a purity content of .925. You will also see alloys called "Nickel Silver", which is very light to hold, and from MY expieriance (not everyone's), has a darker tone. I am unsure of it's purity content, but it is sometimes called German Silver. It is usually darker in color than sterling silver.

Other Silver alloys are: Brittania Silver(offered by Altus with a Purity content of .958), Pristine Silver ( purity content of .997 offered by Pearl), and a few others. Generally there are very few differences between these alloys, and just because one instrument has a higher purity content than another, doesnt necc. guarrantee a higher quality instrument. I know of a few silver plated flutes that play circles around some all sterling silver flutes.

A few other alloys you might encounter on your search are PCM ( an alloy of about 60% sterling silver and 30% other precious metals offered by Miyazawa) and a GS alloy (another alloy offered by Miyazawa that is 90% Sterling Silver and 10% gold). If you consider Powell, they offer a material called Aurumite. This I believe ( but not 100% sure of the creation process) is a material consisting of two sheets of metal (One sterling silver, and one 14k/ 18k gold) that are fused together. The object of this material (havent tried one out of this material, but this is what I hear) is to combine the projection of silver with the warm tonal spectrum of gold.

I hope this helps. I am pretty sure that all of this info is correct, but If anything is wrong, I am sure someone (probably flutepicc06 because he knows quite a bit about flute construction too) will correct me.

Good luck in your search!

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Zevang
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Post by Zevang » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:26 am

Hey Flutepicc06, one more time here we go with the list... :-)

Serious now, any brand flutepicc06 listed is far good enough to choose from.
But in my opinion, the best to do is to play as much brands AND models as you can. Opinions are fine to begin from, but it's YOUR playing that will decide which one is the best flute FOR YOU.

Zevang

P.S. Sorry for the capitals, just to emphasise.

sakuramimato
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Post by sakuramimato » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:39 am

What defines a flute to be a professional flute or an intermediate flute?

I was doing research on the Pearl 665/765 Quantz Coda series and saw some online dealers list the 665 as an Intermediate flute and the 765 as a Professional flute, so that sparked some questions and confusion..

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:43 am

typically what I have seen to be the determining factor whether it is a professional model or not, is the amount of handmade craftmanship.

Typically a flute that is 100% handmade is a pro flute, and one that is typically 100% manufactured is not. However, it isnt whether an instrument that is labeled 'pro' or not, but rather how the flute matches you. You see, these labels are very tricky. If you look at a Gemeinhardt pro flute, it's quality doesnt usually compare to (for example) an intermediate Yamaha flute. Not to be bashing Gemmies (they are very decent student and intermediate, but their pro's just arent up to par) but they are the best example I can think of.

So, the line between intermediate and professional is very fuzzy. Some companies intermediate flutes blow the professional flutes from other companies out of the water. So, in all reasonable aspects, these companies just use 'intermediate' and 'pro' as a form of marketing gimmick. So, with the pearl you mentioned, so people think the quality is high enough to be a pro, and some dont. Pearl has this instrument listed about half way between their student and pro models. For pearl, they (I am putting words in their mouth, but this is my perception of how this flute is listed) list this flute as an intermediate because in their advertisement they say: "aspiring flutists have never been so fortunate"

hope this helps.


I will probably have to repost my opinion because my initial post usually seems to be misleading. If you are misled, I am sorry, and if you are confused, just say so and I will clarify. :oops:

MeLizzard
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Location: Mid-Ohio Valley

Post by MeLizzard » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:45 am

Some makers seem to think that "solid silver" and "open-hole" equals 'professional', which is just not true.
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

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Zevang
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Post by Zevang » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:53 pm

Melizzard, agree with you, and think that "Handmade" is more like it.
Zevang

MeLizzard
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Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 10:25 pm
Location: Mid-Ohio Valley

Post by MeLizzard » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:05 pm

Yeah, I'd rather my students play silver-plated Altus, Muramatsu, Miyazawa, etc. than "professional ___________" fill-in-the-blank! :wink:
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

sakuramimato
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Post by sakuramimato » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:01 pm

I'm planning on play testing some flutes when my marching band season calms down.

The Sonare and Pearl Quantz series (665/765 CODA, preferred) have caught my eye. I know that a local dealer sells Sonares, but I don't know of any places that hold Pearls. Hopefully I'll be able to play test the Sonare when I get the chance. :]

Any input on the Sonare Model 7000 and Pearl Quantz 665/765 (CODA) are welcome!

I played my friend's Pearl 665 Quantz with the offset G and split-E mechanism, but the rod that holds the split-E part on the right hand bothered me because I used to rest my right pointer finger on the split-E rod, slowing down my playing. Testing one again might be different since I fixed my problem with my pointer finger resting on the rods.

As for the Pearl Quantz, what is the metal used for the springs? The Sonare Model 7000, from FluteWorld.com has 10k gold wire springs. Does the metal of the spring affect performance? And how would someone be able to replace those if they fall off? One of my friend's springs fell off of her Pearl and the repairman she took it to replaced it with a copper one. :\

Added: My budget is around $1000~$2500, preferrably below $2000

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:41 pm

The springs don't matter a whole lot in my opinion. Some people swear they feel a difference between the white gold/ copper/stainless steel springs available, but I don't, and I don't really care what's on my flute as long as the mechanism feels good to me. They are there only to open (and in some cases close) the keys once you stop applying pressure, and as long as they do their job, it doesn't really matter what they're made of. As for replacing springs, most good techs will have a selection of spring wire in various materials and sizes, and can replace springs quite easily. Jon Landell replaced one for me over the summer on one of my older flutes, and it took less than 5 minutes. Both the Sonares and the Pearls are good flutes, but there have been some problems with the Sonare bodies (which are produced in China), so you should be careful which specific instrument you buy if playtesting leads you to the Sonares. One of my friends bought one, and the lower G tonehole had not been rolled, but somehow this slipped past the QCers at Powell, and it was cutting into the pad. Needless to say it had to be replaced.

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