Brand help

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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Rayne
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Brand help

Post by Rayne » Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:26 pm

I need some advice about the brand of flute I should purchase. I played flute for 8 years in Jr High/High School and it's been about 7 years since I've played. I've been missing it so much, so I'm going to be buying one soon. I played open-hole with B foot, so I know for sure I want that.

The flute I had was a Gemeinhardt (not sure of model# or anything). Are the Gemmys w/ open-hole B foot nowadays good quality?

I'm not looking to spend over $1,000 right now, if that helps. I was just wondering what brands y'all are happy with and which ones in this price range you'd steer clear of.

Also, what's the scoop on solid silver headjoints and bodies vs plated? I'm pretty positive my school flute was plated...are the solid silver ones known for much better sound/tones?

Thank you for your help, I sure appreciate it!!

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:52 pm

If you want an open hole, B-foot flute for less than 1 K, chances are that you won't get a lot of choice between plated bodies and solid silver ones (the possibility for a silver head does exist in this price range). If you could get up to 1.5 K or 2 K, you could certainly get a flute with a noticeable difference from a student flute, but in this price range, pretty much all intermediate flutes play the same as their student counterparts, because the headjoints are machine made, and pretty much the same head goes on an intermediate flute that goes on the student models. Fluteworld has a very good selection of the student/intermediate range (what you're looking at with the budget you have), so I would start by looking there. Every flutist has their own personal favorites, but any of the flutes you find there should serve you well for several years (at a minimum). They also have some of the best prices (and calling and asking for the best possible price will sometimes get an additional discount), and very knowledgeable and helpful staff. The whole material argument has no definitive answer. Oftentimes, silver flutes play better than plated ones, but there are also some plated flutes that outplay silver ones. No one can definitively say whether the material or the quality of craftsmanship has the bigger influence. The argument runs that when dealing with more expensive materials (silver vs. silver plate), the maker takes more care, and produces an instrument that plays better. Some people will attribute the change in the way it plays from the plate flute to the material, and some to the craftsmanship, and so far no one has figured out a way to prove it one way or the other. You might also consider a used flute....Chances are you'll get more for your money. Hope some of that helps!
Last edited by flutepicc06 on Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rayne
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Post by Rayne » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:21 pm

Yeah, unfortunately I know I won't have too much pickins in that price range, but I'm just getting back into playing and I can't spend that much money on a flute just yet.

What do you think about brands? I've been looking at the Gemeinhardt 3SB...but then I've read a few posts in a different places that say Gemeinhardts are junky.

Whatcha think guys/gals? :)

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:40 pm

Gemeinhardts are fine. Some people like them, and others don't, but they certainly do the job. No matter what you buy, you're going to want to play test the options against each other to be sure you find a flute you're happy with. As I said, any of the brands in your price range that you see at fluteworld are solidly built, and should give you several years of service at the very least. That gives you quite a few options of make and model (and covers most of the reputable makers). Just steer clear of the cheap eBay/Walmart flutes and you'll be fine (though I wouldn't anticipate you going after these since you're really in the market for an intermediate flute).

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:06 pm

Gemeinhardts are not junky, but some models have had adjustment issues in the recent past. The truth is, all flutes can have this problem. However, I do have to agree with flutepicc06 that you may want to look into a higher end used flute as an option.

Whatever you choose, be sure it is right for you. Play many before you buy and don't buy used without playing first.

I won't get into the "silver vs plated" arguement as I feel that I have said what I think on the matter. I will, however, encourage you to get the best possible flute for what money you have. That flute may or may not be solid silver.

Some flutes I like and recommend to students: Amadeus by Haynes (they start at a little over $1000), Emerson model 8B (I think this is right) - these don't usually get the credit they deserve, Gemeinhardt 3SB, Pearl 665, and Armstrong 800 (yes, I do like these flutes but not as well as the older 80B's). I have students who play all of these among others, but these seem to stand out in way of construction and intonation. Used, I would recommend looking at Yamahas among many, many others.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:14 pm

I agree whole heartedly with the previous posts. If you want the most bang for your buck, look at nice used flutes. Try out as many flutes as you can, and pick the one you like best. Try flutes with in line and offset G keys to see which is the most comfortable for you. Even try two flutes that are the same model (each flute plays differently. One gemmy* 3sb might play better than another gemmy 3sb).







*Gemmy is an abbreviation for Gemeinhardt (at least in my opinion)

Rayne
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Post by Rayne » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:22 pm

Ok, thanks for the help!

I'd like to try a few used, higher end flutes out, but I live in a smaller town and I don't know where I could find any used ones to try out.

I could check around on Ebay, but I don't know much about the higher-end models.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:50 pm

Well, fluteworld.com has used flutes of many different price ranges avaialble, so you might look there. Usedflutes.com obviously specializes in used flutes, but there are some sketchy characters on there, so you want to be careful, and yes, eBay is always an option. If you have any questions about used flutes, most likely one (if not many more) of us can help you out, so feel free to ask!

Rayne
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Post by Rayne » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:56 pm

Thanks again! :)

I've seen Pearl mentioned quite a bit in my searching lately. Is this a reliable brand for intermediate flutes?


And as a pp mentioned the plated vs solid silver subject might be touchy. Can you point me to a site that explains the differences (if any) so as not to stir up debates here?

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:39 pm

I've sent you a private message concerning the material debate, Rayne. Hopefully it will be useful to you. Also, Pearl has had a bad rap in the past for unreliable mechanisms, but currently, they are producing some excellent flutes. If you like the Pearl, it certainly qualifies as a trustworthy, name brand instrument.

Rayne
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Post by Rayne » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:57 pm

Thanks, flutepicc06. I responded to your PM and it was very helpful. :)

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:07 pm

Very glad to help! :D

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:54 pm

fluttiegurl wrote:I won't get into the "silver vs plated" arguement as I feel that I have said what I think on the matter. I will, however, encourage you to get the best possible flute for what money you have. That flute may or may not be solid silver.
Fluttiegurl, please don't be afraid to express your opinions here. I'm sure this goes back to when myself and a couple of others got on your case about this type of thing. Please understand that I have no problem with you having a different opinion from myself on the issue, and I will never attack you (or anyone else) for holding views other than my own. I did, however, have a problem with you representing it as a "proven fact" that silver instruments are better than plated instruments. There is little solid proof on either side of the argument, and as such, people need to be left open to take what information exists, and their own personal experiences and draw their own conclusions on the topic. I apologize if I scared you off this topic, as that truly was not my intent. I merely wished to make sure that the original poster to the thread I referenced was not being misinformed (whether knowingly or not).

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:48 pm

I won't get into the "silver vs plated" arguement as I feel that I have said what I think on the matter.
Flutiegurl is now Flutiechicken?

I hope not!

Phineas

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:04 am

No problems here :D Just no need to be redundant. You are right, I should not have stated "proven fact", because I realize (and did then) that it is not. After reading my post, I realized that I should have been more clear on what I stated, and that we should (none of us) never state anything as a proven fact. That is the #1 thing I caution students most on when coming here. :oops: I should have been slapped that day because I had just brought home a FANTASTIC plated student flute to play test.

Phineas,
No chickens! Just Tweedle Birds! :wink:

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