Review of new Grenaditte Flute

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LimuHead
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Location: San Jose, CA

Review of new Grenaditte Flute

Post by LimuHead »

I've had a little over a month now to get acquainted with my new Guo
Brothers Grenaditte Flute. Here are my impressions:


Make/Model: Guo Brothers Grenaditte Flute (I have #53)


Cost: $2000-$2600


Dealer: The only dealer in the USA is Robert Strouf of www.theflutefarm.com I bought mine on an ebay auction for the introductory price of $1995. Robert is a knowledgeable, friendly dealer, and I’d gladly do business with him again.


Specs: made from grenaditte, a man made composite (the composition of
materials is proprietary so I have no idea what the ingredients are),
made to resemble instruments made of grenadilla wood. I understand
there's a piccolo out there made of the same stuff, though I've never
seen nor played it. Comes in your choice of black or black. In-line
G. Low B foot. Gizmo key. It's much lighter than any silver flute
I've played.



Extras: Aluminum case with plastic sides (very cool looking),
zippered carry bag with shoulder strap, wooden cleaning rod, cleaning
cloth.




Sound: I will start by saying that I absolutely LOVE the sound of
this flute. When I play a silver flute I spend a lot of time trying
to overcome the "silver sound" -- that high-partial, edgy, bright,
silvery-ness that many flute players favor, but I find annoying. The
Grenaditte Flute, like wooden flutes, will not make that silver sound,
no matter how hard you try; it's just not there. For me this is a
good thing. You do get a fat, rich, beautiful, almost wood-like
(actually better than wood if you ask me) tone. The lower octave
speaks securely and loudly all the way down to low B. The middle
octave sounds very sweet. The third octave notes speak much more
easily than any silver flute I have played.



Mechanisms, etc.: The action of the keys is very light on closing,
and quick opening. They seal extremely well. The keys look like
plastic but aren't. I'm not exactly sure what they're made from, but
they are a joy to play.



Intonation: Impeccable!




Overall impressions: I love the fact that I don't have to spend a
whole lot of time wiping this flute after playing. The black
composite material is such that fingerprints don't show up, so people
like me who have acidic sweat don't have to worry about tarnish or
wearing through the silver plating. It mainly just needs to be swabbed after playing. Another bonus is that this flute won’t crack like wooden instruments – and you never need to use wood oil.

This flute has become my main flute. (I just took it on an 8 day
cruise I was performing on, and it responded beautifully.)
Microphones seem to love this flute. I performed with it through
condenser and dynamic mics and was always pleasantly surprised at how
good it sounded when amplified.

I can hardly stand to touch my silver flute now, even though I just
had it re-padded and cleaned. I find my 'ideal' sound (described
above) easily on the Grenaditte Flute.



Some things to be aware of: This flute has a thicker outer diameter
than the silver flute does, so some adjustment in hand placement will
be necessary - especially for the left hand.

I did have a little trouble with the right hand countering the
tendency of the flute to roll inward. I bought a thumbport for the
right hand, and that took care of the problem. Because the Grenaditte
flute comes in a custom fit aluminum case, there's enough room to leave
the thumbport on the flute when storing it in the case - another thing
I really like!

The only thing I wish was included or offered as an add-on is a D#
roller. I spend a lot of time playing in the lowest register (I play
low B way more than most flutists), so slurring from low Eb to low C
(or low B) is a bit awkward. A D# roller would make the move a lot
easier.

I've let four or five other good flutists play this flute, and it
seems the default sound when you first play this flute is a very sweet
mezzo-forte to mezzo-piano with a strong fundamental and very few perceptible upper partials. It will take a couple of days' embouchure work to gain a consistently fat tone on this flute. After a couple of days
practice, though, a full range of tone colors becomes possible - from
the 'default' sweet tone, to the big, in-your-face, fat tone that
traditional Irish players strive for.


All in all, I'm in gob-smacked serious love with this flute.


Aldon Sanders (LimuHead)
My music on the web:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/aldonsanders
http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/album.php?aid=2171&alid=319

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MonikaFL
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Post by MonikaFL »

Very cool, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it so much! I'd love for you to post some sound files, if you get a chance sometime. :)
Visit [url=http://www.monikadurbin.com/formiapress]Formia Press[/url] to check out my compositions and arrangements for flute and more.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

I am glad you like it! I've seen these for sale, and they do look tempting. I had the chance to play a few headjoints made out of this material, and it was rather unusual. They made a good sound, but I was very surprised by them. For some reason, i didnt expect something that looked like that to make a decent sound. I just like how the material is practically indestructable. :D

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Serpentine
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Post by Serpentine »

You bastard! :D You beat me to it! I was just coming on to post "has anyone tried one of these Grenadtite Flutes?" haha! I am glad you like it. I would be brilliant if you could post some fairly good quality audio files on here if you have time, I would love to hear the sound it makes. Cheers

Tom

LimuHead
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:57 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by LimuHead »

Thanks for the responses, folks!

I'll be busy with gigs this weekend, but I'll try to record and post some sound files next week some time.


Aldon
My music on the web:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/aldonsanders
http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/album.php?aid=2171&alid=319

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woodwindNYC
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Post by woodwindNYC »

Add me to the list of people waiting with baited breath for a clip! I've been looking at these for a while, and it is SORELY tempting...I actually gave a performance on a Grenaditte head that I borrowed from Phil Unger a few months ago, and REALLY liked it.

(And I'm always on the lookout for something that will make me stand out in a crowd ) :wink:

sags_3
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Post by sags_3 »

For those who are members of the British Flute Society, the latest magazine has a review by Robert Bigio, Wooden flute and headjoint maker. He really like this flute. I tried it, but at a flute stand so couldnt hear myself properly whilst everyone else tried playing all the other flutes!

DivaricationOfMind
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Post by DivaricationOfMind »

hmmm I'm also very interested in hearing some tunes from that flute :]

mattyacht
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orpheus

Post by mattyacht »

With all respect to the manufacturer, that is one unattractive flute.
It looks like it was made from recycled baby diapers.

sags_3
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Re: orpheus

Post by sags_3 »

mattyacht wrote:With all respect to the manufacturer, that is one unattractive flute.
It looks like it was made from recycled baby diapers.
Diapers look like that? I have to disagree, I like the look. The mechanism is pretty much the same, just black. The body of the flute is similar to that of a wooden flute in terms of size, and it has a grain texture to it. The only thing that is different from what I can remember are the joints. Those cheap multicoloured flutes on ebay are what you call unattractive. (in my opinion, of course)

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sidekicker
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Re: orpheus

Post by sidekicker »

sags_3 wrote: Diapers look like that? I have to disagree . . .
He said "recycled diapers", not diapers. I have to agree; this flute is pretty ugly and I wouldn't want one. And from the pictures I was able to find, it does look like recycled plastic material (it reminds me of the composite deck I had installed off my back porch which is made from recycled plastics and saw dust).

However, to each his own and look is not everything when it comes to flutes. How it sounds and plays, obviously, is most important. But I'd go for something a little more traditional, and less Star Trek, if I were flute shopping in this price range. As I've said ad nauseum on here: gimmicks, gimmicks, gimmicks. And there's always some flutist out there who will fall for them thinking they are getting something better when in reality, they are probably not. I don't know enough about this particular flute to place it in that category yet, but I won't be surprised if it gets relegated to the "fad pile" of flute lore at some point.

SK

sags_3
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Post by sags_3 »

Yes I know he said recycled, I just didnt realise they made black diapers.

Ok its not as beautiful as a silver flute with pointed arms might look, but having played it comparing it to other flutes in the same price range, I enjoyed playing this one the most. Also having talked to the people at Just Flutes and Robert Bigio, they all have very good things to say about this flute. Obviously I wouldnt trade it for my Powell/Lafin, but I would certainly trade it for my Sonare backup which mechanically and soundwise is inferior to the Grenaditte in my opinion.

mattyacht
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Post by mattyacht »

The reason I say recycled baby diapers is because in the early nineties there where some casual black shoes made of recycled baby diapers. Of course the black came from dyes. I don't wish to defame the flute. I personnally would love to play one to see how it sounds. I think the manufacturer could've done a little better job on the wood grain. It just looks like typical molded embossed plastic.

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat »

mattyacht wrote:The reason I say recycled baby diapers is because in the early nineties there where some casual black shoes made of recycled baby diapers. Of course the black came from dyes. I don't wish to defame the flute. I personnally would love to play one to see how it sounds. I think the manufacturer could've done a little better job on the wood grain. It just looks like typical molded embossed plastic.
I completely agree! If it sounds great...then great but i'd have to wear a bag over my head if I played it in public! I guess I just like beatiful things too much to play something that looks like an industrial strength child's toy!

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woodwindNYC
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Post by woodwindNYC »

And on the other hand, there are some of us who enjoy things that are new and different...fortunately, there are enough flutes out there that none of us have to play something we find unattractive. :-)

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