Altus Flutes

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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fluttiegurl
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Altus Flutes

Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:46 pm

Does anyone out there play an Altus? If so, what have your experiences with the company been like? Service? Sales?

Also, any opinions on Altus flutes in general? Design? Reliability?

wally
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by wally » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:30 pm

No experience with the distributor or retailers here in the US. I have played a sum total of one Altus and it was the basic closed-hole 807, their entry-level model, purchased a used one in Japan.

Extremely easy-blowing headjoint. Beautiful voice, far beyond my expectations.
William Bennett scale.
Solid construction, perhaps handmade even at the 807 entry level. Huge pivot screws, and pad stabilizers .... like the Muramatsu.
Very light, fast mechanism with split-E. Never ever would it be a bottleneck for me.... (unlike some other brands).

I can only begin to imagine how much better their intermediate/pro level models must be.

Disqualifiers: I am not a pro player; I've played off-and-on since 1974, don't care much for vibrato, and prefer a heavy, fat, powerful, rich tone top-to-bottom. I tossed the Altus for the entry-level VillagePine EX-III but I still regret letting it go and hope to get another one some day.

fluttiegurl
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:34 pm

Thanks for the input! It was quite helpful.

fluteguy18
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:03 pm

Altus Flutes are handmade top to bottom. From the 807 to their top model they're truly top notch flutes. Liz the US Sales manager is awesome! She goes around to a lot of the Flute Festivals in the US. Altus however only sells through distributors if I understand it correctly. My thoughts on Altus: feather-light mechanism, good scale, good construction, decent headjoint too. Customer service is excellent and their quality control process is pretty demanding. If you're trying out flutes and Altus is the one that sounds best... go for it! You can't go wrong there.

fluttiegurl
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:29 pm

Thanks fluteguy18. I think I met Liz last year, but I couldn't remember. It has been a while.

Thanks for the info. I am asking for a student. I like that they are handmade. I just wondered about serviceability and distribution. I have someone here that I have purchased from before, but for reasons to remain off the Web, I prefer not to do business with that individual. Though I have others in mind :wink:

zummerzet_lou
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by zummerzet_lou » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:28 pm

I play on a yamaha body, with an Altus headjoint, and love it.

At the time, I couldn't afford a better flute and this combination suited my budget, and am still happy with this today.

I spent about 2 hours at TopWind in London playing various combinations, and this was the one that really suited me.

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Zevang
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by Zevang » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:02 am

I have experimented Altus flutes in a yearly basis since 2008. They are very well constructed.

Also the different possibilities in configurations, different metals, gold plating and so on, give many choices for someone that must also think in terms of adjusting the budget.

In general, seemed to me excelent flutes.

If I haven't my current Sankyo (which I love by the way...) I'd consider an Altus for sure.

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flutego12
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by flutego12 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:43 am

Zevang wrote:I have experimented Altus flutes in a yearly basis since 2008. They are very well constructed.

Also the different possibilities in configurations, different metals, gold plating and so on, give many choices for someone that must also think in terms of adjusting the budget.

In general, seemed to me excelent flutes.

If I haven't my current Sankyo (which I love by the way...) I'd consider an Altus for sure.

Which models did you trial - keen to know your opinion between the models
flutist with a screwdriver

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Zevang
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by Zevang » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:19 pm

I don't remember exactly the model numbers.

In 2008 I experimented, among the basic, two of the top line models that impressed me very much. One was the all solid Britannia Silver flute, with which I could deliver a sound really full of harmonics. The lower notes really gave me a good impression too.
The other, and the most amazing in my opinion, was the model constructed using traditional Louis Lot's techniques. He used to make flutes using flat square peaces of material and soudered them to form the tubing, including the headjoint. So Altus make also this model using this old technique, of course the difference is that they use a modern scale, and also the materials are different, but essencially silver.

More recently, in 2011 to be exact, I tried the model 1207, if not mistaken, which was all 18k gold plated on an all silver body and mech. This one was so amazing! There was also another model plated in 9K gold, if I'm not mistaken, just the same, only the plating different.

az1983
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by az1983 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:23 am

Altus are wonderful flutes, I played mine for 13 years and never had an issue mechanically or otherwise. It also had a good resale value when I posted it for sale, got full asking price and sold within 3 days. That should say something about their reputation. A colleague of mine has played an entry-level 807 since we were in college and you'd never know it wasn't a $10K flute.

I love Liz @ Altus!! I chatted with her for a bit back in August at the convention. She said if she couldn't find a US retailer with the specific model you were looking for, she could have one sent from the factory within a month (with the exception of most gold and platinum bodies). They also get monthly shipments from Japan. She's a road warrior and will probably be in your area at local festivals. Shoot her an email or follow Altus on Facebook, she's very responsive and really good with updates.
www.cantabileflutequartet.com www.defproject.org

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flutego12
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by flutego12 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:14 am

az1983 wrote:Altus are wonderful flutes, I played mine for 13 years and never had an issue mechanically or otherwise. It also had a good resale value when I posted it for sale, got full asking price and sold within 3 days. That should say something about their reputation. A colleague of mine has played an entry-level 807 since we were in college and you'd never know it wasn't a $10K flute.

I love Liz @ Altus!! I chatted with her for a bit back in August at the convention. She said if she couldn't find a US retailer with the specific model you were looking for, she could have one sent from the factory within a month (with the exception of most gold and platinum bodies). They also get monthly shipments from Japan. She's a road warrior and will probably be in your area at local festivals. Shoot her an email or follow Altus on Facebook, she's very responsive and really good with updates.
Agree. I got an Altus 807E and find it perfect and a joy to play for the baroque repertoire. When I am good enough I would SO love to trial the top end models.
Last edited by flutego12 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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woodwindNYC
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Re: Altus Flutes

Post by woodwindNYC » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:55 pm

I have owned a gold-plated 1307 and a platinum-plated 1507 during the past ten years, and they were two of the finest instruments I've ever played. The sound was huge and projected beautifully, the tonal palette was wide and readily available, and even their least expensive models play just as well as their most expensive. It's difficult to go awry with purchasing an Altus. I have several friends who work the Broadway/doubling circuit with me here in New York who play either an 807 or 907, and they love them just as much as people love their gold Powells or silver Brannens. Very well-made flutes, and great value for the money! :D

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