Trevor James Cantabile II

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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vandoren
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Trevor James Cantabile II

Post by vandoren »

Has anyone any experience of the TJ Cantabile 2 ?

Is it a good buy wrt intonation, headjoint and build quality ?
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

I tried it. Trevor James flutes in my opinion are sort of like pearl flutes. You either like them or you don't. Some people are on the fence about whether they like them or not, but usually [in my expieriance] most people have a definate opinion about them.

I liked playing them, but I knew that there were flutes that would suit me much better than Trevor James. A few people who listened to me play them thought I sounded aweful on them. But, to each their own. Some people sound rather good on them. So, if you can, I would definately give them a whirl to see if you like them.

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

My experiences with TJ flutes is that they are solid built flutes that have a great deal of ease in the key action. My younger students tend to lean toward them as a first step up because of the ease of playing. I agree that you either like them or you don't. If you like the Cantabile, try the Virtuoso which has a silver body (just to compare) and try Dean Yang flutes as well. Dean Yang are basically the same thing, but I have found them to be a bit cheaper. I have even heard that they are made in the same factory, but I do not know that this is truth, but I do know they are very close in design. Above all, try flutes before making a purchase. No flute will produce the same effects with everyone. And remember that no two headjoints are alike. If you have access, try a number of the same flute or the same flute with a variety of headjoints.

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vandoren
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Post by vandoren »

fluttiegurl wrote:My experiences with TJ flutes is that they are solid built flutes that have a great deal of ease in the key action. My younger students tend to lean toward them as a first step up because of the ease of playing. I agree that you either like them or you don't. If you like the Cantabile, try the Virtuoso which has a silver body (just to compare) and try Dean Yang flutes as well. Dean Yang are basically the same thing, but I have found them to be a bit cheaper. I have even heard that they are made in the same factory, but I do not know that this is truth, but I do know they are very close in design. Above all, try flutes before making a purchase. No flute will produce the same effects with everyone. And remember that no two headjoints are alike. If you have access, try a number of the same flute or the same flute with a variety of headjoints.
TJ Flutes, as far as I am aware, are all made in their factory in England - never heard of Dean Yang mentioned in the same breath - very interesting.
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

Again, I am not sure if the info is correct, but that is what a TJ rep told me a few years ago. I have also heard the same from a few dealers (not in the same area).

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker »

vandoren wrote: TJ Flutes, as far as I am aware, are all made in their factory in England - never heard of Dean Yang mentioned in the same breath - very interesting.
I was told relatively recently by a reputable flute dealer that TJs are no longer manufactured in England and their present quality is significantly lower than it used to be. I believe I was told that they are now made in China where, unfortunately, quality control on musical instruments appears to be the riskiest these days. Since this is second hand info, I'm not sure it's totally accurate; maybe someone else knows. It's unlikely I'd ever purchase a flute made there anyway even though I'm sure it's possible -- with probably great effort -- to get a good Chinese made instrument. I played on an English-manufactured TJ for about a month and found it to be very lackluster and generally no better than any student-level flute on which I've played. But, as others have said, everybody is going to have a different opinion because there are so many personal variables that will affect how a particular person will sound on an instrument.

The best advice -- as is often given here -- is to playtest as many flutes as you can before making a purchase and do not limit yourself to a particular model or make before doing so. Choose a budget, then go shopping and keep all options open.

SK

gotflute
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The TJ story

Post by gotflute »

Everyone is correct (kinda of).

They are made in china, but, until recently, their setup and quality control were tightly managed by a collaboration between Jeff Weissman music company and Cincinnati Flute Works. However, this ended and TJ is now owned by Gemstone Musical Instruments (who also own Sanyko and Geminhardt).

TJ are popular here in Houston, where I do most of my teaching. My students don't usually end up with one, but they can be very solid, reliable instruments.

Trevors purchased from Jeff Weissman are all of the previous pre-gemstone stock, and have, in my opinion, the highest quality control available. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in auditioning one from him.

Regards,
Jason Blank
Jason Blank, Haynes Artist/Clinician
jblank@wmshaynes.com
Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding flute playing or choosing a new instrument.

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl »

Great info. I have been wondering about this also. Do you know anything about the Dean Yang flutes being produced in the same factory? Just curious.

gotflute
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not quite as familiar

Post by gotflute »

I'm not as familiar with Dean Yang. My understanding (which could def be wrong) is that they are a copy of a Muramastu design, much in the same way that a Lyric is a "copy" of a Miyazawa flute, although one huge differnece is that Muramastu doesn't own Dean Yang...

I was never blown away by Dean Yangs that I have played, and I feel there are much better options at its price point.

Hope this helps...

~Jason Blank
Jason Blank, Haynes Artist/Clinician
jblank@wmshaynes.com
Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding flute playing or choosing a new instrument.

CarolynManley
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Trevor James Cantabile II

Post by CarolynManley »

I want to correct information recently placed on this forum about Trevor James Flutes. Here are the facts about these instruments, their present quality and country of origin. The Trevor James Company has master craftsmen building Recital and Master’s level instruments in their workshop in Lenham, England. They also maintain a continuing 25 year collaboration with a Taiwanese partner to manufacture the 10X2 and Performer Series flutes of their product offering. These instruments exceeded the demands of the European market for years prior to their introduction into the United States.

The flutes are shipped from the production site in China to the workshop in Lenham, England where they are adjusted and play-tested prior to shipping to the US market. Distribution in America was at one time done through retail stores - Cincinnati Flute Works did play a role in their early introduction. However, as demand grew for these flutes it became necessary for Trevor James Flutes to work with a distributor equipped for large scale national distribution within a network of retail outlets.

Gemstone Musical Instruments became the distributor of Trevor James instruments in North and South America in August of 2005. Beyond providing an efficient distribution network, Gemstone also provides an additional testing procedure never before enjoyed by Trevor James flutes in America. Prior to being shipped from the Gemstone distribution center, Trevor James instruments are put through an inspection and adjustment check by master technicians, such as Tom Lacy, with years of experience building custom handcrafted flutes.

Gemstone Musical Instruments has grown into a full-line musical instrument company from the traditions of the Gemeinhardt Flute Company. Gemstone does not own the Trevor James or Sankyo Flute Company, but does retain distribution rights in North and South America for both manufacturers.

Jason Blank was correct in saying that Jeff Weissman is selling old Trevor James instruments sourced prior to August 2005. Continual manufacturing improvements are present in the flutes distributed, tested and adjusted by Gemstone, and are available through current Trevor James dealers. Please see the dealer locator link that follows for an updated listing of our authorized dealers:
http://www.gemstonemusical.com/trevorjames/index.htm
Carolyn Manley
Vice President of Marketing
Gemstone Musical Instruments

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker »

So was the only inaccurate information posted the fact that Gemstone does not own TJ, but merely distributes them in the Americas?

Maybe I didn't understand your post, but it is still not clear as to whether these flutes are still made in China or whether they are made in England. You note "master craftsmen building Recital and Master’s level instruments in their workshop in Lenham, England," but then mention that "The flutes [presumably all TJs because there is no qualification here] are shipped from the production site in China to the workshop in Lenham, England where they are adjusted and play-tested prior to shipping to the US market." It sounds to me like they are all basically made in China and then there are several levels of quality check and marketing elsewhere before they go on sale. Is that correct?

Thanks.
SK

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

My interpretation was that only certain models were made in Taiwan [because of high demand and the neccessity of mass production] while other models [higher in quality I assume because of less demand] are still made in England.

Some clarification on this would be great.

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker »

fluteguy18 wrote: Some clarification on this would be great.
I agree, especially since the post before mine was meant to accomplish that.

My interpretation is different though. For all the explanation/clarification that appeared, reading between the lines it looks as though TJs are all produced in the first instance in China now. And to downgrade the worries most knowledgeable flutists have about Chinese-manufactured instruments, we are told of the quality-checkpoints that occur post-production in England and/or the U.S. But I don't know if that's correct or not. It's just what I gather from the lengthy post trying to clarify what some of us had said.

It takes one sentence to answer the question whether TJs are made in England or China (or Taiwan) and if some are made in both places, which flutes are made where. IMO, it's important to know where the initial manufacturing takes place, especially when it appears to be a place pretty well-known for slacking on quality and using substandard materials. No amount of quality-control in another country is going to change a flute made from pot metal into one made from sterling silver or a high grade silver-based amalgam. Hopefully, we'll get more precise information.

SK

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vandoren
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Post by vandoren »

CarolynManley said in her post ............."The Trevor James Company has master craftsmen building Recital and Master’s level instruments in their workshop in Lenham, England. They also maintain a continuing 25 year collaboration with a Taiwanese partner to manufacture the 10X2 and Performer Series flutes of their product offering"

Surely that is clear ? Rectal and Masters series made in England, 10X2 and Performaer series made in Taiwan.

Taiwan production then shipped to England.
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

That is what I thought. Specific series flutes were produced in different locations.

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