Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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andy957
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:18 am

Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

(I'm starting a new thread since I would just like feedback on the Amadeus that I just purchased, instead of continuing the Yamaha YFL-461 thread that I started earlier.)

Picked up my AF-900 Amadeus today.

The specs:
  • Sterling silver headjoint, body and foot joint.
    Low B
    Offset G
    C# trill
    High E Facilitator
    Open Hole
    Gizmo key
    French keys
    Gold springs
Impressions/Questions:

It doesn't seem as responsive as I expected a $2700 flute would be, especially compared to my Yamaha YFL-461H that I had previously owned. I don't know if it's because it's right out of the box and I didn't have it "adjusted" yet (the tech wasn't there today), or because there's a defect, or whatever, but it feels "resistant".

The intonation seems fine and even.

Huge problem: Cannot play any notes higher than high F. When I finger the F#, G, G# and higher, no sound comes out at all. Again, the Yamaha in this regard, even though it was a less expensive flute, was significantly better.

I must admit that the gold springs make an ENORMOUS difference in the feel of the keys; the action is light, easy, quiet and really wonderful. I also like that the D# key is smaller, as are all the keys on the foot joint, compared to other flutes I've tried.

I guess I'm not overwhelmed by this instrument, and I'm mighty disappointed. However, I will reserve final judgment until I have had some more time with it, and after I bring it back to the store on Monday to have it adjusted by the flute tech (he's an expert). Otherwise I may go back to my original plan of the YFL-674H.

In the meantime, I hope everyone here is having a wonderful holiday, and that 2011 will be a happy, healthy and music-filled one for you! Any comments on the upper register issue would be appreciated.

Oh one more thing: does anyone know the difference between a high E facilitator and a split E? I'm wondering if this "facilitator" has something to do with the upper register being "dead", although high E and F are fine. Thanks.

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cflutist
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by cflutist »

Congrats on your new flute. Its always exciting to get a new instrument. :D

It is going to take you some time to get use to your new flute. I know when I first got my new 14K Brannen in September, I was cracking the high F# when I did not have that problem with my Haynes. Plus the Thumb Bb was a lot closer different so I was hitting that key by mistake. But after 3 months this Brannen now puts my Haynes to shame.

A high E facilitator is a "donut" which changes the venting of the lower G key. It is a lot less expensive than a Split E which is a mechanism that closes the lower G key. Without a Split E, the uppper and lower G key close when you depress the upper G key.

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

cflutist wrote:Congrats on your new flute. Its always exciting to get a new instrument. :D

It is going to take you some time to get use to your new flute. I know when I first got my new 14K Brannen in September, I was cracking the high F# when I did not have that problem with my Haynes. Plus the Thumb Bb was a lot closer different so I was hitting that key by mistake. But after 3 months this Brannen now puts my Haynes to shame.

A high E facilitator is a "donut" which changes the venting of the lower G key. It is a lot less expensive than a Split E which is a mechanism that closes the lower G key. Without a Split E, the upper and lower G key close when you depress the upper G key.
Thanks, cflutist (what are you doing here on Christmas Eve? LOL).

But I'm wondering what could be the cause of the flute (me, actually) not being able to produce ANY sound for ANY notes above high F (actually I take back what I said in the original post, the high F is "wispy" too, no body). F#, G and above are just an effort in vain. Nothing! Same with high C using the Gizmo key. Not a thing.

So if I look on the body of the flute, how can I "see" the facilitator "donut"? I'm just curious.

I must say though that the C# trill key is awesome. :) And I LOVE the mechanism, the white gold springs make all the difference in the world.

Haynes recently introduced a new headjoint for the Amadeus line, the details of which nobody can tell me, and this flute comes with that new h/j. Do you think that could be related to my issue?

Thanks, hope you have a merry and a happy. :)

Andy

P.S. I hate you for getting a 14K Brannen. LOL LOL That must have cost you $35K.

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cflutist
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by cflutist »

http://www.brannenflutes.com/options.html

There is a picture of a Split E and a High E Facilitator (aka "donut" aka "lower G insert").
There is also a link to the C# Trill fingerings.

concertmaster3
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by concertmaster3 »

Give it time. I play tested some Amadeus flutes, and they played very well for me, all the way up to high D. For me, they had a big sound, and very focused. I wasn't pleased with the feel of the keywork, which could be just a matter of how it was set up at the store...Make sure there are no leaks. This could cause a big problem with playing any notes. Good luck!
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Arlee
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by Arlee »

Is the riser on your flute gold or is it also silver? If it is gold that is most likely why it feels resistant. Also this could be accounted for if you went from a "nickle" flute or even a silver plated flute to a solid silver one.

I would agree with the give it time thought as well. Also, if you still have your old flute it might be beneficial to look at the old head joint and the new one and compare the opening on the lip plate (totally brain freezing on what that is called atm :? ). One might have a larger opening/the positioning might be a little different so it might feel like you are doing the same things when you are actually not doing the same thing.

I hope that made sense :)

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

concertmaster3 wrote:Give it time. I play tested some Amadeus flutes, and they played very well for me, all the way up to high D. For me, they had a big sound, and very focused. I wasn't pleased with the feel of the keywork, which could be just a matter of how it was set up at the store...Make sure there are no leaks. This could cause a big problem with playing any notes. Good luck!
Thanks. It still doesn't make any sense to me though, because in every other flute I've tried, from cheap to very expensive, I've never had this problem (not getting any sound for high F# and higher). I have asked the dealer to order a YFL-674HCT just in case... so I can compare. I know it's such a personal choice, but I have always been able to play up to at least high C (using the gizmo key)...

Anyway, the hunt goes on.... :) Thanks for your help.

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

Arlee wrote:Is the riser on your flute gold or is it also silver? If it is gold that is most likely why it feels resistant. Also this could be accounted for if you went from a "nickle" flute or even a silver plated flute to a solid silver one.
Thanks, Arlee (are you feeling better, btw?)

Well the previous Yamaha (YFL-461H) was also solid silver (head/body/foot). The riser on the Amadeus is silver as well, so material-wise, they're similar. (Of course even silver has variations.) I do have the high E "facilitator donut" that is discussed above, that plus the C# trill key are the primary mechanical differences.

I will go to see the technician tomorrow morning and ask him to see what he thinks. Also, don't forget, at best I'm an advanced Beginner/early Intermediate player, not a pro by any means, but I have played several flutes in the past few years and like I mentioned, never had this issue of not being able to play above high E (even the high F is impossible).

Thanks. Film at 11. :)

Arlee
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by Arlee »

andy957 wrote:Thanks, Arlee (are you feeling better, btw?)
Yes, yes I am thanks :)

Hrm, I have to admit I am slightly confused now. I was just looking at the Yamaha website because I was curious about the more specific specs and it is weird because they say it is sterling silver but also have silver plating listed... http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical- ... mode=model


Anywho, I had another thought about the note trouble. It could be be the High E Facilitator. They do sometimes cause issues with intonation, though I hadn't heard of them preventing a not to be played at all. Though with my small experience with the split E on my piccolo I found it was extremely easy to overblow the high register which I hadn't expected.

Curious what the technician has to say :) Also, you might try having your flute teacher play it/someone you know is a good flutist to see if they have similar issues.

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

Arlee wrote:Hrm, I have to admit I am slightly confused now. I was just looking at the Yamaha website because I was curious about the more specific specs and it is weird because they say it is sterling silver but also have silver plating listed.
Yes the keys are silverplated but the head/foot/body are silver on the 461H.... at least on the Canadian model.

I just called Flute World out of curiosity and asked them what they think of these two instruments (the 674HCT and AF-900) and the guy I spoke to said he thinks the Amadeus is less of a professional-type flute than the 600 series Yamahas. The price isn't all that much different.

We shall see. I am also going to try to see if someone will be able to try this Amadeus to prove me right or wrong.

:)

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Phineas
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by Phineas »

andy957 wrote:
Arlee wrote:Hrm, I have to admit I am slightly confused now. I was just looking at the Yamaha website because I was curious about the more specific specs and it is weird because they say it is sterling silver but also have silver plating listed.
Yes the keys are silverplated but the head/foot/body are silver on the 461H.... at least on the Canadian model.

I just called Flute World out of curiosity and asked them what they think of these two instruments (the 674HCT and AF-900) and the guy I spoke to said he thinks the Amadeus is less of a professional-type flute than the 600 series Yamahas. The price isn't all that much different.

We shall see. I am also going to try to see if someone will be able to try this Amadeus to prove me right or wrong.

:)
I totally agree.

Amadeus = Hopped up Student model
Yamaha 600 = Toned down Professional model.

Not saying that an Amadeus is not a quality flute of course.

Also, do not rule out the headjoint for your upper register issues. If all else fails, try the Amadeus with a different headjoint and see what happens.

Phineas

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

My experience with Haynes re: this flute.

The first flute that was sent to me (well, to my dealer), came with a headjoint that didn't fit into the barrel without applying significant force, therefore it was defective. In addition, any notes higher than high D produced no sound whatsoever, no matter who tried or what was tried. Clearly they sent an instrument that hadn't been tested.

Haynes has changed (upgraded) the Amadeus line to now include the Haynes Classic headjoint rather than the original Amadeus headjoint. Since they weren't really shipping the new headjoint until the new year, and as the flute they sent was shipped in mid December, they tried to do me a favor by including the new one ahead of everyone else, which was in and of itself quite nice. However it turned out to be not a good thing.

I ended up calling Haynes and speaking with Ann (in the Amadeus division) and explained the situation to her. She asked me to call back the next day if I wasn't able to have any success, so I did just that. When I called, and even though I didn't buy the instrument from them directly, she put me on hold and she walked into her manager's office, where they put me on speakerphone. This was amazing.

Both she and her manager apologized profusely for the mix-up, assured me that customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to them and that they wanted to make this situation right. To wit, they had already set aside a brand new flute that was tested by one of their Haynes technicians who normally works on $15K gold flutes, and, without my asking, they sent it OVERNIGHT to their representative in Toronto, who hand-delivered it back to my dealer, where I picked it up on NEW YEAR'S EVE DAY right before the holiday (made it to the store around 4PM). Absolutely amazing.

The instrument is perfect, I love it, it has that beautiful Haynes sound, it feels great in my hands, excellent intonation, nice response (a tad resistant which is what I wanted), mechanism very nice and easy. And it includes a custom-matched Classic headjoint. Case and cover are top-notch, comes with nice silk cloth as well. No need to buy a Cavallaro bag! Yippee! :)

I am so impressed by this. Nobody in this day and age takes responsibility for anything any more, and for them to voluntarily and with humility and sincerity offer to do something for me like this (without my asking!) is way above and beyond what I ever expected.

My utmost respect for the Haynes factory has been renewed and I would recommend them to anyone, without hesitation.

Arlee
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by Arlee »

I am so happy to hear it was worked out and it is great that they were willing to be so helpful about fixing the issue too. Absolutely crazy that the first one was so off though. This had me worried that my friend had just gotten lucky, but I am very glad to hear they were able to redeem themselves and you are now enjoying your flute. :)

andy957
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by andy957 »

Arlee wrote:Absolutely crazy that the first one was so off though. ....but I am very glad to hear they were able to redeem themselves and you are now enjoying your flute. :)
Absolutely so. But the bottom line is that of their own volition, with no questions asked, and without having to receive the original flute back in their factory, the fact they were willing to send out a brand new one, right before a major holiday at their expense overnight from the US to Canada is quite something. Would Yamaha have done that? I doubt it...although I could be wrong.

For the money, I think this is an amazing instrument. Specs:

Sterling head, body and foot joints.
Low B
Offset G
High E facilitator
C# trill
Gizmo key
A=442
White gold springs, French style keys (really like that look and feel, btw!)
Solid case with quality lined case cover

Any questions, feel free to ask, but again, I'd HIGHLY recommend them as a result of the way they treated me as a valued customer and with courtesy, professionalism, friendliness and respect.

Radhibillah
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Re: Amadeus AF-900 (Haynes)

Post by Radhibillah »

I just bought the same flute for my daughter who is switching from a Yamaha. The Haynes Amadeus AF-900 we picked up today has been in their stock since October 2010, so it has been there for awhile. They had it at $2360, but I was able to get it for $2000 even. It has the head piece EIT the Haynes Amedeus label. When we tested it against;
Gemeinhardt 33SB $2530
Amadeus AF900 $2360;
Sonare SF-705 $2300;
Yamaha YF-481 $1775;

My daughter, her teacher and I all felt the Haynes AF-900 stood out as the winner. The one we bought has the C foot, not B.

Do you still have your AF-900 and have any new feedback a year or so later? Please let us know. Thanks!!!!

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