Is there really a stand-out student or doubling flute?

Discussion in 'The Flute Family: Equipment' started by LoLa, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. LoLa

    LoLa

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    Our doubling flute is a student Armstrong, which was purchased at a Goodwill store - with a complete overhaul, we have less than $200 in it.

    It works just fine as a non-first-line instrument.

    Yet I know that when I worked at band drives where we tried to get students to rent instruments, we stressed the dependability and consistency of Yamahas. Sometimes we would stress a certain brand that had a gold plated head joint (as if that made any difference to a beginner?)

    Any opinions for those who do not play flute as their first instrument but would like to get a decent, resalable instrument?
     
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  2. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Lola,

    Welcome to the community.

    I hope Merlin weighs in on this as I know he plays a bit of flute. My flute is an Emmerson ELD that plays great. I think it has a sterling silver head joint. All I know is that my friends who play flute tell me it plays really well and they're surprised it's just a lowly Emmerson ELD. I picked it up for really cheap.
     
  3. LoLa

    LoLa

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    I thought Merlin played Jupiter everything...?
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    LOL

    Not everything. Most of my clarinets are by other makers.

    I do play a DeMedici flute, and certainly recommend them, but there's a lot of other really great playing flutes out there.

    Yamaha's 400 series is very popular among doublers around here.

    My general advice to anyone playing flute as a double is to concentrate on getting something with a really good head. Don't fret too much about open/closed holes, inline/offset G or B/C foot.
     
  5. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I'd avoid open holes, either by going closed hole or by going with a open holed flute with plugs installed.

    I'd also second the use of a good head joint. I was astounded how much a sterling head joint difference made with my middling to poor flute playing skills. While I'd normally never claim materials make that much difference, with the flute it appears (to me, at least) that they do.
     
  6. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Terry!!! Now I have to try a new head join for the twin Gemeinhardts Suzy and I have. :ugeek:
     
  7. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    The headjoint does make a big difference, but if you are finding a difference with a silver one is is due to the dimensions of the headjoint (including the care with which it is made) and not the metal.

    Toby
     
  8. WoodwindDoubler

    WoodwindDoubler

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    I'm playing on an Altus 907 - It's the middle model of their Artist Series... i.e. the 2nd from the bottom.

    .958 Britannia Silver Head joint
    Sterling silver-plated silver body
    Open-holed, off-set G
    Low B foot


    I LOVE my flute ... it plays really even and in tune in all registers (I had my prof play it - it got the seal of approval). When I was first learning flute and was in the market to buy one, I tried out TONS of flutes ... this one just spoke soooo easy even though I was terrible at the time LOL

    There is definitely a sound difference between the 807 and 907 - same horn, different head joint.

    Anyways ... long story short - check it out. - Altus only makes intermediate/upgrade and pro flutes - no "student" models.
     
  9. Roger Aldridge

    Roger Aldridge Composer in Residence Distinguished Member

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    It's been my experience that silver plated Yamaha student model flutes (with C foot and off-set G) are great for doublers. I'm extremely happy with mine. It has a superb quality of sound, decent intonation, and great projection. Personally, I prefer open tone holes and I've not had any performance problems with them on my Yamaha.

    Roger
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I used to repair flutes .. but that was a LONG time ago.

    I really liked the older stepup instruments, such as the WT Armstrongs 303s which i believe had a sterling headjoint and a larger oval embouchure hole (versus student ones from then which had rounder embouchure holes - good for training). Also the model 90 and 80s were sterling headjoints and bodies.

    I own a model 90 myself and I love the tone from it. several years ago I sold my 303OB (open hole, B foot) as I never really used it. it had a thin headjoint but was still a bit brighter than my 90. The 90 was a heavy instrument by comparison to the 303.
     
  11. metbysax

    metbysax

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    I think a lot depends on your budget.

    I don't think you can wrong with Yamaha flutes.

    I owned a 385 for a while. Then a 581, now an 881. The old 581's and 584's are real values, they were such good flutes, that Yamaha changed the model number to the 684 and started charging a lot more money for them. In my opinion (and in the opinion of many others) the new 5 series aren't near as nice. You might be able to score one of these for around 1200-1500 bucks. if you're a beginner, plug the holes and you'll have a flute that will take you for a long while.

    Even the 200 series are very nice instruments. I can pick up one of my elementary students 200 series and make a very pleasing flute tone on it.

    If you've got around 2000 to blow, the old Haynes closed holes are a favorite of WW doublers, particularly in the pits of good ole Broadway. I recently played a real gem closed hole Haynes at Weissman flutes in NYC and was really impressed by the sound. The scale was a little funky and would take a while to get used to...But, a very pleasing, characteristic flute sound.
     
  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, I still say the Gemeinhardt 3SHBs for $300 (new) are a steal. That's what I paid for two of them last year on eBay. As a doubler, they are probably better than I deserve.
     
  13. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    I recently acquired a mint Amati (202IIS) flute for 100$ - mostly out of curiosity and because I know that brand well enough to know what to expect. To make a long story short, the key action is a whole lot smoother than on my wife's sterling Gemeinhardt, and I find it easier to play, perhaps because of the differently shaped embouchure hole.
    I can't give you a qualified opinion about the tone - what the player hears is rarely what others hear; suffice to say that I didn't hear any fundamental differences between the Gemeinhardt and the Amati. I guess I didn't really reach either's potential. :oops:
    Anyhow, looks "good enough" for me.
     
  14. saxplayer1004

    saxplayer1004

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    I know this is an old thread, but I have, what I consider the perfect doublers flute.
    Vintage Haynes flute, offset G, closed tone holes, C foot. Top grade flute, but doesn't have all the frills of current pro model flutes. As a doubler, the open tone holes and B feet are essentially worthless, and the offset G makes doubling easier for me because it's much more comfortable. Great sound too.

    I also have a Gemeinhardt 3sb that I purchased before the Haynes, that is a good flute, but I can't get used to open holes with inline g's. Too uncomfortable.
     
  15. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Emerson

    I play an Emerson "ELD". It is an open hole model, but came with a set of plugs for the holes. I.e., I could have played it as a closed hole flute (but don't). IIRC, it was pretty reasonably priced at the time.
     
  16. bari_sax_diva

    bari_sax_diva

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    Ditto that, except my flute is an older Muramatsu Standard. Great, handmade flute, and they can be had for not too much bread. It also replaced an open-hole, inline-G flute that really wasn't worth the extra effort.
     

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