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Yamaha 211, Trevor James TJ-10X, Jupiter JFL 511-E11

Hello all. Following on my previous post in general, concerning playing woodwind with reduced lung function, I have decided I would like to give the flute a good 'go'.

As the title suggests, there are many secondhand flutes on the various bid sites and in particular the three above seem to be popular as 'student flutes', amongst many older B&H regents / emperors , Germeinhardt, Buffet and so on.

There are also some unbranded new here in the UK for £60-70 and quite frankly I don't know where would be a good place to start. Secondhand Yamaha 211S are up towards £200 plus and over £400 new, not quite at that stage given my health but could be eventually, if I can manage to play it.

Of course I am also reading that some 'cheaper' flutes don't sound well and that it increases the student 'give up' rate because of the poor tones. I am thinking a cheap secondhand flute maybe the way to go but would welcome advice on which, as in a bit of a dilemma.


Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
I would be careful about buying untested quality flutes.
If you know someone in your area that plays flute I would take them to test any out.

Flutes, basically, you generate a tone by blowing over an embouchure hole.
I used to own 3 flutes of my own. An Armstrong 101, 303 and model 80. The 101 being a student, the 303 being an intermediate and the model 80 a professional.

Other than the monikers the 101 had a round and smallish embouchure (EH). This was perfect for a young student to learn how to proper position their airstream and create a tone. The 303 had a larger more oval EH and the model 80 had a larger EH.

After I got my model 80 the tone was much more flexible and easier to produce (solid silver). I loved it. I then tried the 101 again and couldn't produce anything. LMAO.

Also the 101 to the model 80's you'll notice the more advanced ones have what is called Open ToneHoles that, just like the clarinet, require you to cover the hole in it's entirety. You can get plugs. So you can get a more advanced flute with plugs, and remove them when you feel confident enough.

So as you look around there's more to a student / intermediate / pro flute than meets the eye.

Personally, I would stick to a used Yamaha or Germeinhardt as those names are consistent with quality, though as with any used instrument you do have to be careful and hopefully have someone that are familiar with them to test them for you.

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