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Thread: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sax Hut View Post
    I am interested in knowing about Guo flutes from people who have owned, played, or repaired them.
    Find out if they will be at NAMM in January, and i will play test it for you.
    Life is too short for long tones

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes


    I accepted that you liked this flute. It seemed that what you liked about this flute was the sound. No complaints about that. And it seems that this was about all.

    I don't know you from a bar of soap. So:

    It was reasonable to assume that you may not be unaware that the material for the flute does not make the exotic sound. Most people aren't!

    It was reasonable to assume that if you liked this exotic sound, then you may other exotic flute sounds even more.

    It was reasonable to assume that you did not know that you can buy flutes that produce exotic sounds for a lot less than $2000.

    It was reasonable to assume that you would prefer to pay less than $2000 for an exotic sounding flute. After all, it is probably something like only one person in 1000 in this world who has the luxury of such spending.

    It was reasonable to assume that you are unaware that the mechanism of many flutes are very badly made indeed. Most buyers do not know that.

    It was reasonable to assume from the tenor of your original post, that you were a seeker of information; that you wanted to be as well informed as possible about your possible purchase.

    It was reasonable to assume from the tenor of your first post that you would appreciate a lot more discussion on this flute than you received in other flute forums.

    In my replies, my intention was to respond as best and helpfully as I could, given the assumptions. In my last post, I even included a couple of smileys to indicate a pleasant offering, rather than anything negative.

    This is a casual forum, not unlike people who just happen to be together, say at a party, and discussing any topic that comes up, from their perspective.

    If you don't want to generate discussion, Or don't want to hear the perspective of others, then best not to initiate it. A forum may not be the place for you.

    Incorrect assumptions are easily made when there is no body language, facial expression, or tone of voice present. If you see an assumption is being incorrectly made, then best not to go into a hissy fit about it and attack somebody. Identify the misunderstanding and calmly correct it. (eg it would have made a huge difference if you stated that you had plenty money to spend, and you liked taking risks.)

    In my last post I went to considerable trouble to attempt to assist you in your pursuit of an exotic flute sound that you liked, without a significant chance of being ripped off by a possibly unscrupulous marketer.

    Your reaction has been to slap me. Not nice.

    Well that is my understanding. If I got it wrong, I am open to my misconception being calmly and pleasantly corrected.

    Also, remember that any thread is not just for you. It is being read by many other interested people, so some posts are to provide balancing information and opinion for them, rather than for specifically you.

    If you detest so much, anything that I and others write, then it is a simple matter of not reading what we write. Leave those posts for others who are interested.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  3. #23
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Saxhut, you might want to have a look here:


    There is a guy on that forum with a Guo flute, and perhaps you can ask him directly.

    The flute seems to be poorer in high partials than a standard design, at least as far as he reports. That's fine if you like that kind of sound; personally I prefer a clearer sound, if I am right about how this flute sounds. I have had and played wooden flutes with that rounded, "woody" sound so beloved of Celtic players. Nothing wrong with that if that is what you are looking for, nor can I comment definitively without actually testing the flute.

    I think we can safely assume that the difference in tone color he describes is due to the head geometry and perhaps the smoothness of the bore rather than the material. There are certain mechanical advantages to a composite, such as the fact that it will not dent (nor crack like wood), and the thickness would allow for chamfering of the toneholes, although I don't know if they have done this.

    Here is an interesting pdf file which I found and which I recommend to everyone interested in flute history or repair. I can't post the link since it is elided, but google for:

    An Illustrated Basic Flute Repair Manual for Professionals

    He has section on the newer developments in flute design, such as the Kingma and Brogger systems, and has a description of the Guo flute. Actually it sounds quite intriguing, and appears to be both intelligently designed and well thought out and manufactured. Grenaditte is apparently a composite of plastic and fiberglass, not carbon fiber, and the mechanism is a modified Brogger system.

    Check this out as well:


    After reading these I would be interested in testing this flute as well.


  4. #24
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Thank you Toby. I had read the C&F thread earlier but the repair manual is new to me and a big plus in other ways.

  5. #25
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sax Hut View Post
    Thank you Toby. I had read the C&F thread earlier but the repair manual is new to me and a big plus in other ways.
    New to me, too, and indeed a good find


  6. #26
    Distinguished SOTW Member shmuelyosef's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by bandmommy View Post
    I see this type of behaviour all the time between my rams.
    Too many "Butt Heads" in the barnyard....
    Someone always has to try to prove superiority.
    ....i.e. mine's bigger than yours...
    btw, I play alto flute, too
    "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading" --- Henny Youngman

  7. #27

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes


    I have a Grenaditte a flute, which I purchased from Flute Specialists for about $2,500 (now there is some on Ebay, new, for only $2,000 from a different authorized dealer).

    I like it. I liked it the minute I played it, and I still like it very much. I did a YouTube video awhile back with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYIXCAm9k4w (the white band is the seller's inventory marking, I left it on during my trial/return period, when I made this video) This is not prestidigitation, but just the sound, especially the low register. It is very nice, I think.

    But, the most impressive thing, and I do mean to say that this is quite revolutionary compared to any flute I've ever played, is the intonation. The Guo flute plays in tune, period. The only trouble I've had is undoing the numerous little "adjustments" I have to make to my embouchure with all of my other flutes. And it plays in tune for loud and soft volumes. For someone who doesn't play flute all the time, this would be very, very helpful.

    The mechanism looked suspect when I first saw it, but after playing and handling it, I can say that it is quite nice, durable, and it stays in adjustment very well. If it did drift a bit, it would be very easy to adjust yourself, if you have the correct fitting screw driver, because all of the links are screw adjusted and not adjusted with shims. The pads are very impressive - I think they will last almost forever. Apparently, if they do wear, they can just be reversed and put back in as both sides are identical. I will look into using these pads for my other flutes (or Omni pads) when next they get repadded. I also want to say that the flute came beautifully fitted, it needed no adjustment, and has not needed any since.

    I like the lightness of the flute. The silver flute I play is an Uebel from East Germany with a split-E and C# keys, which make it rather heavy. I play it with a LaFin headjoint, this is better than the Guo, but what do you expect - you get something with a $4,000 headjoint, I hope. I also have two Haynes, a handmade, closed-hole, 1947 model, and a commercial closed-hole model, and a wooden Uebel flute. The handmade is quite light, for a silver flute, but still noticably heavier than the Guo. The wood Uebel flute (which I play an Abell wood headjoint on) is also quite a bit heavier than the Guo.

    The Guo flute handles very nicely. It is quick, an extremely quick mechanism, the key layout is very comfortable and instinctive. The springs are quite light, and the keys are featherlight, which takes a little adaptation, though that turns to mostly be going as fast as you want and not worrying about the fact there is less inertia - which is where the differences in feel is coming from. I can say that I've not played another flute that handled better in terms of key action quickness, smoothness, and speed.

    When I record with it, it is not much different from a silver flute, to my ear, and I like the sound qute a bit. The LaFin is louder, and has a more powerful low end, but the Guo is much better than most flutes. I also have, or have had, headjoints by Uebel, both reform and conventional, Drelinger (wood), Abell (wood), and have tried out for about a week headjoints by Nagahara, Dana Sheridan, Brannen-Cooper, Haynes, and Gooseman, when I decided on the LaFin. And I'd say that I like the Guo headjoint more than these, except the Drelinger and LaFin. Don't forget, the Guo headjoint is hand cut, and Guo is a top-flight flute maker whose silver flutes go for much more than $10,000.

    I think, for the money, that this is probably the most professional flute you are going to find. It seems very durable and, so, it is likely perfect for a new player.

    BTW, I have up two websites about two Haynes handmade silver flutes, one I've sold, and the other I'm planning to sell - the focus of another post, but I also have some sound files there I've made with those flutes, so you can see some other things I play, and that I really do have some nice flutes to compare the Guo to,


    Dave Harris
    Last edited by flautist; 12-12-2009 at 06:02 PM. Reason: correcting stupid errors and adding random thoughts

  8. #28
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Dave, thanks for that detailed review. I have two handmade silver flutes with which I am very satisfied, but if I were going to audition a new flute these days I think I would most definitely put the Guo on my shortlist to try.


  9. #29

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    I have a Guo "New Voice" flute in what appears to be white PVC. It is quite nice and people I show it to like the way it vibrates in their hands. It is very ligtweight and would be good for someone with arthritis or somesuch. It would alo be nice if you lived in Hawaii where there is a lot of corrosive salt in the air. I take it when I travel since the sound is nice and light, like what Paul Desmond might have sounded like on a bamboo flute. It is less likely to disturb someone in the next hotel room. When I go back to my regular set-up (Pearl Elegante adjusted by Randy Jones in Waterloo, IA with a Drelinger Karritium headjoint) it just flies beautifully compared to the Guo. It's kind of like training with weights on your feet.

    I ordered a Grenaditte flute but my teacher and I both agree that it just kind of sits there like a dead fish compared to the New Voice. I also have Grenaditte and New Voice headjoints set up to fit in my Elegante. Just so-so.

    If you are looking for a different sound, the New Voice in whatever color is a nice way to go for the price of a decent replacement headjoint.

    Be cool,
    Tom Zappe

  10. #30

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    I actually tried and bought a Guo "New Voice" composite flute a few days ago at the New York Flute Fair. I was not looking to buy and was trying instruments, going around tables and playing the most expensive flutes in the world, silver, gold platinum, with none of them really knocking my socks off until I tried the Guo.

    You can feel it vibrate through your fingers. The response is wonderful and it is so light and free. Last night I had the opportunity to try it in a professional situation with a 30-piece orchestra and it performed flawlessly. Another flute player approached me after. He was surprised that he could hear me across the room through the orchestra.

    It is hard to believe, but that Guo flute is a winner!

  11. #31

    Red face Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by soybean View Post
    Find out if they will be at NAMM in January, and i will play test it for you.
    Guo flutes will have a booth at NFA this year.

    38th Annual National Flute Association Convention
    Booth: #219
    Showcase Time : 13 , AUG

    Part Ⅰ 10:00 am – 10:25 am
    Part Ⅱ 10:45 am – 11:10 am

    If you have any questions about our flutes,
    please let me know or email me,we will answer all the questions at our showcase time.

    Look forward to hearing from you.


  12. #32

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    We are glad that you like the flutes!
    Last edited by Pearly; 06-08-2010 at 08:40 AM. Reason: *.*

  13. #33

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    I've played a friends GUO flute for around 1/2 hr.

    IMHO, its pretty amazing. Hard to believe that its plastic, or whatever its made out of. Even the pads are some sort of plastic. The headjoint cut is really comfortable, and overall, I have to say, it plays like a "real" flute...and better than alot of other "real" flutes.

    Is it better than a super high end Muramatsu, or old Powell....no, but for some people, I could see it being their main flute, esp. doublers, or a spare flute for an owner of a real expensive flute, that has to play outdoor gigs, or in bars, etc.

    An experienced player can make this thing do whatever a "real" flute does. I believe that.

    I also believe that, technologically, we are just at the beginning of a new era of wind instrument manufacturing. If the Guo is the state of the art in "artificial" material flutes in 2010, I wonder what we'll see in 2030.

    I really think this is just the beginning.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    I jsut got one of these & I am very impressed with the sound & construction of this flute. I get e new voice in white. I am going to take it to te local flautists & see how they respond.Somehow I can see this is the future of instruments...........
    Dirk zeylmans

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by dzve View Post
    I jsut got one of these & I am very impressed with the sound & construction of this flute. I get e new voice in white. I am going to take it to te local flautists & see how they respond.Somehow I can see this is the future of instruments...........
    and it was great!!

    I'm not sure we'll see people playing these in orchestras in time soon, the flute world can be pretty narrow minded!
    BUT, these play wonderfully- and as Black Obelisk said, if this is the beginning I wonder where things will go form here!
    The flute that Dirk showed me played with a big, centered sound, with ease (!) especially up in the 3rd octave.
    I think I like the look of the Grenaditte flutes better (the dark grey), but for the money the New Voice flutes should be very popular with folk players, latin, rock and anything outdoors.
    If only they made one with an off-set mechanism.

  16. #36

    Wink Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sax Hut View Post
    Hello all,

    I posted on a flute forum and haven't received any responses yet that address my questions, so, let me repeat them here (SOTW after all seems to have a more active flute forum than some other sites):

    I've seen some anecdotal comments on vendor websites or ads suggesting this flute has been updated in some way since it first hit the market.

    Any of you playing this flute regularly? I like what I hear in several of the youtube demos I've watched. I'm curious about the mechanism, how durable it is, whether it is crafted to a professional level, or on a par with something less. I.e., is the price reflective more of the material novelty than the craftmanship? My guess is these flutes have not been on the market long enough to allow definitive conclusions about how well or poorly the mechanics hold up -- not just in terms of adjustment but also wear along bearing surfaces, etc. The material is proprietary and my understanding is the key hinges are also Grenaditte (albeit mounted on the usual steels). Not sure how the posts are mounted on the body proper.

    As to cosmetics, I actually like the way these flutes look (to each their own....).

    While I'm at it, anyone using one of the Grenaditte headjoints on a standard flute, and how do you like it? Is the tone comparable to that from a Grenaditte flute, or something else altogether?

    Last, anyone using the G-treble flute model? I don't much care for the "look" of the keys (I assume they also are Grenaditte cast) but again, looks are unimportant.

    Only other brand I know of using Grenaditte is Pearl, with one of its piccolo models. No clues how it compares with a "real" wooden piccolo in terms of sound or response....

    Hello Sax Hut!
    I'm new to the forum, but just had to answer your post! I actually DO own a Guo Flute! Mine is a "New Voice" C Flute, white with black keys. Having met Mr. Guo himself, and Mark Dannenbring, who beautifully demonstrates the upscale quality of the Guo Grenaditte Flute on YouTube, I am convinced that these flutes are not just a "novelty item."

    Just to be sure, I took my Guo Flute to a reputable woodwind repair shop, who dismantled it and studied it closely. Verdict? Different, but nonetheless a valid flute.

    Calling the material that these flutes are made of, "plastic," is the understatement of the decade! Yet many people who have seen and heard my flute have called it either "plastic" or "pvc." (I have an engineering degree myself, and over a decade in product development/quality focusing often on injected molded resins.) Mr. Guo has worked closely with Mr. Dannenbring to produce a refined material especially for this application! It's more than just a plastic. It does not scratch. (I held my breath as Mr. Guo rubbed a metal file across a New Voice C flute. It made no mark.) It does not dent. I drop my headjoint periodically, just to watch people's faces. I have played it in temperatures ranging from 30 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Expansion coefficient seems negligible in this range. Er, uh... they stay on pitch. To echo Mr. Guo's sentiments...engineering a new "resin" for such a refined purpose is an expensive process. Very expensive. Not only do you have to invent the material, but you have to invent the mold that forms the material. Thus the price.

    Mr. Guo is also proud of the fact that the material and manufacturing method for the Grenaditte flutes is such that the density can be controlled, and in fact, is purposely different from one end of the flute to the other.

    For anyone wondering about key pads, they are silicon rubber. Same as a baby's pacifier! They do not seat against soldered tone holes. So they don't wear a groove like the conventional pads. They seat against a smooth, flat surface. Could be hard to wear them out!

    (The posts are mounted to the body with screws. It is possible that they are put in place with adhesive, and then reinforced with the screws.)

    The New Voice flutes are easy to play. They sound easily in all octaves. I play my Guo C Flute all the time. I love it because it has a woodsy texture to the sound, but the mechanism is quick and responsive. You can feel the column of air resonating inside the tube while you play. It handles like the intermediate to professional model conventional flutes that I have played for decades. Of course, I find that the trill keys are just a bit shorter than I am accustomed to, but they are not difficult by any means.

    Finally, everywhere I go, people want to play this flute. A very sophisticated flute playing friend of mine tried my New Voice C Flute. She immediately bought a Grenaditte C Flute! Now she prefers it over her very expensive wooden flute!

    I have played the other flutes in the product line. My particular favorite is the Grenaditte Bass, and the New Voice Bass. They are lightweight, and much easier to get a good sound in all ranges, than popular bass flutes of conventional materials.

    I have played the Grenaditte Piccolo, and immediately after, played a wooden pic. Wooden pic is woodier sounding, but not much. For ease of play, I prefer the Guo. For price, I'll still take the Guo.

    I like these flutes so much, that I have incorporated them into my "show" and have begun to sell them on my website! For more information, check out


    Glad you asked. Hope this helps.
    --Toot Uncommon

  17. #37

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    I recently purchased a used Hammig wood flute from Flute Center of New York, but the headjoint doesn't have the projection or clarity that I prefer. However, Phil Unger at Flute Center also had a selection of new and used wood headjoints. So I decided to purchase from Phil a Geoffrey Guo composite headjoint that looks just like the grenadilla of my flute. The sound is amazing. I'm not saying that another wood flute headjoint wouldn't sound as good -- just that the Guo headjoint (at $350) suits my needs perfectly.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes

    For what it's worth, they are coming out with an alto flute line next year. I'm interested in that.

  19. #39

  20. #40

    Default Re: Guo Grenaditte composite flutes: Two years later

    I posted about my Grenaditte flute on this thread two years ago, and now I can do a follow-up.

    At the risk of sounding boring, it still plays perfectly. Nothing has gotten out of adjustment. It still sounds great. Everything I said about it before remains true today. The mechanism still is very tight, light, and solid. The keys are fast, the fastest and lightest of any flute I've tried. There is still zero play in the mechanism.

    But, I only play in my own studio, and my flutes always sit on pegs as I'm certain that dissassembly/reassembly is a major cause of wear and damage to flutes. So, I avoid it. But, I have pulled the headjoint 100's of times, and it still fits tight.

    However, I have, since then, invested in several new silver headjoints for my other flutes, and now it is clear that the Guo is quieter than the best of them and it has somewhat less ability to shift colors. But, then a LaFin headjoint costs quite a bit more than the Grenaditte flute, in total.

    So, what I'm making, as I have time, is an adapter to let me play my silver headjoints on my Grenaditte flute. My preliminary results are very promising, as these headjoints keep their tones and volume in the Guo body.

    I've not tried a New Voice, though, and it may be different. I also have a Guo composite headjoint for my silver flutes, and it is very nice; excellent intonation and articulation, and lots of volume. For the money, $350, I don't think anybody else's can touch it and it might be an excellent upgrade to any lower-end flute. But, it is still not in the same league with my best headjoints.

    Dave Harris

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