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  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member HeavyWeather77's Avatar
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    Default Where are Pearl flutes made?

    My understanding is that the high-end Pearls are made in Japan, but how about the beginner/intermediate models? I'm specifically curious about the PF-661 because there's one for reasonably cheap at a pawn shop in my town. Are these also made in Japan? Does anyone have experience with these flutes, whether favorable or unfavorable? It seemed to play ok when I played on it briefly in the store, but I couldn't really unleash there. I'm borrowing a Yamaha 361 that I'm growing very attached to but might not be able to buy from the owner, anyone know how a Pearl 661 would compare? Thanks for any answer at all to the above barrage of extremely boring questions.

  2. #2
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    At least some of the higher end Pearl flutes are made in Japan. Others, Taiwan, including, according to this helpful site, Quantz 600 & 700 range, and Elegante 600 range.

    http://www.allflutesplus.co.uk/2006/index.htm

  3. #3
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    I thought they were made in oysters. I have a customer with a 14K gold Pearl for about $9K I think.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Chris Peryagh's Avatar
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    The Pearl reps have never covered up the fact that most of their flutes are made in Taiwan (and the top end ones in Japan) which for me shows their honesty. I saw a Pearl rep recently with a case of flutes (including a solid gold one) and he pointed out when I asked him which were Taiwanese and which were Japanese.

    Another flute company rep I could mention swore through his teeth that their flutes were made in xxxx, but it was obvious they were Taiwanese as there was very little difference between them and the Taiwanese ones going under a different name at the same time.

  5. #5
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    It would be nice if ALL the Pearl agents had such knowledge and honesty.
    And it would be nice if the information were readily available on Pearl's web site.


    BTW thew price goes up to $55000 and more!
    http://www.pearlflutes.com/html/opera.html

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Chris Peryagh's Avatar
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    One of their solid gold flutes was stolen during a recent Frankfurt exhibition, and it already had a top player's name on it! Though I'm sure the player has more back-up flutes than I've had hot dinners.

    Maybe the Pearl UK reps are different - this rep also had a prototype of the new 'Grenadite' piccolo (high density dark grey striped plastic head and body) which several orders have been placed (by some pro orchestral players) before they had officially gone on the market, and for the price they're well worth it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ)
    BTW thew price goes up to $55000 and more!
    From that site: "The Opera Model is a Maesta Model made with Japanese tradition - by a single craftsman, working for an entire year."

    Given that there's a lot of marketing, social expenses, company profit and whatnot in that price, that'd be a rather shabby salary for such a highly skilled craftsperson, no?
    Ben

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  8. #8
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Brian - don't worry about where they're made. I was in a music store recently and, just on a lark, decided to play some of their medium-level flutes and one just blew me away - a Taiwanese Azumi (I know, the name's Japanese). They're made by Altus. I promptly ordered one and am putting my more expensive, current flute up for sale to pay for it. If you dig the Pearl, get it.
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  9. #9
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    The first Altus that came to NZ years ago blew me away, but somebody beat me to buying it. I have not found one so impressive since.

    I am unimpressed with extreme filing-flat of tone holes on some, but not others of Altus flutes.

    I am unimpressed with the sloppy pivots (hence reliability) of stack key pivots & G key of some, but not others, of Pearl flutes.

    I rather suspect, but cannot confirm, that country of origin may have a little to do with it.

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Chris Peryagh's Avatar
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    Jupiter make numerous parts for Altus and many other companies.

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member HeavyWeather77's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, great information! I appreciate your help and will send each of you a personalized $50k Pearl flute as soon as I take over the world. So, middle of next week.

    In the meantime, I'm gravitating toward a Yamaha 461 a friend of mine is selling; I'm already fond of Yamahas and wasn't totally sold on the Pearl when I tried it. I don't innately mistrust Taiwanese instruments after playing some great Cannonballs, but I'm going to go with the rising sun on this one I think. That being said, I'd probably nab the Pearl if I didn't have such a good alternative handy. Anyone in Denton who wants a Pearl, go to Mcbride's on the Square, they have one hidden away amongst a heap of student flutes.

  12. #12
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    When shopping for a high end flute, don't overlook those dealers like The Flute Exchange and others as Pearl, Yamaha and other Asian models tend to be lower priced due to trade ins on US flutes. There are a bunch of small builders who don't have a fancy name that make superb flutes.

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