Hunting for a new pro flute.

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    Default Hunting for a new pro flute.

    I am currently chasing down a new Pro Flute, the solid silver handmade or top of the line semi handmade drawn tone hole models. Here are a few conclusions as I almost go mad trying to figure out which one is best for my purposes.

    All Flutes are open holes, some C and some B foots, some inline and some off set G.... some with C# trill mechanism, most without. All where played with the same solid gold tube/ solid platinum lip plate and riser headjoint. My requirements are a flute that will project well for Latin Jazz/ Cuban music, handle pit work (when requried) have enough projection to cut over an electric band on mic without sounding thin, (Eq can only enhance what is already there, it cant add to what is not there to begin with) and light classical ensemble work. This is a big ask for any instrument!

    Muramatsu EX....A very nice flute, great keywork but some how lacking oomph in the bottom end and somewhat thin in the high end. A very easy blowing flute but not enough depth to the tone.

    Muramatsu GX...
    Perhaps my favourite Flute, lighter in sound than the AD model and lacking in depth and solidity of tone inthe bottom end and top end is somewhat thinner than I would like. The standard headjoint was very nice, very crystalline and pure in sound. Overall, a very nice flute.

    Muramatsu AD...(used)
    A very solid rich sound, lots of power and depth in the bottom end, big and solid in the top but lacked the zing of the GX. It is a much softer flute in terms of overall volume than the GX. One concern is solid silver mechanism being more delicate and requiring more trips to the repair shop than a plated mechanism. I doubt that the silver mechanism adds much to the overall resonance of the flute when compared to the plated mechanism. The C foot had more power and projection than the B foot.

    Muramatsu DS...Excellent flute, negligible differences between this and the AD, the AD was slightly darker and not as well set up as the DS model. Bottom end and top end response where almost identical and any differences that were perceived could easily be rectified by a set-up.

    Overall, the keywork of the Muramatsu and hand position felt identical in all models, the inline G AD model was uncomfortable and I noticed a tendency to cramp the left wrist when playing this flute.

    Next was the other big Japanese flutes.

    Miyazawa (I tried 3 different models).
    These flutes all had a bright sparkling sound, cramped keywork for large hands and sounded thin when pushed. Response was very nice but they lacked depth in the bottom end (no C foot available to test). The top end was very brittle indeed, worse with the factory headjoint. Overall I found it too cramped to play and thin sounding which makes it easy to play but there needs to be more resistance in the flute so as to be able to get the full dynamic contrasts in all registers.

    Prima Sankyo,
    Nice flute, keywork was good but it was all top end and lacked any low mids to the sound. It played effortlessly, spoke well and responded very quickly. A great flute for fast playing but once again was weak in the extremities of the range.

    John Lehner,
    Hand made solid silver flute, B or C foot (I tried two different solid silver Flutes). This was a very resistant flute, had a big dark sound in all registers, excellent keywork (solid silver). The bottom end was resonant and top end spoke effortlessly. Overall a very liveable Flute with lots of colours available in the tonal palate. Drawbacks are price and potential of the solid silver keywork to require more attention more often than plated keywork.

    Hand made Solid Gold flute,This was the best one I had tried yet, much darker than the solid silver, incredibly responsive in both the bottom end and the upper range. Keywork was fantastic, C# trill key worked beautifully. It was by and large the loudest of the low B foot joint flutes. The keywork felt more solid than the silver flutes, even more solid than the Muramatsu AD models. Scale was excellent, intonation effortless. The downside was the price.......how much are kidney's worth these days?

    Jupiter/ Demidici/ Altus
    Jupiter 711,
    A very nice flute, quite brittle but effortless to play, spoke well in all registers but lacked depth of tone. Value for money wise, a very, very nice flute. The difference between this and the Miyazawas was minimal, scale was excellent and intonation good. The standard headjoint was less than inspiring.

    Dimedici,
    Also a very good flute but as for differences between this and the jupiter, I couldn't really tell. The standard Headjoint was better but with my headjoint, the lack of depth in the low end and top range became very apparent. Great value for money but I would probably buy the Jupiter which appears to be identical and cheaper.

    Altus,
    907...

    A not very inspiring Flute, very light tone and easy to play but lacked depth of tone. I found that it felt like playing a better set-up Demidici. I would expect more for the price difference.

    1107..
    Very slight differences between this and the 907, same lack of depth to the tone colour, played effortlessly but I found it too easy to over power the instrument. I guess I was spoilt playing the other offerings.

    More to come as I check out the Yamahas, some other very expensive offerings. I fear that I have Champagne tastes with a beer budget. Please feel free to offer any other thoughts, advice and ideas of what to look at....

    My ideal budget is $6 to $10K USD.

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    Quite a project there! Are you looking at instruments that you can buy locally, or are you open to globalization, as it were? There is a flute shop in NYC that has a bountiful bevy of gorgeous flutes under 10K, and the proprietor is a friend of mine. http://www.flutes4sale.com It's the Flute Center of New York, and he will send you anything to try.

    Have you considered getting a Haynes? A very good used Haynes will run you usually less than 5K, and there are some VERY VERY nice instruments from "back in the day". (I personally HATE new Haynes flutes, but the older ones are gold!)

    I would also recommend that you consider the Powell Conservatory models. (which is the flute that I'm holding in my avatar photo, by the way). Even the Aurumite, which has a 9K gold exterior, is under 10K, with trill key and G disk. They are a powerhouse of a flute, and can handle ANYTHING. There are also a ton of used Powells in your budget range.

    Also worth considering is a flute that I've recently discovered and become very enamored of, the Sakurai. If you find one, try it. You may just love it, and they're quite inexpensive, comparatively.

    Keep us updated on your search!

    :-)

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    Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke. Bootman's Avatar
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    I owned a Couple of Haynes in the past but they were all closed hole models and when playing these closed hole Flutes I find that I miss certain nuances of inflection that you can get with open hole flutes. There are many who will say there is no difference but if you need to do Irish or African music, you require finger slides and finger articulation which doesn't happen as easily or not at all on a closed hole flute.

    I have played a few Powells and I will check out the new Conservatory models. The Sakurai sounds interesting, yet another brand I haven't heard of. Thanks for the input. I feel that I have opened a huge can of worms here and potentially will choose the most expensive Gold flute but then face the reality of I cant afford it and settle for the second or third choice.

    Any used gold Flutes available for a reasonable price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootman
    I am currently chasing down a new Pro Flute, the solid silver handmade or top of the line semi handmade drawn tone hole models. .......

    All where played with the same solid gold tube/ solid platinum lip plate and riser headjoint. My requirements are a flute that will project well for Latin Jazz/ Cuban music, handle pit work (when requried) have enough projection to cut over an electric band on mic without sounding thin, ........

    My ideal budget is $6 to $10K USD.
    Did you play all these flutes with the same headjoint? Or did you mean that you played each of these flutes with each manufacturer's headjoint with the spec of solid gold tube, platinum riser?

    That being an unknown (for me) I would also suggest given the similar tendencies that you try something different in terms of headjoint construction. You might like any of these flutes with a wood headjoint. That would certainly go well in the Latin/Cuban variety. I think the gold tube/platinum riser combination can be subjectively construed as "thin" although very resistant. You should also try various cuts for different tone, response, and feel.

    Modern flutes are more responsive and, in my opinion, have gotten "brighter".
    If you are looking for some depth to the sound I would look to a particular headjoint for each of these situations. Ardal Powell's wood headjoints would make a nice compliment for the Latin/Cuban style and could be used for those other circumstances.

    Here's their Faq with a list of places you can try their headjoints (Folkers and Powell
    http://www.headjoints.com/faq.html

    I've had them here for my own flute shows with very positive feedback from players with similar requirements. It's at least worth a try.

    6-10K price range has a boat load of flutes. You should be able to find something in that category to suit your requirements. Don't forget to try different cuts with these heads.

    You might also like one of Landell's Titanium heads for what you are looking for. They are pricey but can give you the depth of tone and flexibility that you are looking for if you find the right one.

    It sounds to me, more like you are trying to find a good headjoint for your needs. As far as the body is concerned, any of these that you find comfortable will do you fine and can trade off price for the cost of the headjoint that will serve your purpose.

    Joe B

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    Nice to see posting again, Bootman!

    Thanks for the review on the various Muramatsu flutes. They are hard to find around here to try.

    I play a Powell Signature flute with a Philharmonic cut head. It is semi bright with lots of shades and colors. I like it better than the Signature head. Your taste seems to run on dark side. I just tried a friends wooden Powell with a Boston cut. You might like the darkness of that flute. Plays like a dream but the price tag is 13.000$! Powell also makes the Traditional cut on the wooden heads-hight resistance (no undercutting). I don't think they make it in gold or silver anymore, but I could be mistaken. Powell offers other types of cuts like the Soloist and the Ransom Wilson cuts which I haven't tried but am curious about.

    Another friend has the handmade Aurumite with a traditional cut head-talk about DARK. That's an interesting cut but it's not for me.

    You're budget could be within 1000$ of the handmade Powells (one level above the Conservatory model), you certainly should try these.

    The new Powells have the Straubinger style pads which are great when they are working. The required touch on the keys is so light that it might take you a while to get used to it but when you do it will make very fast runs incredibly easy and effortless. The downside is that you have to find the right tech(straubinger certified tech) to be certain that they are set up right. The average unfamiliar tech could ruin them.

    Many Cuban flutists use wood flutes (5 key system, conical bore). These are difficult to play. I think the wooden Powells are a good substitute.

    I sure wish I was in your shoes right now chasing these flutes. Ivy

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    If you want gold, go to http://www.fluteworld.com and go to Instruments, then Used Instruments.

    There is a solid gold Pearl for around 8K, and a solid gold Lamberson for about 7K. There is also a wood Yamaha for around 5...tons of great stuff.

    My only advice is to try absolutely as many flutes as possible. You can get all the recommendations you want, but as I'm sure you know, the only way is to play them all and see what you like!

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    Joe,
    I am playing everything with my Gold tube, platinum riser/ lip headjoint. This headjoint is anything but thin in tone. I also tried it with the makers own supplied headjoint. I have played this partiucular Lehner solid gold tube solid platinum lip for the last 4 years. The head joint fits me like a well worn pair of jeans.

    I have delved long and hard to find the particular headjoint I use with John Lehner (Flutemakers guild of Australia) and have picked his brain about flutes for many. many years. My findings on the flutes I tried are how they worked for me, others may and probably will find different tendencies in the same flutes. I am not looking for easy to play, I am looking for a full bodied tone in all registers to the extremes of the range. I am being overly picky on the sound I want because buying a new or used pro flute is a serious investment. I have a sound concept in my head of how I want the sound to be when I play it and when I find the right combination, I will know it within seconds.

    Ivy,
    I haven't tried the new Powells yet but I have played several older Powells which were fantastic but not my favoured sound or feel. I would love to try and get hold of a wood flute and will have a hunt around here to see what is available.

    I personally own a couple of Ironwood Fifes that are exceptional, one particular 8 hole C fife in Cooktown Ironwood (Aussie native timber) simply plays itself. I have a wooden headjoint of this material too which is also a knock out. The only drawback I see to a wooden flute is the extremes of weather we tend to get in Australia. We have to be really careful with wooden clarinets here because of extreme heat, below zero cold (I know hard to believe but it does snow here too).

    WWNYC,
    Your comments and thoughts make perfect sense to me. I had planned to test drive everything I could get my hands on. The only drama wiht getting a flute from NY is that I live in Sydney and most international sellers aren't want to send instruments on apro to the other side of the world.

    My main concern is to test drive everything available and then pick from there. I had thought about a few Yamaha's but Yamaha pro flutes aren't common here at all. I guess I should try the Burkharts, the Powells and a Brannen too. I had thought them out of my price range but if they are that good then money can be found.

    Thanks for all your inputs, it is greatly appreciated. I will keep the hunt up to date. The main thing is not to rush into anything without investigating all options.

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    Further test drives.

    Today I trried my best to get hold of one of the Yamaha wooden 874-wh flutes to no avail as there apparently according to Yamaha none bought into the country. The positive was that they did have a Powell wooden flute there that was simply amazing, it was as close as I have come to Flute Nirvana yet. The sound was dark and haunting, full of colour, flexible and had a huge dynamic range. The timbre was even throughout all registers too. The only down side was the price was significantly over budget.

    The other flutes I tested today where.

    Sankyo 501, 701 and a used 901 flute.
    These sankyos where significantly better than the other models I play tested before. Nice and clean, clear tone and still had a bright singing quality to the tone. The 901 was significantly more vibrant and rich than the other two models, keywork ws light and delicate, hand position was good. Overall a very, very nice flute but I felt that I needed more oomph than I was able to get from these flutes.

    Altus 1607, a nice playing flute but the keywork felt cramped. Tone was thinner than the Sankyos (using factory and my head joint), very pure and crystalline but not the sound I am looking for. These woudl make someone very happy if they were chasing a dainty sound. It would be a fantastic classical flute.

    Powell,
    Signature series.

    A lovely Flute with a rich dainty tone, very light in the extremities of each register. The supplied headjoint was nice and vibrant to play. A sweet flute to play but the sund wasnt complex or dark enough for what I was looking for. Conservatory, A ripper of a flute, nice keywork and big sound. A great classical sound that articulated very effortlessly in all register at varying dynamics. The bottom end ws lush and vibrant, the top end spoke sweetly as well. Overall a very liveable flute but not the completely the sound I was looking for. Powell Conservatory Arumite. This was an amazing instrument to play, the timbre and eveness of scale, projection coupled with a rich dark core to the sound made it a fantastic choice of Flute. The down side was the cost was more than I wished to spend and the fact that I would be terrified in taking it out to a lot of gigs. It did make the short list of Flutes to really consider again!

    Powell Grenadilla,
    This was a real eye opener, the sound was dark and lush, reminiscent of a good Irish flute. The tonal flexibility was huge and it was amazingly loud pure and solid. The darkness was similar to an Alto flute at times. The top end with the supplied headjoint was slightly harder work but I feel that more investigation with various headjoint options would be time well spent. The keywork was fantastic, light but solid feeling and in a very comfortable position for large hands. Overall, I could live with a flute like this which jsut felt so alive in your hands when you played it.

    Muramatsu AD heavywall. (used)
    This was also a very comfortable feel to play, hand position and keywork where great, sound was very rich and complex with my headjoint and beautiful with factory headjoint. Intonation was excellent as where the complexity in the tone of the upper and lower ranges. It felt like a man's flute, the more air you gave it the better it liked it. It would also play at a whisper handle 2 octave leaps with ease. I felt very much at home with this flute too.

    Today's sorte answered many questions for me and posed several more. My current short list is heavywall Muramatsu, Powell gold Clad Arumite Conservatory, Lehner Solid Gold, Wooden Powell and Lehner solid silver handmade. All of which are getting above the set budget I had in mind. I have a lot more thinking and experimenting to do but I am leaning towards the wood flute which can be found in US stores much cheaper than here but if I go that route, I lose out on the ability to play test the instrument before I purchase it and warranty advantage of buying locally. There is also the advantage of beign able to change the headjoint 4 times in the first 12 months of purchase without cost. These are considerable advantages and are giving me some serious food for thought.

    In an ideal world I would happily have the Muramatsu AD heavywall and the wooden Powell but the Budget can't possibly stretch this far. There needs to be a compromise and I will have to work out which way to go or what to sell off to afford them both. I fear that there is much more anxiety now than there was before, more options equals more stress. Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

    How much for a kidney on ebay this week?

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    Bootman said:
    "Powell Grenadilla,
    This was a real eye opener, the sound was dark and lush, reminiscent of a good Irish flute. The tonal flexibility was huge and it was amazingly loud pure and solid. The darkness was similar to an Alto flute at times. The top end with the supplied headjoint was slightly harder work but I feel that more investigation with various headjoint options would be time well spent. The keywork was fantastic, light but solid feeling and in a very comfortable position for large hands. Overall, I could live with a flute like this which jsut felt so alive in your hands when you played it."


    I had a very similar impression of this flute. The tonal flexibility also allowed you to even sound like a silver/gold flute with a little effort. About 10 years ago, Powell used to offer the headjoints in 3 types of wood. One of which was Australian ironwood- believe it or not, I liked the sound of that wood the best. With all the possible combinations of cuts and wood, it makes it kinda difficult.

    If you find the right one -it's heaven on earth, but hell for the wallet.
    Good luck!

    do you think you can live with both kidneys out?

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    Boot - Sorry I haven't gotten back to you on the Link. I played a Yamaha wood that a customer had on loan from the Yammy guys and it was really good. I think I could live without a metal flute with that one. They offered it to him for $3,800 (he plays with a well known artist) and I have seen them around lately (ebay or usedflutes.com, I forget) for around $5K. The heads are thinned and they fit together like a metal flute, no corks as I remember so you could also fit the metal head.

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    I know that we keep going over this, but the material really doesn't make any difference. If you found a gold flute that you like, it has to do with the bore and perhaps the quality of manufacture, not with the metal. So don't expect that any old gold flute is going to give you what you are looking for, any more than silver flutes sound and respond the same.

    Flute keys have such mechanical rigidity that the relative softness of silver as compared to plated nickel is not a factor in reliability, unless you step on the flute or drop it, in which case it will be the body that takes the major hit. Things are completely different here than on sax, with big old keys and long rods.

    Similarly with wooden flutes: I've had two, a Rudall Carte and a Haynes. Both were nice, but again, it is the bore and not the material. Wooden instruments do allow tone hole chamfering, which can very positively affect response though. You have to be careful with wooden instruments, as they do crack occasionally, and there can be problems with wood splintering at the edges of tone holes sometimes.

    I recently played a whole bunch of good flutes--a bunch of Powell handmades, Hayneses, some various Hammigs, Rudall Carte, Lot, gold Sankyo, wooden Rudall Carte, etc. Each was unique and different. The ones I liked best were not the most expensive (A cheaper Powell and a Hammig). Your best bet is just to keep looking, as each flute is a unique individual, even while there may be some family resemblances. I spent 10 years going through flutes before I settled on an Almeida with a Powell Cooper head. The Almeida head joint is mediocre, and the Powell body is not quite up to the Almeida, so I keep that combo as my spare. There is no telling when you are going to come across "the" instrument. The best you can do is try all the flutes you can get your hands on.

    Toby
    Last edited by kymarto; 07-12-2006 at 08:34 AM.

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    Bruce and Toby,
    Thanks for some sage advice. I have yet to find a Yamaha wooden Fltue here, no one seems to have one that I can play test. So inthe absence of any of these I will unfortunately have to scratch them off my list. As for the best Flute not always being the most expensive, this is true of my findings too. The search for the right Flute is still on in earnest and I am playing it cool until the right one comes along. I dont have to get one straight away, I can wait and put up with what I have got.

    I havent played a Rudall Carte wood Flute for years, they are a little difficult to locate here although I do own a Rudall Carte Pic. The Powell I played the other day was startling, it felt so alive when you played it. I guess this is now on the agenda list to look into further. The Muramatsu too was very, very nice, it too felt alive in my hands and suited the sound concept I was hearing in my head. (yes I hear voices and noises in my head).

    One of the biggest issues is affordability, but this is secondary to finding the right flute. The sound I am looking for is so hard to put into words that actually make sense, I am looking for a large variety of tone colours, (The Powell Grenadilla had this). I am also looking for enough volume so that it will cut through an electric ensemble when used on mic plus still retain depth of tone and not go shrill. I am not looking for exactly the ultra beautiful rich resonant pure tone, I want a little dirt in there too. The Muramatsu heavy wall gave me this sound, it was very nice, resoant, powerful yet would whisper ppp when required . It nic ean even in reponse, played better inthe upper range than the Powell but had a little more warmth in the lower and mid range. Both had fantastic qualities to the sound, each was very different but as to which was better, I just don't know! I guess will probably have to do like I did with saxes and buy them both.

    More on the saga as we get along further into it.

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    Bootman,

    I certainly know what you mean about wanting an instrument that feels "alive" in your hands. I recently played a gold Sankyo that had a wonderful, huge sound, easy to blow, but which didn't have the "feel". It's pretty indescribable, but you know it when it's there.

    I would suggest that you check out Cooper-style headjoints. For a short time Powell was offering them, and when my order-made flute finally came due in 1981 I decided to give it a shot. I don't know if all the Cooper heads are the same, but this one is simply amazing. I have an Almeida flute with the classic Boston cut, and there is really no comparison for me. The embouchure hole on the Cooper is elongated, a very wide oval, with the edges chamfered to direct the air at the edges inward. It is a very low wall headjoint, especially the back wall being quite short. It has huge undercutting on the sides. All these things seem to contribute to it having a giant sweet spot -- you almost can't blow it wrong, as compared to the Boston cut, which requires precise centering of the air stream to really sing, and even then seems to be holding something back.

    The sound is extremely clear -- almost "bell like". It is certainly not the instrument for those who like the airy French sound, (which a number of the Prima Sankyos I have played seem to do extremely well). But it seems willing, and even eager, to go wherever I want to go, if you know what I mean. Importantly, the sound seems to develop effortlessly, and doesn't change its core depending on volume as many heads seem to do.

    I think it is a true shame that Powell no longer offers this head joint, but I know that many makers are now offering Cooper-style heads, and I urge you to try one out if you can find it. That being said, I have looked at a number of other Cooper heads (some by Cooper himself), and none seemed as radical a design as my Powell head (which was produced, I understand, in consultation with Cooper).

    Good luck on your search.

    Toby

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    Toby,
    I had an old Cooper head joint here that was very nice and as yousaid very easy to get a big sweet sound out of. One of the biggest issues I have here is the fact that I seem to be abel to over blow or dump too much air down many of the Flutes I test drove. This being one of the factors that is not unusal with a lot of doublers and something I have spoken at length with John Lehner about. My gold/platinum headjoint has a big wide oval style hole with a significant undercut, it works very nicely for me and I have become very accustomed to how it plays and it's quirks.

    Interestingly enough, it is the more resistant and darker flutes that I have liked the most when play testing everything. I am looking for some resistance in the flute so as to have something to focus agaisnt when I am playing the instrument. The gold/platinum head joint requires a lot of air to get singing but when you give it the air, it really does respond very nicely. I would ideally prefer to use this head joint as I have a lot of money invested in it. This being said, I guess I am looking for a flute body that will marry up with this head joint and give me the sound that I am looking for. It makes the search somewhat harder but potentially more worthwhile when I find the flute body to suit.

    In the mean time, the main thing to do is not to rush into anything, check out all options carefully. Recheck the options and see what can be felt on a different day. I still like the wooden Powell but as with any wooden instrument the potential for cracking (no matter what guarantee is given by the factory) is still there. This is another issue to take into consideration when buying a new flute. There is also the cost factor as well, affordability is a big issue. I find it amazing how much more a good Flute is when compared to a pro sax.

    More thought and research is required. It is probably going to take months to find the right Flute.

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    Hi Bootman,
    I had the opportunity two years ago to buy a wood headjoint.
    I found, on www.usedflutes.com, a Yamaha EC cut wood headjoint for about $700. I really get along well with a silver EC, so I thought it would be great.

    Also on the usedflutes was a Powell Grenadilla Philharmonic-cut headjoint, for $1200.

    I ordered both on approval as well as a couple of others (Howell Roberts and another two I don't even remember).

    The Yamaha EC was nice, but I saw no reason to replace my Prima Sankyo NRS-1 silver. My flute teachers' response was the same. The wood EC headjoint was a distant second choice over the Powell, but miles better than the others I tried. For me, anyway...

    The Powell head turns my student Pearl into an amazing instrument. It turns my Yamaha 881 C-foot into something like the flute nirvana that you are referring to. High register ppp, octave leaps, low end sounds lush like an alto flute...just so responsive and willing, and I can get it to sound how I want it to. Most amazing to me is the ability to play the high register IN TUNE...wow. My flute teacher sighs with joy to play it, and borrows it now and then to play in the symphony. (She would buy one for $1200 immediately, but they just ain't around! And she can't afford the whole flute for $12,500) A flute performance masters student also loves this thing. I can't believe how lucky I was to get it. Somebody very, very talented was having some seriously good karma when he/she made it.

    The other headjoints were nothing in comparison, although I am a (slightly rank) amateur. I just know that M'pingo (Swahili for African Blackwood, which is what I named it...) lets me do things that a)'flutes don't do' or b)well, they do but you have to be James Galway or Paula Robison to do it.

    So I vote for the wood Powell. Is there any way to have just the headjoint?

    I also wood nix the Yamaha-although a player with more talent than I would probably be able to get more out of it, the headjoint I tried didn't especially impress anyone.

    I hope you enjoy your search, and still have at least one kidney left when you're done!

    Tibbie

  18. #16
    danerida's Avatar
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    Hey Bootman,
    Don't know if you've heard of these but they sound like they are right up your alley, sound described as being dark and somewhere between silver and wood. Not sure how you'd go about getting hold of one to try. Price is in your range too.
    http://www.inderbinen.com/Flute-e.htm
    FYI- Candy Dulfer plays one of his altos.
    Best of luck finding what you're looking for.
    Dan
    Saxes: Sop: P Mauriat System 76 - Super Session J | Alto: Selmer Mk VI 133xxx -SAXWORKS | Tenor: Selmer Serie III - Guardala Studio | Bari: YBS-61 - Brendan Tibbs Solid Silver BP 0.115" | Flute: Trevor James Millenium Edition | Cl: Buffet RC

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    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    "The combination of brass, silver, and silver-plated nickel-silver is extraordinarily free blowing. Cut out of the sheet, the tube is soldered, hammered by hand and with several further working procedures we get a certain structure and hardness, which results in a special sound quality."

    AAAck! More marketing bullsh*t...

    Toby

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    I am one of the few here that thinks gold is best. It is the density and not the hardness that makes it a top choice. Although I make a few gold ones and mostly solid Sterling silver, I think that for overall playing that a sterling head with a nickel body is the best when balancing price with playability.
    My biggest seller is a DeFord in that combo and each time I get one out, I wonder why I bother to make a flute in sterling that costs 3X as much.

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    Interesting about the heavy wall Muramatsu. I bought a new DS Muramatsu recently and got a good deal but was unable to try before I bought it. I had tried the old AD Model and liked it very much. My DS is light wall 015 according to Muramatsu and I find like Bootman I'm overblowing it a lot as it is so free blowing even with the supplied head. I'm trying to find a head that is sonorous yet has sufficient resistance. The best I've tried to date is a Powell Arumite with 14K riser.
    I think in retrospect Bootman is doing it the right way matching a flute to a head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kymarto
    "
    AAAck! More marketing bullsh*t...

    Toby
    My feelings too. I have played enough variety of flutes from different materials to wholeheartedly support what both the acoustic scientists say, and the only reliable testing (i.e. "double blind" testing) supports, that the material has such a small effect that it is insignificant.

    Most of the gold flutes I have played have been a big disappointment compared with other well-designed standard models.

    IMO this sort of marketing has mislead a great many gullible flute buyers, including myself.

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