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 Recommendations on Flute
Author: KML 
Date:   2015-05-04 00:35

Several years ago, I got lots of good advice on buying an oboe for a daughter, and now I am on the Flute BBoard looking for recommendations for a flute for a different daughter. She is in 10th grade and will play flute for two more years. She is finding that it would be a good idea to upgrade from her current flute (silver plated closed hole) to a sterling silver open hole flute. I'd like to buy used and would appreciate recommendations on what to purchase and what to avoid purchasing.

Purchasing an oboe did turn out to be difficult, but the advice on the Oboe BBoard allowed me to avoid two bad purchases: one of a very old Fox oboe and one of an oboe that the repair person later told me broke in half!

Our daughter loves music but does not intend to be a music major. She is not sure if she would like to continue playing the flute after high school. We could sell her current flute, a guitar she bought with her own money but then decided she preferred the ukelele, and a trumpet that two of our children tried out before they moved to other instruments. This gives us some money for a flute, and we are looking at a price range $500 - $1,200 or so. Thanks.

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 Re: Recommendations on Flute
Author: KML 
Date:   2015-05-04 23:56

Here is a sterling silver flute that is being advertised:
Gemeinhardt 3sb flute - $999

Any comments? Thanks!

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 Re: Recommendations on Flute
Author: KenJarczyk 
Date:   2015-05-08 21:46

Kathy -

The internet is loaded with used flutes. It can be very confusing narrowing down choices.

My first bit of advice is not to buy E-Bay, or other places like these e-flea markets.

Use a trusted vendor - I really like Flute World in Michigan. ( )
They go through their own used flutes quite well, and closely examine those on consignment. 1 (248) 855-0410 Ask for Jeffrey - he handles the used flutes. He can help direct you, as well. B

Ask about headjoints, ease of play, type of tone expected. It all depends on what you are willing to pay, you can get a wonderful Muramatsu flute - one of the best brands out there - for under 4 thousand.

Many flutes look great, but play like beasts. If I as an adult need an offset G key, I'm certain your daughter would want one, as well. Many to most do not seem to have offset G keys, and there is a reason they are for sale! A straight inline G flute hurts! Your hand will fatigue quickly, and not make it much fun to play. Don't get too hung up on the open-hole, closed-hole debate, as until recently every superb professional flute was closed hole. Look at the Muramatsu web site - their top flutes are shown in closed hole photographs!

I have a Gemeinhardt full-sterling silver Series 3, and it's okay, if it's an outdoor gig and raining. Otherwise, it's a real dog - their headjoint just doesn't give a great sound. My main ax is a closed-hole full silver Muramatsu from the late 1970's, and the sound is marvelous, warm and chocolatey! My other mainstay is the top of the line handmade custom Haynes with soldered tone holes, a wonderful symphonic ax also from the late 1970's. New, the Muramatsu would have gone for the $9,000 mark, the Haynes for $13,000. I purchased the Haynes from a friend's instrument shop near Chicago for $3,500, and the Muramatsu from Flute World for $3,300. Both great deals. For the record, my Gemeinhardt is an open-hole, in-line G. The Muramatsu is a closed-hole offset-G with a C foot, the Haynes is an open-hole offset-G with gizmo key (and Valentino brand plugs in the holes!) with a B foot.

Good fortune on your hunt!
Let us know how you do!

Ken Jarczyk
Woodwinds Specialist
Eb, C, Bb, A & Bass Clarinets
Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo

Post Edited (2015-05-08 23:36)

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 Re: Recommendations on Flute
Author: matt_lin18 
Date:   2015-05-25 05:51

I am an oboe player that also doubles on flute as my minor instrument. I have a Gemeinhardt 2SP closed hole that I believe is $499 retail. I got mine for $170 used off eBay. The seller said it was adjusted, all pads were replaced and serviced at a technician. When I first got the flute, I didn't know how to play it and couldn't determine if the flute was good or bad. I had some of my flute friends play it and they all said it was very very good and nothing was wrong with it. So eBay isn't always a bad place to buy, just look for reputable buyers and ask them questions.

Craigslist is another option. You can generally meet the person face to face and try the flute out before you buy it. Now that I know how to play flute, my 2SP is absolutely lovely and I love it. I would recommend any Gemeinhardt flute but make sure it's properly serviced or a flute worth $1000 won't even sound as good as a $200 flute that was properly serviced.

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