Sunday, June 03, 2007

Flute Quality & Longevity when buying

Dear Flutists,

Once again, we have the problem on the internet where a novice flute player (adult amateur) or parent of a flute student wants to purchase an intermediate flute because they are frustrated that their Gemeinhardt 2sp won't allow them to progress.
There is a dizzying array of advice given, and other students and amateurs chime in confusing the issue further.

The simple advice is: "Have a quality flute professional assist you in play-testing flutes in your price range.".
But for those who want to consult a chart that gives full details on WHY quality and longevity in a flute truly affects the price that you will have to pay for a quality flute playing experience, I've created a PDF article that fully explains.

Longevity and Quality in Buying a Flute

Enjoy and do please comment.
Brands of quality are constantly changing. These opinions are for 2007 only.
Comments (12)
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this excellent summary of buying a flute!
There is nothing one could add, but all this information will not stop people asking questions about buying a flute ;-) hahahaha!
Following one of your former recommendations, I have an Azumi 2000 for 900 $ and this is an excellent flute.

P.S.: Nothing brings more joy in your life than a new flute, even if it is mostly a psychological effect.

Monday, June 04, 2007 7:40:00 AM

Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Hi R.
Thanks for your comment!
I think it's more than just a psychological effect: I think that the whole game is how fast a flute breaks down.
Afterall, it's set as finely as a Swiss watch, and then we rattle it to pieces with a million key motions a day. The real game is "who can make a precision flute, that sounds great, and can withstand all the mechanical wear and tear, and keep on ticking?" ur...keep on "playing without leaking".
Yes indeed.
Thanks for your comments!
Jen :>)

Monday, June 04, 2007 2:24:00 PM

Blogger Chris said...


You might regard this as heresy, but an alternative for beginners might be to learn on a keyless (Irish) flute. While these flutes may be limited to certain types of music, they are very easy to maintain - the delrin ones are virtually bombproof.

I started learning on a keyless flute in October. It's been very useful in finding out whether I could play at all, and if I wanted to continue. Now I'm thinking of getting an orchestral / Boehm flute some time in the future, so I can move on to other styles of music.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007 5:42:00 AM

Blogger Sheila said...

Irish, yes, or a little Yamaha fife! That is another good, keyless alternative for flute beginners, especially little ones.

I totally agree about having a decent flute. I got my Altus Azumi 3000RBO just over a year ago, and it has served me so well! I'm so glad we went ahead with it and did it then. It truly does pay to get a quality instrument that will last a lifetime.

Thanks for the tips and pointers!

Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:24:00 AM

Blogger Joshua said...

Once again your atricles are wonderful.
I pulled out this Chart - as it's that time of the year for me (Flute Shopping time).
I'm thinking of the Miyazawa PA 202 cause I can get all the gizmos on it and it's Straubinger padded.

Friday, June 22, 2007 3:35:00 PM

Blogger Jen Cluff said...

This post has been removed by the author.

Friday, June 22, 2007 5:14:00 PM

Anonymous pete said...

Thanks Jen, A used Yamaha it is :)

(pdf docs are such a good way of spreading valuable information for free).

Sunday, July 08, 2007 7:35:00 AM

Anonymous Monica said...

Sonare has just introduced a new line of flutes that feature a body made in the US with keys added in Germany. Have you heard anything about the quality of these flutes? I like the Powell head joint so have been considering the Sonare 705.

Sunday, November 04, 2007 6:12:00 PM

Blogger Jen Cluff said...

I'll have to look up this Powell Sonare with keywork made in Germany....never heard anything about it to date.
The other Sonares I've found to be inconsistent.
You have to go through about 20 to find one truly good one, and they seem to go out of adjustment very quickly.
Will look into the "German" connection.

Sunday, November 04, 2007 7:46:00 PM

Blogger Jen Cluff said...

On the Sonare website it says that the flute's keys are made in Germany.
However, whereas it used to say that that bodies were assembled/manufactured in China, the webpage no longer uses the word China at all.
You'd have to ask someone who is closer to the company whether or not the parts from Germany are shipped to China for assembly.
I know that the headjoints are from U.S.
However I still don't like the way they hold up under student use.
I have a student with a brand new Sonare 7000 on which the keys have become sluggish and leaky after only two months of irregular use.
I think the metal used for the mechanism may not hold up during use.
Would like to hear other technicians comment on this.

Sunday, November 04, 2007 7:54:00 PM

Blogger AnnieRasmussen said...


I love your website! As a recent college graduate and flute teacher, I have seen case after case of flutists making poor investments into their instruments. I will certainly give this chart to any parent whose child I teach, who would like to find a new flute for their child.

Thank you Again!

Friday, November 30, 2007 10:52:00 AM

Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear Annie,
Thanks for your comment.
I've seen case after case also. The most unnerving is when a newly arrived college student (wanting to major in performance) has bought an expensive band instrument in August, just before coming to their first lesson, without contacting their new teacher (me).
It's so sad when they spend $2000 on an Artley or somesuch, with gold-lip plate, when their old Yamaha 200 would have been fine until we could have shopped properly and tried many different flutes together as part of the lesson on "how to buy--what to buy."
So thanks for your comments.
I hope other new teachers will print this out too, for parents.
Best, Jen :>)

Friday, November 30, 2007 6:20:00 PM


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