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Looking to upgrade to an open hole B foot flute. Which models and brands are good?

An option I have is: a used Yamaha 584 HCT or a Gemeindhardt (new) maybe (3SB,AFL310SB-NG, 30SB-NG, 3SB-NG, 330SHB-NG, 330SB-NG, and 330SSB-NG) with a free piccolo?

So, what is a better option? Should I go with a Gemeindhardt model as it comes with a free piccolo? How is the quality in general of all the intermediate/professional brands?

Any other possible options that might be a good upgrade under the 1800 or so range? Preferably: Open holed, b foot, split e/c# trill.
 

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Yamaha’s are way better an option than any Gemeinhardt especially in the better series of the Yamaha.

The free piccolo may be there just to lure you in with a promise of something that it won’t deliver.

Save money and buy yourself another piccolo.
 

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If you're interested in buying new, Azumi flutes are a great option as well, and an incredible value. However, you won't get a C# trill on a new one for under $1800.

Also, in case you haven't done so yet, you should actually play test a flute with a C# trill before you buy. When I did, I found that I didn't like the way that the extra key affected the balance of the flute, so I went without it. I haven't missed it at all.
 

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Alot depends on if you are looking for bright, mellow, doubler's flute, etc. I would figure a good silver head open hole low B used should run you about $600 or less. I can make a flute to any spec. you want with any keywork. I do make a doubler's flute easy for sax players in your range in sterling silver with optional heads.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/bis/
 

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If you're interested in buying new, Azumi flutes are a great option as well, and an incredible value. However, you won't get a C# trill on a new one for under $1800.

Also, in case you haven't done so yet, you should actually play test a flute with a C# trill before you buy. When I did, I found that I didn't like the way that the extra key affected the balance of the flute, so I went without it. I haven't missed it at all.
I have encountered azumi with tone hole edges that had been severely filed - at factory - with a very coarse file.
This is a pretty serious issue/damage!
I would not buy Azumi unless I could check that first. It would involve taking off at least one key.

Yamaha is safe and good. Student models have somewhat non-level tone holes, which affects long-term reliability. As you go ukp the models there is more attention ito levelling.

But do you have good reason for open hole and low B? If you don't, then you are perhaps better to focus on a professional head to go on a cheaper level Yamaha.
 

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I have encountered azumi with tone hole edges that had been severely filed - at factory - with a very coarse file.
This is a pretty serious issue/damage!
I would not buy Azumi unless I could check that first. It would involve taking off at least one key.

Yamaha is safe and good. Student models have somewhat non-level tone holes, which affects long-term reliability. As you go ukp the models there is more attention ito levelling.

But do you have good reason for open hole and low B? If you don't, then you are perhaps better to focus on a professional head to go on a cheaper level Yamaha.
Are you sure that this was done at the factory? I've tried several Azumis (I own one) for extended periods of time and have never encountered anything like this. In fact, one of the things that impressed me most about the Azumis was the quality of the finishing work. It was far better than anything else I tried at a remotely comparable price point. I've only tried the newer models (AZ3), so it's possible that the older models were more poorly made.

In any event, I bought my flute remotely from the Flute Center of New York (FCNY). They have a trial program where they mail you a bunch of flutes to play test for up to 10 days. I tried about 8 different flutes at (some considerably more expensive than the Azumi) and found the Azumi to be easily the best in terms of headjoint response, action, and construction.

If you're interested in either a new flute or a used professional model and you want a chance to try before buying I would highly recommend FCNY.
 

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Follow up: I just double-checked my flute to make sure that I didn't miss anything (I do most of my own technical work, so I'm pretty attentive to these details, but you never know).

There's no sign of any filing on any of the tone holes (nor of any rough finishing on any of the key arms or feet). As I remembered, each of the tone hole rolls is perfectly smooth and polished.

With all due respect, I am highly skeptical that the rough finishing that Gordon reported occurred at the factory.
 

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The customer said he bought it brand new.
I've seen it on other brand new flutes too - always the cheap range of a top brand (including Haynes), i.e. body largely made in China. (Possibly all from the same factory!)
I have not noticed that it is universal for any particular model.

You can't see this without taking keys off. The effect is that the player has to press keys harder for pads to fully seal.
It would seem however that many players of open hole flutes get used to pressing reasonably firmly anyway, because unless the finger skin is very soft, there will be leaks along finger print grooves unless reasonable pressure is used.

I most certainly cannot pressure-test a flute for leaks without plugging those holes.
If I wet my fingers, and don't plug the holes, I can hear air bubbling away at the end of the finger print grooves.
This is a case against open holes.
I once heard Galway say that he blows into his cupped hands to slightly moisten them for a better finger seal.
 

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Bruce I had no idea that you made flutes. The flute you have pictured is incredible. I like the 70's Uebel aluminum cigar flute but they are hard to come by, can you make something in silver like that?

Alot depends on if you are looking for bright, mellow, doubler's flute, etc. I would figure a good silver head open hole low B used should run you about $600 or less. I can make a flute to any spec. you want with any keywork. I do make a doubler's flute easy for sax players in your range in sterling silver with optional heads.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/bis/
 

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Bruce I had no idea that you made flutes. The flute you have pictured is incredible. I like the 70's Uebel aluminum cigar flute but they are hard to come by, can you make something in silver like that?
No aluminum flutes as I only have sterling or gold. I think those Uebels are the only ones!
 

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I’ve got a guy who lives near me who has two duffle bags full of medium to really high end flutes. After I went through about ten in the range I was willing to spend I ended up with a late 50’s Haynes closed hole C foot. He was listening to me play them while he was in the other room and he said to me, ‘that’s you’, when he asked me which one I was playing.
I also tried two Brennan flutes he has. Absolutely beautiful but around 18 grand. He sold me the Haynes for $800. He said his customers all want open hole and he’d had it for a long time. It had been restored a while back at the Haynes factory.
 

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I’ve got a guy who lives near me who has two duffle bags full of medium to really high end flutes. After I went through about ten in the range I was willing to spend I ended up with a late 50’s Haynes closed hole C foot. He was listening to me play them while he was in the other room and he said to me, ‘that’s you’, when he asked me which one I was playing.
I also tried two Brennan flutes he has. Absolutely beautiful but around 18 grand. He sold me the Haynes for $800. He said his customers all want open hole and he’d had it for a long time. It had been restored a while back at the Haynes factory.
A deal.
 

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I have encountered azumi with tone hole edges that had been severely filed - at factory - with a very coarse file.
This is a pretty serious issue/damage!
This is not done at the factory. If you found that, it's most likely the local dealer or distributor did it. The factory does not file tone holes on Azumi.

JB
 

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How can you know that with absolute certainty?
Do you oversee the (Chinese?) factory 24/7?

I don't see many Altus flutes. I have encountered this issue with two Azumi's and one Azumino.

But perhaps there are fakes around.

Whatever. In these days of filing tone holes I would check them on any lower-price-range, respected-brand flute, possibly with a body from China where standards can be "iffy".
I have seen this on at least one other brand too - "American".

If dealers are doing this before the sale of a "brand new" instrument, then that validates checking.

BTW I recall a couple of decades where a "top" French brand of sax seemed to send their substandardly set-up, problematic instruments with heavily wedged-shut pads, to the antipodes. (Where else would they send them?) When I got pretty vocal about it in the internet they at last started arriving here well adjusted. Meanwhile I heard another country was getting the mal-adjusted, heavily clamped ones. Perhaps they still go there. In marketing, s*** happens.
 

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How can you know that with absolute certainty?
Do you oversee the (Chinese?) factory 24/7?
This response seems unnecessarily churlish.

His bio identifies him as a flute technician and quality control supervisor at KHS America (which distributes Altus and Azumi flutes, among others). This would seem to qualify him to make statements about instrument finishing practices at the factory.

Also, FWIW, Azumi flute bodies are manufactured in Taiwan (ROC), not in China (PRC).
 

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Looking to upgrade to an open hole B foot flute. Which models and brands are good?

An option I have is: a used Yamaha 584 HCT or a Gemeindhardt (new) maybe (3SB,AFL310SB-NG, 30SB-NG, 3SB-NG, 330SHB-NG, 330SB-NG, and 330SSB-NG) with a free piccolo?

So, what is a better option? Should I go with a Gemeindhardt model as it comes with a free piccolo? How is the quality in general of all the intermediate/professional brands?

Any other possible options that might be a good upgrade under the 1800 or so range? Preferably: Open holed, b foot, split e/c# trill.
OK, trying to get back on track:

OP, why are you specifically looking for that set of specs? It's true that open holes and B foot are probably the most common spec on "upgrade" flutes, but frankly unless you have a specific need for them I would consider closed hole and C foot which will open up your choices a bit. Split E is fine, but I'm not sure what value the C# trill actually offers. Plus it seems from the pictures I've seen that it would change the balance of the flute significantly.

What is it that you are looking for that your current instrument isn't providing you, and what is that instrument? If your current instrument is a reasonable quality body, you can get one heck of a nice head joint plus a good adjustment and service for $1800. If you pay $400 for a service (COA), the $1400 head joint will be dramatically better than the headjoint that comes on an $1800 flute. (take these numbers with a grain of salt as it's been a long time since I had a flute serviced - which reminds me...)
 

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OK, trying to get back on track:
Right, I apologize to the OP for helping to drag this thread off topic.


OP, why are you specifically looking for that set of specs? It's true that open holes and B foot are probably the most common spec on "upgrade" flutes, but frankly unless you have a specific need for them I would consider closed hole and C foot which will open up your choices a bit.
This is a very good point. You'll probably never use the low B, and the open holes, while they feel different, don't actually make any noticeable difference in the sound or intonation of the flute. A related point if you're buying a used flute, is that the fact that most people "upgrading" look for open holes and B feet means that you can often get closed hole and/or C-foot flutes for a bargain (relative to comparable open-hole B-foot models).

By the same token, if you're buying a new flute (that you think you might someday want to sell), you should avoid C feet and closed holes for the same reason: their resale value will be lower because there is less demand for them.
 

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By the same token, if you're buying a new flute (that you think you might someday want to sell), you should avoid C feet and closed holes for the same reason: their resale value will be lower because there is less demand for them.
When I bought my Miyazawa some years ago I really wanted closed holes and C foot, but I wanted to test play the exact flute I would be buying, and that configuration would have been a non-returnable special order, so I ended up with B foot and open holes. When I took delivery of the flute I also bought a set of Powell Plug-Os and immediately closed the holes. One of these days when my bank account permits I would like to buy a C foot for the flute too. I feel that the 3rd octave response is worse with the B foot. (I am not intending to re-sell the flute, although no one ever knows for sure what the future holds.)

For reference, I live in the USA; I suspect that in Germany or England it might be easier to get hold of high quality closed hole C foot flutes.

Oh and by the way, I played an open hole flute for 30+ years before converting to closed holes, so it wasn't a question of incapacity - it was a matter of realizing that the reasons for open holes are largely bogus except in the tiniest fraction of special cases.
 

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Open holes and a low B are not needed HOWEVER in the US, if you want to resell an upper line flute, a closed hole, low C will cut the value in half. Just a trend.
 
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