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Hi my name is jason and i just picked up a Deford flute with the number 5153 on it and was wondering if anyone knew anything about it besides that its a closed hole flute, since i can't find anything on the web about it
 

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E. L. Deford is Emerson L Deford. Emerson made flutes under the EL Deford name and then sold it to a major company (can't remember which one).

Now he makes flutes under the Emerson name.
 

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Hi my name is jason and i just picked up a Deford flute with the number 5153 on it and was wondering if anyone knew anything about it besides that its a closed hole flute, since i can't find anything on the web about it
Paging Bruce Bailey......
 

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OK, the facts. Em Deford started the E.L. DeFord brand around 1968 after a long career at Armstrong. In the early 70s he sold the brand to King and stayed on building flutes. After his non-compete arrangement was done he started the Emerson brand about 1978. The Emersons were new (Bennett) scale and had better headjoints but were very similar to the ELDefords. He got the earlier name back from King around 1981. The Emerson line really took off in the 1980s (I worked for him from 1981-84). Emerson was sold to Selmer in 1997 and later built at the Armstrong factory along with Artley. Selmer dropped all the special models such as the G treble, Bb and gold flutes (fantastic!). Since 1997 he made flutes and parts with names like Alpha, Amadeus (before they were made in China) and flutes of my brand along with Emerson-like models branded DeFord. Although he is in his 80s, he can make or restore anything and his greatest gift is tool making. He draws tone holes that are shaped like undercutting, one piece body ribs, custom heads, etc.
He is a great asset to instrument making and has enabled me to produce good playing flutes with custom keywork for a decent price. Helped me with the sax players key system and a flute with a low Bb.
I would say any of the ones marked E.L.DeFord would be from the 1970s and have a nice dark sound. At the time they were probably the best US student flute.
 

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OK, the facts. Em Deford started the E.L. DeFord brand around 1968 after a long career at Armstrong. In the early 70s he sold the brand to King and stayed on building flutes. After his non-compete arrangement was done he started the Emerson brand about 1978. The Emersons were new (Bennett) scale and had better headjoints but were very similar to the ELDefords. He got the earlier name back from King around 1981. The Emerson line really took off in the 1980s (I worked for him from 1981-84). Emerson was sold to Selmer in 1997 and later built at the Armstrong factory along with Artley. Selmer dropped all the special models such as the G treble, Bb and gold flutes (fantastic!). Since 1997 he made flutes and parts with names like Alpha, Amadeus (before they were made in China) and flutes of my brand along with Emerson-like models branded DeFord. Although he is in his 80s, he can make or restore anything and his greatest gift is tool making. He draws tone holes that are shaped like undercutting, one piece body ribs, custom heads, etc.
He is a great asset to instrument making and has enabled me to produce good playing flutes with custom keywork for a decent price. Helped me with the sax players key system and a flute with a low Bb.
I would say any of the ones marked E.L.DeFord would be from the 1970s and have a nice dark sound. At the time they were probably the best US student flute.


Has anybody ever seen an EL Deford model 12B? do those ever come up for sale? description?
 

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Yes but kind of rare. They were all silver including the keys and probably a .014" thinwall. Not all that common and not really expensive used. Open hole B foot.
 

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I have a DeFord like that, but it is an 8B. My parents purchased it for me in the late 1970s. Needs a bit of an overhaul, but I'm not interested in selling it.
Jim
 

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The 8B had a sterling silver tube for the body and foot, silver head, riser and lip with silver plated nickel keys. Great flutes for the money and a lot for sale used.
 

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On the Emerson theme I have a silver head, thin wall body model 10. It's going to England soon for a service. (Despite the fact that it's old it's still a great instrument). Any ideas how much I should insure it for???
 

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That would be an all Sterling (+ keys). Probably worth about $700 pre-overhaul.Where are you shipping it from? If in the US, you can always send it to Emerson DeFord himself.
 

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Full disclosure: I'm a pianist and don't play winds at all. The family of one of my students has a DeFord flute stamped 2315, little used, newly serviced, in the original hard case. They'd like to sell it to help raise funds for a good keyboard. Can anyone tell me the approximate worth?

View attachment 66195
 

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No, E.L. Deford was the old scale flute he made in the 1968-82 period and the name was held by King in the later years. Production stopped in the 80s. Emerson was formed around 1978 and sold to Selmer around 1997. Around 2000, the DeFord flute started (like a really good Emerson!) and he made them until 2015 when he retired. There were several top line Almeida type flutes Emerson L. DeFord with soldered tone holes (7 Made?) and two are here in Miami, one with a solid gold head. Excellent flutes.
 

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hi Bruce, can you weigh in on a vintage Armstrong Heritage regular wall thickness, b foot open hole to my current Deford 10B Thinwall? I'm considering buying one I found on Ebay....auction, with reserve, buy it now price $1500.00. Wonder if it's better than what i have already with the 10B, or if it might be a step up? Please let me know. The auction ends in 2 days. Thanks.
 
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