Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently a sax player who doubles on the remaining woodwinds (hopefully someday I will be able to just call myself a woodwind specialist). I've always been of the mind that as long as you get a solid playing instrument (read: seals entirely) then you can make it sing, given the time and talent. My problem? I bought a KGM Gemeinhardt flute when I got married 3 years ago, and at the time, it was an upgrade. I payed a modest $600 for it, with it in great condition.

I recently tried a custom made flute, from Tom Green, and it rocked my world!
My low B just popped and resonated gorgeously! Everything from high F on up to C (and omg D) had such beef to the tone (and quite a bit more flexibility)! It just had such better projection overall, and a much richer sound. I never imagined there could be such a difference. There was just such a depth to the sound.
I looked up the flutes though, and, as expected, they're stupidly expensive (cheapest start around 7k), though admittedly cheaper than other custom flutes.

Now, I've been playing flute heavily for about five years now, and my chops are pretty solid, and my tonal concept isn't lacking (I was, however, delighted to discover some of the things I've been fighting for years aren't entirely ME).

After that, I'm sold. I need a new flute. My philosophy is out the window for this case. I like dark flutes, and/but I need projection. I need a non bank breaking suggestion on what to look for. It's been expensive enough aquiring an oboe and bassoon.

--Beaux
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Have you thought about a new headjoint on your flute? That could be a start, and usually does a lot. If you've got a good body, and solid silver or more can do a great service. A lot of the sound on the flute is mostly affected by the headjoint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Beaux, one way or another, you will stay at the same point: you'll need to try playing any flute you may want.
It's very difficult to say anything about this or that brand or model. The same way you were amazed by playing that custom flute, you must be surprised about what some cheaper flutes can do for you.
That's not the fact of being solid silver, or gold and so on. This alright may affect the durability of an instrument, but not your playing per se.
What really matters in this respect is the make of the headjoint (mostly the embouchure hole) that affects the most what you discovered as being not your "problem" but the instrument's.
Experiment as many brands and models as available and possible for you.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,160 Posts
+1 on headjoint. The Gemeinhardt headjoints are junk IMHO
Getting a new headjoint is like replacing a mouthpiece on a horn. You can't expect to play absolutely amazing on the el cheapo stock mouthpieces that come with most of the horns. It just won't happen. Even a jump up to a Meyer 5m or another common mouthpiece will make a world of difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm.

I've never really studies the acoustics of flute like I have saxophone. I know flute players swap out head joints regularly, but I guess I've always thought that swapping out a head joint can change the intonation across the instrument (much like having the wrong neck for sax, or wrong barrel for clarinet).

I guess my question is: are flute head joints (of the 440 variety) standard sizes? The price of head joints are much more reasonable than buying the entire instrument.

Likening the head joint to a mpc makes considerable sense.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
The above is all correct.

At least try a student Yamaha. That is a pretty good yard-stick for sound-value-for-the-money without breaking the bank, and IMO leaves the embouchure hole of most Gemeinhardts (irrespective of their rather meaningless bells and whistles on some models) for dead.

After that, forget the silver and gold and other marketing issues for the body, and as others have said, go for a professional head that sings for you. Yes, try many. And at least include the Yamaha EC that comes with higher models), the head the current cheapest Muramatsu, and a Powell. These aren't bad yard-sticks with which to compare other professional heads.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,603 Posts
Would that be the "Philharmonic" model Powell?

Comments on the "Soloist" and "Venti"?

Do many of the Muramatsu flutes share the same headjoint?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Oh, dear, if the Gemmie was an upgrade I'd hate to see the original flute...

There are several very high level flute players who have a high-end, high $$ flute but also a Yamaha student flute for playing outdoors- these student Yamahas are very well designed and very capable instruments. Closed holes and offset G only make it easier for your hands to stay injury free, if you need open holes specifically for jazz work then you can find a Yam 285 with open holes, or a Yam 300 series with open holes.

I have a student Pearl backup/outside/traveling flute that I really like, it has a Sankyo NRS-1 HJ in it that really blows 'em out of the water with a rich, full sound in the low range- $800 HJ, $400 flute- it's been a substitute instrument in the regional symphony more than once, for more than one flutist.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top