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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm happy to have found this forum and hope someone here can help.
I'm looking at used flutes on eBay for my 15yo son. I've read several articles that compare the brands but am still somewhat uncertain which brand to buy.

I'd love to find a good quality used flute, open hole, B foot, pads intact, good tone, and as much sterling silver in the body as possible, for around $100.

Am I dreaming? What brand would you recommend? I've been considering Yamaha, Gemeinhardt, Armstrong and Emerson, but I'm open to ideas.

TIA,
Bette
 

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You are dreaqming it in that price range, you think that the specs you specify are going to make any difference to how the thing plays.

Just get a second hand student Yamaha, closed hole (because that is irrelevant to how it plays) no low B (because that irrrelevant and a nuisance to most players) and no silver (which makes no difference anyway) - if you can for that price, alowing to have it adjusted after purchase to perform at its best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh dear, maybe I listed too many specs. I was simply listing things that I've read are valuable in a flute.

Thanks for replying.
Bette
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
You are dreaqming it in that price range, you think that the specs you specify are going to make any difference to how the thing plays.

Just get a second hand student Yamaha, closed hole (because that is irrelevant to how it plays) no low B (because that irrrelevant and a nuisance to most players) and no silver (which makes no difference anyway) - if you can for that price, alowing to have it adjusted after purchase to perform at its best.

Bette, the above is spot on.

You can get a good flute at a low price at that online auction place that starts with e and nobody mentions. I got an old but sturdy Buescher Aristocrat with case and cleaning equipment for AU$28.00 delivered, and would have had to pay about AU80.00 to have it overhauled and repadded if I hadn't done the job myself. The flute is a standard student model but my daughter is playing away without any problems.

I wouldn't recommend you do the overhaul yourself, it's not an easy job. MusicMedic http://www.musicmedic.com/ supplied all the bits I needed.


Regards
Jim
 

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Good student flutes are out there. I have purchased 3 flutes in the past several years for $25, $29 and $50. Artley, Armstrong and Pearl. Check garage sales, Craigslist, flea markets etc. Have someone who knows flutes available as a resource.
 

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Dreaming. I have been selling and repairing flutes for over 40 years and for $100 you may find some junk from China but a decent US or flute from Japan will run you more. I sell beginner closed hole flutes with good pads and plating for $150 and up. When I get a used open hole, low B with a sterling head (Gemeinhardt, Armstrong, Emerson, Yamaha) the go (fast) for in the $350 range. The main thing to remember is that even if you do find a good buy on one, if it needs pads it may run you over $200 for replacement. I am not saying you will never find one for $100, but they go very quick.
 

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I just want to mention another spec you didn't mention, offset vs. inline G. I play a Yamaha 481 with inline G. I do plan on upgrading in the next couple years and I will definitely buy a flute with an offset G. It's uncomfortable for me to reach to cover the hole for the G so I ended up sticking a cork in it. That spec is kind of a personal thing, but may be something worth considering.
 

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eddierich said:
I just want to mention another spec you didn't mention, offset vs. inline G. I play a Yamaha 481 with inline G. I do plan on upgrading in the next couple years and I will definitely buy a flute with an offset G. It's uncomfortable for me to reach to cover the hole for the G so I ended up sticking a cork in it. That spec is kind of a personal thing, but may be something worth considering.
It is unlikely to find a student flute with an inline G, so while this is valuable advice it probably does not apply. I have two inline flutes and one offset, and actually I prefer the inline, but I know that for most people the offset G is more comfortable.

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the information and advice, even if some of you disagree with each other! LOL I was particularly interested in reading about the offset G. I had found that mentioned in my research but never read an explanation of why the offset might be preferred by some. The issue of the reach makes sense.
Your help is appreciated.
Bette
 

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Just picked up an Armstrong 104 from craigslist locally last week for $75.
 

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The offset G is also a matter of hold and stability, so it can benefit even those with large hands (such as myself) who can easily reach an inline G. The offset G enables me to slide the base knuckle of the LH pointer finger more underneath the flute for a more stable support. This more stable support is especially useful in the top octave where the fingerings get wacky and there is a lot of unnatural/awkward hand motion required.

Offset G also makes the key action a bit more robust.

I don't think it's a big deal, can play either way, but all else equal I prefer offset G.

You can find a decent enough flute for $100 if you buy used and look around for a deal. You'll be upgrading soon enough if he gets serious about his playing, but it can be good enough to get him started and see if he shows interest and talent. Also you'd be able to sell it for about what you paid for it, so it's no real risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for evenmore replies!
The Armstrong 104 and the Yamaha YFL 221N are both nickel plated, is that right? I've read that silver plated or of course solid silver are preferable over the nickel. Is that just for appearance, or does it really make a difference to the instrument?
 

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IMO nickel plated flutes are often compromised is other ways also (in order to reduce production costs), which detract from the tone.

Miyazawa is a possible exception.

Nickel, while it is still shiny, is far more slippery than silver, especially if the fingers or chin are sweaty.
 

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I was always under the impression that Armstong 104's are nickel plated.
That doesn't seem to be the case.

Mine has a silver body with nickel or German silver keys.
The head joint seems to be possibly nickel or German silver.

I'm having trouble finding the actual specs but there's no doubt the body is silver.
 

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104 is silver plated and the 104N is Nickel plated. Nickel is a bad choice as it wears worse than silver and is very slippery.
Another advantage to offset G is that the G keys are on a seperate line. On an Inline, there is a problem with Bb dragging. Often I have people say that their high F# is bad sometimes. I have them play high F to F# and the side pressure on the G tends to hold the Bb key down. I am currently working on building some flutes that are open hole in the RH with closed holes in the LH Offset with a RF G# key and an added bis key. As a sax player I find this to be the best set-up.
For the money I would say get a Silver head, open hole offset with low B. The low B is not required but in the US it is almost impossible to resell a C foot upper line flute.
 

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jazzsax07 said:
Good student flutes are out there. I have purchased 3 flutes in the past several years for $25, $29 and $50. Artley, Armstrong and Pearl. Check garage sales, Craigslist, flea markets etc. Have someone who knows flutes available as a resource.
...................................
Good ouya jazzsax nice logical advice. The real question IMHO is can you purchase a good reliable beginner/student flute at circa US$100.00. The answer is yes!!

I agree if Bette buys a really junk flute and it causes her son to struggle then this increases the probability of him giving up without really getting started - that's bad. But having said that, there are dozens of flutes out there (now) at sub $100 that would suit her purpose. Comments re nickel plating, full silver head joints, offset G's and the like only confuse the issue.

How many flute players remember far enough back to the flute section being asked to play a passage of music and then being asked to do it individually so that the Bandmaster could find the culprit with the missing little pinkie. None of You?? - BS. The point is it's common for beginners not to pick up a note that's a semitone out, and some of them are OK at an octave out, so the tonal subtleties of silver vs nickel really aren't in the equation.

Beth has a student son who needs a student flute, which if she achieves for her target of $100, will get her son off to a fine start. She will probably have to upgrade in a year or two depending on how well her son takes to the instrument - but - she'll be able to sell for the same money or even at a small profit.

KISS principle is best for beginners.
 

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Bette,
If you came up with another $100 on your purcahse and looked for the Yamaha, Armstrong, Pearl etc...... You will end up with a great flute that will play well for your son. Speak to Bruce and see what he has for sale, he will be able to sort you out with a good flute in an excellent state of repair.

Others will have flutes for sale as well. Open hole isn't necessary for a student fltue, nor is a B foot. A split E will help your son......

Check back here before you purchase any flute if you are unsure. There are many players, teachers and repairers here who will be able to advise you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi everyone,
Well, I purchased a Yamaha 225SII on eBay. It looks to be in good condition and only lightly used, but of course the proof will be in seeing and trying it.
I spent a bit over my $100 budget, at $138, which I thought was reasonable and hopefully, if and when we want to upgrade, I'll be able to recoup my money.
This flute is meant to be a birthday present for my almost 15yo son, who is self-taught and actually quite good on didgeridoo, Native American and Chinese flutes and recorder plus fife and pennywhistle. He seems to have a knack for these instruments, so it seemed the next logical step was an instrument he could actually take to a youth orchestra or band.
Wish us luck please, and MANY thanks for all the input. You are a wealth of information!
Bette in CA <><
 

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Great purchase.
If you possibly can, get it checked by a techniican, especially if he finds he has a lot of difficult when more keys are pressed down.

In my experience many second had flutes that are sold represent players who have given up, more than likely because they have found playing frustrating, which is more than likely because the flute is not adjusted properly.
 
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