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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I’ve been improving on my flute doubling, and I think it’s time to make an upgrade/investment. I’d like a professional model, used, and have a few questions:

What flutes did the doublers/big band studio musicians of the 60s and 70’s play?

What price point should I budget for?

What should I look for as far as condition before buying one?

Any information would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,

AE
 

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Haynes Commercial was popular for doublers - low C foot, closed hole.

I, too, am interested to learn the going rate for one as I have one for sale.

Others too - it’s time for me to thin the flute herd. Those things are so small that they multiply without taking much notice !
 

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A Haynes commercial closed hole should bring up to about $1,500 in nice shape. Early models somewhat less. Don't rule out the old Selmers from the 30s-40s as excellent doubler flutes and the Bettoney silvers can be had in great shape for about $700. I sell quite a few of them. I make a sterling doubler's flute with a bis key and RF mod for $1,500 and up new:

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

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I'm not sure looking for a used flute from the 60's - 70's is your best option. You may want to read through a few of the threads here at SOTW concerning folks who have recently gone on this journey and see how they went about it. There are many really fine flutes made today and everyone will have their favorites so you really need to go out and try them for yourself to figure out what's best for you. Most flute dealers will send you 3 or 4 flutes to try in your home if you don't have a shop or seller near you. I was surprised when I began looking to get a better flute how many people are running small businesses out of their homes buying and selling pre-owned and sometimes new flutes so unless you are in a very rural location finding a place to try some flutes may be easier than you think.

I'd start by coming up with a budget of what you're willing to spend and a list of what options you really want like inline or offset G, B or C Foot, open or closed hole, Split-E, various trill keys and rollers, etc. and then begin looking at instruments that meet those criteria.
 

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Another vote for the Haynes commercial, nothing equals them for projection. I say this based on the results of tests that were done at Boston Symphony Hall a few years ago with a wide range of flutes and players. I play one of the old Selmers Bruce notes above and love it with its Haynes HJ, the original HJ was not nearly as good. A Haynes should also stay in adjustment very well and need minimal servicing .
 

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About all modern heads are better than the large vintage ones. I have an Artley Wilkins and making a modern head really improves them. although the Wilkins was a top line flute with all silver keys, adding the head makes the response better BUT A minty Wilkins will cost $700ish, adding the head puts it over $1,000.
 

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I think you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't try out some Muramatsu, Miyazawa, or Prima Sankyo flutes. The advancements in flute making (and accurate scales) since the early 1980s are remarkable. Quite different than saxophones.
 

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Still no idea of price from the OP. I usually figure new flutes around $750 with a sterling head, $1,500 sterling body and about $3,000 with sterling keys. Of course, better heads and features can run that price up. Depreciation on higher end flutes is large so make sure you are in it for the long run.
 

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Worth noting that a number of the Haynes commercials and others from early part of the 20th century through 1930 or so are A=435. Cutting the head down so that it can be pushed in to play around 440 is a bit of a hack, since it makes the lower tube notes flat in comparison to the upper. One way I test flutes is to play low C# overblown to middle C# and then alternate between that and the standard fingering for C#, and check for tuning discrepancies. If the are within 10 cents of each other, or even 20, your octaves should be good. Since C#2 is not a great note, try this also with C natural. Overblow low C and compare to middle C.
 

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... The advancements in flute making (and accurate scales) since the early 1980s are remarkable. Quite different than saxophones.
plus one on this good advice. And don’t forget the Yamaha flutes.
 

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theres a very good flutiest around here who said something I'll never forget. He said it almost doesnt matter what comes after the head joint. The Head is what matters. So find something mechanical you like and then add the head for the tone you want? I played a Di Zaho 700 recently that blew away the Powell sonore I had previously. then I tryed heads and found a Straubinger that made me sound the best i've ever sounded. I also play long tones and harmonics daily for the last 6 years but that Di zaho 2k and staubinger head 800 were a killer combo for me. Also I'd mention that one big consideriation is getting your emb back quickly for flute after playing sax. I have a rodger young wooden head that allows me to find my tone even after loud songs on alto. so thats something to consider. you want it to be easy to find your tone after whatever else you need to play K
 

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Doubling always a challenge.
Gary Foster said that he practices switching the specific horns the day before a gig.
He said bassoon to piccolo and back in the same piece was particularly hard.
 

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Doubling always a challenge.
Gary Foster said that he practices switching the specific horns the day before a gig.
He said bassoon to piccolo and back in the same piece was particularly hard.
That would be a sick transition. Thank goodness they are seldom in the same book.

I played bassoon in college, and could not imagine having to switch between the two.
 

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Hi all,

... What flutes did the doublers/big band studio musicians of the 60s and 70’s play? ...

That is about as relevant as asking what the drivers of cars drove in the 60s and 70s.

As others have said, there have been huge improvements in flute (head) design, and almost all of the tone/response/volume resides in the head.
A modern student Yamaha would leave most flutes of this era for dead, including most professional ones.
 

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Yeah, it was an exhausting process for me.. I feel ya. I picked up a Haynes closed hole gp C foot flute and it didn't have the sound I had in my ear. Then, I picked up a 1970(?) Haynes solid silver C foot (.014) and it was nice, but it didn't have the sound I had in my ear. Next was an Altus, great flute and the intonation was better than both Haynes and easier to play, but once again the sound. Finally, I picked up a Powell custom made closed hole C flute, soldered tone holes, .016 wall thickness, A442, boston cut Aurumite headjoint, C# trill key, high E doughnut, and D# roller. It's a keeper.. it's the closest to what I hear in my head for me. Interested in trying a different headjoint, but I'm not sure I want to start going in that direction just yet. It was time consuming, but worth it.
 

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I went to a flute convention a number of years ago with a friend who is the brother of Dana Sheridan.
I tried heads for hours.
Finally I tried 6 of Dana's picked one and bought it.
No regrets.
 

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I hesitate to offer any real advice, as I'm truly a sax player that's been working hard on my flute playing in the last few years. After extensive research, I looked for specific features: Closed Hole, Low C, Split E, and Offset G. Ultimately, I ended up finding a used Yamaha 514 for $935. It might not last me forever, but my flute teacher and tech both approved, and it's plenty of flute for me to grow into.

-Bubba-
 

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I agree. The Haynes commercial, closed hole, from the 1950s, is a great choice.I played a zillion flutes at the NY Flute show years ago, new and used, and the Haynes, 1951, was a winner by a significant margin. My flute teacher agreed..
 
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