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Repair or Replace advice

Taking care of your instrument

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kamillf
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Repair or Replace advice

Postby kamillf » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:20 pm

I have a 1987/1988 Gemeinhardt 3SB. After setting it aside for many years, I've recently begun playing again and took it in to be checked out, especially as it was getting more difficult in the lower range. I've been told it needs an overhaul, which isn't too surprising. This has generated a couple questions:

1. I believe that the estimate includes putting Straubinger pads on it (I need to confirm)--the overhaul estimate is $900-$1200, which seems high for a 3SB (I think part of the reason for this is where I live and part is Straubinger pads). However, in reading on this forum and elsewhere, it seems like Straubinger pads are designed for higher end flutes than mine. Is it reasonable to put Straubinger pads on a 3SB? If so, what would be the benefit?

2. Given the estimate and that I've thought about looking at different headjoints anyhow, I'm weighing whether to repair or replace (probably looking at a budget of $1000-$2000ish). Thoughts on whether it's better to repair or replace?

Thanks in advance for any input you can provide.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby pied_piper » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:18 am

A Gemeinhardt 3SB is a respectable flute and worthy of a repad/overhaul. However, in my opinion, it does not warrant putting Straubinger pads on it. Straubinger pads require a lot of detailed attention and prep work and that is a large part of the extra cost. If the flute is in otherwise good condition, I would recommend a repad with quality felt pads. Putting Straubinger pads on a 3Sb is a bit like building a million dollar home in a neighborhood with $100,000 homes - you'll never never recoup your investment if you ever sell it.

Only you can decide whether you should repair or replace your flute. However, before you decide, you really should try some new flutes. You may find one you like much better or you may decide you'd be fine repadding your 3SB.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

kamillf
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby kamillf » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:45 pm

Thanks for the input, pied_piper.

I called the one tech today for clarification on whether the estimate was with Staubinger pads. He said no, that it was with Pisoni deluxe and he wouldn't recommend putting Staubinger pads on it. I then took my flute to another tech in town, who gave an estimate of around $350, saying that the flute needed a repad but was in otherwise great shape. She uses Music Medic pads. It doesn't make sense to me that the one quote is 3x the other....

I have tried some new flutes, and found a couple that I liked. However, if I'm looking more at a $350 repair, I don't think any of them were so wonderful as to cause me to switch at this point.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby pied_piper » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:50 pm

You may be comparing apples to oranges. The first guy quoted you an overhaul vs the second who quoted a repad. A repad only normally replaces all the pads, corks, and felts but no mechanical work is included. If the flute is truly in great condition (no key wear that causes side-to-side movement), then a repad may be fine. An overhaul is a lot more work and restores the flute to like-new condition while the repad simply puts it in good playing condition.

Be sure to ask for references from both and find out if their customers are happy with the service and value they received.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

SylvreKat
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:00 pm

I've gotta admit, I have zero idea what kind of pads are on any of my horns, except the Artley which boasts a set of pads handcut from trumpet spit-valve foam (the holes weren't finished and ate pads like a beagle with an open bag of kibble). I'd say unless you're performing at higher-end events, then it probably doesn't much matter so long as the pads seal and don't make the keys feel mushy.

As for repair vs replace, I recommended that you keep checking around some, if you have any decent music shops nearby. If nothing else, it's fun to play different flutes. Heck, play the really expensive ones, even. See what you think. If you fall in love with one in your price range, then yes, treat yourself and buy it. If none really thrill you, then stay with your trusty old Gemi. Like pied said, it's a good solid horn. And you'll know that it's the right flute for you for now.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

kamillf
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby kamillf » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:47 am

Thanks for the information and advice. I'll do some additional research on the local repair options as well new flute options. Good thing I have several months before I need a good-working flute :)


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