SPONSOR AD:BLUE LANDSCAPES   ~   Music from a Quieter Place | ROBERT THIES (piano) & DAMJAN KRAJACIC (flute)  >> LISTEN HERE

Repair or Replace advice

Taking care of your instrument

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

kamillf
Posts: 5
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.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1733
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: 5
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.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1733
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: 218
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: 5
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 :)

fluteguy18
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby fluteguy18 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:25 am

I know that I'm a month late on this one, and a resolution has likely been determined, but I'd say to replace it. A quality overhaul will surpass the value of the instrument (maybe $300 right now), and a repad in that price range won't extend its life for very long. These instruments were not designed to have their lifespan extended beyond a certain amount of time. They were build to be 'step ups' to help you 'step up' into the higher end flutes. They were built to be disposable.

Even new student flutes from quality reputable makers, will likely play better than this one after having work done on it.

kamillf
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby kamillf » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:09 am

Thanks for the additional input. Because of some travel and such on my part, I didn't come to a final resolution until yesterday, when I purchased an Azumi AZ2. :D

SylvreKat
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby SylvreKat » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:33 pm

Well, congrats on the new flute. So what decided you on replacing rather than repairing?

>'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: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby kamillf » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:51 pm

You could say that I made the decision based on the advice from this forum---both this thread as well as a number of others that I looked at.

With the estimated repair costs, we checked with some local professional musicians. Without our identifying where the quotes came from, they knew which store had the higher quote, but said that while the shop was more expensive, the quality of the work was superior and it was where they went. While I'm nowhere near professional level, I knew that if I were to repair, I wanted to get it done where I could trust the work and know it was quality--so repairing was going to be expensive.

Simultaneous to this, I tried out all the flutes in the local area in my price range, plus a few over my price range (granted, I'm in an area with only a few stores, but I was still able to try a number of different brands and models). This included taking a few home overnight for more extensive trials. Trying out flutes gave me a sense for what was available, and there were some that really just made me enjoy playing. I would get caught up in the feel and sound of the flute, the joy of the music, and forget that I was supposed to be evaluating the flute.

Ultimately, I wasn't confident that even a great technician could bring my 30-year-old flute (now I'm feeling old!) up to a level equivalent to a new flute. But if I put $900-$1200 into repairs and then wished I had replaced, the repair costs would basically be sunk and would be significant enough that I wouldn't be able to immediately buy a new flute. With a it being potentially only a few hundred dollars more to buy a new flute, that route seemed less of a risk, especially since I liked some of the new flutes I had tried.

Thanks again for all the input. It was very helpful as I worked through what would be best for me.

SylvreKat
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Repair or Replace advice

Postby SylvreKat » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:10 am

...and there were some that really just made me enjoy playing. I would get caught up in the feel and sound of the flute, the joy of the music, and forget that I was supposed to be evaluating the flute.
...
And THAT ultimately is what it's about! I bet your practice time has at least doubled right now, ha! Please stay active in the forum, and keep us updated how the new flute goes for you after the shiny wears off.

>'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


Return to “Flute Repair and Maintenance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron