Muramatsu EX and Mancke headjoint

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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 7:00 am

Muramatsu EX and Mancke headjoint

Post by jemarch »

Hello people!
Wow, it's been ages I don't participate in the forum... like almost 10 years. Glad to be back :)

I just wanted to share my latest flute upgrade. Long story short, I started playing flute back in 2003 or 2004, after buying an atrocious second hand low-quality flute basically not knowing what I was doing. The teacher I got managed to adjust it so I could play minimally with it. Then I bought a new Jupiter student model (forgot which one) that served me well for the first couple of learning years. Then I upgraded to a Miyazawa pa 101, that I paid over a year in small payments. I was satisfied with the PA 101 (big difference from the Jupiter) until I found a second (or third, or fourth) hand Muramatsu EX matching all my preferences (in-line G, open holes, B foot) in a shop in Mountain View CA while I was on a business trip. This was 2015.

Oh man, how I fell in love with that flute. It couldn' t be compared with the poor Miyazawa... simply a completely different experience. The low register... my god. The fleeting feeling of the mechanism... damn. This is a first-generation EX manufactured back in 1994.

Fast forward to yesterday. I went to Freiburg in Germany (I live in Frankfurt) to Musik Bertram to see the Muramatsu technician for an overhaul of my EX. While I were there, I considered the possibility of upgrading my flute instead of doing the quite expensive overhaul. Time for a flute upgrade? So I spent the morning trying:

- A Muramatsu GX III with heavy walls
- A Sankyo 30x
- An Altus, forgot the model number, but in the same range of the others (solid silver headjoint, silver body, plated mechanism.)
- A Miyazawa 40x

What I was expecting: to really like the GX III, since I expected it to be like my EX, only better.
What happened:

- The Muramatsu GX III body felt... how to explain it.. none of the suave fleeting feeling of the EX. It sort of felt like a student flute to me (please nobody get upset, this is about personal perception of course.) I was shocked. The sound was awesome on the other hand, superb Muramatsu headjoint.
- The Sankyo was awesome, super easy to play, especially the higher registers. Good quality overall. But again, that feeling of my old EX... none.
- The Miyazawa reminded me a lot of the PA 101, not surprisingly.
- The Altus... I hated it, dunno why.

So, at this point I was sure I wanted to keep my EX. It was simply so much better than any of the flutes I tried, despite the fact it is old, pre fancy features like French arms and hidden screws. But I was already in the "I want an upgrade" mood, so I tried a few headjoints with my old EX: two Lafin and two Mancke.

End result: I was cautivated by a Mancke silver with 14k gold raiser and lip-plate, which is in character similar to the old EX headjoint (dark low register) but with infinitely more projection and an awesome high register. Quite pricey, but perfectly matches the EX body I love so much, and now I can enjoy years and years of learning how to extract all the good of this headjoint. I really feel I am setup for life :)


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