Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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Spiritguide18
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:52 am

Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by Spiritguide18 »

Hi. I am hoping for some help and guidance learning more about the flutes that I own. I am going to be selling two flutes but am finding myself a bit lost in providing all of the correct information on it and identifying a fair value to ask for.

The two flutes are identical, I think.

The markings are: W.T. Armstrong, Elkhard-Ind, 80, 34 42891. The second one has the same markings but the bottom number is 32 54751.

I took the flute to a reputable music store/repair shop and had them both looked at. The person looking at it is flute player. They are in perfect condition. No repairs were needed. Not even a pad needed to be replaced. There are no dents whatsoever and very, very minimal scratches just from regular use. You have to look for the scratches to see them. I had it cleaned and they look brand new. These flutes were very well taken care of.

Both flutes:
-engraved with "Sterling Silver" on all three pieces
-open hole
-aligned/straight keys (not off-set)
-b foot joint (the third key on the foot)
-hard inner case in perfect condition
-outer leather case that does have some usual wear but no tears, etc.

I was told that both flutes are "vintage" and can no longer be bought

While, I do want a fair price, I am looking to sell them as quickly as possible as my father is ill and I'm trying to stay home to care for him as long as possible but cash is running low.

I am going to list the flutes on eBay (where I'm an avid seller with 100% positive feedback-so I'm a trusted power seller so people may be more comfortable purchasing from me), on Reverb and Craig's List. Any other suggestions?

Any advice and/or guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Tammie

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

Those are Armstrong Model 80B flutes. They were decent intermediate level flutes but yes, they are not made any more.

For the serial numbers with the 34 and 32, you add 50 to get the year of manufacture. So, that indicates they were made in 1984 and 1982 respectfully.

A quick check of similar Armstrong 80B flutes with B foot and in GOOD condition shows recent eBay SOLD prices around the $400 price range.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by SylvreKat »

Pied gave you what you need to know, but I'll add that my "good" flute is an Armstrong 80 (no B foot). WWBW had it listed in '82 for $1000. It's a solid player still, and I use it for my practice flute. I did have my repairman tweak the keys' action after I played a Gemi 500-something anniversary flute with keys that just flew. He did what he could to make my "20-year-old $1000 flute play like a brand-new couple-something grand flute" (his words, and he succeeded pretty well)

Is it as good as my Yami? No. But then it's 24 years older, and $4500 MSP cheaper, and nothing handmade on it.

Is it reliable and very useable even for performance? Absolutely! I'd have no qualms to play solos on it if my Yami had a last-minute issue. And I play most of the Band's concerts (outdoors) on it. In fact, it would still be my good flute if Brooke-Mays hadn't stupid-cheap close-outed the Yami. Its last time in the shop was something around 2002-4, after I played that Gemi piece of lightning. I can't recall it ever having issues where something didn't work on it. Only shop work has been pads and the voluntary key action, and an upcoming total cleaning 'cause I noticed the start of tarnish on the lip plate plus general crud around the posts.

I love my Armstrong, just in case you couldn't tell :D .

>'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

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Fluten

Post by jack2762 »

Hi guys I now own an Armstrong 80b “p4” b foot. It was intended as a gift for my nephew who has been playing for almost 5 years However, my sister (the mother) said its ok because
we just got him a mint Yamaha YFL 382 So now I’m kinda stuck with the armstrong. Is the 80b better sounding flute than the Yamaha YFL 382 open hole or 421 (closed hole)?There is one YFL 421 available selling for $920. The reason why im asking is because i think I’m interested in learning how to play the flute and I don’t want to get stuck with the armstrong if its no good. Anyway this is the serial number 7202256 (yr. 1973) of my flute.
Last edited by jack2762 on Mon May 04, 2020 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

If the Armstrong 80 is in good condition, it is a decent flute. My main flute is a Muramatsu professional flute but I also have an Armstrong Model 80 as a backup flute. It is a solid dependable flute. Trying to compare the Armstrong with the Yamahas is difficult because they are somewhat different and each has some advantages. The Armstrong has a Sterling Silver head and body while the Yamaha 382 has a Sterling Silver head but the body is nickel silver. The Yamahas use a slightly more modern embouchure design. So, in my mind, they are somewhat equal. The Yamaha 421 has Sterling Silver head and body like the Armstrong. Of course, the 421 is closed hole vs the Armstrong as open hole.

Bottom line: All of those are reputable instruments that can serve a flutist for many years as long as they are maintained with regular service. (Like cars, all flutes need regular maintenance). You can't go wrong with any of them.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by jack2762 »

Thank you so much! I will keep the Armstrong! Anyway, Im on my 4th day of self taught and now able to consistenly produce a tone just on the head joint w/ & w/o plugging the hole! 🤪. I can also do the Do-re-me much better now. Is there a breathing technic coz im losing a lot of air just by playing a few notes! Also is there an advantage if I have a b foot?

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by jack2762 »

Question: can a Yamaha YFL 221 head joint fit into the body of the armstrong 80b? I damaged the head joint of my armstrong and it wont fit anymore. I need advise. Pls Help!😩

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

jack2762 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:37 pm
Thank you so much! I will keep the Armstrong! Anyway, Im on my 4th day of self taught and now able to consistenly produce a tone just on the head joint w/ & w/o plugging the hole! 🤪. I can also do the Do-re-me much better now. Is there a breathing technic coz im losing a lot of air just by playing a few notes! Also is there an advantage if I have a b foot?
Right now, the opening in your lips is too big and that means you are wasting air. As you begin to focus your embouchure (lip position), it won't take as much air. The only significant advantage to the B foot is you can play one note lower than a C flute. The B is not used very often so it is rarely used by beginners.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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pied_piper
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Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

jack2762 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 12:08 am
Question: can a Yamaha YFL 221 head joint fit into the body of the armstrong 80b? I damaged the head joint of my armstrong and it wont fit anymore. I need advise. Pls Help!😩
Head joints are usually not interchangeable unless you get a flute repair shop to resize it to fit. Your best bet is to take the Armstrong flute to the shop and let them repair the damage. As long as the metal is not torn, making it work and fit smoothly should not be a difficult fix.

Please describe what happened and how it is damaged. If you dropped it, it probably just slightly bent and that is usually easy to fix.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by jack2762 »

The area of the head joint the fits into the body particularly the tip is somewhat flared. I was trying to lift the very little dent which was an inch away from the lip plate not realizing the tool I was using was already flaring the tip. And while I was trying to fix the flared area, I kinda made the surface uneven. I didn’t even bother to fit the head joint into the body. So if the tip is flared and that area is somewhat rough or uneven can that still be fixed? Like nothing happened?

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by jack2762 »

Like resize the flared tip of the head joint and smoothen the surface like nothing happened?

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pied_piper
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Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

If the damage is not too severe, yes, the dents/flaring can be repaired. Can you post a few photos of yours?
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

jack2762
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 6:06 pm

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by jack2762 »

head joint is now ok and as if nothing happened to it. Btw someone is selling his miyazawa pcm 300 for $900usd. The flute seems ok but he said there was no serial no to be seen. Is this possible? Not that im doubting the seller bit it seems a bit odd that a flute maker does not engrave the serial no on his hand made flute specially they don’t make pcm anymore.

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Sterling Silver Flute

Post by pied_piper »

I'd be suspicious of no serial number. Might be a counterfeit...
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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