Looking for the best intermediate flute for my needs

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:37 am

Looking for the best intermediate flute for my needs

Post by HeavyD »

Hi all,
I'm looking to replace my 11 year old Gemeinhard Brio step up flute, which I've played the heck out of and now needs almost constant maintenance. I'm looking for a good value intermediate flute, but I don't want to buy something that's "too much" flute for my needs or something that's going to need repairs every three months.

I'm a church musician and play every Sunday, and I'm in a polka band that does a lot of long outside gigs in hot weather, so I'm concerned about durability. I'd hate to ruin a very expensive, sensitive flute by playing in a high humidity environment. But I also need to have good pitch and tone because I do a lot of solo playing.

The Gemeinhardt was great for the first seven years or so, but I have trouble with both the very low and the very high notes on it. I notice that there are some pitch issues as well, it tends to play sharp. I find that the keys aren't as responsive as I'd like them to be and sometimes playing faster passages feels like I'm really working hard at them, whereas on my old student Armstrong flute I could blow through a series of high or fast notes with much less effort. Obviously the tone of the Gemeinhardt is much better, but it does feel like a slog to play sometimes, which didn't bother me when I first started playing it but which I notice now that I've become a better player and am playing so much more often.

I've been doing a lot of research and I'm looking at Yamaha, Jupiter, and Pearl, and maybe Kessler. The Kessler flutes seem like a great value, but is that because they fall apart or sound tinny or buzzy?
I have some concerns about the Pearls as the reviews seem to be that they can require more frequent maintenance. I don't want to be in the shop every four months.
Yamahas and Jupiters seems like they're a good valute for the money, like they might be good workhorse flutes, but flute snobs seem to hate them and I'm not sure why.

Does anyone have experience playing any of these intermediate models? Do you have opinions on how much maintenance they required, and whether they were durable for you over the course of a decade?

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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:04 pm

Re: Looking for the best intermediate flute for my needs

Post by rylan »

I used to play a Gemeinhardt 3SHB, and although I ended buying a professional level Haynes (I couldn’t help myself), I initially started looking in the intermediate flute range. With that said, assuming a sub-$2000 range, I would actually look into Azumi, Amadeus, Sonare, and Trevor James as well. You can’t go wrong with any of those.

But whatever you do, just make sure you try as many flutes in your price range. It’s how I found my flute with a brand that wasn’t even on my radar.

Good luck! And have fun finding your flute!

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