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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:47 am 
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Thanks for letting me join, I may ramble before getting to my point but bare with me ;-).

My main instrument is the tin whistle, but I have always been interested in the flute.

I have been purchasing steadily bigger flutes, to work myself up to a Low D Irish flute, because
I love the sound of those instruments.

I have smallish hands so I was worried I wouldn't be able to play, because I purchased a Low D tin whistle before
and I don't have the hand reach to play it properly. I noticed a B flat fife on Amazon, and on receiving it I was
pleased with the sound, so I purchased a D flute that the same company was offering.

My hand size works for this Irish flute, because it is tapered/conical, and I can manage to get some notes out of it (though I find
it hard to get it to blow in the lowest octave), but I still wonder if my limitations in getting a good sound out of it is because of my breathing control,
my embouchure, or because its a $60 flute.

Does anybody have any experience with AAR products flute on Amazon? The flute itself seems well constructed and in tune, but I am
curious to see if any real flute players have tried it.

I don't really want to give a directly link to Amazon, because I am not paid to advertise for them ;-).

Thanks for any response.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:30 am 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
I don't really want to give a directly link to Amazon, because I am not paid to advertise for them

For the sake of convenience... here it is anyway. Sorry I can't comment on AAR, but $60 seems a bit suspect to me... what material is it made of?

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:52 am 
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I did a search on AAR and came up with five Google pages total, of nothing in English other than their products on eBay, etc. They're based in the States, but that can mean anything. If they're going to be that shadowy and judging by the look of the flute, first impression tells me to suggest that if you must buy the thing, do not do so with any hope of landing a quality, well-playing instrument.

If there's one thing true about these flutes we play, it's that barring the extraordinary, you really do get what you pay for. I say 60 bucks should tell you plenty.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:03 pm 
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If you really want to buy a new flute and you have only $70USD, and you have smallish hands, you'd be better off to get one of Doug Tipple's flutes.
They're inexpensive and actually play music - and have some resale value, too.

http://tippleflutes.com

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Good point. It's probably the only case where such a low price is actually good value in terms of what you get out of a flute's performance.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 2:36 pm 
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Looking at their other Amazon offerings, it makes me wonder if they are really a salvage/overstock store. I am about 100% sure that is a mid-east manufactured flute from the pic.

I'd run away unless you could try it in person first, and even then....

Eric


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 4:42 pm 
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I actually have the flute already and can (sort of) get a tune out of it. I bought the flute because
their B flat marching flute was playable.

As for what material it is made of, it says elsewhere online that they are rosewood.

Flexismart wrote:
If you really want to buy a new flute and you have only $70USD, and you have smallish hands, you'd be better off to get one of Doug Tipple's flutes.
They're inexpensive and actually play music - and have some resale value, too.

http://tippleflutes.com


The thing is, aren't those pvc tubing? I am not so much worried about the source of the material, but a cylindrical flute that size will probably require greater
reach than my hands can supply.

If I can't get an Irish flute to fit my hands, would I be better off with a concert flute?


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Internet rule: If it smells like an unstrument, it IS an unstrument. You won't get a playable handmade flute at that price. Search this site for "flute shaped object". There is a deep vein of unhappy experience you should learn from.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 5:20 pm 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
If I can't get an Irish flute to fit my hands, would I be better off with a concert flute?

Not necessarily, if you use the so-called "piper's grip". I have small hands so that's how I do it. Depends on you. I tried a Tipple once, but I'm afraid I don't recall how significant the stretch was. I was able to play it, though.

BTW, "concert flute" is an older term still used among some trad fluters to indicate the kind of wooden D flute you're talking about. But of course we know what you meant. :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 5:33 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
musicaddict99 wrote:
If I can't get an Irish flute to fit my hands, would I be better off with a concert flute?

Not necessarily, if you use the so-called "piper's grip". I have small hands so that's how I do it. Depends on you. I tried a Tipple once, but I'm afraid I don't recall how significant the stretch was. I was able to play it, though.

I tried that on a PVC Low D whistle before, and it didn't work, but did almost work when I used my little finger instead of my finger finger to cover the hole

Quote:
BTW, "concert flute" is an older term still used among some trad fluters to indicate the kind of wooden D flute you're talking about. But of course we know what you meant. :)


I meant the silver Boehm cousin of the older style Irish flute yes ;). I could buy a Boehm flute (there are some cheap ones with good reviews on Amazon) but I would prefer
a six hole simple system flute because in terms of fingering, it is just a horizontal tin whistle.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 5:52 pm 
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There are plenty of smaller holed simple system flutes out there, but the Tipple is not one of them. I have small hands, too, but have no problem with most of the flutes I've played and I don't play them with piper's grip. Being conical bored, the holes are much, much closer together than on a low D whistle.

The only things I'd say is avoid very large hole pratten models. Most Rudalls and other modern takes on older flutes style such as Nicholson or Hawkes should be fine. If you're really, really worried about your hand size, Casey Burns makes small holed folk flutes for somewhere around $375 and for about $250ish you can get a Dixon 3 piece conical polymer flute (not designed for small hands, but the holes are small at it works for that well).

I've not tried Dixon's new conical 1 or two piece flutes - they're thinner bodied and not made like a traditional flute - more like a Tipple but conical so the stretch would be less and the holes smaller. That might be a cheaper option, but I don't know how easy they are to play. The 3 piece Dixon is not a bad starter flute at all. I'd say the Burns is better but costs 1/3rd again as much.

Eric


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:20 pm 
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Jayhawk wrote:

I've not tried Dixon's new conical 1 or two piece flutes - they're thinner bodied and not made like a traditional flute - more like a Tipple but conical so the stretch would be less and the holes smaller. That might be a cheaper option, but I don't know how easy they are to play. The 3 piece Dixon is not a bad starter flute at all. I'd say the Burns is better but costs 1/3rd again as much.

Eric


I might look at the Dixon 1 piece flute, IF they are conical (or just buy a Boehm, I like classical music also). The Burn's flutes look wonderful, but a little out of my price range for now.

I wonder why AAR make a pretty decent B flat fife, but can't make a good large flute. Was I just lucky to get a good fife out of them, or
does scaling a flute up bring makes bad quality issues more obvious? Just pondering.

Thanks for all the replies, even if the D flute I bought is crap, it has still shown me that a conical flute WILL fit my hand size.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:04 pm 
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Did you glance at AAR's other Amazon items? They're electronics. I would be shocked if they made anything. If they're selling musical instruments on ebay, they likely are bought/salvage items (e.g., from seized goods for a store, say, that is being closed for unpaid taxes). You were likely lucky on the fife.

EDIT: That's weird...on my phone the link for their Amazon store takes me to electronics, but on my home computer it's all Celtic stuff and instruments (including pipe reeds). Despite that, I think you're lucky. They describe it as black and claim it's rosewood...they clearly don't know what they're selling and it perfectly matches mid-east manufactured flutes.

Dixon makes reputable things...if you can get a conical bore one, it's not much money and it's more likely to be good and playable by far. I'd go with the two piece...the cost if I recall isn't much more at all and being able to tune some is a good thing.


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 1:41 am 
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The Dixon one piece is still a big stretch compared to the small-handed Burns but, from the measurements, not so quite so big a stretch as the Tipple.


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 3:48 am 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
I might look at the Dixon 1 piece flute, IF they are conical (or just buy a Boehm, I like classical music also).

Yes they are slightly tapered, but still rather a toy IMHO. FWIW I had one of these as my first "Irish" flute and thought it was quite nice, but I soon wanted (and got) something better. So it's probably okay as a gateway drug... and then you still have a nice camping flute. :)

BTW, as you say you're new to the sideblown flute I wonder how you can judge the quality of that Bb fife... I mean, it takes quite a long time until you're able to produce a decent tone in the first place, and if you're only learning with crap instruments from a dubious company you may be misguided in what you consider "playable". So I'd say it's very important that you *know* you have a playable instrument you're training your embouchure on.

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