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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:48 pm 
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How does Doug Tipple's flutes compare to something like the Dixon 3 piece or the sweet "shannon" delrin flute?

If I am asking too many questions tell me shut up :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:22 am 
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One immediate red flag is that he calls his flutes "Renaissance Baroque Irish Bansuri". These are four distinct/different instruments. What are shown in the picture I looked at are renaissance flutes. These don't have a modern scale (or they have to be severely lipped into tune) and have different fingerings in the second octave than in the first.

Oak or pine can be easily sealed in the bore, but the softness of pine and the grain of oak would make cutting a good embouchure difficult or impossible. The standard way around this would be to make an embouchure insert, but these don't appear to have inserts.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:48 pm 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
Funds are tight yes

... yet over the last couple of years you've bought a number of cheap, seemingly unplayable instruments. Wouldn't it have been better to put those amounts that you spent on cheap instruments together and get a playable instrument?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:38 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
musicaddict99 wrote:
Funds are tight yes

... yet over the last couple of years you've bought a number of cheap, seemingly unplayable instruments. Wouldn't it have been better to put those amounts that you spent on cheap instruments together and get a playable instrument?


True, but I had found cheap and usable instruments of other types, so I guess I tried to extend that logic to flutes also, but that doesn't seem to be the case.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:29 am 
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True, but I had found cheap and usable instruments of other types, so I guess I tried to extend that logic to flutes also, but that doesn't seem to be the case.


Sure it is, as long as you adjust what your perception of cheap and playable are...

Tipple flutes have wonderful embouchure cuts, great tone, and are a real bargain. I personally find the tonehole spacing a bit uncomfortable, probably the result of the cylindrical bore, but those who are used to playing using a RH pipers grip don't complain (and it might work for me if the one Tipple I have didn't have offset holes as I'm more used to them inline). The Sweet Shannon is under 300, the Somers flute is around 400 and so is the Burns Folk flute. If you want to sacrifice some durability and tonal "accuracy" you can always go for a really inexpensive bansauri. I've even got a Murphy PVC flute that I'd let go for $40, though it is really is no patch on a Tipple.

For what it is worth, I've found that the embouchure cut on the Dixon 3-piece is not as forgiving for a beginner as some others, but that may have only been early experience and feedback from other beginners at the time.

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Last edited by Latticino on Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:45 am 
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Latticino wrote:
Sure it is, as long as you adjust what your perception of cheap and playable are...

Tipple flutes have wonderful embouchure cuts, great tone, and a real a real bargain. I personally find the tonehole spacing a bit uncomfortable, probably the result of the cylindrical bore, but those who are used to playing using a RH pipers grip don't complain (and it might work for me if the one Tipple I have didn't have offset holes as I'm more used to them inline). The Sweet Shannon is under 300, the Somers flute is around 400 and so is the Burns Folk flute. If you want to sacrifice some durability and tonal "accuracy" you can always go for a really inexpensive bansauri. I've even got a Murphy PVC flute that I'd let go for $40, though it is really is no patch on a Tipple.

For what it is worth, I've found that the embouchure cut on the Dixon 3-piece is not as forgiving for a beginner as some others, but that may have only been early experience and feedback from other beginners at the time.



I am going to save up for a Sweet Shannon, and in the mean time experiment again with making pvc flutes, because I enjoy making my own stuff. Thanks for all the replies guys sorry if I have frustrated any of you. As for bansuri, I have a key of G bansuri which I love, but again it is hit and miss getting a good bansuri.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:18 pm 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
...I had found cheap and usable instruments of other types, so I guess I tried to extend that logic to flutes also, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Indeed, it is definitely not the case. I think there's a perception out there that since the flute is essentially just a tube with holes, it ought to be easy to find a good one for cheap. But the flute's apparent simplicity is deceptive; it belies the difficulty and care in the craftsmanship it takes to make truly legitimate instruments that perform well and sound good. And the best still aren't easy to master to their fullest potential; it can take years, even so. A flute is NOT just a tube with holes: a good one is way, way more than that.

I've been holding off, but I feel it's okay for me to say something now. In my honest opinion, that thing you bought is a toy, something such as you might get as a souvenir from a hawker at a fair. Which is fine on its own, but if you intend to really pursue the flute, you need to do yourself better than that. And a bad flute will also make you form bad habits that are hard to break, by the way - I'm speaking from personal experience, here - so it's best to quit that while you're ahead. I say ditch it for better, and be relieved you're only out 20 bucks or so. And that brings us to a good rule of thumb: generally, price tends to accurately reflect the quality and viability of the instrument. Without a more experienced player to really put it through its paces, the flute you bought is hard to assess from the comfort of one's computer, but my first impression is that it's out of tune, and you don't want that. As to the embouchure cut, again you need an experienced player to try it to really see what it's worth. At such bargain basement prices, though, I honestly wouldn't even have given it a second look.

If anyone here is frustrated, it's because we weren't given the chance to guide you to something more worthy of your time and efforts before you bought it. But at prices like that, you can always in good conscience chalk it up to empirical research. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Indeed, it is definitely not the case. I think there's a perception out there that since the flute is essentially just a tube with holes, it ought to be easy to find a good one for cheap. But the flute's apparent simplicity is deceptive; it belies the difficulty and care in the craftsmanship it takes to make truly legitimate instruments that perform well and sound good. And the best still aren't easy to master to their fullest potential; it can take years, even so. A flute is NOT just a tube with holes: a good one is way, way more than that.


I guess I had that perception because I had made my own, bad, flutes before, so I underestimated what it takes to make a good flute.

Nanohedron wrote:
I've been holding off, but I feel it's okay for me to say something now. In my honest opinion, that thing you bought is a toy, something such as you might get as a souvenir from a hawker at a fair. Which is fine on its own, but if you intend to really pursue the flute, you need to do yourself better than that. And a bad flute will also make you form bad habits that are hard to break, by the way - I'm speaking from personal experience, here - so it's best to quit that while you're ahead. I say ditch it for better, and be relieved you're only out 20 bucks or so. And that brings us to a good rule of thumb: generally, price tends to accurately reflect the quality and viability of the instrument. Without a more experienced player to really put it through its paces, the flute you bought is hard to assess from the comfort of one's computer, but my first impression is that it's out of tune, and you don't want that. As to the embouchure cut, again you need an experienced player to try it to really see what it's worth. At such bargain basement prices, though, I honestly wouldn't even have given it a second look.


I don't know much about working wood, but even I can see some mistakes in the oak flute I bought, because I have handled some many bad flutes and modified them, and tried to make my own also. I should be weary of learning bad habits from a bad tool.

Nanohedron wrote:
If anyone here is frustrated, it's because we weren't given the chance to guide you to something more worthy of your time and efforts before you bought it. But at prices like that, you can always in good conscience chalk it up to empirical research. :)


I was curious, I like buying new instruments to try out and see if I like, and to understand how they work. I can't count the amount of musical experiments I myself made then took apart to see if certain ideas work.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:05 pm 
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musicaddict99 wrote:
...I underestimated what it takes to make a good flute.

And that's what prices pivot on. Materials aside, we're paying foremost for skills and the time spent using them. A maker of good flutes doesn't just drill an embouchure hole, s/he carves it carefully with much attention and testing until the best possible desired result is gotten. But altering any hole changes the flute's overall intonation, so the maker has to adjust for that, too. It's kind of like tuning a piano: Tighten or loosen one string because you must, and the rest go out of whack, so you have to go back and forth until everything's in balance. The difference from a piano string is that on a flute you can't reverse what you change, so the maker has to plan ahead. There IS a lot to it. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
. . . It's kind of like tuning a piano: Tighten or loosen one string because you must, and the rest go out of whack, so you have to go back and forth until everything's in balance. . .


A few decades ago, I hit a pothole or rock or something on my bike and bent the wheel. It was a nightmare adjusting the spokes, and I went to the bike shop and asked how to do it. The guy explained about tightening one, loosening the adjacent ones a little less, etc. We got chatting, and he suggested I go to a bike rack at the university in the middle of classtime and mess around with the wheels of a bunch of bikes till I get the hang of it. He said that's how he learned. ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 pm 
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chas wrote:
[The bike shop guy] suggested I go to a bike rack at the university in the middle of classtime and mess around with the wheels of a bunch of bikes till I get the hang of it. He said that's how he learned. ;)

Sounds like one way to get customers, too. Two birds in one stone, the slyboots!

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