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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:34 pm 
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A blessing and a curse! I'm the sloooooowest shopper when it comes to big purchases and really like to take a lot of time to explore my options, but I seem to have been presented with the opportunity to have one by Christmas, should I so choose....

So I think the budget is probably going to top out at $400 USD. I'd throw in a bit on top of that myself if it'd make a difference, but I'm already living the Ramen Life.

The McNeela cocuswood flute was pointed out to me, and is the one the BF is encouraging, and I do like the way it sounds in videos, but with few exceptions (mostly hailing from Pakistan, etc), there's somebody that can play any flute. I've also read the threads on here and on The Session about how these flutes are likely to be reworked Pakistani flutes. I haven't decided how I feel about this. If these flutes are holding up well and I can produce a nice sound on it,
I'm probably okay. (One plus of McKneela's website is that he does accept returns within a short period.)

We are both viewing this as a flute for me to start on, rather than what I'd ultimately hope to end up with. I have trouble thinking this way; I'd rather start putting money away now for my dream flute (and get nothing for Christmas for a few years) than do this "intermediate flute" thing, but I know different people have different philosophies...


things I think would be nice
(which I recognize can be rather unlikely given the budget)
- pratten, I think
- dark color
- african blackwood
- maybe delrin? Tried some that I liked.
- bigger finger holes, particularly the low D
- being able to have keys to play Bb and maybe Eb would be a dream come true (I do almost as much sacred music as ITM)
- I found flutes by Olwell and Copley both lovely and very playable. Obviously far out of the price range but figured I'd add that since they did work well without much struggle for me, maybe someone will be able to point me down a good path...


things I don't care for
(obviously being able to produce a nice tone is again the priority)
- very small finger holes, particularly no low D that is too tiny; I have trouble finding them.
- if all else is equal, I would rather the flute be reddish (fiddle-colored) or black, but of course everything about sound/tone/playability is more important than this
- cheap-looking metalwork


I'm a little nervous about this too because I have the Olwell Bamboo flute and actually use it in worship enough because gosh I love the tone, but it rarely hits the sessions with me because I'm just too slow on it... and that's nobody's fault but my own. I've been the one struggling to find the motivation to put in enough time on it. It's a lovely instrument with a really full, deep, wonderful tone, and I hold it back; it doesn't hold me back. I feel like I should just stick with that maybe. My fear is that if we don't find enough of what I care for in whatever we get, it'll take a back burner to my silver flute and I won't put in the time needed to get good on it.

...but I've been wanting an Irish flute for so long! Even as a kid, I wanted one.... and now there's this chance...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm 
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If you like Copleys, both the delrin and blackwood are in or near your range. Burns folk flutes list at $450 and might be all you ever need. Somers delrin flutes come in at just under $400 for either a Patten or R&R. They are all good flutes.. Keys will up your price rapidly.

Keep an eye out here for flutes for sale, and check out The Irish Flute Store.

If you are playing an Olwell bamboo, you're doing well and in good company, like Brian Finnegan. They seem to be around $500 if you can find one. One of his simplest Pratten models was for sale recently at $1500, and I don't think it lasted a day.

If you put out a request here for something, you might shake loose a flute or two that aren't getting played much that just hasn't made it up for sale yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:55 pm 
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maestrosid wrote:
If you like Copleys, both the delrin and blackwood are in or near your range. Burns folk flutes list at $450 and might be all you ever need. Somers delrin flutes come in at just under $400 for either a Patten or R&R. They are all good flutes..
Above covers all the OP need do.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:13 pm 
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I checked out a video of a The McNeela cocuswood flute here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r3lTHUyOlU - sounds ok but that's not cocuswood. Cocuswood is a dark(ish) red/brown colour see here - http://www.martindoyleflutes.com/woods.html


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:40 pm 
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Gromit wrote:
- sounds ok but that's not cocuswood. Cocuswood is a dark(ish) red/brown colour see here -

It IS possible that we're looking at cocus sapwood here, not heartwood, which is the dark stuff. Still and all, if it's cocus I wanted, I'd be less inclined to settle for the sapwood. But as you point out, it does sound okay. As to the suitability of sapwood, the McNeela site states that they use an "advanced sealing technique", so that would explain some things.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Get a Copley or a Burns. I have owned both as well as an Olwell. My Olwell is a gorgeous, wonderful instrument that I dearly love but it was somewhere just shy of 2k. The Delrin Copley I travel with is nearly as good for only 360 new I think. you could play either a burns or a copley your whole life without missing much in the way of flute, the bang for your buck is outstanding.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:33 pm 
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Sapwood is not generally used for quality woodwork -

"it doesn't make for very good stock for woodworking. Sapwood contains a lot of moisture, will shrink considerably when dried and is much more susceptible to fungus." from here https://www.thespruce.com/heartwood-or- ... ts-3536898


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:31 pm 
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Gromit wrote:
Sapwood is not generally used for quality woodwork -

"it doesn't make for very good stock for woodworking. Sapwood contains a lot of moisture, will shrink considerably when dried and is much more susceptible to fungus." from here https://www.thespruce.com/heartwood-or- ... ts-3536898

Right. I know this, and I already hinted above that sapwood wouldn't be my first choice - even if it were well-cured - but it might be a way to keep costs down, and the sealants mentioned might be intended to deal with the less fluteworthy aspects of that quality of wood. In which case you still technically have cocus, even if it's not standard woodwind issue. IF indeed it's cocus, that is. I'm running on the assumption that the maker has a stake in not fleecing the public with false claims. Still, if the prospective buyer is so green as to not know that when we say "cocus" we normally mean the heartwood, then there might be issues when they do find out the difference.

I once saw for sale a low-cost set of GHBs or a set of flutes (can't remember which, now; maybe both?) that claimed to be of cocus, but it was light-colored stuff much like we see in that vid. At first I was most dubious and presumed the claim to be a ripoff for the unwary, but then noticed some stray streaks of heartwood amid the light stuff, and it certainly looked like the cocus heartwood I'm more familiar with. So all I'm saying is that it could indeed be cocus, just not heartwood. I'm not endorsing anything here, and would be most unlikely go for that wood myself because I've been spoiled by heartwood's reliable suitability. Rather than sapwood, I'd probably go with Delrin first.

It would be better if the maker called it for what it is, but from a marketing standpoint "sapwood" doesn't sound so appealing. Maybe "blond cocus" instead. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:20 pm 
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Sapwood in African Blackwood can sometimes look stunning. And is fine structurally etc.

Casey

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Casey Burns wrote:
Sapwood in African Blackwood can sometimes look stunning. And is fine structurally etc.

I would never have guessed. But does it have the same resinous quality as the heartwood?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:08 pm 
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Casey Burns wrote:
Sapwood in African Blackwood can sometimes look stunning. And is fine structurally etc.


Indeed, if this was a flute, I would be throwing money at it first an asking you all questions about it later.

Image

Alas, it is a tipper, and hasn't much to do with music at all.

Kidding, kidding. The BF is a bodhran player, and a fine one at that. It's an instrument I enjoy listening to. He makes lovely music. He is tasteful. He has great rhythm. (...which is especially nice since my fingers don't always seem to! He keeps me honest!)

Anyway, do any flutemakers ever work with that sort of stuff? Now I'm dreaming, of course, but how problematic would it be to work with, and how much would it affect the sound? Now that would be my dream flute.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:35 pm 
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my stolen Olwell had a sapwood blaze on the footjoint. :cry:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:37 pm 
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thaneydesign wrote:
Anyway, do any flutemakers ever work with that sort of stuff? Now I'm dreaming, of course, but how problematic would it be to work with, and how much would it affect the sound? Now that would be my dream flute.

Casey Burns does. A search on sapwood blackwood on this forum will find several threads on the topic, including pictures.

Here's one to start with... viewtopic.php?f=2&t=91262
Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Gromit wrote:
- sounds ok but that's not cocuswood. Cocuswood is a dark(ish) red/brown colour see here -

It IS possible that we're looking at cocus sapwood here, not heartwood, which is the dark stuff. Still and all, if it's cocus I wanted, I'd be less inclined to settle for the sapwood. But as you point out, it does sound okay. As to the suitability of sapwood, the McNeela site states that they use an "advanced sealing technique", so that would explain some things.

Probably Dalbergia sissoo, known as Sheesham.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:44 pm 
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kkrell wrote:
Probably Dalbergia sissoo, known as Sheesham.

Naaah. Sheesham's too dark.

thaneydesign wrote:
Alas, it is a tipper, and hasn't much to do with music at all.

Oh, snap! :twisted:

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