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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Hello guys,

First of all, I'm sorry for starting yet another thread, given that someone else recently asked quite similar question here.

As indicated in the title, I'm looking for an Irish flute to buy. I, too, have a background in Böhm flute, but have never actually played an Irish flute. Considering my location (I live in Estonia), the chances of finding (and trying) an Irish flute nearby are quite low, which is why I've been looking to purchase one online. And, of course, I got quite overwhelmed by all the different options...

Now, after some research, it seems like the best flute for me to start with would be a keyless Delrin flute in D. I looked through some recommendations on this forum as well as elsewhere and it seems it should be possible to get a (relatively) good flute for about 300-400€. Now, what I struggle with is to find the right design (Pratten vs Rudall) and maker. From what I've read, most people find Rudall flutes a bit easier to play, but eventually, it all comes done to individual preferences? I have read through the Pratten/Rudall thread on this forum and some other information elsewhere, but I still don't feel like I know what would be the right choice for me (and I probably won't, until I try). :-?

As I live in the EU, I was looking for sellers who are also located here and ended up with Somers, Cronnolly/M&E and Francois Baubet. Besides that, I saw that somebody in this forum is selling a Desi Seery Pratten flute. Do you have any suggestion which one of these would be most fitting for someone like me, that is someone who has never played an Irish flute before? How does the (used) Desi Seery flute compare to the others? I wouldn't mind buying a used flute, but I read somewhere that some people have had problems starting out with Desi Seery flutes. If anybody has had the chance to compare any of these flutes to one another or is playing any of them, I'd be very interested in hearing your opinions.

Thank you in advance!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:48 pm 
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I have heard this too that beginners have problems with Seery flutes. A friend of mine had the same experience.
However, I think that these people usually have no Boehm flute background, therefore I guess it would be a lot easier for you if you tried to learn on a Seery flute.
I too had years of experience on the Boehm flute before I started on an Irish flute. My first Irish flute (that I still have and regular play) was a M&E flute with 6 keys. Because of my classical background I thought I really needed a keyed flute...now I a not so sure if this was necessary.

The M&E flute plays easily over 2 octaves ( but the third doesn't work), but the keys don't work very easily. I now have a Lejeune keyed flute and it is a difference of night and day, how easily the key mechanism of the Lejeune flute works, compared to the M&E. But that is fine, because of the low price of the M&E.

Do you already have a special playing style in mind or some favourite players? Do you have sessions in your area?
On my M&E flute very soon had the feeling that I can't really push the flute as loud as I would like to - and on sessions I often felt overpowered.

I think you should go with the Seery flute and just sell it after a couple of month if it really doesn't work out for you. Getting started with the Seery flute might be a bit harder, but with your previous experience, I think you can manage it and have more fun in the long term with this flute.
But if you really want keys, the M&E is the only choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:03 pm 
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I've played (and owned) Seery's and played the Somers Rudall.
The Seery is a good flute, a Pratten. You won't have any trouble
with it unless you have quite small hands. The Somers Rudall
is also a good flute. If I had to choose one, given my idiosyncracies,
I'd probably choose the Somers, but both will serve you well as a beginner.
You may be underestimating the advantage you will have coming to
Irish flute from Boehm training.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:19 am 
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I do have and play a Somers Rudall. It is a very good flute, in design and quality, and a joy to play. In every way, a top delrin flute option that I would recommend.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:28 am 
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BKWeid wrote:
I do have and play a Somers Rudall. It is a very good flute, in design and quality, and a joy to play. In every way, a top delrin flute option that I would recommend.

My recommendation, also. For a U.S. maker, Dave Copley's Delrin models are quite satisfying, too, although a little costlier I think, particularly if you go for the more traditional appearance (rings, etc.).

BTW, when Desi Seery was alive, his Delrin flutes were considerably in demand for school programs and plenty of beginners, as well as professionals.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:31 am 
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Thank you so much for all the quick responses!

ertwert wrote:
Do you already have a special playing style in mind or some favourite players? Do you have sessions in your area?
On my M&E flute very soon had the feeling that I can't really push the flute as loud as I would like to - and on sessions I often felt overpowered..

I don't have a specific playing style in mind yet and I'm not aware of any Irish music sessions in my country. Estonia has a very vivid traditional/folk music scene, though, so as soon as I feel confident enough, I'd definitely find someone to play with. At the moment, however, I'm not necessarily looking for a loud flute, it's mostly about trying out a new instrument on my own. Once I get more into it, I'd probably also consider getting a wooden (and perhaps keyed) flute, but at this point, I just want to find out if the Irish flute works for me at all.

jim stone wrote:
I've played (and owned) Seery's and played the Somers Rudall.
The Seery is a good flute, a Pratten. You won't have any trouble
with it unless you have quite small hands.

I don't think my hands are particularly small. As I'm female, they're inevitably smaller than most guys' hands, but other than that probably rather average. At least I have never had any problems with my Böhm flute, also not when starting out at a rather young age. Though I'm not sure if that says anything at all.

kkrell wrote:
BKWeid wrote:
I do have and play a Somers Rudall. It is a very good flute, in design and quality, and a joy to play. In every way, a top delrin flute option that I would recommend.

My recommendation, also. For a U.S. maker, Dave Copley's Delrin models are quite satisfying, too, although a little costlier I think, particularly if you go for the more traditional appearance (rings, etc.).

BTW, when Desi Seery was alive, his Delrin flutes were considerably in demand for school programs and plenty of beginners, as well as professionals.

Yes, Copley was among the US makers whom I found when looking for recommendations on here and elsewhere. Considering shipping costs and customs, I'm rather sure I don't want to order from the US, though, unless someone in the EU is reselling flutes from US makers.

I've heard before that Desi Seery passed away. What about the flutes, though, did someone take over Desi Seery's workshop after he passed away or are all Seery flutes made by himself?

Eventually, it seems like it all comes down to Seery's Pratten vs. Somers' Rudall. I will definitely need to give it some more thought before deciding on either one, but thank you for all your input!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:27 am 
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huilu wrote:
kkrell wrote:
BTW, when Desi Seery was alive, his Delrin flutes were considerably in demand for school programs and plenty of beginners, as well as professionals.

Yes, Copley was among the US makers whom I found when looking for recommendations on here and elsewhere. Considering shipping costs and customs, I'm rather sure I don't want to order from the US, though, unless someone in the EU is reselling flutes from US makers.

I've heard before that Desi Seery passed away. What about the flutes, though, did someone take over Desi Seery's workshop after he passed away or are all Seery flutes made by himself?

The shop in Bray continues to turn out new flutes. I've had a few in & out over the years. Desi gave me a flute because I was helping him with emails & U.S. customers. I had one from his daughter Natasha (RIP also). I currently have 2 keyless Seerys, one Delrin & another in Mopane. I am still convinced that the flutes from Garry Somers in Co. Offaly are a best buy, whether you get his Rudall or Pratten model.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:30 am 
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Living in Europe you might want to consider Tony Dixon &/or Damian Thompson keyless flutes, both are easy players, & DT will offset the holes for you at no extra cost, if you want.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:12 am 
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Thank you for the specification, kkrell!

And also thank you for your input, fatmac. I just took a short look at both, the Dixon and Thompson flutes, and what others have written about them. At the first glance, it seems like Dixon would be a considerably cheaper option, but people have had very varying experiences with those flutes. As for the Thompson flutes, the Delrin Rudall model with sterling silver rings sure looks beautiful, but it's another 100€ more expensive than the Rudall flute by Somers.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:15 pm 
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I agree with all of the great advice so far. With your flute background, any quality made flute will work great. I happened to have both a second hand M&E and Seery when I was first learning. Like others, I found the M&E easier to play, but I had basically 0 flute background. The Seery had a cleaner finish, and I'd recommend it between the 2, but the M&E was also a solid (figuratively and literally) flute that played well. If weight is a concern, definitely go for the Seery, as the M&E is a heavy flute.

Other makers with entry models/prices in Europe, some already mentioned here: Thompson, Millyard, Somers, Baubet.

Looks like there are also a couple wood flutes on donedeal:
https://www.donedeal.ie/brassandwind-fo ... e/26550394
https://www.donedeal.ie/brassandwind-fo ... e/26399706

I have both of those makers currently actually, and both are quality flutes. I find the Burns flute easier to play with my intermediate level embouchure.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:32 pm 
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Given your location, I think you should get a flute from Garry Somers. Given that you're just starting, I think his Rudall model would be a better choice than his Pratten model. I have one and enjoy it very much. I also own a Pratten-style delrin flute by Rob Forbes and have played delrin flutes made by Dave Copley. They are very good flutes but not any better than Somers', and it will be easier for you and less expensive in terms of postage to purchase the Somers flute. It not only sounds good, it is very well made (as are the other two I mentioned). Chet


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:41 pm 
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from ireland you would probably choose Di Mauro flute, his student model in derlin
That will be in your budget AND it has better quality than most of same price's options.
http://www.vdmflutes.com/UK/Delrinuk.html

(unfortunately I have not tested any Thomson flutes yet)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:33 am 
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Having just seen this thread, I thought I'd better let people know that due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be making flutes for the next few months. Thanks to all for the kindly recommendations but I will not be taking any more orders for now and my website willl be going off-line. I will let people know when I'm back up and running again.

Garry

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:46 am 
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Thank you for writing, Garry. I already noticed on your website that you're out of the workshop until January and was considering to wait until then, but perhaps I will look into the other recommendations now instead. I hope all is well!

Thanks to the others for all the recommendations as well, I will look into them and let you know once I made up my mind. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:25 am 
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Hi huilu

A couple of hints based on my modest (~1-year) experience.

Go for a Delrin flute in D by a reputed maker (some of them based in Europe already mentioned above: Somers, Baubet, M&E, Thompson, Vincenzo Di Mauro): this will be a proper instrument (covering most of the Irish music you might want to play) requiring no maintenance and coming at a reasonable price. Even if at some point you move to a wooden keyed flute, you will never regret having a "battle" flute which you can take anywhere or leave assembled at home and play whenever it suits you even for 5 minutes.

As to which flute, I own a keyless Di Mauro and a 6-key M&E and will stick to these two makers for some suggestions. They are both Rudall-based flutes, and both are great - in my opinion - for tone (which is different on each flute, though) and intonation. The Di Mauro has a slightly wider bore (demanding a bit more air) and a better finishing than the M&E. On the other side, a keyless M&E is cheaper and you can have it in 10 days or so. In your situation, I would personally opt for a Di Mauro (for an additional cost he will make a very nice hand-made wooden case) and check with Vincenzo his waiting time (I was in touch with him a month ago and as far as I remember had a relatively short waiting list).

If you want keys (which will make your instrument chromatic in a simpler and cleaner way than with half-holing or cross-fingering), then the 6-key M&E is a great option as to price and quality. However, as someone mentioned above, the keys are not easy to play (harder and higher than higher-quality flutes), so that would be a good instrument for practicing but not a final one.

Hope this helps
Sergio


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