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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:33 am 
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So I've been looking at this McNeela Cygnet Rosewood Flute on his Website.
He's got a Video where he is playing it presumable after working on it on a Lathe
It doesn't sound bad at all!
The Flute is offer at under $400
I sent Mr. McNeela a message asking about this Flute.
He says they are made Overseas and then he finishes them himself.
Anybody have any experience with this Flute?
If these are made to his Specs with a good Reamerand there is no reason why they couldn't sound good
On a related note I recently played a Pakistan Bagpipe Practice Chanter that sounded Excellent and the workmanship was comparable to any made in the UK or US
Although Musical Instruments made in Pakistan here to for have generally not been the best quality, there is no reason why they can't sound good and be made well (assuming they have a model and specs of a good Flute to follow)
I realize we have many Flute Makers, and am not suggesting People buy or don't buy from anyone but I'm intrigued by Mr. McNeela's unique approach to offering Irish Flutes
Just sayin................


Last edited by Ben Shaffer on Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:39 am 
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Ben Shaffer wrote:
So I've been looking at this McNeela Cygnet Rosewood Flute on his Website.
He's got a Video where he is playing it after working on it on a Lathe
It doesn't sound bad at all!
I sent Mr. McNeela at message asking about this Flute.
He says they are made Overseas and then he finishes them himself.
Anybody have any experience with this Flute?
If these are made to his Specs with a good Reamerand there is no reason why they wouldn't sound good
On a related note I recently played a Pakistan Bagpipe Practice Chanter that sounded Excellent and the workmanship was comparable to any made in the UK or US
Although Musical Instruments made in Pakistan here to for have not been the best quality, there is no reason why they can't sound good and be made well assuming they have a model and specs of a good Flute to follow
Just sayin................



It's an endlessly recurring subject among musicians. In guitar world you can get amazingly good guitars for remarkably little money. I want to assume it's at least partly computer driven milling and cutting equipment, rather than just cheap labor, because the quality control is much much better than it was back when I was learning to play the guitar.

I recently got an inexpensive used Pakistani-made keyed flute, to see how I'd like keys. As described by the seller, who was exactly right, it's a decent flute, great value for the money. I paid waaay more for a keyless flute from Geoffrey Ellis, totally worth the extra: it's a great flute, a joy to play. A small maker gives you a greater assurance of quality control and attention to detail, I assume: i don't know enough about flute making to know the effect of small changes. The difference between the two flutes is really striking though.


Call me cynical, but I have my doubts that Mr. McNeela works them at a lathe after they arrive. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:44 am 
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I agree with the above. There is a lot more involved in the making of a good flute than a reamer. Many flute players feel that cutting the embouchure hole is a delicate process and is one of the most important aspects of flute-making. I have seen a noted flute-maker spend hours in front of a Peterson stroboscope, tuning and retuning a flute so that it can be played in tune over three octaves. I doubt very much that NcNeela spends anywhere near as much time tuning any flute that he sells.

You can buy a "rosewood" flute, made in Pakistan, from eBay for $50. Then perhaps you could find a flute-maker willing spend an hour reworking it. The total outlay would be less than the money you'd be paying McNeela for a similar flute. Not what i'd do, but if you're looking for a $400 flute there are better options than McNeela. For instance, for the same money you can find a used Casey Burns folk flute, or a Delrin flute made by any number of respected flute-makers whom we should be supporting.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:17 am 
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Hey Dave ,
thanks for your insights!
My intent with this Post was not to get Flute buying advice, I've been playing Flute since the late 60's and have been around the Block a few times!.
We've all trashed Pakistani Flutes for years ...that said...
I'm intrigued by the idea of someone taking a Pakistani Flute and then turning it into a good or very good Flute.
Is this what Mr. McNeela is doing....well I have no idea, Ive never tried one :D .
And judging from the limited response this post has generated no one else here has either :poke: :poke:
Now of interest Mr. McNeela has over 60 Reviews on his Website of this Cygnet Flute he offers , but I can't open the Reviews
I would guess his Market may be Novices new to Irish Music looking for an inexpensive Flute with no wait
I'm not promoting these Flutes or denigrating or looking for a Flute to buy( currently),
could the quality of these Flutes be on the upswing due to Mr.McNeela giving the Out of County Makers specific directions on what he wants?

If you are interested go ahead and check out Robert Harvey playing one of these Cygnet Flutes on the following Link , scroll to the bottom of that page for the Video


https://mcneelamusic.com/wind/the-cygne ... lined-box/

BTW I don't know that Mr. McNeelas Flutes originate from Pakistan, but could be from elsewhere


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:11 am 
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Hi Ben- I do know that you've been around ITM and have been playing the flute for many years. So I was surprised that you might be interested in one of McNeela's sub-par products. I intensely dislike McNeela's over-the-top marketing and his failure to honor his vaunted guarantee.

This man's disappointment at McNella's failure speaks volumes about McNeela and his huge website. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=111239

The more people like McNeela advertise, market, and sell their 3rd. World products, the harder it is for individual makers to make a living. I would always support the independent maker rather than support a system that deals with 3rd. World factories, and exploitive labor practices, to make and sell crappy products to a western capitalist. I am sure that you feel the same way, as do most of us who have been playing for some years now.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:52 am 
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Hey Dave,
Again nice Insights!
I will say Mr. McNeela's Market is probably young Folk starting out or Adults just getting started who want a Flute quickly and don't wish to pay much.
I can't fault them on these reasons as they are just testing the Waters.
So essentially what we have is a Starter Flute.
I would be very surprised if the McNeela Flutes will impact on the better know Flute makers
The ones that stick with it are likely going to migrate to a Flute from one of the Fine makers of Irish Flutes that we all know. As for buying one of his Flutes, well I really don't play Flute these days, and if I were to buy another Flute I would be going with one of out Flute Makers off the List. So not really playing, but am still interested in what is going on in the Flute world

Side bar..... I wonder how much the People that actually make the Flute overseas are making? Burt thats another Issue

Now I do play Clarinet ( since 1959)
The majority of Clarinets today are made in Factories in China, Japan, the US as well as Europe,
in other words each individual Clarinet is being made by any number of People.
Individual Craftsmen making Clarinets is not common.
Seems to be the opposite of making Irish Flutes :poke:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:12 am 
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Rather, I think the customers of such instruments ("instruments"?) are people who don't know any better. They see a cheap price and buy it. Yet for the same price or less, they could get a better instrument, either from a maker or secondhand (yeah, I've said this before). They just don't know that and don't know where to look. We could make a whole list of such flutes that they could get new, and another of flutes they could get used, for around the same price.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:10 pm 
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For a flute that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I would recommend a flute by David Angus (rather than reworked Pakistani firewood -- even though I'd be also interested how those sound but for an "experiment" they are still way too expensive for what they are).
http://shop.fifeanddrumshop.com/
I have one in purpleheart wood with stainless steel rings. A lovely instrument. Perfect for a beginner because of the rather small holes and close spacing of the holes. More sweet than "oomph" but that might be my technique. 2nd and even 3rd octave are rather easy.


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