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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:24 am 
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In the recent past there have been discussions here on Sam Murray flutes offered by McNeela's shop - still my thoughts on the subject are unclear. I'll be very brief and direct, if I may: is there any seasoned player (ideally with a deep and long-standing intimacy with flute, tone production and intonation) out there that has had the chance of playing a Sam Murray flute obtained from the maker and a Sam Murray flute obtained through McNeela? If this is the case, could you see (hear) any difference? Please feel free to reply privately, if you wish. Thank you for your help.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:59 pm 
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I don't mean to be confrontational, but if you don't trust Mr Murray to make you a good flute, why do you want to buy one of his flutes? :-? No two flutes from the same maker are identical, so I don't see how you could get a sensible answer to your question. This question is likely to generate more FUD about Mr Murray :(

Mcneela apparently has a 7 day return policy, so it looks like you should be able to get a refund in case the flute doesn't meet your expectations. It's better to check with them though, as 6-keyers seem to be custom orders.

If you really want a Murray and can afford one, go for it. Otherwise, there are so many quality makers... We are spoiled with choices...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm 
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Hi gwuilleann, thank you for your comment. Indeed I checked with McNeela, and they were kind and prompt in replying that yes, the 7-day return policy applies to this item as well. I really don't mean to generate further discussions or FUD on Mr Murray. My only concern is that there seems to be a discontinuity regarding his flutes, and there are a couple of recent cases here on this forum of Murray flutes acquired through McNeela's shop and gone on sale after a short time. I just wanted to make sure that his has nothing to do with the quality of the flutes, and would definitely be most happy to hear that. This would help me a bit in making a choice - not an easy one, given costs, times and also the current global emergency - for a keyed wooden flute.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:08 pm 
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I have a divine Sam Murray through McNeela. A superb instrument which I shall never part with. My understanding is that Murray does not deal with the public nowadays, and entrusts the commercial sales to McNeela. He has no website and no email so I don't see how you could buy a flute from him directly anyway. I read somewhere that he has indeed returned to making, in conjunction with a son or apprentice, but as with most things Murray, I can't really sure. But the stamp change to 'Muraeus' indicates something. A wonderful flute maker in my view. McNeela says there is a 67 month wait for the keyed flutes. I cannot accept that this maker would make lesser quality instruments to supply to a dealer, which seems to me to be the meaning of the OP. Have faith!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:46 am 
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Thank you for your feedback Andro, glad to hear that!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:21 pm 
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REPOSTED FROM THESESSION.... Cautionary tales.....

Hi all
About a year ago I ordered a Sam Murray 6 key flute from McNeela Music in Dublin who are I understand are the sole agent for Murray flutes
The flute was to be ready in about 3 months however through various delays the delivery time was extended to about 9 months
Having received the flute and paid McNeela Music in full i was initially please to get it after such an unplanned protracted wait
When i picked up the flute I put it together and generally looked at it and was surprised to see that the inside bore had been reamed very roughly and not up to quality and I pointed this out to the sales assistant and was told to take it up with Paraic McNeela
I came home and after a short while the C natural key fell off along with the pin
I brought it back to McNeela and met Paraic and asked him to send it back also to have the inside bore polished
I collected the flute soon after with the key and pin back on however the inside bore had no improvements. I expressed my disappointment to Paraic McNeela
Home again and after a short while the end ring fell off and a key pad also fell off.
I once again returned the flute to the sole agent and met Paraic and said I wanted all these problems including the inside bore sorted out for once and for all. The inside bore was reamed out so roughly I would think moisture would not run freely out of the flute and cause more problems He said he would return it to Sam Murry
I phoned Paraic McNeela recently which was after about a month and he told me that Sam Murray said these problems were due me keeping the flute in too hot an environment
And Murray would charge me for the repairs.
I told McNella that this excuse was crazy as I keep it in my home in the same conditions as 2 other flutes that I own With no problems
I have not heard from McNeela Music since or Murry for that matter
So my question really is Has anybody experienced issues with Sam Murray or McNeela Music who are the sole agent and if so what did you do about it and did you get satisfaction
The Murray flute is not cheap and I payed about 2500 and for that money you would expect a well finished flute. Not so in my case
And I’m wondering what to do
I would very much appreciate your comments

# Posted 8 hours ago.

Sam lost a flute of mine about twenty years ago. He said it had been taken by someone who used to work in his shop. Sam promised everything, gave nothing, and put me off for years. He didn’t make good till I moved to Ireland and went to his shop. He reluctantly and with bad feeling gave me a flute.
McNeela is complicit too, under the guise of an honest dealer. He represents Sam Murray and is responsible for his bad faith dealings. McNeela is not genuinely interested in anything but making money. He does not have a very good reputation among serious musicians. He lies and will do and say anything to get out of a bad situation.
If I were you I would take him right to court and get your money back.

# Posted 4 hours ago.

Re

Re: Sam Murray flute issues
"So my question really is Has anybody experienced issues with Sam Murray or McNeela Music who are the sole agent and if so what did you do about it and did you get satisfaction"

My experience: I left my Murray keyless flute for repair (cracked barrel) in July 2011. 2 years later July 2013, still hadn’t got my flute back from Sam.
From the Chiff & Fipple thread - Sam Murray and flute deliveries - August 2013: "Based in Sweden all my dealings with flute and uilleann pipe makers have been long distance by default. Over the years I’ve sent and received flutes, and parts of pipes to Chris Wilkes, Dave Williams R.I.P., and Martin Doyle and had no problems at all. I’ve purchased flutes from Cork, California, New Hampshire, a Wooff chanter from Australia, again no problems.
Sam Murray is the only maker who has been a severe disappointment. Sam refuses to return my keyless flute which I personally left in his workshop in July 2011. An attempt was made about 10 days ago by someone visiting Galway to obtain my flute and another person’s flute, that was left for repair over a year ago, and Sam could not produce either of the flutes. Sam and Sean still maintain radio silence, no communication. As my flute’s long gone I’ve nothing to lose now. 25 euros gets the Galway District Court Small Claims Registrars involved, Sam must be taken to task. He can’t just take people’s flutes and money unchallanged". I never got my flute back from Sam, or any other compensation, such as another flute, or money to the value of the flute. I hope you get your flute back Robin.

I took Sam to court some time ago for a 3 key returned to him for a head repair and the court found in my favour. However the sheriff in Galway couldn’t find him so I was out the flute and court costs.
I would like to get my flute back but have given up all hope.

# Posted 3 hours ago.

https://thesession.org/discussions/45580

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:47 pm 
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I’ve seen SO many threads similar to this one... I have a question (seriously). Why does anyone buy Murray flutes when there are so many other excellent makers “out there”? Copley, Gallagher, and Olwell to name just a few. Please don’t flame me - this is a serious question.

Pat

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:26 pm 
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plunk111 wrote:
I’ve seen SO many threads similar to this one... I have a question (seriously). Why does anyone buy Murray flutes when there are so many other excellent makers “out there”? Copley, Gallagher, and Olwell to name just a few. Please don’t flame me - this is a serious question.

Pat

I guess it's because, when they are good they are very, very good. I've never had any dealings with Mr. Murray (other than through threads like this) but I do have a boxwood flute of his making that is wonderful–at least for me and my way of playing. Like most handmade things, caveat emptor. Or YMMV.

Best wishes,

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:38 pm 
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Yeah, the fellow can make very good flutes for Celtic fluting. He's an artist.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:59 am 
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plunk111 wrote:
I have a question (seriously). Why does anyone buy Murray flutes when there are so many other excellent makers “out there”?

I think it's because "Irish flutes" are a niche within a musical niche, and not everyone starts their journey with a thorough search of C&F or thesession.org for information. It's fairly easy to land on a page from a Google search that extols the virtue of Murray flutes, since apparently there are some fine ones out there, as some are reporting in this thread. You need to dig pretty deep to see all the problems reported.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:57 pm 
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It's unclear to me how involved Mr. Murray is in the making of the flutes—not suggesting he's not, just that I don't know. There has been talk of his son's involvement and/or an apprentice. Perhaps the alternate name of Muraeus represents that. It would be interesting to get a straight answer on the production process and how much Mr. Murray actually does.

As I mention above, I have a very fine instrument bearing his label. But others have had very different experience. I was able to play mine prior to purchase (from a fellow Chip and Fiffler). I'd recommend that avenue if at all possible.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:13 pm 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2wPxD-ukCg


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:43 am 
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Jim-- Not really an accurate example. I think that Harry is playing an F flute. And as we know, Harry could make a garden hose sound like a great flute. There is a world of difference between making and playing an F flute rather than a D flute. An F flute is easier to make and much easier to play.
I have played some very good Murray flutes and some not so good. But one thing I would not do is get involved with Paraic McNeela. Or, for that matter, with Sam Murrray.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:35 am 
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Eb. not F.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:44 pm 
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Thanks to both of you for the correction. I do think that Harry B's playing on Sam's flutes
is one of the reasons people keep dealing with Sam. (This isn't the claim that they are being reasonable.) It seems to me a set-up where Sam makes flutes and a business person sells them for him and deals with customers and also rejects the occasional sub par flute from Sam, could, in principle, correct for Sam's particular deficiencies. I had a good Murray keyless once. Gee, it was a good flute.
But obviously such a scheme, if it has any hope of protecting consumers, depends on the business person being knowledgeable and responsible.


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