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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 12:01 am 
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What do you guys recommend if I'm looking to buy a flute that costs $200-300 that would be able to suitable for the rank beginner to the intermediate advance-ish level, and not require me to upgrade? I'm looking for one that passes the session test as well.

The flutes in this range seem to be Dixon 3pc, Seery, M&E and some other makes. From browsing the Woodflute archives, I get the idea that M&E is much easier to play than Seery, but as time is spent, people slowly gravitate towards Seery because of its tone and loudness, catering for advanced. I don't think I want a flute that takes many months for me to get a fairly good tone though, catering to my status of rank beginner.

What about the Dixon 3pc? I hear its easy to play but I wonder if it can follow me up to more advanced levels. And other makes?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 4:27 am 
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You gotta love questions like this, as they tend to spark all of our opinions.

Here's what I'd do. Get an Olwell Bamboo--this is a great flute for $72 or so, and better than most of the flutes for beginners in the $200-300 range.

I personally like the Seery, but I didn't play one until much later. Never played an M&E, but most people just don't seem to stick with this flute. It's a pretty good deal.

Mark Hoza makes a nice unkeyed flute, good for starting out at about $395--check out Dave Migoya, he might have one for less :smile:

For a little more than what you want to spend, you might be tempted by what JessieK and Loren would tell you are phenomenal flutes--Copely.

I still think the Olwell bamboo is a great flute for the money and it has nice volume.
But you'll spend much more than $200 for a flute that just might end up a keeper session flute.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 9:01 am 
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Of the plastic flutes you mentioned, order of ease of playing, from easiest to hardest, would be M&E just generally easy), Seery (harder to fill), Dixon 3-piece (requires a bit of focused embouchure, but not incredibly difficult). In order of how they sound, from best to worst, they'd be Dixon 3-piece (with focused embouchure), M&E (generally fine), Seery (too airy for my liking, it has a sort of hiss).

Of course, if you never want to upgrade and you don't want to pay for an Olwell, a Copley (not Copely) would be the way to go.

:smile: Jessie


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 9:18 am 
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Since I have an M&E for sale, I shouldn't comment much here. I will however say this:

If you're looking to buy one flute that's easy to play and will last you a long time, before you upgrade, I'd skip the Olwell cane flute. It's a wonderful instrument for the money however, because it's a one piece instrument and you can't rotate the embouchure hole independantly of the finger holes, the playing position can be uncomfortable and/or this can lead to problems getting your lips in the correct position over the embouchure hole.

The Olwell is also somewhat fragile being made of cane/bamboo. F

Finally; while the Olwell cane flute sounds wonderful, it doesn't sound so much like an "Irish flute". So if that's the sound you're looking for, better to go with one of the other options.

Loren

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Loren on 2001-11-29 10:23 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 10:08 am 
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i see what you did there
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I like JessieK's comments about the focused embouchure on the Dixon. I still heartily recommend Dixon's flute (the three-piece, conical bore one) for beginners, and I like
that it takes enough work to get a sound out of to give you feedback on your embouchure without being too onerous or too generous.

Of course, for all I know, the other suggested ones do the same, but the Dixon nails the "just enough of a workout" level for me.

<ul>-Rich</ul>


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 10:11 am 
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I have an Olwell cane flute and I actually like the tone in the first Octave :smile: better than many of the flutes I've heard.

This flute will definitely teach you to blow and you can get it and start learning tunes now while you save up your nickels and dimes for something more.

I think once you have spent some time on an Olwell you need to move on to a flute that your going to stay with that has an adjustable headjoint and one that in a cylindrical bore rather than a conical bore.

As an aside although I love my Olwell and how it sounds, my relatives were a bit surprised when I pulled out my "Irish Flute". I told them the the cane was harvested from the dark jungles of Ireland herself.

Won't they be surprised when I pull out my new Copley Irish Flute made of beautiful "Irish BlackWood". :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 10:23 am 
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Craig, every time you mention your Olwell bamboo flute, referring to it simply as an Olwell and then say something about needing to upgrade, I shudder a little before I realize that you are talking about the bamboo flute. Patrick Olwell is a freakin' genius, and his blackwood flute is unbe-freakin'-lievable. Bamboo or wood...it's a big difference, and an important distinction.

(By the way, Pat cuts the bamboo in Florida.)

:smile: Jessie


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 12:22 pm 
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Jessie,

Your right it is an important distinction and I will be careful in the future to avoid any phrasing that might be misconstrued as blasphemous, thereby inducing the Olwell Shudder Response or OSR as I like to call it. :smile:

I know where the cane comes from, its just the response of my relatives at Bamboo or African Blackwood being associated with anything Irish.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 11:02 pm 
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I think I want to add here that there are HUGE differences between cylindrical, conical and double-conical bores. Olwell, as well as McGee and several others, make flutes with conical (Pratten) bores and double-conical (or conoidal, if you wish) bores. Few will make a strictly conical bore. Double-conical (first espoused by Quantz, if I remember correctly) are those that taper from the shoulder (just above LH1 and below the upper tenon) to somewhere between RH2-3 and the foot (some do it later) then open back up again. Very important for the lower octave.
Pure conical bores (those that taper fully to the foot with no reopening) usually are found in French flutes, some German models and the ill-fated (well-deserved!) pakistani things running around.
Cylindrical bores were moving in and around for years, but it was Boehm for first tried making the head piece conical (tapering from thin to large) and the rest of the body cylindrical (pretty much a straight line to the end....with some deflections). The Pratten flute was also one of the first to try it all the way through, with no conoidal moves anywhere.
Butler was one of the others to try the Boehm style idea on a wooden simple-system flute and found it worked best with the Siccama-style keys. Actually, that idea played better in Eb than in D. Not sure why.
So there it is.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:44 am 
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Well David,
My "ill fated" Pakistani flute plays quite well!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2001 9:15 am 
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Compared to what?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2001 11:37 am 
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Jon:
You truly have a diamond in the rough and are truly a luck player! I'd take measurements of it and get it quickly to the maker to say: "Here's one that works! Stop mucking it up!"
As you've no doubt gleamed from this forum, so many inexpensive flutes fluctuate in design and quality that making an overall impression is near impossible. Some are great, others junk. Unfortunately, the inexpensive Pakistani models run the gamut and the reputation has stuck. I've yet to play one that was worth the effort...in its original condition, mind you. Rod Cameron has done wonders redoing some of these flutes and put them into the realm of good flutes. But it shouldn't require all that effort.
I know makers are troubled by the waiting lists and demands they have to meet client orders. But, to me anyway, no single flute should ever leave a shop that isn't one the maker would adoringly play on stage himself.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2001 7:12 pm 
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Well David, I visited your Web site and saw all those nice flutes you have restored! You are doing a great service by restoring these beautiful instruments, and If I had the money I would buy the Rundel & Rose, but alas, "the well is not for me"... There really isn't anything like a well built instrument, and I agree with you that a craftsman has no right to sell something that he would'nt want to play himself. This $80 flute that I got on ebay, I guess that it was dumb luck that it even works! Its made of cocuswood and has a brass tuning slide, its not very loud but has a clear tone and believe it or not it is in tune.
When I get better I hope to buy a flute that is more "respectable". Unfortunatly, I did'nt know about this forum when I blasenly bid on a flute on ebay, I would think twice before doing that again, after listening to all of your sage wisdom on the subject!

Thanks much!
jon

P.S. Spoke to soon, nice flute on ebay #1490908559 looks like a nice fixer upper...
or #1491138069 "8 key Nicholson for $12,000 FRF...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jon C. on 2001-12-01 20:29 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jon C. on 2001-12-01 21:05 ]</font>


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