Chiff and Fipple Forums

L.I.M. bamboo flutes vs. Olwell
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Author:  Bartleby [ Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:00 am ]
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1. I ordered the 14 1/2" bamboo flute from Lark in the Morning, and I'm disappointed with it. Although the lower register sounds very good, I've had no luck getting the upper register to do anything. Is this common with beginner flautists or is it just me? Another problem I have with this flute is the size. It just doesn't feel like a flute, or play, like a "real" flute. BTW, the flute I ordered is BFL023 at: ... mbooflutes.

2. I'm considering ordering the other bamboo flute that L.I.M. sells, the BFL007; however, the Olwell bamboo flute is priced about the same and I'm reading a lot of positive things about Olwell flutes on this forum. Does anyone have experience with these two flutes that could offer an opinion/comparison of the two? Thanks in advance.

Author:  rosenlof [ Mon Mar 18, 2002 2:37 pm ]
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1) Yes, it's common for beginners to have problems with the higher register(s), but it may or may not be you. Try to make a smaller opening in your lips and push them out more for the high register. It often helps to move your lower jaw forward too.

To make a gross generalization, the smaller a transverse flute is, the harder it is to play. That's my experience at least, but I'm certainly no expert (2 years). Look in this same flute forum for a thread entitled "Big Flute" for another example of this.

2) I've never played either the LIM flute or the Olwell, but the Olwell has a great reputation here. The other is rarely mentioned, For what that's worth.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: rosenlof on 2002-03-18 15:40 ]</font>

Author:  Pywacket [ Tue Mar 19, 2002 7:22 am ]
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I have several bamboo flutes from Erik Samson (i.e. Erik the Flute Maker). He is another source of flutes you might want to look into. You can also email him on questions concerning bamboo flute playing.

(Is that a pennywhistle in yer pocket or are ya just glad to see me?)

Author:  ChrisLaughlin [ Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:16 am ]
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I'm going to be really frank here... Lark in the Morning is, by those in the know, called "Shark in the Morning". I would highly recommend that you don't buy anything from them unless you are able to try it in one of their stores and are completely confidant about it. I don't know who makes their bamboo flutes, but if they don't tell you who makes them, and there is no maker's name on them that is probably because they are made to very low standards in a foreign country (Lark in the Morning is infamous for touting extremely shoddy Afghan/Pakistani made "Irish flutes"), or if they are made in the US then the maker does not stand behind them enough to put his/her name on them. DO NOT buy generic instruments unless you want to get burned.
Patrick Olwell, on the other hand, is one of, if not the most respected Irish flute maker in the world. The wait for his unkeyed flutes is 1 year. The wait for a keyed flute is 6 years. You can, however, have one of his superb bamboo flutes in about a week usually. I play his bamboo flutes in Eb, D and C and they are all phenomenal. I also own a Grinter and a Copley, and have played about everything else (Olwell, Wilkes, Murray, Cotter, Hamilton, Seery, M&E, Ormiston, LeHart.... you get the picture). Let me just tell you, the Olwell bamboo flutes are superb and Mr. Olwell is a real pleasure to deal with. Spare yourself the pain of dealing with inferior instruments and just buy an Olwell. You won't go back.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ChrisLaughlin on 2002-03-19 09:18 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ChrisLaughlin on 2002-03-19 11:30 ]</font>

Author:  BobJenks [ Tue Mar 19, 2002 10:10 am ]
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I must echo Chris' comment that the Olwell bamboo flutes are not just a bargain, but fine instruments in their own right. You definately won't go wroung ordering one and Patrick is a fine person to deal with. As a beginner myself, it took some practice to hit it just right, but when you do, you're proud that YOU made that velvetty rich sound!

Now if you want to try a different sound without getting gouged, Mid-East sells surprizingly good cane flutes for embarassingly little money. For Christmas, my wife gave me their Low D (made in India) for $8.00 - yes, EIGHT dollars. It's in tune with itself, a real easy player (it's the first flute I could play easily and not get discouraged) with a bottom note that rattles the windows. The tone is a bit rough (nothing like the smooth refinement of the Olwell bamboo) and you could drive a truck through the finger holes, but if you're counting quarters, it might be the way to go.

But if you can afford the Olwell Bamboo (how many quarters is that?), you'll be a happy flutist.


Author:  JeffS [ Fri Mar 22, 2002 8:03 am ]
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The description by Lark of your instrument is, "We are excited to offer bamboo flutes made by a master flute maker." In fact s/he's SUCH a master we're not even going to tell you who it is. You'll KNOW who this "master" maker is as soon as you get this piece of junk, er I mean excellent flute.

Don't shop at Lark in the Morning. Everything they have there you can buy direct from the maker (at least the Irish flutes).

I unwittingly bought my first wood flute there. I've come to love this Pakistani made instrument that was sold to me with a crack in the head joint, but I got ripped off.

(is that rude?)

Author:  gcollins [ Thu Mar 28, 2002 5:24 am ]
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okay folks, let's just agree on one thing...anyone who can come up with a better bamboo flute than Olwell's please stand up.

It's the best; it's cheap; it's fast and Olwell is a character beyond belief.

You'll nevewr go back, and you'll quite naturally end up on one of his waiting lists.

(My low Bb should two months?)


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