Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

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Doug_Tipple
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Doug_Tipple »

jemtheflute wrote:Well, thanks for the contribution, Vikram, and the more receptive attitude. Welcome.

I do think one thing stands out from your post - the issue of pitch. It is NOT normal to consider a note named D or, thence, a flute named as a "D Flute" to actually be an Eb! (This is a separate issue from that of "transposing instruments", where the 6-finger note is called "D" whatever actual pitch it plays.) As I think I wrote before, I strongly suspect your original model was a High Pitch flute - a Boosey Pratten style 8-key flute tuned at A=455 would closely approximate to an Eb flute at A=440. You need to re-scale your product and get it playing in true D at 440 to make a seriously necessary improvement - and to stop misleadingly advertising your current model as "in D" when it is not, so far as modern western players at International Concert Pitch are concerned (i.e. virtually all of us!). I disagree that a simple Google search will enable a beginner with no experience in the field to find out about and understand this. When they see a flute in a music shop or on eBay they will not know what questions to ask and will take things at face value - and probably buy a product that is not actually suitable to their wishes, however playable in its own right unaccompanied. Their ensuing dissatisfaction cannot be good for your business!

I see little point in merely improving the quality of an Eb/HP flute. Produce a flute that truly is in D at 440 and with properly made keys and a decently cut embouchure (and no burnt rubber smell!!!) and you'll get much better sales and a massively better reputation.
I wrote to the current lister of a similar flute on ebay, and he wrote back to explain about the Eb foot. They claim to be copying a modern Irish flute. I think the Eb key on the flute is similar to the same key on the silver Boehm flute. With six finger holes covered the Eb key on the foot is closed, and the flute plays low D. With the same six fingers covered and the Eb key depressed with the pinky to open the hole on the foot, the flute plays Eb, thus a low D flute with an Eb foot.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by jemtheflute »

May be so in that case Doug - but definitely not in the Empire case (6 finger note, foot keys not operated = Eb real pitch) - and even with the one you are talking about, that is at best an awkward and nonsensical way to describe it!

As for your previous posy..... nice idea - thanks for the sales pitch! :wink: But seriously, although they're decent flutes, they are not what one would recommend as ideal choices to use as templates for a modern "production" version - something like a good example of a Boosey Pratten in D at 440 would be much more suitable!
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by celticmodes »

Cross link to keep historical record of the McCarty flutes being Pakistani imports.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=73252

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=73435
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Skinty »

As someone who has just recently ordered her very first flute after a week of searching the Internet and trying to find out as much as possible, can I just say a big Thank you to this forum (especially for this thread).

I ordered a sweet heart keyless flute in D this morning (made from padauk,in the sale too!) and can't wait for it to be delivered.

Thanks.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Skinty »

Damnit! I can't put down this flute. Everytime I get bored sitting at my desk and need to think about work, I pick up the flute and get distracted.

I should have gone for some unwieldy instrument ...
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by tucson_whistler »

hi, i just got this from a seller on ebay:

From: eric brinkman
To: f1utesrus
Subject: eric brinkman has sent a question about item #260494522498, ending on 20-Mar-10 10:55:58 GMT - Irish Flute Key of D
Sent Date: 21-Feb-10 00:16:32 GMT

Dear f1utesrus,

hi, who made it?

- ericmbrinkman
---------------------------------
Dear ericmbrinkman,

It was made in pakistan.

- f1utesrus

so you'll note it's an "irish flute in the key of D", it looks beautiful in the photo, and it's not so cheap that you might guess it was from pakistan... also the seller, f1utesrus has a 100% rating on ebay... :( at least they were honest about where it came from anyway.

beware...
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Lone-Coyote »

i just wanna shoot myself now. i bought that thing for 38 dollars. and instead of returning it i tried to tune it and adjust my playing for ten days. :(
wish i read this before buying
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by drewr »

Lone-Coyote wrote:i just wanna shoot myself now. i bought that thing for 38 dollars. and instead of returning it i tried to tune it and adjust my playing for ten days. :(
wish i read this before buying

Don't let the loss of 10 days of your time and a measly 38 bucks discourage you. There are several options for inexpensive flutes for someone just starting out. Solutions are only a forum search away. Best of luck and don't give up.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Denny »

get a 2nd hand lamp shade, make the flute into a lamp and sell it :D
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Gregor »

Hello,

Some times I buy some flutes from Pakistan becouse are very cheap and repair it for my friends whos whant start play folk music. It is not simpe do it but possible.I change in that flute a lot of points: bore inside, mouthpiece, finger's hole, cork etc. After ,that flute play well but of course not like flutes from good makers.
If you are interested my work you can see it for

gtmusicalinstruments.com

regards
Gregor
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by radcliff »

Pakistan flutes are always a loosing choice.
Is far better looking to buy a nice second hand flute made by a professional maker. Pakistan flutes are poorly made both in manufacture and in materials.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Nanohedron »

Well and good, Jim, but your no doubt well-intentioned metamoderating aside, the subject of Pakistani-made flutes is well confirmed, and probably never to be exhausted, from many accounts of personal experience (see the bolded content in the link you provided), my own included. They are not good instruments at all, and their proliferation counts as a real stumbling-block to those who would begin to seriously pursue simple-system fluteplaying, yet who are without good comparative information to guide them. Having started out on two such, myself - being thrift-minded and mistakenly assuming that one flute is a tube as good as any other - I developed some very hard-to-break bad embouchure habits on account of the poor playability of those instruments, and in short order I also came to see that their intonation and tone quality were plainly unacceptable for serious playing as well. Moreover I will second what radcliff said about their construction and materials, embouchure cuts and keywork in particular, as being easily substandard. That there was a general carelessness to the workmanship of my Pakistani flutes was obvious from the get-go even to a beginner such as I was. I could have gotten far better for investing only slightly more had I but known.

As I have said more than once, I would warmly applaud seeing a change for the better in these instruments, but that sort of change to date is not forthcoming, nor do the firms churning out these instruments appear to have any vested interest in real craft. I personally am forced to conclude that their motivation is only that of easy money, not in flutes as such, which instead are merely a convenient vehicle for profit suited as they are to the popular interests of the times. And so their buyers abound because of attractive pricing - of course - yet those who would be serious exponents always seem to post their regrets here afterward, a fact worth remembering. These instruments and the sweatshops making them have earned their well-deserved opprobium on their own steam, and there is no good in pussyfooting around that when it is a matter of one's experience.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by Mattmcdee »

Hi All,

I'm a newbie who just recently made my debut on the whistle forum. Wish my missus had read all this before she bought a cheap ebay flute for me for xmas. My fault for not doing my research and specifically stating what I wanted. Having played a Boehm flute for a good many years, I was able to get sound out of it, and can even get a nice tone out of it, though the E is out of tune with the rest of the instrument. It takes a great deal more breath control than a standard Boehm flute. It also has demonstrated to me how much an improvement ergonics is, the holes all in a line do cramp the fingers. I have enjoyed playing it, but it falls well short of what is required to be called a good flute, and would in my opinion fall under the classification of poor. I would think that a beginner would have a great deal of trouble. Luckily she did not pay much for it, it hasn't turned me off, it decided me to save up for a Casey Burns folk flute, and improve my whistle skills while I do.

Matt
Hey, I had one of those, but the fipple fell off.
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Re: Beware of cheap ebay flutes!

Post by monkeymonk »

It must be very hard to play the flute with no right hand. I'm sure that Casey Burns can make an ergonomic flute for your hook.
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