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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:51 pm 
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I understand hand made products are going to be more expensive by their nature, but doesn't anyone make these sort of flutes with machines to reduce cost? I haven't seen a keyed flute that costs less than a couple thousand. 8 key flutes are more than $5k. My Bach Stradivarius doesn't even come close to that, and it's made of silver! It seems like if mass produced, they should not be very expensive at all. Is it just that no one does that anymore?

To that end, though, I've looked around and found Doug Tipple's flutes. They look nice, but I'd like something with at least a few keys to expand my range. I've found this flute on Ebay, and because of the price, I gotta ask: what's wrong with it? The same with this one.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:13 pm 
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farmerjones wrote:
I understand hand made products are going to be more expensive by their nature, but doesn't anyone make these sort of flutes with machines to reduce cost? I haven't seen a keyed flute that costs less than a couple thousand. 8 key flutes are more than $5k. My Bach Stradivarius doesn't even come close to that, and it's made of silver! It seems like if mass produced, they should not be very expensive at all. Is it just that no one does that anymore?

To that end, though, I've looked around and found Doug Tipple's flutes. They look nice, but I'd like something with at least a few keys to expand my range. I've found this flute on Ebay, and because of the price, I gotta ask: what's wrong with it? The same with this one.


Most probably everything is wrong with them. Do not buy them. There's a reason good keyed flutes cost thousands of dollars.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:20 pm 
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This Irish flute is a simple six hole flute tuned so as the lowest playable pitch (all holes closed) is D
... yet the images show an instrument with two keys on the foot, making the "lowest playable pitch" presumably a C . If a seller can get their basic description of the flute so dramatically wrong, one wonders about the rest of the detail and any after-sales support that might be needed :o :boggle:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Yeah, it's just a tube with a bunch of holes, innit? :D

You might want to spend some time reading through websites on these flutes we play and about how they are made and who makes them. Really, do some reading. Start with Terry McGee's fine site and go from there. It is a specialized product requiring specialized skill, expensive tools and machines as well as exotic materials to make them.

Mass produced? That would first assume that there is a significant mass for which to produce the product. This is a niche market and not a big niche market. Remember that the Boehm flute replaced our beloved wooden concert flutes in art music 150 years ago. That is the flute for the masses these days. You can find a Chinese produced Boehm style flute for not much. They also make plastic flutes if you want one of those.

But if you want a proper wooden flute with hand made keys you might want to alter your price expectations a tad. No one is getting rich making and selling these flutes. It is a labor of love - love of the music and the now somewhat archaic instrument.

Oh, and you really don't need the keys to play most of the music played in the Irish repertoire. I have a keyed flute and I only use it during the Holiday Season to play tunes with the odd notes outside of the usual modes. The rest of the time I get along fine without the keys and have for many, many years. You can go far without the keys. But of course that depends on what you play and who you are playing with.

Those India made ebonite flutes have been discussed here a lot. You can do a search of the past posts to read what folks think about them. Some think they are worth the cost, you know, you get what you pay for. And that's not much.

Feadoggie

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Last edited by Feadoggie on Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Well, with ebay there is never going to be any after sales support. Possibly the person selling it doesn't know much about it, and was just told it's a "D Flute" so that's what they used.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:47 pm 
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That eBay flute is garbage.

You'll do nothing but throw away your money on a FLO. A "Flute Like Object". Looks like a flute but won't play in tune or perhaps even at all.

Doug is a good start at a entry flute but you'll be ahead of the game if you get yourself a proper conical timber flute from a modern maker.

You won't really be missing the keys for a good long while if at all. Keys are overrated anyway and they take a bit of maintenance and can be fickle depending on the weather.

Full disclosure, I do play a keyed vintage concert flute but I also like pulling the wings off of flies so your mileage may vary.

Keep an eye out for a used Martin Doyle keyless. All the flute you will ever need for quite some time.

Good luck! :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:53 pm 
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The cheap eBay flutes are very valuable from an educational standpoint. Buy one and you'll REALLY understand how important it is to seek out a competent maker.

I started with a Tipple, as did many here. They're real flutes, at a great value. The Casey Burns Folk Flute is also great, as are the Delrin flutes from makers such as Forbes, Copley and Somers. Do yourself a favor, and don't buy useless junk!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Feadoggie: I've read through McGee's site. He really does lay it all out. I think what you said about this being a niche market is what really matters here. If no one is making these flutes in mass, the price is going to be very high. I've been considering a Boehm style, but I'm worried I can't do the bends and rolls and those sort of sounds that I'm so fond of using on whistles.

Any yea, the keys aren't that important, I suppose. I'd personally just like to have the C below the low D, and then when the combination of half-holing and cross fingerings, I'd be covered in the keys for the styles of music I like to play. I asked Doug if he could add a hole for that, but it's a no go. =(

Perhaps I'll just stick with whistles. I've heard very good things about the one from Sweetheart Flute Co...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:09 pm 
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farmerjones wrote:
I think what you said about this being a niche market is what really matters here. If no one is making these flutes in mass, the price is going to be very high.
It's not as much a matter of mass as it is that what you see is pretty much what it costs. If you actually had a maker charge for his time, his experience, his machinery, his shop, his insurance (etc., etc., etc.) you would have an even higher price I think. There's no corporation behind the craftsman maker. He's (she's) hanging out there on their own covering every cost you can imagine and selling their wares for what they can get - no more.

farmerjones wrote:
Any yea, the keys aren't that important, I suppose. I'd personally just like to have the C below the low D, and then when the combination of half-holing and cross fingerings, I'd be covered in the keys for the styles of music I like to play. I asked Doug if he could add a hole for that, but it's a no go. =(
Actually he does do that or he did. It's an eight hole flute. You just need to have someone else travel with you to cover the lower holes when you need them... :D ...which is not very often.

The Tipple (with lip plate and wedge) is a very decent place to get started. I've had two of his flutes and the more recent one is a very playable and nice sounding instrument.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Feadoggie wrote:
Actually he does do that or he did. It's an eight hole flute. You just need to have someone else travel with you to cover the lower holes when you need them... :D ...which is not very often.


Har, har, har... :) I was thinking kinda like Colin Goldie does with a high D. I guess that's pretty much imitating a recorder at that point, though. If he could do that in a low with a tapered bore... I'll just keep dreaming. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:07 pm 
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farmerjones wrote:
Feadoggie wrote:
Actually he does do that or he did. It's an eight hole flute. You just need to have someone else travel with you to cover the lower holes when you need them... :D ...which is not very often.


Har, har, har... :) I was thinking kinda like Colin Goldie does with a high D. I guess that's pretty much imitating a recorder at that point, though. If he could do that in a low with a tapered bore... I'll just keep dreaming. :)



That would be too far for your pinky to reach it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:17 pm 
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farmerjones wrote:
Feadoggie wrote:
Actually he does do that or he did. It's an eight hole flute. You just need to have someone else travel with you to cover the lower holes when you need them... :D ...which is not very often.


Har, har, har... :) I was thinking kinda like Colin Goldie does with a high D. I guess that's pretty much imitating a recorder at that point, though. If he could do that in a low with a tapered bore... I'll just keep dreaming. :)


As long as your pinkie is 6 inches long, you'd be good to go in that case.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:20 pm 
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I think they sell pills to make it longer. I got an email about it once.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:16 am 
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OK, a thousand dollars plus is objectively quite a bit of money for non-essentials. But for a hand-made instrument, it's really not that much. We've been through the whole price of violin bows, guitars, etc. vs. flutes, but to keep the comparison a little more apples to apples, consider that a professional grade (keyed) Irish flute runs $3-$4K, while pro-grade Boehm flutes are barely starting at that price (and easily cost double or triple). In fact, you can find just headjoints that cost between $1000 and $3000!

To echo a point already made, keys are far from essential (see also whistles). (Breathnach even wrote that he preferred the sound of a half-holed F natural over the keyed note.) So without keys, you can get a top-of-the-line instrument for about $1000-$1700; you can get a good flute for well under that: the Burns Folk Flute, Forbes Delrin, or Copley Delrin (or all-wood) cost around $400, give or take, and will provide years (read, decades) of satisfaction.

And finally, if you get a good flute from the get-go, it's cheaper than getting a FLO and then buying real flute. Plus, you really only need one--that's all you can play at one time anyway--so you're plunking out $400-$1000 once, and you're set for years and years.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:22 am 
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http://shop.irishflutestore.com/Flutes_c3.htm


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