Buying a Flute
I recommend a few brands for your search in purchasing a new or used flute:
These flute brands are extremely high quality, robust and will last years. These brands also specialize in many different models ranging from solid student flutes to the highest professional quality instruments. I personally favor the Armstrong 104 flute model -it is the most affordable and trustworthy model I’ve come across. And is currently the only model I am refurbishing. Gemeinhardt and Yamaha also make excellent flutes, but you’ll notice they are a bit pricier -rightly so, as they do make slightly higher quality instruments. All of these brands also make wonderful intermediate and professional level flutes. The Armstrong 103 boasts open holes and an in-line G for just a little more -I’d recommend at least this model to a second or third year flute student, the 103/104 and similar models will take an average student through high school.
When just beginning on the flute I’d recommend purchasing a used student model flute that has been overhauled and looked at by a repair technician. Used flutes are much more affordable and generally the same quality as a new flute of the same model -as long as it has been looked at and play tested by a professional to ensure it’s quality. Also, don’t be grossed out by ‘germs.’ Used instruments -especially the flute- can be disinfected and cleaned so that they play just like new. Again, a professional will clean a used instrument. If you purchase a cheap flute second hand, immediately bring it to a repair man to perform a COA -a Clean, Oil, and Adjust. This will ensure your used flute will play like new!
After you’ve played for a couple years you are now ready for a new flute if you wish. Again, you can purchase a used high quality flute. Or you can buy a brand new flute. My recommendation would be to ask your private teacher for their opinions on a flute model for you, you may also try to find a store that will allow you to play test several flutes before purchasing one to ensure the right fit.
To learn more about Flutes and what to look for visit our Flute Page.