Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I was thinking of getting a better keyless flute than the one I’ve got(if thats possible!).

And after looking around at what the general consensus is , a lot of people play and recommend the Patrick Olwell flutes or the Michael Grinter.

The trouble is how does one chose and you buy an instrument without actually playing one?

If I wanted a guitar for instance Id go into every music shop in town and play every guitar until I’d chose the one that I like the best, but with these flute makers in other countries do you just go by word of mouth and hope you get a good one?

I dont know anybody whos got a Grinter or Olwell etc.

Cheers
K

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I know lots of people waiting ……

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

You live in Belfast! There has to be someone there with an Olwell or Grinter.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I can’t imagine you being disappointed with either.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I myself like Copley flutes… sure an Olwell is great, but Copley’s are cheaper, you can order them and get them within the same lifetime, and they’re almost as good as Olwell’s. A lot of people I know get a Copley while they twiddle their thumbs on Olwell’s list. Not a bad idea!

A little birdie told me that Copley will make you a 6-key in delrin for less than the cost of an Olwell keyless…. Take out the tuning slide and then you wouldn’t believe the price. I’m thinking of getting such a flute, especially since my 160 year old flute the other dayt just split straight down the middle…

That being said, an Olwell is a wonderful thing. Hope you find your dream flute!

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

Olwell and Grinter flutes play very differently. They’re both great flutes (bearing in mind that the makers offer more than one model), but they take very different approaches to embouchure. Plus, they’re not the only great flutes available.

You’re in Ireland? Ask around till you get a chance to play flutes by Sam Murray, Hammy Hamilton, Eamonn Cotter, Martin Doyle, Marcus Hernon, and Glenn Watson, all who live in Ireland.

You’ll also likely find fluters in your area who play Olwells and Grinters.

Here’s a list of wooden flute makers with contact info: http://www.firescribble.net/flute/makers.html

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

If you end up wanting a keyed one eventually. you’ll get a keyed Grinter many years before an Olwell.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I know Olwell is a great maker, and produces wonderful flutes. The thing is, Kevin Crawford and Micheal McGoldrick both play Grinters. Those are both my two favorite flute players. Although, I know it is more of the player than the actual flute, but they both prefer that flute-that has to mean something. Plus, you can probably get a Grinter in a way shorter amount of time and a bit cheaper. I am actually saving up for a Grinter myself, but coming up with the money is the hard part lol.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I would never base my choice of flute on what someone else plays, no matter how much I like their sound. I prefer to base my choice on personal experience and preference in terms of embouchure and the tone that *I* can get out of a flute.

Crawford and McGoldrick sound like themselves no matter what ladder rung they’re blowing into.

Grinter and Olwell make great flutes. So do a number of other makers. There’s not much point in pushing one flute over another. The choice is up to each player and is best based on hands-on experience with each flute.

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

As stated by others Olwell and Grinter are just two of the good modern flute makers. I bought a secondhand blackwood, keyless Olwell (Pratten model) in november 2009 and it’s a fantastic flute, very easy to blow, in tune with itself, well made and finished, great powerful tone, and easy to get the bottom notes. I’d personally prefer an Olwell, Wilkes or Murray over a Grinter, but it all comes down to you at the end of the day, how much time you put in, playing, practising, listening etc. They are all good instruments, you’ll sound good on any of them

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

A good few lads around Clare play Mike Grinter flutes, and they are great. Sweet tone with nice volume too.
And Mike is a sound man which always helps when dealing with an instrument maker.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

As mentioned before, awesome flutes. You can’t possibly go wrong with either, however my vote goes to Pat Olwell just because I live in the states.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I myself play Grinter flutes! Michael is really good to deal with, whenever I meet him he always checks to make sure the flutes are ok and there’s no leaks! The waiting time isn’t too bad either! I wouldn’t trade mine for anything!

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

of course he good to deal with…he’s a country Aussie who knows what he’s doing. He’s a good man; and a smart dude.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

Well, he first sent a neighbour of mine a flute that was meant for someone a bit further up the road and then sent her a right handed one while she had ordered a left handed one. So that ‘he knows what he’s doing ’ may be up for discussion.

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

They were lovely flutes though.

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

I must correct that ‘let handed’ bit though, the first flute that arrived was a right handed one, for meant someone else the second one was not, as ordered, set up for a player who plays with straight fingers. So she couldn’t play it.

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Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

There are plenty of other makers, it’s just that Pat and Michael turn out instruments with that "special something" with a lot more regularity than other makers. I’ve played probably eight or nine Olwells and they were all great instruments, with one instrument in particular being just spectacularly good.

Many flute players have fun swapping instruments around so I got to try a few Olwells - other players wanted to try my Hammy. After I’d tried four or five of Pat’s instruments next to the very decent Hammy I had at the time, I knew I’d found the flute for me. I finally tracked down a used Olwell to buy and I’m very happy with it. I had tried at least one Grinter too, and while they’re great instruments I’m just not a Rudall person.

I’d say figure out whether you like a Pratten style or a Rudall style. Go Olwell if it’s pratten, Grinter if you prefer Rudall. It’s definitely worth trying flutes from other makers, but ordering blind from Pat Olwell or Michael Grinter is generally not a problem. You will get a great flute.

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

Are you opposed to playing an antique? If not, there are plenty of dynamite old flutes floating around. Check out C&F (chiff&Fipple).

Re: Chosing an Olwell or Grinter Flute?

You’ve far too much money anyway, just give it to me…