A Sam Murray Flute.
Does anyone know if Sam Murray is still making flutes?
If so, are there any contact details available for him?
Thanks in advance
Does anyone know if Sam Murray is still making flutes?
If so, are there any contact details available for him?
Thanks in advance
A caution! Sam is a wonderful flute maker AND a terrible businessman.
I had a bad experience with Sam. If you want one of his flutes buy it from someone else.
So what you’re saying, in a nutshell, is "Let’s put Sam Murray out of business."? That’s nice of you.
In Cquick’s defense, I have heard several, and I mean several, stories about negative dealings with Mr. Murray. I do, however, still do believe in supporting the artist and would give him a chance.
In Cquick’s defense also and similar to what Jonny said, I have also heard several complaints about how notoriously difficult it is to get a flute from Sam although I’d still like to at least give it a try.
Are there any alternatives or next best things?
A Grinter, Martin Doyle, Hammy Hamilton or Ormiston flute?
Suggestions and recommendations appreciated :o)
I have dealt with Sam and I found him a nice man, happy to chat in the workshop and correct and efficient in his communications by e-mail. He took my order and deposit, gave an estimate when the flute would be ready and delivered a fine flute.
Mind you, I didn’t hassle him, I allowed him time to work and when the deadline arrived I didn’t threaten with going to the guards if he didn’t deliver immediately. He took ten days longer than promised, left to his own devices, which was pretty good I thought.
Well - can’t say fairer than that Prof. Prlwytzkofsky!
My experience of buying a flute from Sam - which I still play nearly 20 years later- was similar to the Prof’s.
Sam makes great flutes, mine from 1992 is super.
Think the best thing (if its possible) is to go to Galway and meet Sam and talk to him yourself, think face to face contact would be your best option.
That is what I was thinking, when I ordered the flute I said I’d collect it. Around the deadline (around three months at the time, a few years ago) Same sent a message he was about to finalise the flute and I picked up two days later from the workshop, on a sunday.
Prof Prlwytzkofsky - I’ve sent you a private mail, if you get a chance can you have look please… :o)
Yes, replied and all.
Sorry but people are just relating their experiences of dealing with the man. Unfortunately mine was not good either.
His flutes are great, seems to be the consensus. My GF and I both have them and love them… although both of ours cracked in the wickedly dry Vermont indoor winter climate. They still sound good after repairs, however.
1) Do you live in Ireland? If so, that’s probably a good thing. Both for keeping in touch with Sam and for the weather.
2) Check out the discussions at Chiff & Fipple. He’s been the subject of much relevant conversation.
I had a good experience buying direct from Sam although I am well aware that others have not had such a good experience. You should have a look at Glenn Watson’s flutes. They are a similar Rudall style and you may receive it quicker. Glenn is located in Galway city. Hammy’s and Martin’s flutes are also very good but a different style.
I am always meeting people who are in awe of Sam’s flutes so there is a "desirability factor" and the flute will hold its value, however I have played other maker’s flutes which have been just as good if not better (for me).
Watson flutes carry in fact a considerable wait while Sam is able to deliver a keyless flute within two or three months. That’s how it was a few years ago anyway and I don’t think it has changed.
"Watson flutes carry in fact a considerable wait while Sam is able to deliver a keyless flute within two or three months. That’s how it was a few years ago anyway and I don’t think it has changed."
No it hasn’t. I ordered my keyless D flute from Sam Murray in early May, early July i got a mail saying that due to a change in orders he had a keyless blackwood flute if i was interested. Got it 3 weks later.so smooth sailing for me, although i can’t answer for or comment other peoples experience in dealing with Sam.
Oh, btw the flute is belting! Couldn’t be happier.
I am ordering a Flute from sam I am moving up to a flute with Keys
I have a not nice story about Sam.
I found a used Murray flute and purchased same. Last March (2012) I noticed that there was a split happening in the head. I contacted Sam about repairs and sent him flute and payment for a new head.
The only thing that I have heard from Sam (in September) was that it would be shipped in 10 days.
So far and many email’s and snail mails later no word on delivery.
My experience with this man is becoming a nightmare. He told me to wait for about 4 months.
I did not hassle him, did not bother him, I was aware that it could take way longer for me to get the flute.
After about 3 months he contacted me by email, asking for the full amount. My flute was ready to be delivered.
I pay him the full amount.
No news from him. Months pass by.
I call him, he does not seem to be aware of the situation. He does not remember me or my flute. He apologizes, he says he will ship it to me in a couple weeks.
Call him again after a month (always nice and respectful)… some excuse about the quality of wood.
Call him once every 3 or 4 months… same story, then I forget about the whole thing for like 6 months… give him time.
After more than a year and a half I try again to contact him. I paid for the full amount more than a year ago because he told me it was finished.
Impossible to contact him. Does not pick up the phone. Ignores voice mail messages. Ignores emails. Web site is down…
I hope he is ok and nothing has happened to him.
He was really chatty and nice, but now I think I just have lost my money and will never get my flute or my money back.
My experience is similar, although I finally got part of my money back.
My present situation is that I bought a 3 key Murray and about a year ago noted that the head had developed a crack.
I sent it back for repair/replacement, in March last year, sent him the money for repair and in September he finally said it would be ready in 10 days - I don’t know which 10 days because I still don’t have the flute.
His website has disappeaed and he doesn’t answer emails, snail mail or registered letters.
I guess that I may never see my flute again!
Chuck, and how exactly did you get your money back? I paid the full amount for the flute already (long ago), and I am not able to contact him.
Please, if somebody knows anything about Sam or why he is missing that would be a great help.
STAY AWAY FROM SAM MURRAY!
I am a 17 year old flute player from Mayo and 3-4 years ago I decided to buy a Sam Murray flute. It is a brilliant flute no doubt about it and it was going great up until November when all of a sudden the tuning slide stuck together and came away from the wood. I contacted Sam and sent it away on the 26th of January. He contacted me and said it would take 5 weeks for the barrel to set and we would stay in contact. Five weeks passed and no call from Sam so I rang him. He said he was going to America for ten days and would contact me when he returned, he never did. So I rang him and told him I needed the flute by the second week in April and he said no problem. Myself and my dad went down last tuesday week. We met with Sam and he said it wasn’t ready. I said I wanted the flute despite whatever condition it was in but he said he kept it in the house. So he said he would post it up thursday and payment arrangements were made. We gave him a deposit of €50. Wednesday evening this week still no call from Sam , so I rang him. I had came home from Galway and came on to this website and couldn’t believe the stories I had read. He was to ring me Wednesday but never did. So I rang him again and told him I would be down Friday for it. That was fine. We arrived Friday he wasn’t answering the phone but just by chance he was walking up and was shocked to see us. He said the flute wouldn’t be ready until Saturday. Dad demanded the flute so he said he’d have it ready for 5 o’clock. We had to wait around Galway from 12:30 until I got a call from Sam at 4 o’clock to say the flute wouldn’t be ready until Sunday. He said he was at home and not at the workshop. The workshop was locked. When we threatened to go to guards all of a sudden he said everything would be free. He’d send it by courier on Monday free of charge. We went to the guards and they said there wasn’t much they could do. I am done with that man and I know I will never get my flute back. I would recommend the flute but he is a horrible person. If you have ordered or sent back a flute to get repaired I can guarantee you, you will not be getting it back. He is extremely hard to contact and will not return calls,emails,texts or voice messages.
So he is alive, he just got tired of answering the phone or reading emails.
He was not like that a year ago, but now he just ignores everything
He just doesn’t care or what is his problem?
Good luck, I’ll continue trying and posting here
Just reading all the negative comments about Sam, remember Sam is an artist and a trades man, time means nothing to him. Just to be aware other flute makers take their time making flutes.
As for the recent delay in repairs, Im suprised, he seems to be a reasonable guy, his son is also involved in the production of flutes, I went down to the workshop last August and he said due to the bad weather globally he was finding it difficult to source raw materials to make flutes. He is considerably cheaper than other flute makers. He is a lot easier to deal with in person than by e-mail or phone. He doesnt charge an arm and a leg for repairs or services.
I have noticed his website has gone down and I have tried calling him and like anyone else that has other posts, Im finding it hard to contact him, if anyones luck has changed with contacting him, please let us all know.
I was going to take a trip down at the weekend, but Im afaraid a Ill have a wasted journey. I have a crack in he top part of my flute at the back of it, if anyone knows of other flute makers who would be willing to repair another flute makers flute please let me know.
Good luck to everyone in getting flutes made and repaired.
I posted earlier about a flute that Sam has had since March 2012 for a new head.
Todate with more than 40 emails sent, several dozen snail mails and a dozen registered letters i have no update.
Does anyone here have any contact with Sam so that you mightbe able ton convince him to finish the repair and return my flute?
I ordered a flute a keyless boxwood flute from Sam Murray in March 2012 paid 150euro deposit and believe it or not 11 weeks later it was delivered and I paid the balance in full. As I have a number of other flutes it was sometime before I blew it in and took it to my local session. During the session it became obvious that it was out of tune in the lower d. I took it to my friend who is an exceptional player and teacher of traditional music who confirmed the problem. I contacted Sam( on one of the few occassions he has answered his phone) he advised me to post it back to him which I did in December 2012. January and February nearly passed no word of the flute. Despite my constant attempts to get him it was answer phone only as usual. Then I rang one Saturday with no expection of getting anyone to answer and yes it was the Lord Lucan of the flute world himself Sam who answered who advised me that whislt attempting to resolve the problem with the flute it had broken and it was his intention to make me a new one. Weeks passed and no contact and in the interim period tried to email as well and mysteriously his web site vanished. After many telephone calls I did get an answer from something other than his answer phone in the guise of a man who said he was Sam’s son and the man himself was in America but he was aware of the problem and stated that the new boxwood flute had been "cut". It is now 23rd June 2013 and from that last call despite innumerous attempts to contact the elusive Mr Murray all attempts have failed, in fact I sent him a letter by registered post last week which cost £6.18 from Northern Ireland and I am sure you have guessed the outcome. NO REPLY.
I have paid this man in good faith for a flute which was not right and he avoids me like a school boy in trouble with the headmaster, MAN UP Sam.I have bought flutes from Glenn Watson, Hammy Hamilton and John Rutzen these men are true gentlemen, honest and men of their word and make good quality flutes. What sets Sam Murray aside from them who are able to treat their patrons with respect and and deliver on time? I play their flutes and they are of exceptional build and quality. I cannot understand why some people try justify his actions by saying he is a tradesman and artist the others I have mentioned are true artists and tradesman they do not hide from their responsibilities and make flutes that play.
Depressing to read all this. I left my keyless D flute at Sam’s workshop in Galway on July 4th, 2011 while visiting Miltown. The flute which I’d bought second hand had a cracked barrel. We had a lovely long talk with Sam about flutes and musicians, and Sam said the flute would be ready in two weeks and he’d send it to Sweden. My partner Helena though whispered don’t leave the flute with him, she had a bad feeling.
So here we are, two years later, over 30 e-mails, some letters, unanswered telephone calls, and even 20 euros paid into Sam’s bank account at Sam’s request for postage, February 9th, 2012, but still no flute. Now I’m lucky enough to have a job and four fine flutes, so it’s annoying, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself. For those who have maybe scraped and saved to get the one flute its terrible for them to be conned out of their instruments in this way and by the maker himself!!! I don’t expect to ever see my flute again, and count it as a lesson learned. You win some you lose some. Sam’s flutes are usually fine instruments, and I really enjoyed Sam’s company, but the fact remains that he has taken my flute, repaired it, and probably sold it to someone else.
Thanks for all the information because I was seriously planning to buy a Sam Murray 6 keyed flute. Now I see it would be a mistake. Someone who don’t send flutes back, who ask to pay for a flute that he doesn’t make… I don’t know how the Irish call a person with this kind of mentality. On the main land, in Europe, we call such a person a thief.
I posted re my problems with Sam Murray and my ill fated boxwood keyless flute about 10months ago. Well surprise , surprise I eventually got in contact with Mr Murray and yes last November after nearly giving up all hope I drove from Belfast with some trepidation to Galway,expecting to be on a fools errand, and picked up a beautiful boxwood flute which plays superbly. Couldn’t believe it. Only down side was that the case that I had sent the original back in which was a nice case had been replaced by a relic from some other era. But hell at least I have a flute.
Stewart: why did it take so long to post this last message (November to now)?
I had not been into the posting part of this site for so long that I had forgotten my previous post re the flute. I came onto the site the other day and on seeing the previous post put pen to paper, so to speak, right away. My appoligies to all for the oversight.
Does anyone have Sam’s address? His most recent one that is, he is no longer in the Forge.
Has anybody got a Number for Sam Murray!! pleade this is urgent
Ok Sam…I know this man well from Belfast, played in many a session and lived beside him. Let me first say there would no malice, spite or dishonesty with him, anybody that knows him would confirm this. He is a humourous and witty person who like the rest of us has one pair of hands.
You have to remember running any self employed business in Ireland today is very hard and given the size of Sams operation, it’s surprising he is still open at all. What is made on the right hand is taken from you on the left by the revenue, insurance, rent, rates etc. Flute making is a passion, but in Ireland these days it doesn’t pay to try and make money out of a passion. So try and understand that…My passion would certainly wield, and although I am not saying Sam’ s has, his operation 30 years in FairyKnowe Park Belfast had not the same financial constraints and overheads that it has in Galway today. I certainly wouldn’t bang my head of a brick wall making flutes to fill the Irish exchequers pocket…no matter how good I was at it.
Also, Sams flutes became popular, as did the repairs side of things when not to many people were even making Irish flutes. Perhaps he should have trained others up (although his son as far I know still does repairs) but then would it be a Murray Flute ? To me, the man was a victim of his own success, and it’s hard to say ‘no’ to anyone..’hold on a minute’ works better, and like myself all good intentions tend to build up and one day overflow.. Sam like the rest of us is pushing on a bit (Sorry Sam) and people have to respect that. Like myself, organisation and business administration is filed somewhere in my backside pocket beside my smokes, and perhaps Sam shares this.. none of us are perfect…also my eagerness these days is not what it was in 1982, life has a habit of slowing you down !
My advice, if you walk into a chip shop and the queue is out the door, use your common sense, go somewhere else if you are in desperate need for a feed. Sam will always have a flute on the laithe and somebody outside willing to buy it, so it’s no harm to him. Else, go down money in hand, ‘cash across the knuckle’ and see if you can deal with him, but don’t leave without a flute or even buy a second hand one…..
At the end of the day (IT’S NIGHT, sorry I couldn’t help that one)….at the end of day, it’s easy to throw stones at anyone and make them look bad on the internet, which Sam is not…if he wanted to nick your money he would be selling 2nd hand cars and pirate DVDs, not Irish Hand Made Flutes. The man’s a character and a fellow musician, and like us all not perfect, but trust me, he is no Arthur Daly or Del Boy. The internet’s a great things these days, surprisingly enough Sam’s not the only one making good flutes !
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