Next Flute Question

Next Flute Question

Okay, so I recently posted a thread asking about keyed vs keyless flutes. Now that I have that one reasonably addressed, I have another one.

I’m looking at both the Forbes delrin and the Casey Burns folk flute. They are both in the same general price range, it’s just a question of the pros and cons of delrin vs wood.

I’ve heard good things about both. Any thoughts?

Re: Next Flute Question

Well, they are both nice flutes so you can’t really go wrong with either. Delrin is OK but it just doesn’t sound, feel, or look like wood does. The differences are small but delrin just isn’t the same. The advantage delrin does have is ease of care, you don’t have to worry about cracks and breaking in the wood. Yet, when all is said and done a wooden flute doesn’t really take a whole lot of care when you get used to it.

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Re: Next Flute Question

My pick, based on sound and playing characteristics, would be the Forbes. But that’s just my personal preference. They’re both good instruments.

Re: Next Flute Question

The naturalist in me wants wood, but the realist of somebody who lives in the desert thinks delrin would be better.

If the tone is enough of a difference, I am inclined to go with wood. If not, then without a doubt I will opt for the forbes.

Re: Next Flute Question

I should add that of the various Delrin flutes I’ve played (Seery, M&E, Copley), the Forbes is my favorite. It plays rather similarly to an Olwell Pratten: resonant and responsive, with a big, fat tone. The Kevin Crawford videos on the Forbes site give a good idea of the sound.

Re: Next Flute Question

You’re probably going to benefit from talking to Casey directly. He can offer you insights about being in a dry climate and would be able to cogently give you the differences between delrin and wood, from a maker’s point of view (he’s also quiet a fine player).

No doubt the Forbes would be very stable and have reasonable resale when you decide to move up - you may want to consider that about Casey’s flutes, too.

http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com/contact.php

Re: Next Flute Question

Here are the differences I’ve found between the Forbes and the folk flute:

—Forbes has significantly larger holes than the FF; if you have smaller hands, the Forbes may be more challenging to play at a fast tempo

—the FF will tend to get a more mellow, "woody" tone; the Forbes is designed more for a trumpet type blast of a sound

I wouldn’t worry too much about maintenance of the FF. It’s all wood which means it’s much less likely to crack (I’ve had a number of all-wood Burns flutes and had zero maintenance problems even in the dry part of California I live in). Usually flutes crack if they have a metal lining in the headjoint/barrel; if the wood shrinks around the lining, it will crack. Even if your flute cracks, cracks are almost always fixable with no detriment to the playability and sound of the flute.

Re: Next Flute Question

Also, the Forbes is potentially louder than the FF.

Re: Next Flute Question

I can’t remember if I’ve played a Forbes, but I have tried a number of delrin flutes over the years and they have all been very heavy, far heavier than the antique Blackwood and Cocus flutes I’ve played.

On the other hand, a boxwood flute if far lighter than standard Blackwood Irish flutes.

So, for ergonomics and comfort, I would go for the Burns flute, all things being equal.

But of course they’re not equal! Boxwood has a lovely tone but you’ll probably not get the "bite" and power of Blackwood or Delrin.

I played, for many years, a c1830 Rudall & Rose flute made of boxwood.

Re: Next Flute Question

I tried the folk flute once and didn’t really like it. I love my Forbes delrin flute. But if you have a chance to try them both, you will have a much better idea than anyone else can give you, which one you will want for yourself.

Re: Next Flute Question

Spot on, Bredna!

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Certainly the best advice is to try them.
I own one of the older two part FF in Mopane and it is certainly capable of a bit of blasting. It is an ergonomic model, but not the one for small hands. I don’t know how that experience woud trnslate to Blackwood or Boxwood in three parts?
I still use my Folk flute as my "campfire" flute.
I have not tried a Forbes.

Re: Next Flute Question

Forbes are nice flutes, I also have a 60$ Tipple which is Quite nice