Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

Hey folks,

Looking to upgrade in the near future from my Tony Dixon one piece flute. Not sure what to go for as i don’t know any other local flute players and don’t have any sessions near bye where I could try a different flute.
I’v been leaning towards a Copley Derlin flute but again I’ve only seen videos of them on youtube so I don’t know how they "feel".
Do any of you have advice or previous experience from moving from a tony dixon to a different flute.

Moran taing!

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

For context, I own an olwell, I adore my olwell, it is the best flute I have ever owned. I also own a Copley delrin an I think it is quite nice. A person could play their whole lives on one and never really miss out on much.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

The only Delrin flutes I’ve played are those made by Michael Cronnolley from Co. Mayo. His five piece keyless flutes with tuning slide are based on a Rudall & Rose style, and are robust, well intoned good value players. Others here may be able to give you the benefit of their experience with Delrin flutes produced by other makers.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

Just don’t buy a Swiss many-keyed flute with an ivory headjoint 🙂

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

I also like the Michael Cronnolly delrin Rudall & Rose style flutes:

https://www.mandeirishflutes.ie/

I had one of the very first Rudall & Rose models for several years. Wish I hadn’t sold it!

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

Hello David, there are two types of Dixon one-piece flute. One is a very cheap straight cylinder, and the second has a tapered bore inside. It’s easy to tell because the tapered bore has what looks like a lip-plate cast into it.

If you’ve got the cheap cylinder (you’d have paid about £30-40 pounds) just about anything will be a good upgrade. I have what Hammy Hamilton in Ireland calls a "practice flute" and it’s a much better instrument, and only about 60 euros or so when I bought it. Likewise the Cronnolly, Copeland, Doug Tipple, Casey Burns, Ralph Sweet, any of them will do you well.

If you’ve got the slightly fancier one-piece, I’d be a bit more cautious. Most of the flutes I mention will be better, but not all that much, and I’m thinking you might be better off waiting for the next upgrade beyond that, if you see what I mean - a wooden flute in the next price bracket up, and for that I’d hold off until you can get a chance to see and play some flutes in person.

That said, the advice Richard Cook often gives here is sound: if you buy and sell second hand instruments with a bit of care, you can do it without losing any money, and it’s a good way to figure out what’s out there.

Posted by .

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

I’ve never played a Dixon flute, but I do have two Copley flutes; a D in Blackwood and an F in delrin. I like them both very much.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

I have recently moved from Hammy Hamilton’s "practice flute" (which I actually find a very good instrument) to a Pratten-style Delrin flute by Rob Forbes http://www.forbesflutes.com/ (US). I also have a R&R-style Delrin flute by Vincenzo di Mauro http://www.vdmflutes.com/ (Ireland), which I like very much as well, though I feel more at home with my Pratten-style flute.

The Forbes flute (here is mine! https://www.instagram.com/p/B_srVFIprNT/) has quite large tone holes and, except for the silver-plated decorative rings, is entirely made in Delrin (no cork or thread at the joints, but simply Delrin: the joints are sealed through synthetic O-rings; the tuning slide is entirely in Delrin as well, no nickel or brass). I find it simply great in the matter of tone, intonation, mechanics and esthetics.

Hope this helps.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

Hey guys thanks for the help its really appreciated.

I should clarify that its not so much the Derlin material that was drawing me to the Copley but rather the fact that Derlin flutes tend to be a bit cheaper and id like to get something from a good maker that isn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.
In an ideal world id like a flute that would last me a good few years that would sit in an intermediate type of bracket.

Cheers!

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

You may also wish to check out Damien Thompson.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

I’d second the Thompson recommendation - great flute at a keen price, favoured by some fine players in Ireland. Damien now works in Tubbercurry, County Sligo.

Posted by .

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

A third shout out for Damien Thompson.

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

If you’re after an affordable Delrin flute, I can happily recommend Garry Somers. I bought a Pratten model of his a few years ago and it has proven to be a well made, easy-to-play and almost indestructible instrument. Other reviews of his flutes seem to concur. Last I checked, they go for USD$400 (although I believe Garry lives in Ireland).

Delrin is also nice in that you don’t need to fuss with it. No swabbing, cracking, oiling and whatnot. Which means you can leave the thing lying around assembled, which in turn means you’ll play more.

As an aside, I don’t think you’d be unhappy with a flute from any reputable maker. They all know their stuff, and didn’t develop the reputations they have today by knocking out second-rate instruments. While in twenty years you might feel ‘Olwell headjoints don’t suit my playing style, I must have a medium-hole XXX 1834 Rudall Refined Perfected’, I think that when you’re still learning the important thing is to have a good, solid, reliable flute that does what you need it to without worrying too much about the details.

That said, I’m pretty much a newbie myself, so I’ll now bow out and let people with more flutes to their name contribute 🙂

Posted by .

Re: Flute buying advice needed for beginner.

If you’re where your profile says, then probably your best bests are Damian Thompson ( https://www.thompsonflutes.com/ ) or Gary Somers ( http://www.somers-flutes.com/ ) .

Another option is Seery flutes, available directly or from some UK/Ireland retailers.

I certainly can also highly recommend Dave Copley’s flutes, but you’d be buying from a greater distance & possibly incurring additional shipping costs & taxes/duties. I prefer his oval embouchure.