Flute Makers

Flute Makers

Hello Fellow Musicians,

Can you outline your positive experiences with flute makers where you received great customer service, a great product and a generally lovely experience? If you have any ideas on lead time, great, but not needed.

I am in the market to purchase a keyless D flute that will last for several years 🙂 so just looking for the good suggestions and please just skip any negative reviews.

Thanks!

Re: Flute Makers

Jay Ham is great. Lovely flutes and great concern for his customers. Martin Doyle as well.
Geert Lejeune is also good to deal with.
Pol Jezequel.
Solen Lesouef.
Those are my favorites, at any rate, aside from some makers whose lists are over a year. That said, you can buy a keyless flute from Patrick Olwell with only a 10-12 month wait.

Re: Flute Makers

I’m rather fond of my Tony Millyard. Even better, he’s really good to work with. After that it’s Paddy Ward, Copely and Bagley, and Gary Somers. David’s choices above won’t lead you astray either.

Re: Flute Makers

Thank you so much 🙂 I will look into them ASAP.

Re: Flute Makers

I had really good experience with Geert Lejeune. The flutes he made me are great - and for the keyless one I waited a month, for the keyed one 18 months. Precisely as long as he told me I would have to wait - and he always answered my emails quickly and on time and even sent me multiple headjoints so I could find my favourite one.
Therefore I recommend him strongly. And there are definitely instrument makers I wouldn’t recommend.

Re: Flute Makers

Forgot to mention Arie de Keyser. Played one, keyless, in D, liked it so much I ordered a Bb with one key, the B natural, to be used mostly for jazz and playing in flat keys with my wife. The B key will make it easier, even possible to reach the 3rd register.

I’ll let you know in February.

Re: Flute Makers

In addition to the above, Francois Baubet and Vincenzo Di Mauro are great to deal with too.

Re: Flute Makers

I recently had a great experience with Steffen Gabriel (https://www.gabrielflutes.com/).

I contacted him in late September last year for a 6-keyed flute in African blackwood. He replied to my emails either the same day or the day after, providing very detailed information. I even asked for a "virtual visit" (Covid times…) to his workshop and he was so kind as to arrange it: in particular I was interested in hearing and discussing the difference between the two embouchure cuts he offers on his flutes.

The flute was expected to be delivered in July (9-month waiting time), but there was a slight delay due to Steffen moving his workshop to another place and I received the flute in early September. Communication was (and probably still is) slightly slower, but this is fully understandable.

The flute is simply superb. You can listen to the maker playing his flutes in the clips on his website.

Re: Flute Makers

Since you’re in the US (from your bio), I’d recommend you buy from in the country to avoid any issues with duty / import taxes, as well as making servicing easier.

The best option is to try before you commit, especially as it appears from your bio that you have at least one relatively decent flute (the Ellis), but at there are some great makers in the US: the Olwells, John Gallagher, Brian Byrne, the Copleys, Jay Hamm, and others I’m sure. In Canada (delivery to the US should be duty free), you also have Peter Noy (I understand he just moved back to Toronto) and Forbes Christie (Windward flutes).

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Re: Flute Makers

Flute makers rely on word-of-mouth to build reputation. They are a pretty agreeable bunch. With one notable (sad) exception; most of us here will be happy to recommend the maker of our chosen instrument. In my case Hammy Hamilton (keyless D) and Geert Lejeune (keyed D) and a Geoffrey Ellis (‘essential’ F). All five star.

You list in your bio having McNeela and Ellis flutes (D, keyless) already. So you must have some idea as to what you want/don’t want this time around. For a keyless flute you don’t need to overthink. They are pretty ‘reliable’ instruments if properly maintained (clean and oil every 3 months or so) and will last one (or more) lifetimes.

If I was Canadian… I’d be tempted to get a Windward (Nova Scotia) Canadian maple one! They had me at "smells like pancakes". 🙂

Re: Flute Makers

Yes! I looked into a Winward but they have not got back to me after a few attempts. I thought that they maybe picked who they wanted to sell flutes to and after answering all their questions, then following up two more times….I took their silence as they were not interested lol Other than being a noob, im not sure why there is no reply 🙂 so I moved on to look around for another flute, different to the one I have…. not a fully lined headjoint etc Just didnt know where to really look as most places put you on a wait list for a very long time…well worth the wait im sure but I im also impatient :D

Re: Flute Makers

Check out Aaron O’Hagan from Belfast. Very knowledgeable flute maker and player.

Re: Flute Makers

Hello,
I’m in Canada and have had a great experience with the flute maker Tim Adams from Sweden. He’s made a beautiful Mopane keyless flute.

One of the reasons I chose him was he makes a F plug which allows you to easily play an F natural. The turnaround time was pretty quick and the price is very good for what you get.

After almost a year of playing I noticed a crack developing. I sent him some pictures and he offered to replace the piece at no charge.
I’m very impressed with how he stands by his work.
He is definitely worth looking into.

Here is a link to his original session post.
https://thesession.org/links/2196

Re: Flute Makers

I have 2 flutes, one in D in Rosewood and one in A of Mopane, from Joseph Morneault ; he was Ralph Sweet’s apprentice who took over the business from Mr Sweet some years ago. I have a several of Ralph’s earlier instruments (my go-to pennywhistle is one of Ralph’s); but I can confidently say Joseph’s flutes are better. They are absolutely wonderful sounding and beautiful looking and feeling instruments. The D flute has a flattened area on the upper side of the embrochure which I have not seen on other flutes which really seems to reduce chiff and makes hitting the higher register easier. The D flute I got from already made stock, but the A flute I ordered and as an added benefit, he sent me pictures of the flute at different stages in the construction, which was very cool. Prices are very reasonable. He has a lot in stock, but the construction time on the A flute was about 2 months. Communication was excellent. https://musiquemorneaux.com