Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

So, today I got the opportunity to try an original Sam Murray Keyless flute (to see if I wanted to order a keyed version) and flute owner told me that I shouldn’t order a new Sam Murray as they’re not real Sam Murray’s. He said that they are just bulk made and imported to McNeela. I really want a Sam Murray. But, after hearing this, I’m not so sure…

Can anyone confirm this statement or have any information?

Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

Sam has retired for sometime, several years, last I heard. I can’t confirm your question directly but, if the maker is retired how can you expect the new versions to be the same. My first question would be- who is making them as it’s most likely NOT Sam. To make copy of shape, size, dimension isn’t the same thing and being done daily. Not sure what you are expecting? My opinion only and I own a Murray which doesn’t make me a authority but does make me happy.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

This is your 5th post here about Murray flutes. Here’s a positive suggestion. If you have any doubts about whether or not the “Sam Murray” flutes being sold by McNeela are actually made by Sam himself, the logical thing to do would be to ask McNeela to confirm that in writing rather than posting questions here. You could even ask McNeela to provide you with a contact address for Sam so you could ask him to confirm himself that he has made the flutes being sold by McNeela.
This quote is directly from the McNeela website :
“Welcome to the McNeela Advanced Irish Flute Store where you will find handcrafted Irish flutes for sale by one of the great flute makers of Ireland, Sam Murray”
That would seem to be quite a categoric statement that Sam Murray made their flutes. I do note that it doesn’t say “MADE by”, but what other possible interpretation is there ?
I provided you with a solution in a previous discussion - forget about McNeela, wait until an old Sam Murray comes on the market, and as long as it is in good condition, buy it. Sorted.
You could start by investigating the link provided above by Tazzy.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

If it was me I probably wouldn’t buy a Sam Murray flute. Not because he did not make some of the best flutes for some of the best fluters. He did. I even think Sam is/was a brilliant flute maker. But wooden flutes are very personal. I’m sure Sam Murray worked hard to make the best flutes for the best players.

If I get a chance to play one of his “original” flutes and if the flute works for me and it’s for sell I absolutely would buy a Sam Murray flute. Short of that dream I wouldn’t be bothered with McNeela’s current flute products with Sam’s name on them. I’d go somewhere else.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

“Welcome to the McNeela Advanced Irish Flute Store where you will find handcrafted Irish flutes for sale by one of the great flute makers of Ireland, Sam Murray”
With my lawyer head on I’d say that statement could be taken as Sam Murray is selling the flutes.
“…handcrafted by one of the….” would be a different matter.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

That’s lawyer’s for you 🙂. The thing is though, Sam Murray is not selling the flutes, McNeela is. If someone wanted to be 100% certain that a McNeela Murray flute was made by Sam Murray himself, he/she would need to hear that from McNeela, and prefereably from Sam Murray himself. I really don’t think there’s much more to be said on this subject.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

This thread drew my attention, because I recently signed up with the McNeela site to get emails about products, and to have a look at his fiddles. Also, there appears to be doubt as to whether the Sam Murray flutes are actually flutes made by Sam Murray.

If you go here : https://mcneelamusic.com/brands/ and click on the Sam Murry link, is shows 3 flutes.

Looking here : https://mcneelamusic.com/wind/flutes/sam-murray-flute/ , it says :

“Sam Murray is celebrated the world over for the quality and craftsmanship of his superior flutes. This renowned flute maker from Belfast has been honing his craft for almost fifty years. He took a break from flute making for a few years but was in such demand that he made a return to the craft. McNeela Instruments is incredibly proud to be the sole distributor of Sam’s sublime wooden flutes today.”

Apologies if you’ve already seen the above.

Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

It doesn’t inspire confidence that several of the photos don’t actually match the flutes listed as being for sale. There is no photo that I can see of any flute with 6 keys on it, only keyless, and 3-keys. I note that one section has stamped “Muraeus” on it, rather than “Murray” which is on my nearly 40-year old instrument. I am still curious as to what the distinction between the two is. Curiously, the keyless, 3-key and 6-key flutes all seem to be of the same weight.
Caveat emptor.

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

FWIW, I have a Sam Murray flute stamped “Muraeus” that is an absolute cracker. It is the best Murray of the ones I have ever owned/played (including one that I know was made by Sam for a well-known professional player in Ireland). In addition to being a great player, the quality of workmanship also seems on-par. I bought the “Muraeus” second-hand from the Irish Flute Store, so I don’t know if it originally was sold through McNeela.

Cheers,

Steve B

Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

Ok, fair enough, there’s a first-hand endorsement. How long ago did you buy it, Steve ?

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Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

I bought it in March 2021. Again, I bought it second hand from the Irish Flute Store so I’ve no idea when it was made.

Steve B

Re: Original Sam Murray flutes VS New Sam Murray Flutes

An old thread I know, but just to offer some clarification on the Murray flutes - they are made by Sam and his son, so it’s still a family endeavour and Sam is still very much involved. McNeela sell them on his behalf because, like most instrument makers, Sam’s preference is the craftsmanship and not sales.