e-bay shopping

e-bay shopping

Hello everyone!
Has anyone any experience buying instruments from e-bay??
I just discovered there’s amazing offers for brand new irish flutes and I just want to know if the sellers are reliable.
Best offers are from music shops in England and the US, but .. i don’t know, I just feel a bit suspicious about that.
I’ll appreciate any help on this subject.

Re: e-bay shopping

last spring I bought a bow at ebay … it had the makers name cut in near the frog and an octogonal stick and was at about

Re: e-bay shopping

If you have any specific flute in mind, the best you can do is to ask in the woodenflute list (http://www.woodenflute.com to subscribe). Most of what shows up in ebay is not good. Usually, if the price seems to be too good to be true, it *is* too good to be true. But sometimes good instruments pop up there.

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Yeah Glauber. I think so.
I’ll check the woodenflute site, but, for the record, the flute in question is one from Calmont Music, which I’ve never heard before of.
Do you know them?? The description of the flute says it would suit a beginner (that’s me) or intermediate player, and the price is really a bargain.
Volker, I don’t fancy the bidding bit either, but I’m just curious about this. Thanks for your reply

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No, i never heard of them, and this talk of "suitable for a beginner" raises red flags for me. The woodenflute email list has a lot of knowledgeable flute players and makers, and they’re very helpful.

A beginner’s instrument should still be a good instrument; the better, the better. I recommend M&E (http://www.irishflutes.net), if you can bring yourself to play on a plastic flute. I have one and use it all the time, it’s a nice flute. A keyless Hamilton (http://www.hamiltonflutes.com) is a little more expensive (depending on the value of the Euro…), but nobody will call it a beginner’s instrument.

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Hi Toni,
I know you and I have talked about this before, but now that I’ve had my Seery delrin flute for 9-10 months, (and a friend has an M&E) I thought I’d give you an update.

Basically, if you’re looking for a high quality but less expensive flute, I’d highly recommend either the Seery or M&E delrins. Tone is indistinguishable from wooden flutes in the $1,500 US range, intonation is excellent, and they’re loud and responsive. I don’t know where else you can get such a good flute—and feel confident ordering one sight unseen—for less than $400 US.

My experience has been that the M&E is slightly easier to blow in the beginning, but that might have been plain ignorance on my part. Now that my embouchure is shaping up, the Seery honks (uh, that’s meant in a good way 🙂 every time.

When I shopping around last year, I too thought about some of the flutes offered on Ebay, but too many discouraging stories on the woodenflute list convinced me the risk was too high that I’d be throwing money away on a defective or less than satisfying flute. In contrast, even if I do graduate to a high-end wooden flute some year, I know I’ll always enjoy my Seery as a fine flute that can go anywhere (even on kayak trips or rowdy pubs) with no worries. Desi Seery and Michael Cronnolly are friendly, knowledgeable, honorable makers—you can trust either one of them to give you the flute you’re looking for.

Posted .

Re: e-bay shopping

I agree with everything Will said. My experience with Seery is limited, that’s why i keep plugging M&E, but both have a good reputation. M&E is a "Rudall" style, with smaller holes; Seery is a "Pratten" style, with larger holes. If you get the M&E, be sure to request the "split embochure" feature. Rings are unecessary, cosmetic only. Seery is delrin, M&E is PVC. M&E is a lot heavier than Seery (it has really thick walls), but not so heavy that it’s uncomfortable. Hamilton is also a Pratten style (large holes). I don’t have one, but he’s a very reputable maker with good prices.

If i were you, i’d email these 3 makers, read everything in their Web sites, try to get a feel for their philosophy as makers, then make your decision. You’ll be ok with either one. Before you buy, be sure to ask them for permission to return the flute if it doesn’t work for you. The addresses for M&E (Cronnolly) and Hammy are in my previous post. Seery is at http://www.csagraphics.com/seery.htm

The only complaint i have about plastic flutes is that the sound can be thin in the upper notes of the second octave. However, this is offset by the fact that the flute always plays the same, is unaffected by the air humidity and temperature, and is practically indestructible. And you can always get a wooden flute later.

Re: e-bay shopping

E-Bay rule: You get what you pay for where it comes to electronics and musical instruments. Better to go with the makers themselves, usually, on the auctions, because they can afford to go down to true rock-bottom prices, whereas dealers need to make back their wholesale costs.

I love shopping E-bay, and if you know what to risk money on and how much you’re willing to risk, they’re great! If there’s something you are willing to risk money on, wait until the auction has approximately two and a half minutes left or less (it takes at least one minute or so from the time you decide to place your bid and hit that button to get through the bidding process) and THEN bid your price. Don’t bother bidding until then. You’ll just help drive the price up on popular items. 🙂

Zina

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Out of curiosity, I see lots of people discussing the Seery and M&E plastics as good. I’ve got a Dixon 3-piece lathe-turned flute. How do the Seery and M&E compare with the Dixon?

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Is this the Dixon that’s both a whistle and a flute (with exchangeable heads)? I haven’t had a lot of experience with it, but it’s in a lower category both for price and quality. Still a playable instrument, though, better than some of the wood flutes that show up in eBay.

Dixon

Actually, there seems to be 2 kinds of Dixon, a cheaper molded flute that also comes with a whistle head, and a more expensive lathe turned kind. The turned kind is probably better than the molded one, but someone who’s actually played one should be able to give a better opinion.

g

Dixon again

Mark, how do *you* like your Dixon? Have you had a chance to play on other flutes and compare them to the Dixon?

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Mine is the three-peice lathe-tuned kind, not the molded, or double-headed kind.

I’ve never played on anything else. I’ve been playing whistle for a couple of years, and decided to try the flute. I wanted to find something not too expensive, in order to figure out if I’d like playing the flute, before dropping a huge sum on an instrument that I might hate playing.

Thom Larson at the Whistle Shop recommended the Dixon, and I’ve always done well following his recommendations. So I got it.

It seems nice to me. It’s not too hard to play, and I think the sound is decent. But as I said, I’ve never played another flute. So I’m curious what people who’ve played good flutes think of it.

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If it’s not hard to play and the sound is decent, it’s probably good, right? I’ll keep my eyes open, if i see one, i’ll try it out.

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I lucked out with Ebay, I got a fiddle that my teacher offered me $1000 for $100. It’s good but I waited & did my homework. The lady i bought it from was an ex professional violinist - so that led me to think that it couldn’t be all that bad. It also had a one piece back which tends to hint at a little more craftmanship. I also just bought a cheap-o low whistle
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=908131651
I don’t expect a lot as it was only $27 after S&H, but it probably plays. I let you guys know when I get it - if it totally stinks at least I’m only out $27. I also bought a banjo-mandolin on a lark & it’s as good as those things get. It’s now one of my sons toys because I broke the head & don’t care to fix it right now. At any rate he loves it.

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Will. You remember well. We talked about this before. I friend of mine has a Seery as well and it’s lovely, but I just think if out of my capabilities, although I’d like to own one some day. Glauber and Mark, I have the Dixon flute-low whistle thing and I’m quite satisfied with it. But I like very much the low whistle sound and it’s a pain in the arse being constantly changing the head in order of switching from whistle to flute, so I thought why not getting a cheap flute to practice?. That’s why I ended up surfing e-bay. This flute I saw there it’s only around 50 euro (50 $) at the moment, so I might have a go, but I was wondering if shopping e-mail is more gambling than everything.

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Toni, my unasked for advice is to save that 50 euro toward a Seery or M&E. You’re one-seventh of the way there, and you’ll be guaranteed a good flute. With a Seery or M&E you can even add keys later if need be.

The taproom that hosts our local session insists on putting a tip jar out for the musicians, so we use the money (about $20-$30 US a week) to buy everyone tickets when trad music comes to town, or to pay gas for people who regularly travel from out of town just for the session, or to pay for a tune workshop with visiting pro musicians. I’ve often thought we should set up an instrument fund to help pay for new whistles, fiddle strings, etc. If you tried that at your session—even just for a few months—you might earn that flute very quickly. And then buy your mates a round after the flute is paid for.

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Yes. But honestly, i don’t like Michael’s keys (i have a keyed M&E, that i might sell you if you’re interested, email me). By the time you start thinking about keys, you better be prepared to spend 1.5K to 2K Euro. Fortunately, you really don’t need them for 90% of Irish music. You may end up later with a nice plastic keyless to bang around in sessions, and a nicer wooden keyed flute to impress the chicks with. Not a bad thing… that’s what i’m aiming at.

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Thanks a million Will for your piece of advice. And the idea of the tip jar is more than interesting, although I’m sure no one would put a penny in it as most of the costumers at the local pub don’t care about the music at all.
I’ll suggest it anyway. And I’ll probably go for the Seery sooner than later.

Dixon flute, was Re: e-bay shopping

Just in case anyone is interested:

I’m taking a whistle class with Bill Ochs in NYC. Last night, I brought along my Dixon flute, and asked him to play it, and let me know what he thought.

He was quite impressed with it for a plastic flute. He said it didn’t compare to a real high quality wooden flute, but that it played and sounded better than he would have expected from any plastic instrument.

So, there’s one experts opinion on the Dixon 3-piece.

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The Conor O’Neill’s session in Boulder started out with a few of the session leaders getting paid to show up. Instead of pocketing the money, they generously started putting the money first to a general bar tab (there isn’t one for the musicians at Conor’s, too many players!) and any leftovers into a bank account.

That bank account pays for a lending library of CDs, tickets for concerts, subsidies for music camps and lessons and workshops, whatever anyone asks for.

Quite generous of them, hm? 🙂 A group of good people.

Zina

Re: e-bay shopping

Thanks Mark, that’s a really interesting feedback.

Update

Now i have "a nice plastic keyless to bang around in sessions, and a nicer wooden keyed flute to impress the chicks with", as in my post above. I can say, now that i know better, that the keys in the M&E plastic keyed flute are fine, nothing wrong with them, just beginner’s ineptitude on my part.

Also, sadly and unexplainably, the chicks are still unimpressed.