At the moment, I have 6 flutes in my possession and I HAVE to narrow it down to one. I will list them all, but the top flutes for me at the moment are a Muramatsu and an Aitkins. There are positives and negatives to both and I'm just wondering if anyone has had experience with either to give opinions. FYI - 5 out of the 6 are quite a bit older and used, but in amazing condition.
Muramatsu - all silver, inline g, c foot, open hole, y-arms
Aitkins - all silver, inline g, c foot, open hole, pointed arms
Haynes - all silver, offset g, c foot, open hole (converted), y-arms
Louis Lot - all silver, inline g, c foot, closed hole, y-arms
Armstrong Heritage - all silver, inline g, c foot, open hole, pointed arms, 18k gold lip plate/riser
diMedici - 1011RBES - only new flute in the lineup... don't like the feel of the keys
Honestly, the Haynes plays great, but it doesn't have the response of the Aitkins or Muramatsu. The Louis Lot plays well enough... but I was brought up with 'it MUST be an open hole flute!!!' ... so I can't shake it from my head. I could honestly care less about a b foot - it's really only beneficial to me for 2 notes, and 1 of the two can still be played without it, so that's not really a consideration. The Armstrong is very pretty, but imo I can't stand the way I sound playing it. It's like airy met Sally... And obviously the diMedici can't even hold up to a nice handmade flute. It does have redeeming qualities (it's pretty and has a d# roller) but... those aren't enough to make it worth passing up hand crafted excellence.
So really... it boils down to my two favorite flutes. Yes I'm on a pretty tight budget, and all of these flutes are within that budget.
LOVE the headjoint, it's not the original and it sounds AMAZING
Keys are kind of bulky, and I don't like the look of y-armed keys (yes... that's getting into aesthetics and NOT the best way to choose a flute... but *sigh* ...)
It's quite mellow in tone and I love that
Keys mechanism is fantastic and quick!
Don't really like the headjoint - makes me sound very shard and bright
Has those very pretty and hard to pass up pointed key arms *sigh*
I guess my question is - do I get the flute that makes me sound amazing... or do I get the keywork that I love and hope to one day replace the headjoint?? Obviously I'll never be playing Prokofiev's Sonata in D, so I guess I shouldn't stress quite this much... but it's a big decision.
Sorry this is so long... any help would be appreciated!!! :D
I haven't tried a blindfold, but I did make my partner listen while I played each flute (he wasn't allowed to see what I played) and he picked the Muramatsu 4 out of 4 times. I played the exact same passages on every flute for him... so I guess that does say a lot!
i'd take take the atkins if you like the keys and mechanism,
do you own all of the flutes, or are they on loan from somewhere, if you own them then you could take the headjoint from the maramatsu and the body and foot from the atkins and try it then you get rid of the maramatsu body and the atkins head along with the others, but then if you don't own them then yo just kep the one you like best with the mechanism, and upgrade the headjoint later on.
Re: Aitkins vs. Muramatsu 09:16 on Sunday, January 18, 2009
Account Closed (3248 points)
I'd go for the Muramatsu as it is a well known brand that you can trust. I have never even heard of an Aitkins which makes me a bit weary. Are there any other brands/flutes that you can try out? You may have just not found the one yet that makes you go "wow!"
Aitkins was actually a maker at Haynes, and the Aitkins flute has mostly Haynes parts on it, which is probably why I like it so much. My instinct also tells me to go with the Muramatsu.
I wish I owned them all, but I don't. They are on loan so I'll have to decide (
Just a little blurb I managed to find -
"Reginald Aitkins was under the employ of the Haynes Co. for over 5 years in the 1970's; as a result, the design of Aitkins' flutes have many qualities that reflect his experience at that famed company. Reginald Aitkins was somewhat of a reclusive man who lived in the countryside of New Hampshire. He never advertised and sold his instruments solely on players' recommendations."
Oh... and these 6 flutes were narrowed down from a pool of around 30 flutes (new and used) in my price range. It took hours and hours and hours... so I'm pretty sure I'll have it narrowed down to one within the week.
Agreed with Kara and with the previous post.
It may sure be a new good brand, but never heard of it so far.
I also play a very old Muramatsu (35 years old, Y arms, open holes, aligned G, all silver). Can tell you the mechanism is something that would lead my technician to a bankruptcy :-)
My opinion, regardless of you being or not a professional flutist, is that you must choose the one you feel you play better. The appearence is just a second thought, a complementary judgement, in case both flutes were absolutely even in all other aspects.
Now that I read your other posts I understand your interest in the Aitkins brand (And could know this brand, after all). I would regret some of my previous comment, but still would tell you to pick the one which you like the sound most.
I'm currently just trying headjoints... but the Aitkins mech is still my favorite.
I know I can get an amazing Sanko headjoint to fit the Aitkins.... and I'm REALLY leaning toward that. I have a new Pearl coming on weds that I need to test it against. The Sankyo HJ + Aitkins body is a bit more that I wanted to spend... but ... it's getting down to the 70th flutes I've tried and I want to know I've made the right choice!
Well... I ended up getting a Pearl Elegante CODA. It felt nice and balanced in my hands, and the Forza headjoint responded really nicely for me. I didn't even think this would be an option because everyone I called had a waiting list for this flute...