I'm new here and I would really appreciate your advice.
I am in the market for a new flute and I have no idea where to begin. I am coming back to flute playing after a 6-7 year hiatus that I took while I was in the Navy. I have always loved playing the flute and simply didn't have the time nor anywhere to play while I was in the military. I am finally out (yay!) and would love to get back to flute playing. I intend on making this a serious "hobby" with some freelance stuff on the side (i.e., I don't plan on getting a degree in performance and becoming a professional, etc.)
I am an advanced flute player so I would like an appropriate flute for my level. Unfortunately, I don't really know what's out there now. I definitely want a solid silver headjoint, body, footjoint-although I'm kind of neutral when it comes to the keys. It also must be B-foot, open hole, and inline G. Other than that, I'm open to options. My budget is probably around $5000. Any ideas?
I suffered through high school and college on my Gemeinhardt 3SB and since I'm coming back, I don't even want to start on that thing again.
I'd tell you to look for a shop where you can test play a few models, so you can judge what is the best for your style of playing.
If it's not possible, than I'd say that there are many excelent brands for your budget.
Just for you to have an idea, take a look at www.fluteworld.com. Look for Muramatsu, Altus, Sankyo, Powell, Brannen, Haynes (Those I know well). I don't know if you would get an all silver model, but would incourage you to go for it (including the keys). Durability is the word...
I agree with Zevang's advice to try out different flutes. Flutes are like shoes - you need a good fit and the only way to find out is to try 'em on for size.
While I understand your desire for a new flute, you might want to get your chops in shape before you invest in a new flute. If your 3SB is still in good working order, start there. If not, you might consider getting a minimal play condition for it or renting an instrument for a couple of months just til you get your chops back. $5000 is a pretty big investment and if you haven't played in a while, that will make it difficult to get a good idea of what really works for you.
I had a chance to audition several flutes yesterday-some Miyazawa's, Muramatsu's, Sankyo's, and some Altus'. I really liked the Altus 1107 with the split E mech-it's offset G but I shouldn't have a problem adapting to it.
I would say that while my chops aren't what they used to be, I have played *somewhat* over the past 6-7 years, I was even teaching lessons for a while. I just didn't play anywhere organized and whatnot. I feel pretty comfortable that I can at least get a good idea of what would be good for me. Thanks for the heads-up though, I will definitely keep it in mind
With that said, what do you think of the Altus 1107, is there anything I should know about the durability of this type of flute? Also, I found this flute at a discount retailer-should I have confidence in this type of place?
Is the flute used or new?
If it's new, you may ask for a manufacturer's warranty. If used, as this is a model with silver plated keys, look for defects over the surface of the keys that may indicate oxidation and deterioration. The previous owner might have been someone with acid sweat.
The tarnish, on the other hand, usually is not a sign of a ruined instrument. It's pretty normal in a silver flute. Yet, the Britannia Silver (.958) seems to be very resistant, even more than the normal Sterling Silver (.925).
I've experimented Altus flutes before, and this particular model 1107 in my opinion is very good, very cost-effective. They seem to have a great quality control, so I think you might not have any problem regarding the flute you've got nor the retailer. Plus, they are very popular in europe.