Hey guys, I've been looking for great deals on used flutes (for college) for a long while now. An old student of my teacher's was just able to buy a used Powell, handmade, in great shape for only $2500! I don't know where people find deals like these, because everywhere I look I find inflated prices. Does anyone know any good sites other than Usedflutes that I should take a look at?
I've bought most of my instruments on Ebay. (oboe,flute,piccolo) And have been pleased with all of them, and their sellers. And seeing that this seller has 100 percent feedback I would say there is no risk involved.
To add to what others have said, when dealing with eBay sellers there is always some risk, but in this case (from a transaction point of view) it seems low since the seller has a 100% satisfaction rating. It also has the eBay buyer protection so that helps to make it less risky. The ad states there is a three day return policy. I would get clarification that it means 3 days from the day you recieve it - not 3 days from when it is shipped.
Now for the flute itself, it may be similar to the Cantabile, but it is not exactly the same since it is bit older. For the problems that are described, here's my thoughts.
Key noise on Bb key - Could be a missing felt, but most likely the Bb key has some wear and it is the key clicking on the screw shaft. This is a common problem when flutes get older. That means that the key tubing needs to be swedged to tighten it. If it's extreme, the Bb pad can leak, but it's not difficult for a well equipped flute shop fix it.
Headjoint dents were removed - I don't see this as a showstopper. If the dents were properly and completely removed, it should not affect the playing or the sound. The ad says you can see a blemish where the dent was removed. If a dent is sharp with a crease, it's nearly impossible to remove the dent without leaving a bit of a mark. To me, this just says they are being honest about it. If they wanted to be dishonest, they could remove the dent and then heavily buff the mark to remove it. The problem with heavy buffing is that it removes too much metal leaving it thinner than the rest of the headjoint. That could affect the sound and also be more susceptible to denting again.
Some shift - Sounds like they are describing that some of the keys can slide a little bit from side-to-side. This is a sign of some wear on the keys or possibly a key post that is slightly bent allowing the key(s) to "shift" or slide on the shaft. This can also allow pads to leak when the key moves side-to-side instead of just up & down. Again, a flute repair tech can fix it, but this is approaching an overhaul which can cost upwards of the $500 the ad mentioned. Of course, after having an overhaul, a flute should play like or better than a new one.
If you decide to buy it (with the option of returning it), make arrangements with a local flute repair tech to inspect and evaluate it as soon as you get it. Request a repair estimate. Then you can decide if you want to keep it or not and whether it is worth it or not.
OK, my two cents:
If Liz is willing to take the flute back, and I would make sure to confirm that in an email, then it might be worth a shot.
Remember that this will cost you $70 (shipping both ways) if you don't want the flute.
If you do it, I would have it shipped directly to your flute tech, making an appointment for him/her to receive the flute and evaluate it immediately, since if it passes muster you need to have lots of time to play it, and probably have your teacher play it.
My second point is that while the flute may be 'solid silver', it is not sterling silver. Sterling silver would be marked 925 or .925 rather than 900. And it does not say whether the keys are silver plated or solid 900. I'm not saying that sterling makes a better flute than 900 silver, just that there is a difference in the metal.
You might try watching Craigslist very closely, especially in the closest metropolitan area.
You might also take a trip to someplace that has a store with quality flutes to play and try, so you can get a good idea of what you do and do not like in a flute.
According to many flutists, Liz is untrustworthy. I wouldn't risk it. Plus, TibbieCow pointed out that it's made out of coin silver. Not even sterling! The canatabile is Gold bonded and .925 sterling silver! Look around, you'll get a deal eventually! I constantly searched and got a Yamaha YPC-32 piccolo for £120($185)!
There is no such flute as a Pearl PF 8500. From what I can tell from the pictures and description, that is a model SS-850. (serial # lot is consistant with that model) The SH-880 (next model up) was the handmade model and closer to the current model 8800 series cantabile.
If it has a stamped 900 on it, it is coin silver not sterling silver.
This model (SS-850) began production in 1985 and was discontinued in 1986, so it is 24-25 years old. The PF-885 was first made in 1986 and carried the name "Cantabile"
We do like to get the correct info out their for your benefit. We manufacturers/distributors can look up a lot of specifications on older flutes. Especially the ones we make
That should be "there" not "their", (before the grammar hounds pounce...)
While Woodwind & Brasswind may have good prices, many times their instruments aren't properly set up before shipping like speciality flute shops as Flute World or J.L Smith. You may have to spend $25 more at a flute speciality shop but it will be adjusted and in working order when you get it and then you don't have to waste more money to ship it back or repairs. So, in the long run you are safer to avoid them unless you don't mind doing this.