I currently have an Armstrong a100 flute. It's good and everything, but I really need an upgrade. I'm interested in the Pearl Elegante which comes with a handmade Forza headjoint. I read some comments about it and people said that it had very little resistance. Is that good? What does it mean for a headjoint to have resistance?
I'm also looking at some Yamaha flutes, too. The Yamaha 481h and the 584HCT. Quite a jump between models, I know. I tried the 481h, and it was pretty good. But when I tried to play high notes, it wasn't so great. It also didn't have a c# trill key, which I find quite nice. It isn't a dealbreaker though.
The 584 is similar to the Pearl Elegante in price. The Pearl is completely silver, though, while the Yamaha 584 has a sterling silver hand cut headjoint and a silver plated body. I know that what a flute is made of doesn't necessarily make the tone better, but it seems like kind of a bad deal when Yamaha's has less silver than Pearl's even though they're the same price. I'm certainly not going to rule out the Yamaha just because of that, but when I try them and if they sound very similar, and if I like them both equally, it seems logical to go with the Pearl because I'll be getting more stuff for the same amount of money. If I like the Yamaha better I'll totally get it, though. The specific models of the Pearl and Yamaha that are competing against each other are as follows:
I'm still considering the Yamaha 481h, though the Pearl and Yamaha 584 are my top choices because of the hand cut headjoint and the c# trill key.
Any thoughts on the Yamahas or the Pearl?
For some reason I can't edit my original post, but I am aware that the Yamaha 584 and the Pearl Elegante both have hand cut headjoint. The only on paper difference between the two seems to be that the Yamaha 584 has less silver.
There are several other threads containing virtually the exact same questions on those flutes.
Id say try them if at all possible. I personally do not like the Forza head joint, but its just not what is best for me. However I do like the Yamaha (stay in the 500 series, 200's and 400's are all essentially the same flute, 500's jump to semi handmade and MUCH better quality)
The only reason I didn't buy a Yamaha 574 was because it did not have the C# trill key (though now it is an option).
My flute is a Pearl Dolce CODA (same as the Elegante but less silver) and a Yamaha EC head joint which is a GREAT combination for me.
Also, the amount of silver should not be a dealbreaker. Overall the quality of the workmanship is much more important than material. An all silver Gemiendhart flute will never play as well as a plated Haynes would. Within Pearl, a Pearl Quantz 765 model is not as good as the Dolce, though the Quantz has more silver.
I have a Yamaha 674 and a Pearl Elegante. I use the Yamaha as my main instrument and the Elegante as a back-up.
If you decide on Yamaha definitely go for the Yamaha 500 series and above. The 584 will play just as well as a 684 which has the all silver tube.
My experience with the two headjoints is that the Forza has a big sound and is relatively easy to play, but it has a slightly unfocussed quality to it and it is difficult to produce a wide range of tone colours. The Yamaha EC has a more focussed tone and is more versatile in terms of tone colour. However it does take more effort and practice to achieve this with the EC especially in the third octave, however the effort is worth it. On first playing I suspect you may find the Forza easiest, but the EC will give better results with a bit of effort.
I much prefer the feel of the mechanism on the Yamaha - the key action is quite a bit lighter than the Pearl which is a bit clunky by comparison.
Having said that, they are both good flutes IMO and choice of flute and headjoint is a personal thing so the decision will be yours.
Have you considered trying other flutes in your price range. Azumi and Avanti seem to be quite popular and would be worth a look.