I've looked through the forums already but I didn't find enough information that would really help me in making this decision.
I'm looking to buy a "real" flute. The flute I currently own is a cheap, mass-produced Selmer from China. It sucks. It can't play anything higher than A or B-flat if I'm lucky, and high notes and low notes just don't hold out well. Also, the tone is crap and it doesn't vibrate at all when I play.
Even though I AM a beginner on the flute, I do have a lot of history playing the clarinet so music is not new to me. I know it's not just me (that I *can* play the high notes) because I tried out a Yamaha-211s and it was like playing silk! It was fantastic and I had no problems playing any note!
However, in Japan it is selling for approx. $650 or so.. which I can't afford right now.
I just joined a community wind ensemble and I'd really like to have a proper flute in order to do my best there!
I recently found an ad in craigslist (Japan) for a Pearl pf-521. I may be able to get this flute for $200! However, the seller bought it used so I wouldn't be buying from the original owner. Of course, he seller says it's in excellent condition. He hardly uses it and just wants to get rid of it.
I could have that flute in a week. But I can't try it out because the seller lives far from me and I have to have my friend pick it up for me.
What I do know: Pearl PF-521 and Yamaha 211s
both are silver plated, have closed holes, and do not have a B foot.
Pearl has offset G, split E mechanism, and pinless construction.
...I have no idea what that's even good for, though.
I did try out the Yamaha and LOVED IT, but like I said, I can't afford that right now.
The sooner I get a flute the better but I don't want to buy something totally crappy like the one I have now. I assume that the better I get at playing, and if I really do feel like going professional, I will have to upgrade again regardless of whether I buy a Pearl or a Yamaha.
Please tell me any information or opinions you have on either flute, or on buying used flutes in general. ANYTHING.
Having had experience with both, I would readily recommend the Pearl over the Yamaha.
Both Flutes are quite nice but I found the Pearl has a quite lighter touch, making it a lot more comfortable to play on - the keys go down a lot faster with less effort.
The Yamaha and the Pearl have both a nice tone. I personally preferred the Pearl, it sounded a bit more mellow in my opinion, but this is a personal opinion and you might have to try and see if a store stocks a similar Flute to the Pearl - anything from the Quantz series as they have the same Headjoint type - albeit different materials (which the effect is debatable anyway) to see if you prefer the tone of the Yamaha or the Pearl.
And here is what the Pinless Construction is apparently for: http://www.pearlflutes.com/pinless-construction.html
Please note that some of what I have said is based on opinion and I know some others may disagree, so the only way to find out is to try both (if possible) and see which you prefer.
Thanks for the information JasonTongRulz. I was at the wind ensemble last night and got to ask my fellow flautists their opinions as well. None of them owned a Pearl but they all had good things to say about it.
One of the players had a Muramatsu and she told me that the tone is a little similar, in that it is light and easy to play, so she let me play on her flute. It's hard for me to really tell the difference between the Yamaha I played and the Muramatsu she let me play, since they are both incredible smoother than the one I currently own (it makes me want to cry almost! jk).
However I did notice that the Muramatsu flute itself didn't resonate/vibrate like the Yamaha did when I played it. That was a cool sensation, but I'm not really sure if I care - as long as it doesn't really make that much of a difference in tone quality.
I am a beginner anyway, so maybe I shouldn't be so picky. The Pearl is selling for approx. $200 and after asking the seller, it doesn't seem to be very old at all. I'm just damn lucky!
hmm, the Yamaha store did have a sale where the price for a brand new Yamaha-221s was about the same as what she lists on that website. However the sale has now ended. Also, I live in Japan and I am doubtful that things would be cheaper if she had to ship it all the way here. But thanks for the link! If things don't work out with this auction I have an alternative now!
Btw, the guy told me he only bought it 3 months ago and the key pads and everything were brand new then. So it looks like a really good deal. He just doesn't have time to play it anymore and wants to get rid of it. He was lucky when he found it for as cheap as he did out in the country, so he's being fair and selling it for a cheap price too. I just hope no one else bids on it!
Yamaha 211 is a sturdy instrument that if well cared will work fine for a long time. You could try buying used. I have one as a second flute and I am quite happy with it. I prefer it over the 221 because the E mechanism. Beware that both YFL211 and 221 have covered keys (closed holes); for ring keys (open holes) you have the YFL 271/261
Key vibration may be cool, but I don't think it's good, each time I had a key vibrating it was the pad that does not seal perfectly (the air try to go out at the frequency of the note you play, this makes the pad to vibrate)