After a month of hunting and pecking for a backup flute - I've settled on the Pearl 665 special edition B foot -with the Forza headjoint. The price was less than half of my Di Zhao DZ-700 and came with all the same options except the D# Roller
The Pearl was only $999.00 Including shipping Compared with nearly $2100 for the Di Zhao
The only difference- the Pearl has a silver plated body and footjoint ( Di Zhao is sterling silver ) Although I suspect the keywork is upgraded on the Di Zhao - but not certain.
Still.... down the road - I might not make the same choice for my next flute.
Given the price of the Pearl - what would you consider down the line ?
I've heard Azumi......even Avanti - but the price is a bit more tan I am willing to spend
In my opinion, though some will disagree, is that the body doesn't have much to do with the actual sound of the instrument, thats your headjoint job. I've heard alot about pearl, never tried one myself( I know right , sad but true) but I do know they are a reliable brand. However being me I will advertise the azumi,sonare, amadeaus( or ventus)over other intermediate flutes. Becuase you get a hand crafted headjoint with the lower quality body. So if you feel the pearl is fine, go for it , the plated body won't do much, however if you feel you can I would recomend one of the brands I've named solely becuase of the headjoint you get.
However being me I will advertise the azumi,sonare, amadeaus( or ventus)over other intermediate flutes. Becuase you get a hand crafted headjoint with the lower quality body."
Define Handcrafted? The Forza headjoint is handfinished and considered handcrafted. And a Pearl pinless mechanism blows away any of the brands you've mentioned.
I think if a lot more people were actually informed as to where and how their instruments were made, the choices would be less brand specific and more like, "This flute works best for me."
Thee are lots of great instruments out there. All you need to do is stop worrying about the brand name (except in that it is a reputable brand regarding its construction) and get something that works best for you. A handmade, handcrafted, hand finished headjoint should never be the criteria for picking a flute. What should be the issue is whether or not that headjoint is a good match for the player.
My rant on the headjoint phenomenon. There are thousands of fantastic headjoints out there and they are equally despised or loved by whoever happens to pick one of them up and play them. It just needs to suit YOU.
Three reliable flute technicians whom I've used in the past say that they REALLY do not like working on flutes with a pinless mechanism.
Not liking however, is not any indication of quality. It is usually one of unfamiliarity, or unwillingness to depart from habitual practices, or etc, etc.
I don't like working on flutes without adjusting screws, it doesn't make them bad, it just means more work for me to do.
Some manufacturers' pinless mechanisms are rather complicated so I can understand some techs reluctance or dislike for the reason given. Repair procedures for some techs become more "comfortable" when its routine and deviation from those routines is often expressed as "dislike".
There is no doubt that pinless mechanism are superior for performance, longevity, and maintenance. Dealing with them is not difficult, but somethings are different. Some techs just don't REALLY want to deal with different. (and I know, because they call me to send their stuff when they don't want to deal with it)
The most reliable flute techs work on all of them though, because that's why people seek us out and expect us to just do what is needed regardless of our personal likes or dislikes of just about anything you find in all kids of flutes.
About wooden headjoints, I own one from DiZhao. You see, it doesn't really matter the brand per se, what really made a difference was the fact that I was able to try playing two different designs from this particular maker. I choose the one that showed as being more to the classic or baroque side. For me there was no meaning in buying a wooden heajoint to have a metal tone as a result.
So, again, I'd say you must try as many as you put your hands on. When I choose headjoints it's very helpful to have a flutist friend that can give you feedback while you test play. Not always you can feel exactly the resulting sound and tone you get from different heajoints.
I suppose it doesn't matter that I was a recent VP of the National Repair Organization and that I'm a National Clinician on flute repair, and other things such as flute construction, design, acoustics, etc. for the industry...
Let's be fair if you want disclosure about what I do. I've consulted and did work work for the likes of First Act, Sankyo, Leblanc, Altus, now Pearl. Have worked on just about everything under the sun, did pad prototyping / beta testing (still do that). I was also a dealer for many pro models and other of my current competitors for years. I teach and consult about repair, design and construction and on a regular basis and run my own repair shop where I work on (gasp)Pearls and everything else flute under the sun.
Also, in the spirit of "full disclosure", it is pretty well known that I am very impartial when giving you or anyone my professional opinion on anybody's product. (and you can figure that out by looking at any of my posts on this forum or many others.) My professionalism towards flute repair in general is MUCH larger than any affiliation I have with any specific company.
If I worked for [pick a company], my response would have been exactly the same and neither more, nor less valid.
So what's your point... that I will lie or be misleading in my comments because I work for the company that made the product we are discussing?
I still think it is fair and honest to let people know about your current affiliation. What would be the problem in doing that? I'm not sure I get your reluctance to disclose your Pearl affiliation -- especially to people "new" to these forums who have no idea. They are usually the ones who ask for advice about instruments.
It's very simple, When I need to put my Pearl hat on and answer specifically to a question in a company related official capacity, then I include the specific affiliation as I have done a few times on this board when it called for it.
When I give my own general remarks there is no reason for me to credit a particular affiliation that has no official reason for me to do so.
I could have just as easily given this as a signature based on the responses I gave.
Previous VP of NAPBIRT
Joe's Flute Repair
I wear many hats. Either of these affiliation are more appropriate or relevant given my response. You know, I can speak to any subject as myself personally without needing to bring one or all of my affiliations into it.
If I had responded to a poster regarding let's say, a warranty issue regarding one of our Pearl flutes, then I would give company specific information and include my affiliation. In my remarks here, as they appear on this thread in the context of general commentary, listing my affiliation as a Papa John's pizza boy wouldn't change anything or have any bearing on anything I said. Unless you feel that my affiliation somehow gives my comments some weight then they would normally otherwise have, then there is no need to state it. And my affiliation in this situation does not. I'm just a member of this forum with an opinion just like you are.
Now, can we forgo this silly nonsense and get back to the topic at hand????
By handmade I mean a headjoint crafted for a profesional level flute. Don't judge my knoledge >( hahaha just kidding. If the pearl works for you then all the power to you, I'm just saying from my experiance that those are the brands I like the most.