I'm new to the forum, and I am in the process of trying out flutes in the $2500-$5000 range, stepping up from my current student flute. One of the flutes I am thinking of trying is a Sankyo, and I came across the following info, and don't know if these are the same model or not:
Sankyo CF 401 Handmade, all sterling silver, french (open hole), pointed key arms, NEL, drawn tone holes, handcut headjoint, 0.38mm tubing, B footjoint. $8,995
Sankyo CF 401 "Artist": Body and Foot: Sterling Silver. Head Joint: Sterling Silver with Hand Cut Embouchure. Key Style: Open Hole with French Pointed Arms. Keys: Sterling Silver. Mechanism: B Foot with Gizmo Key. Tone Holes: Drawn. List Price $9,000. Sale Price $4,499.
The "Artist" model is not mentioned on the Sankyo website, but appears at several places selling flutes.
I have more questions, but I hope somebody knows what the story is on these two (one?) flutes.
After 2 nights on line, what I came up with is that there is no difference between the CF401 and CF401 Artist except for the head joint.
The CF401 appears with a ST-2 sterling headjoint, and is made for balanced tone across low, middle and high ranges. The "Artist" models at several shops are priced at $4500 (approx) with an RT-1 sterling headjoint which gives more resonant tone to the low register. An option to get the ST-2 HJ brings the price to approx $9000!
Interestingly, the ST-2 and RT-1 HJ's are listed at $1600 each, so my guess is that a batch of the Artist flutes were shipped to dealers with the RT-1 HJ's as a special deal for them.
Since I have no problems getting a rich low register even on my student flute, I'd probably prefer an RT-2 HJ that is balanced across registers, (the RT-1 favors the tone in the high range).
But I don't know. I think I'm going to have to try a CF401 Artist with the RT-1 HJ, and also some other brands: Muramatsu EX, Pearl 795 Elegante or Elegante Vigore, and a Miazawa 202 are the ones I've been looking at.
At this point my mind is open (hope my ears are, too) but the all-sterling Sankyo for $4500 sounds like a really good price. I'll just have to try 'em all.