7 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Flute
1. Reliability - How Long Will the Flute Last?
2. How to Spot a Forgery?
3. Extras - Which are the Ones You Need?
4. Tone Quality What Makes a Flute Sound Good?
5. New vs Second-hand
6. Design, Features and Options
7. The Best Brand
Tone Quality - How Good Can It Sound?
The quality and value of a flute is determined by the potential it has for making a beautiful sound. The more capable it is of delivering music that can bring tears to the eyes and wonder to the hearts of listeners, the more valuable the flute is.
The Better the Metal, the Sweeter the Sound
The next best substance is silver, which delivers a pure sweet tone, that can be light, fluid, and expressive.
The best substance to make a flute from is gold. The reason for this is that a gold flute, in the hands of a skilled player, can produce a tone that is more warm, mellow, sweet and rich than any other substance.
So to have a flute that will sound the best, we would all like a solid gold flute. Sadly, the price of a gold flute is about the same as that of a new family car, so it is usually necessary to compromise.
In my opinion, the following list grades the quality of sound from fine to magnificent:
There are many variations of the above combinations, but I have listed the most common ones.
Sterling Silver Headjoint
Sometimes flutes are nickel-plated, as a substitute for silver-plating. These instruments sound OK, in my opinion, but I don’t recommend them because nickel plating feels slippery to hold. As well as that, I’ve never seen a well-made nickelplated flute. They usually require frequent adjustment. You can recognise a Yamaha nickel-plated flute by the model number. There will be an “N” after the number, eg, YFL 221N.
A silver plated flute is a great instrument to start with, but colored flutes sound almost as good.