A Used Flute – Some Tips on Buying.
As with any second-hand purchase, there are always pitfalls, so here are a few pointers to try and help you avoid those costly mistakes when buying a used flute.
First of all, speak with your flute teacher, and canvas some opinions on what they think are the best brands, but remember their opinion is usually just that, and you also need to balance it with your own research.
As a general guide, I would suggest you stick to the following well respected manufacturers when it comes to student used flutes, but this list is not exhaustive.
Gemeinhardt, Yamaha, Pearl, Armstrong, Emerson, Di Zhao, Buffet, Jupiter, Trevor James. I have stripped and serviced all of these brands, and can confirm their build quality.
Most young students and beginners start with a closed hole key system, but this does not prohibit the purchase of an open hole flute, as hole plugs can be purchased cheaply. Do remember though that in general, open hole flutes are more expensive to purchase, and servicing costs are higher.
Try to play the used flute before purchasing, or arrange for your flute teacher to. Not only can you decide if you like the tonal quality of the brand, but you can also gauge if it will require an immediate service to bring it back up to standard.
Make sure the keywork on the used flute is not bent or damaged, for obvious reasons, and any dents in the body, although removable, would generally suggest the manner in which the flute has been looked after in the past. Also check the straightness of the body section – Bananas are more common than you would think, and can be costly to repair.
Check the condition of the pads which sit under the keys. Small splits can be very hard to see, but you can usually tell by their general appearance if they will need replacing. A full re-pad can be more expensive than the value of the used flute. Also, check for missing key corks.
Check the condition of the plating for any bubbling or corrosion, as this can seriously affect any future resale value of your used flute.
That’s probably enough basic information for now, but remember you can always contact us for advice, servicing or to purchase one of our quality re-conditioned used flutes, which come with a six month warranty for your peace of mind.