January and February 2015
I have a lot of turnover in used flutes, constantly selling those I have worked on and buying new ones for my inventory. I mostly have Yamaha, Pearl and Jupiter flutes. (I don't buy or sell Artley, Bundy, Gemeinhardt or some others but I do repair them.) I have closed hole flutes and open hole flutes, both silver plated and sterling silver, inline G and offset G, C foot and B foot, in various combinations. I also buy, repair and sell Yamaha and Gemeinhardt piccolos. (see the piccolo page)
Here's what I do to the used flutes and piccolos I sell:
I correct padding, adjustments, key heights, spring tensions and tenon fit. I clean and oil the flute and often replace the headcork. I may replace corks or felts-- whatever the instrument needs, I do in order to bring it up to my standard. Big flute companies can't afford to do this kind of work on the myriad of flutes they sell.
The work I do on used flutes will make the padding and adjustments last longer than if you buy a new flute of the same kind. Here's why:
When a student or intermediate instrument is made at the factory, the first priority is quantity, not quality. The factory must turn out a certain number of flutes per day and so each flute does not get much individual attention from the padder. And the padding is the most important factor in how the flute plays.
The way the factory pads a flute is to put a pad and shims in the key cup, then dampen, heat (or bake! really, there are special ovens for this) and press the pads onto the tone hole with force and for such an amount of time that the pad will conform to the top of the tone hole no matter what. So, the flute plays--at least for a certain length of time. Over time, the felt in the pads starts to relax as it gathers moisture from the air and from the player's condensation, and the felt begins to revert to its original flat (or not so flat) shape. In this condition, the pads don't cover the tone holes, and the flute doesn't play well. This is about when the owner decides to sell the flute and when I decide to buy, repair and sell it. I re-shim the pads without use of heat or force which takes me more time, but lasts years longer.
The best way to buy a flute from me is to contact me via email. You can tell me what you're looking for, or, if you don't know too much about flutes, I am glad to share my knowledge with you. We can talk about your needs, wants, budget, and I will make suggestions that will best serve your situation. If you decide to buy from me, I will prepare a flute or piccolo especially for you, your child, or your student. You don't pay me until the instrument is ready; then I ship out it out, and you have a full seven days to make sure you're pleased with the flute or piccolo--full refund less shipping if you decide for any reason it's not the instrument for you. I place a one year warranty on everything I sell.