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Transverse flute: review to buy the best transverse flutes by price and level

Beginners Level

Thomann FL-200R Open Holes

Intermediate Level

Azumi AZ-S2 RE

Advanced level

Yamaha YFL-412

Wood Selection

Johannes Gerhard Hammig 758/2/S HKR

Piccolo Flutes Selection

Yamaha YPC-32 Piccolo

Which flute to buy? Comparison of the best transverse recorders for beginners, intermediate and advanced level.

The transverse flute is, along with the recorder, one of the oldest instruments, and also one of the most popular. Almost all peoples and cultures of the world have their own versions of the flute, which have generally consisted of a wooden tube to which holes are added to achieve the variation of notes. But the modern version of the keyed flute was invented in the mid-19th century and has remained virtually unchanged in form since then.

It is a very versatile, agile and sweet instrument, which is why it is widely used in chamber music. Some modern genres such as jazz have also found a good ally in the transverse flute. Therefore, this week we have prepared this article with a comparison. In it we explain its parts, the basic principles of fingering a transverse flute and even show you how to make one at home.

If you are interested in buying a transverse flute and do not know which model to choose, in this article we have selected and analyzed the best transverse flutes on the market, the most versatile and those that stand out in terms of value for money. In culturasonora you can also find comparisons, reviews and guides about other musical instruments of any kind.

What is a transverse flute?

The transverse flute, also called the transverse flute, is classified as a woodwind instrument. The reason? The first ones that were manufactured were made of wood, although today they are mainly made of metal. There are different types of transverse flutes, but the most common is usually 40 centimeters long.

These instruments produce sound when a stream of air enters through one end, known as the “embouchure”, and passes through the body to produce a series of sound vibrations. The flutist must press a series of keys on the body of the instrument to achieve the musical notes, and thus, produce the music.

Anatomy of the transverse flute

Crown/top

It is considered the upper part of the flute and its purpose is to ensure that the airflow passes through the entire tube correctly.

Mouth hole/mouthpiece

Part where the flutist blows or expels the air to shape the musical notes. The facial muscles are decisive for various effects to be produced. This way of positioning the lips is called “embouchure”.

Barrel or gasket

Joint between the head gasket and the body. It allows the head to be set further away or closer to adjust the pitch.

Body

This is the longest section of the flute and is where the keys (pistons) or holes go.

Pistons or bell key

Of the six finger holes on the transverse flute, only the topmost one, intended for the left index finger, is covered, while the rest of the holes are open because this allows the flutist greater flexibility to vary the pitches of the individual notes.

Bar system

All the notes or clefs are interconnected by a system of bars that is vital to the functioning of the flute.

Lip plate

Raised area around the mouth hole that the flutist uses to support the lower lip.

Keys

Cushioned keys that are connected to the bell pistons by means of rods. These are closed according to the notes the flutist wishes to obtain. There are, however, transverse flutes without keys.

Joint of the foot

It is found in professional and some semi-professional flutes of great versatility. The foot section allows you to play the note B below middle C on the transverse flute or middle C on the piano.

Trill Key

Tiny trill keys that give the flutist a kind of shortcut when he needs to play certain notes that are very fast.

Types of transverse flute

Flutes can be classified into two types according to their material:

Metal flute

They are mainly made of brass, and alpaca and copper or different combinations of these metallic materials are also used.

Wooden flute

They are made of bamboo or other woods with excellent acoustic properties.

There are also several types of transverse flute according to their tuning: piccolo (tuned in C5), soprano (D#4), alto (G3), concert or Boehm (C4), among others.

How to tune a traverse flute

To tune a transverse flute, its headjoint (crown, lip plate, mouth hole) must be adjusted , either by bringing it in or pulling it back a little to achieve different pitches.

For this process it is important to consider several aspects:

  • Moisten the embouchure: before blowing it is important to moisten the embouchure and warm up the sounds with the flute to achieve better intonation.
  • Listen: make a scale and listen well to all the notes of the flute so that your ear warms up the engines.

The process can be made easier with the help of a flute tuner. You can buy a digital (physical) tuner for wind instruments, use an online version or download one of the many Android or iPhone apps that feature a tuner, metronome, tuning fork and other useful tools.

How to play the transverse flute?

To play the transverse flute, as with the bassoon or any wind instrument, breathing is essential to achieve shape and obtain the sounds. That is why you must be clear about the term “intercostal diaphragmatic breathing”.

Diaphragmatic intercostal breathing

It is achieved when aspiration is done through the nose and mouth, but most importantly, the air goes directly into the lungs. It is the same breathing used by professional swimmers and academically trained singers. Here are some tips for good diaphragmatic breathing:

  • Raise your arms to shoulder height and inhale, taking care not to inflate the thorax, but the intercostal area.
  • Perceive your breathing, you should feel the back of the intercostal area inflate. These are the lungs that are widening as a result of the accumulation of air, so you know you are doing it the right way.

Relaxation

Muscular tension is the greatest enemy of wind instrument lovers because it limits the possibilities of technical mastery at the level of breathing and posture. Therefore, it is important to perform certain preparatory exercises to achieve proper relaxation. Some of these exercises are compatible with yoga.

Posture for playing the transverse flute

According to expert recommendations, a correct posture should have the following elements:

  • Feet open and aligned with shoulders. The left foot should be in front of the right.
  • The back should be in a straight position.
  • The shoulders should be relaxed and the head held high while bringing the flute towards the mouth, not the other way around.
  • The grip on the flute should be firm but without tension.

Traverse flute fingering

In order for the fingers to play the keys or holes in the correct way, the flute must be held with the phalanx of the left thumb. The other fingers should be placed over the center of the keys, especially if it is a flute with closed keys.

Similarly, it is important to acquire some studies such as those of Moyse, Taffanel, Andersen, Kohler, Boehm, Kuhlau and Gariboldi. These contain interesting exercises that contribute to the development of different skills, including the fingering of the transverse flute.

If you do not know how to play the transverse flute, some of these studies will be especially useful for you because they guide you through beautiful melodies to learn the techniques of attack, slur, speed, reading, phrasing, among others.

How to blow a traverse flute

To blow a transverse flute in the correct way you must rest the lower lip on the lip plate. Meanwhile, the upper lip should look like the lower lip, as if you were going to pronounce the letter ‘F’ but without support of the teeth. Some aspects to consider are:

  • Maintain a stable air column.
  • You should practice regulating the spectrum of the air column. We refer to a thick, medium or thin column.
  • Create supports with the diaphragm. It is like creating different vibrations or strokes that can be slow or fast and that enrich the flourishes (ornaments) when playing the flute.

Cleaning of the traverse flute

Wind instruments are easily soiled due to contact with the mouth and saliva entering the internal structure. However, transverse flutes are easy to clean, just remember to tackle each piece separately. It is advisable to clean the transverse recorder with alcohol only on the bevel part, using an ear swab. Never wash the headjoint with soap and water as the inside of the headjoint has a material that absorbs a lot of water.

How to make a traverse flute?

There are many musicians who want to learn how to make their own instruments . Therefore, in culturasonora we will teach you how to make a transverse flute in the most simple but effective way.

Measures

The measurements to create your flute are: 410 x 18 mm in length and inside diameter. Please note that these dimensions are those needed to create a G major transverse flute made of bamboo wood with open keys.

Materials and tools

  • Bamboo rod.
  • Drill bit kit.
  • Drill.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Hand saw.

Procedure for making a transverse flute

  1. Work the bamboo rod to the length and inside diameter measurements we have already given you so that you will have a flute tuned to G major.
  2. Seal the two holes at the ends to prevent air leakage.
  3. It creates the hole of the mouthpiece, which must have 2/3 of the inner diameter and in our case it must be 12 mm. This same measurement is used to locate its center at a distance of 12 mm from the top.
  4. Treat the embouchure hole with fire. For this you can use a match or hand burner.
  5. Check the flute’s tuning by blowing through the embouchure and observing the resulting note with a flute or wind instrument tuner. This note should be an octave lower than the desirable G.
  6. Drill holes for the rest of the musical notes.

Orifice considerations

  • It is not necessary for the holes to have different diameters. They can all be the same, for example 11 mm.
  • The holes for the notes should be six.
  • Their position should not be straight and you can place them in the inclinations that best suit your hand and facilitate the fingering of the transverse flute.
  • The distance between holes should be as shown in the following image. This image is a reference for a flute of this size and the distances vary according to the desired pitch.

Photograph Distance of the holes in the bamboo transverse flute

If you follow our instructions faithfully, in just a few hours you will have your first handmade bamboo transverse flute. You could also choose to make a recorder, ideal for entering the world of music.

The best brands of traverse recorders

  • Yamaha: this company has a long history in the manufacture of musical instruments, and one of its production lines is brass instruments. The Yamaha traverse flute proposals occupy a privileged place in the medium and high ranges.
  • Thomann: the focus of the Thomann family of flutes is on students and has succeeded in covering all the needs of a beginner with each of its products. We can say that their flutes are the best value for money.
  • Startone: Thomann brand with which it has managed to diversify its stock to the point of almost monopolizing the beginner and intermediate ranges with products of excellent quality.
  • Altus: parent company of the Azumi brand, founded by Shuichi Tanaka. It represents the most select ranges of this luthier.
  • Azumi: the perfection of Japanese culture is expressed through the flutes made by Shuichi Tanaka. This visionary luthier shapes Azumi flutes that are almost incomparable in the high ranges.
  • Pearl: one of those companies that has sought to foray into new waters, including the transverse flute market. They have had many hits and misses, but Pearl continues to generate great expectations because some of their proposals really surprise thanks to their quality.
  • Johannes Gerhard: more than one hundred years of tradition certify the quality of these flutes of German origin, which, in their professional ranges made of wood, have everything to rank among the best in the world.
  • Conn & Selmer: these flutes belong to the aristocratic series. Their designs are almost exclusive and the prices are totally unaffordable for non-professional musicians.

The best transverse flutes for beginners:

  1. Thomann FL-200R
  2. Startone SFL-55
  3. Yamaha YFL-212

The best transverse flutes for intermediates:

  1. Azumi AZ-S2 RE
  2. Yamaha YFL-372GL

The best transverse flutes for advanced players:

  1. Yamaha YFL-412
  2. Pearl Dolce 695 RE-Vigore

The best wooden transverse flute:

  1. Johannes Gerhard Hammig 758/2/S HKR Wooden

The best piccolos:

  1. Yamaha YPC-32
  2. Pearl PFP-105ES

Best transverse flutes for beginners

The traverse recorder for beginners is an instrument that must meet certain basic characteristics and have a good quality-price ratio. In this way, the flute student can have in his hands an instrument that satisfies his main needs during the first steps of learning.

Thomann FL-200R

Pros

Excellent, dynamic, versatile.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Alpaca.
  • Mechanics: E (E).
  • Type of dishes: Open.

We love Thomann’s beginner instruments because they offer everything you need and have a price/performance ratio that is hard to match. This flute is an example of this. It has some wonderful features, such as its manufacturing materials, attractive design and the great sound it produces.

Materials:

For the manufacture of this flute, Thomann has used nickel silver for the entire length of the body. It is a material widely used in the manufacture of inexpensive instruments. But this does not mean that their quality and durability is poor. On the contrary, it is very good, as it has a high resistance to breakage and torsion, so it does not bend or lose its shape.

In addition, in the assembly of the mechanism, adjustments have been implemented in the screws made partially of resistant ABS plastic that generate many benefits in terms of durability and fixation.

Design:

The Thomann FL-200R flute features twelve open-design cymbals, making it easy to play and providing other sound benefits. In addition, the alpaca of which it is made enhances the sound displacement, which, although not as good as that of flutes made of silver, is sufficient for beginners.

The tuning of the transverse flute is in E (E). This is a standard tuning and the most commonly used for playing in orchestras, so the beginner musician will have no difficulty playing with any band.

On the other hand, this flute incorporates a misaligned G in its mechanism to expand all the interpretative possibilities. However, to avoid misalignment (a common problem with transverse flutes), the designers have incorporated screws that provide a better grip and largely eliminate this problem.

Comes with a rod for cleaning and general maintenance, as well as a hard-type flute case to secure your instrument.

Sound:

The sound of the Thomann FL 200-R transverse recorder has great projection. This is an advantage for the beginner flutist who is just taking the first steps to master the breath and has not yet learned how to blow the transverse flute in the correct way.

In addition, the open cymbal mechanism provides good fingering in fast movements, which facilitates the optimal sound of trills, triplets, quintuplets and sixths. However, this in no way replaces the due practice that the beginning musician must obtain with a rigorous daily routine.

We like the warmth in the sound of this proposal, something that makes it particularly special for the repertoires of the romantic period and modern ballad music.

Conclusion:

Thomann, with the seriousness that characterizes it, has designed a flute of good quality and with an excellent price, so that every beginner can get his hands on a good instrument as a starting point. We highly recommend it for beginner musicians and also for teachers who wish to purchase a basic traverse flute for classroom sessions that meets every classroom requirement. Find the best price at Thomann.

Startone SFL-55

Pros

Excellent quality/price ratio.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: nickel silver.
  • Mechanics: mi.
  • Type of dishes: closed.

Startone is a Thomann brand that specializes in instruments for beginners, such as trombones. and we must say that they are wonderful. This particular flute is designed with low quality materials, but stands out for having a great sound.

Materials

The entire body of this flute is made of alpaca. As we have already said, it is a cheap material but with good sound response and also resistant to fracture and deformation. In the case of the Startone SFL-55,the adjustment screws are made of metal and not plastic, which is a positive aspect.

Design

Like all modern transverse flutes, this one has a conventional design with twelve cymbals. It is also tuned in E (E) so that the beginner musician will have no problems playing with any band or orchestra, as this is the most commonly used tuning nowadays.

With the mechanism in misaligned G, the young musician can expand each of his interpretative possibilities. It also comes with a rod for cleaning and general maintenance, as well as a hard-type flute case.

Sonido

The sound of the Startone SFL-55 flutestands out mainly because of the brightness and thus the warmth fades away. This is not necessarily a bad thing: bright sounds are very popular because they give the impression of agility, speed and in the baroque repertoire, for example, they are essential.

Also the reverb is very good and gives the impression that the whole rehearsal room is capable. The projection of this flute is not as good as that of the Thomann FL-200R, but it is acceptable.

Conclusión

The Startone SFL-55 flute is a great choice for players who like bright sounds and are looking for a flute with durability and resistance to twisting. We recommend it for beginners who enjoy the baroque repertoire, as they will find in it an instrument rich in brilliance and with an impressive reverb. Find the best price from sales giant Thomann by following this link.

Yamaha YFL-212

Pros

Great sound quality and high-end design.

Cons

It is expensive for a beginner’s flute made entirely of nickel silver.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Alpaca.
  • Mechanics: Mi.
  • Type of plates: Closed.

Yamaha has a tradition of excellence when it comes to musical instruments. Nevertheless, this Yamaha flute is an example of how much a prestigious name like this manufacturer can influence the price. We explain it below.

Materials

This Yamaha traverse flute is made of inexpensive materials such as nickel silver, which is interesting because it shows us a little of the weight that the brand has on the price. The Thomann and Startone recorders are made entirely of nickel silver and are priced accordingly. In contrast, the Yamaha YFL-212 is significantly more expensive and we believe this is not justified. However, if you want to know why we have selected it, read on.

Design

The design of this flute is also almost identical to the Thomann and Startone flutes. Its keys are closed, with French-style dotted arms, it has a misaligned G system and the position of the keys is ergonomic, so the fingering of the transverse flute is very comfortable.

On the other hand, one thing we like is that it is fully silver plated and has a CY head.

Sonido

The big difference between this flute, the Thomann and the Startone is in the sound. The Yamaha traverse flute for beginners is warm and this is due to its silver plating.

The reverb is ample and gives the impression of covering everything in its path, while its volume is also significant. In addition, the balance between brightness, mids and lows is very good and a skilled learner can extract a wide range of nuances that enrich the musical pieces.

Conclusión

We believe that this is an excellent proposal that brings out the best of the Yamaha company, because it has an excellent sound and a great balance between the different frequencies. But we believe that the price of the flute is not justified anyway, as it is much more expensive than the other flutes for beginners in this top, but it is made of the same material.

We recommend it for skeptics who place their trust in traditional brands. Interested? Check it out at the best price at Thomann.

What is the best traverse flute for beginners?

For us, the most recommendable is the Thomann FL-200R, since its sound seems to us more balanced and for its price it is more than affordable. But if you like bright sounds and your budget is less than 200€, the Startone is for you.

On the other hand, if you are skeptical and prefer to buy a transverse flute from a more recognized brand, then we believe that the Yamaha YFL-212 transverse flute is the one for you.

The best transverse flutes for intermediate levels

At the intermediate level, two aspects stand out that make a big difference with respect to the beginner level: materials and design. As far as materials are concerned, we are beginning to find mixtures of alpaca and silver. As for the design, handmade pieces appear and this influences not only the sound, but also the price.

Azumi AZ-S2 RE

Pros

Manufacture and materials of the highest quality.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Alpaca, sterling silver and britannia.
  • Mechanics: E (E).
  • Type of dishes: Open.

This instrument represents the constant search for perfection, since its multiple characteristics make it a different flute, where the mixture of tradition and innovation is the indisputable seal. Let’s see what the luthier and master Shuichi Tanaka brings us.

Materials

The Azumi AZ-S2 RE flute is made of high density nickel silver and offers excellent resistance to damage and warping. Some of its components, such as the embouchure and the chimney, are made of 925 sterling silver, a material with superior durability to alpaca. Likewise, the headjoint is made of Britannia 98 silver, so its materials are of the highest quality and at times bordering on the advanced level of the transverse flute.

Design

Azumi’s designers have opted for open cymbals to offer warmer sounds and better ergonomics. It is tuned in E to give the flutist access to most chamber music repertoire.

Another important element is the misaligned G (G) and the C (C) foot that expand the musical possibilities, taking it to the professional level. The head was handmade in Britannia silver, which guarantees excellence and sonorous precision.

In the same way, the fingering mechanism is spiked and of professional level for a specialized, soft, comfortable touch and almost clinical ergonomics. For the head, the designers incorporated the ALTUS “S-Cut” system, which contributes to greater loudness, rich, wide-ranging nuances and excellent dynamics.

Sonido

What we like most about this flute is the dynamic and active sound that is very agile in many ways and will appeal to all intermediate players.

It has a great sustain in short phrases, while in long phrases the volume is of high quality. The warmth is ideal for pieces from the Romantic period, while the agility in dynamics is reminiscent of pieces from the Baroque period.

All in all, the sound is very versatile, rich in nuances and with a wide range of action. In the hands of a skilled flutist, it is the ideal instrument.

Conclusión

This is an excellent instrument that incorporates modern design elements together with a traditional manufacture in some of its parts. We recommend it for flutists looking for a mid-range instrument that borders in some respects on the professional level. Interested? Find the best price at Thomann.

Yamaha YFL-372GL

Pros

Excellent value for money.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Nickel, silver, nickel silver.
  • Mechanics: Mi.
  • Type of dishes: Open.

Although the low-end Yamaha traverse flute is not the one we like the most because of its perhaps exaggerated price, it is also true that its mid-range proposals are a totally different case. Their flutes for intermediate levels have an almost unbeatable quality/price ratio. Find out what the Yamaha YFL-372GL has to offer in this review.

Materials:

This flute is made of a combination of nickel and silver that is far superior in strength to nickel silver. The base material of the flute is nickel, which provides superior strength. Silver plating, on the other hand, increases resistance to corrosion, considerably improves the sound and also enhances the instrument from an aesthetic point of view.

As for the head, it is basically silver and gold plated. The gold plating is not due to a whim of the manufacturer or the pursuit of luxury, but it considerably improves the air displacement and therefore the sound, as well as contributing to the aesthetic aspect of the flute.

Overall, the materials of the Yamaha YFL-372GL traverse flute are the best we have found for intermediate flutes in this price range. It is for this reason that we recommend it as an excellent choice for intermediate flutists.

Design

Like the other proposals of this top, the Yamaha traverse flute has been designed with an E tuning for a better concert-type response. The G keys are misaligned to make the fingering more accessible and in general the whole key system has been designed under the guidance of expert ergonomists to make the fingering as gentle and easy as possible for all players.

The manufacturer has also incorporated a new shape in the lid so that the sound response provides a high-end experience. Together with the CY-shaped head with polyconic gradient, it is really a great feeling. The design of the flute favors the execution of the techniques, but ultimately it will be up to the flutist who, according to his level, will be able to make the most of the capabilities of this Yamaha transverse flute.

Sonido

The sound of this flute is solid, the sonorous response is dynamic, of high quality and with an excellent balance in each of the frequencies.

The silver-plated nickel favors the balance between low and high frequencies. On the other hand, the CY-shaped headjoint with polyconic gradient allows the air displacement to have more freedom to achieve impressive sounds (if the flutist’s skill is solid).

Conclusión

The Yamaha YFL-372GL flute is a great instrument that has, in our view, the best value for money in this range. Its sound is balanced, solid and has a good reverb. In addition, the Yamaha traverse flute has a high quality construction in which three metals are combined to provide strength and aesthetic beauty so that you can get your hands on a mid-range flute with some high-end features.

Have you got your teeth set on edge? Find the best price at Thomann.

Our recommendation for intermediate transverse flute:

In our mid-range top we have two excellent transverse flutes. One is the Azumi AZ-S2 which has an impeccable sound, along with a manufacture that combines craftsmanship and technological innovation. But also the Yamaha YFL-372GL has everything it takes to be one of the best proposals for the mid-range.

We prefer the Yamaha YFL-372GL, due to its combination of materials that provide a balanced and powerful sound for an excellent price. But if you like bright sounds, then you should buy the Azumi traverse flute.

The best transverse flutes for advanced flute players

Traverse recorders for advanced or professional levels must be made of the best materials and sound excellent. In this comparison we have not selected the most expensive ones, but the ones with the best quality/price ratio, the ones that are made with special materials, innovative designs and that provide a truly exceptional sound.

Yamaha YFL-412

Pros

Excellent quality/price ratio.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Sterling silver, silver, alpaca, gold.
  • Mechanics: My
  • Type of plates: Closed.

Yamaha has put all its ingenuity into this flute and has selected the finest materials to manufacture a woodwind instrument that is special, different and with an excellent quality/price ratio.

Materials:

The Yamaha YFL-412 flute is made of sterling silver, an alloy that is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. This type of material is ideal for the manufacture of wind instruments because it has the two essential aspects: durability and sonority. Unlike 100% silver, sterling is hard, durable, will not tarnish or oxidize. In addition, the contribution of this material to the sound is wonderful and just what a high-end flutist needs for a more than affordable price.

Its mechanism is made of nickel silver, a material that favors agility of movement, so that its keys are soft to the touch but very resistant. The entire body and mechanism is 100% silver plated, which adds to its aesthetic beauty.

Design:

This is an instrument with a closed cymbal mechanism, the definitive design of its creator, Theobald Boehm, over a hundred years ago. This allows the tuning to be more accurate and the sound to be louder, among other positive factors.

The key system incorporates the misaligned G to make fingering the transverse flute more comfortable. The E mechanism provides an accurate and excellent quality note. The mechanism is made of nickel silver because this material is softer and facilitates agility in fast movements.

The manufacturers have included the C foot with a CY head in a polyconic pattern, so you get a fabulous response to any technical demand.

Sound:

The sound of this instrument is truly sublime and the bass, mid and high frequencies are balanced almost perfectly. Thanks to the closed key mechanism, the holes are larger and therefore the volume is wonderful, while the sustain is enviable.

We love the harmonics heard on this flute and if the flutist has excellent technique it will be a blast because the legatos and trills are phenomenal. With this sterling silver flute you can experiment with ease, manipulate sound nuances and vary between different volumes to achieve beautiful ornaments.

Conclusion:

Every skilled flutist will find in the Yamaha YFL-412 a high-end instrument with an affordable price, wonderful sound and almost unparalleled workmanship. We recommend it for intermediate and professional musicians looking for a high-end instrument with a good price/performance ratio. Interested? Find the best price at Thomann.

Pearl Dolce 695 RE-Vigore

Pros

It has a great sound.

Cons

The quality of the materials does not justify the price.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Sterling silver, gold and alpaca.
  • Mechanics: Mi.
  • Type of dishes: Open.

Pearl is a clear example that it is possible to explore new frontiers and innovate in such an old market. With the Dolce 695 RE-Vigore, we are convinced that they have got it right in several respects, although in others it is not entirely convincing. Let’s take a closer look at this Pearl traverse flute.

Materials:

This Pearl flute is in some respects similar to the Yamaha YFL-412, because its headjoint is made of sterling silver, but the body, foot and key mechanism are made of silver-plated nickel silver. It is important to note this, because in essence the materials of the Pearl Dolce 695 are much cheaper than those of the Yamaha flute but the price is higher.

Why? The answer seems to lie in the embouchure, which is made of 3-carat gold. But the truth is that this does not justify its higher price and is more of a luxury than something essential, although it does improve the resonance of the metal and this is reflected in a better sound. On the other hand, sterling silver is an excellent resonant that produces a stable, warm and embracing sound.

Silver plating serves to improve the resonance of alpaca and works very well because it produces a better sound than alpaca alone. Also the mechanics are made of alpaca (alloy of zinc, copper and nickel) and offer high resistance and good sound for a lower price.

Design:

We find a traditional design incorporating the French-style dotted mechanism, the misaligned G system for better ergonomics and the C foot and C# trill key. In other words, it has all the resources that a professional flutist needs, but even so, the price does not correspond to the manufacturing materials.

Sound:

This section is the great lifesaver of the Pearl flute, because its sound is wonderful. It is full-bodied, enveloping, with a sustain that covers the whole room. In addition, the gold plating on the embouchure does its job well and creates different vibrations that can be felt, although only an educated ear can perceive this.

The C# trill mechanism is very gentle, easy to use and many will appreciate it because the sound is musical, harmonious, stable and creates fascinating ornaments. In this sense, we can say that the sound of this flute almost competes with the Yamaha flute for professionals, but if the price were more in line with the quality of its materials, it would cost hundreds of euros less.

Conclusion:

In principle we say it: this flute is a clear example of the musician’s need to know the classification of materials and their prices, so as not to be duped and pay more for less quality. However, to Pearl’s credit, their engineers compensated and came up with the best sound that can compete with the Yamaha, although it does not surpass it. If you want to buy flute take a look at the best price at Thomann.

Our Recommendation:

Undoubtedly, the best traverse flute for professionals is the Yamaha YFL-412 , because both its materials and sound are of the highest quality. Its design is excellent and has all the resources for a professional flutist to express himself to the fullest and to experiment in all aspects of composition.

What is the best wooden transverse flute?

Since ancient times flutes have been made of wood and today many of them form the true top of the range. Every professional flutist aspires to own at least one wooden flute and for them we have reviewed the best option on the market below.

Philipp Hammig 658/2/R Holzflöte Reform

Philipp Hammig 658/2/R Holzflöte Reform
Pros

The best transverse flute of our top.

Cons

It is expensive.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Grenadilla wood, alpaca, silver plated.
  • Mechanics: Mi.
  • Type of plates: Closed.

Philipp Hammig

Philipp Hammig is the German company with the longest tradition in the manufacture of wooden transverse recorders. Their wooden transverse recorders are of the highest quality and unique in the world. Many of the offerings in this market are very inexpensive keyless transverse recorders for the lower end of the range, but the Philipp Hammig 658/2/R Holzflöte Reform and the instruments of this manufacturer in general are of the highest quality. We reveal their secrets to you below…

Materials

This traverse flute is a real gem. The main material used for its manufacture is granadilla wood, which has impressive acoustic and mechanical characteristics. In terms of strength, this material has a density of 1300 kg/m3, so it is perhaps the hardest in the world. On the other hand, its acoustic capacity is also phenomenal, as it is one of the few woods that maintains an almost perfect balance between sound frequencies.

To give the sustain a greater presence, the manufacturers have incorporated silver plating with nickel silver keys. It is an instrument of the highest quality. In fact, we believe that there is no metal flute that surpasses the quality of an instrument with these characteristics.

Design

Hammig features a traditional design that incorporates the E mechanism with the sun key misaligned for better ergonomics. In addition, it has a do foot for greater versatility.

Aesthetically, it is a beauty. You can see all the details of the wood and the way the silver plating stands out with the alpaca keys. It is a really beautiful flute.

Sound:

It is the most solid of all this comparison. Thanks to the hand-carved grenadilla wood, the flute has an almost perfect resonance, with a wonderful transition between low, medium and high frequencies. In short phrases the reverb is a dream come true and in fast ornaments the attack of the notes is strong, aggressive but stable and full-bodied.

Conclusión

The truth is that, although there are many more expensive wooden flutes with excellent reputations, the Philipp Hammig 658/2/R is the best value for money from our perspective. In this way, we believe that it has nothing to envy to the more expensive series that at times touch the unnecessary luxury.

The materials of this instrument are of the highest quality, the design is the most consistent on the market and in the purest Boehm style. In addition, its sound is the most balanced you will find in this price range and above. We recommend it for professional flutists who want and can afford a flute of this high quality. Find the best price at Thomann.

The best piccolo transverse flutes

Within the flute family, there is also a variation of flutes called piccolo, which is basically a small traverse flute. This woodwind instrument is traditionally tuned in D-flat, although since the end of the 20th century it has been manufactured almost exclusively in C major.

The piccolo is shaped like the transverse flute but smaller in size. The sound is similar, but it is perceived an octave higher and for this reason it is said to be a transposed instrument, so its real sound is different from the one reflected in the writing. In the score, the notes played on the staff are written an octave below the actual sound, thus avoiding the creation of additional lines within the staff.

Yamaha YPC-32

Pros

Ideal for children, light, good sound.

Cons

Limited usability for young people

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: ABS and nickel silver.
  • Mechanism: E.
  • Type of dishes: Open.

On this occasion we have selected an interesting proposal from Yamaha. This is the Yamaha YPC-32pickup, which enjoys an excellent reputation for several aspects that we will describe right now.

Materials

This small traverse flute has a body made mainly of ABS, a modern polymer that is widely used because of its high strength and because it provides excellent acoustic characteristics for wind instrument making. The mechanics and head are made of nickel and nickel silver, which guarantees greater durability and resistance throughout the entire length of the musical instrument.

Design

The Yamaha Piccolo is designed in a conventional and modern way. It does not incorporate wood in its components, but features a mixture of ABS and nickel silver. The mechanism is in E, the most common of all, and is tuned in C in the contemporary form, as opposed to the D sharp of antiquity.

Sonido

The sound is excellent and lives up to the Yamaha family. It has very good sustain and each note is strident but not tiring. At the same time, all its sonorous extension is clear, perceptible in its totality and the flutist musician will be able to cover his sonorous needs with this excellent wind instrument.

In fast phrases the sound is agile and has an impressive reverb, while in slow phrases the volume is ample and warm, sweet and ideal for a romantic repertoire.

Conclusión

This piccolo is an excellent instrument with a great price-quality ratio. It is a good transverse recorder for children and is the perfect accompaniment for beginner and intermediate flutists, but also for experienced musicians looking for an instrument to teach lessons or to share with colleagues for fun. Do you want to buy flute? Check it out at the best price at Thomann.

Pearl PFP-105ES

Pros

Good quality/price ratio.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: Grenaditte, alpaca.
  • Mechanics: Mi.
  • Type of plates: Closed.

Pearl’s piccolo flute features excellent quality that does not disappoint, like some of their standard transverse flutes. This instrument stands out in the market because it overflows with technology and innovation, making it a piccolo like few others on the market.

Materials

The Pearl PFP-105ES flute is made of a new material, grenaditte. It is a synthetic material that has been created to replace granadilla wood without the limitations of real wood. The resistance is as high as in passion fruit wood, about 1300 kg per cubic centimeter.

Likewise, it is not sensitive to humidity, as wood is. However, its acoustic performance is equal and even superior in some respects because the frequency balance loses its weakness towards humidity, so that it always remains stable.

Design

For the design of this small traverse flute, Pearl’s engineers have thought of traditional shapes, where the embouchure is in the traditional straight style and the arms are dotted in the undoubtedly French style. The mechanism in my is the most common to provide the most versatility in an orchestra.

Sonido

This piccolo piccolo has an impressive sound and does not disappoint in any way. Its note displacement is smooth and delicate, but when required by the flutist, it can be aggressive and powerful.

By using a material that replaces grenadilla, but without its limitations, it retains balance at all times and the musician can find constant uniformity in the sound. The high frequencies are what they should be, an aural delight that you can take advantage of with a baroque repertoire, but also with a classical or romantic one.

Conclusión

Pearl has hit the bull’s eye with this piccolo that is excellent in every sense of the word and its price does not disappoint as with their other products. We recommend it without hesitation for all types of flutists: beginner, intermediate and professional.

This is an instrument manufactured with innovative materials and of the highest quality, with a really affordable price. Do you want to buy flute? Find the best price at Thomann.

Our recommendation on the best piccolo recorder

In previous reviews we have been harsh on Pearl products. But this time we must say that this manufacturer offers the best piccolo flute with the best price/quality ratio.

Visit our instruments section at culturasonora. There you will find in-depth reviews of the best equipment on the market. We recommend you to check our didgeridoo, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet comparisons. You can also choose the best accordion on the market and many other instruments.

Technical characteristics Traverse flute

MODELS

MaterialsMechanicsPlates
Thomann FL-200RAlpacaE (E)Opens
Startone SFL-55AlpacaE (E)Closed
Yamaha YFL-212AlpacaE (E)Opens
Azumi AZ-S2 REAlpaca, sterling silver and BritanniaE (E)Opens
Yamaha YFL-372GLNickel, silver, nickel silverE (E)Opens
Yamaha YFL-412Sterling silver, silver, alpaca, goldE (E)Closed
Pearl Dolce 695 RE–VigoreSterling silver, gold and alpacaE (E)Opens
Johannes Gerhard Hammig 758/2/S HKRGranadilla wood, nickel silver, silver-platedE (E)Closed
Yamaha YPC-32ABS and AlpacaE (E)Opens
Pearl PFP-105ESGrenaditte, alpacaE (E)Closed

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