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Planning your Flute Budget

 

Your Flute Shopping Budget


When searching for a new flute, budget is paramount. Your budget will help determine the quality, brands, precious metal content, and features of your new flute. Resident flutist Alex Xeros makes setting your flute budget easy in this helpful article.


What kind of flute do I need?

While some may advise “spend as much as you can!”, we find it helpful to consider the type of flute you currently play on, as well as what you may be looking for in your next instrument. Here are some guiding questions to help you narrow down your search.



Are you just starting out, and want to keep the price point reasonable? 


If you are at the beginning of your flute journey, a beginner flute (also known as a “student flute”) is the most common choice. Beginner flutes feature closed holes and C footjoints, which are ideal for beginner players. Because beginner flutes are at a lower price point, they are a great option to try the flute without making a large financial investment


Are you starting to outgrow your student flute, or are you a beginner who is confident you will play for at least a few years? 


If you currently have a student flute and are looking to upgrade, an intermediate flute (sometimes called a “step up flute”) will be your next stop. Beginner players sometimes also opt for an intermediate flute, in an effort to avoid having to upgrade as quickly. This can be a great way to save money in the long term.


Are you upgrading from an intermediate flute to a handmade professional flute? 


If you currently have an intermediate flute, you should consider a handmade flute. Handmade flutes are higher quality than intermediate flutes, with a much greater range of customizations. (Note: If you have an entry-level intermediate flute and are shopping with a limited budget, it can also make sense to upgrade within the intermediate range, usually to a flute with more solid silver.)



Does Handmade Matter?


In some price ranges, there are both solid silver and silver-plated flutes available for very similar prices. This typically occurs because the solid silver flutes are machine-made, while the silver-plated flutes are handmade. So which flute will be better for you? We tend to encourage flutists to go with a handmade flute when possible, as the higher level of craftsmanship makes for a better overall instrument (even if it happens to have less solid silver.) That said, there are some flutists who opt for an instrument with more solid silver, and end up with an instrument they love. This is a situation where a free flute trial is extremely helpful.


Which brand is the best?

Each flute manufacturer has their own unique vision of how a flute should sound, and makes their flutes according to that aesthetic. That is why every brand has slightly different tonal characteristics and features. This is the best part of shopping at the Flute Center - we offer all of the major brands, so you can find the best flute for you!



Flutes by Category and Price Range

Price ranges are approximate and updated frequently to account for price increases. Last updated: January 2023.


Student Flutes $500 to $1,300

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Closed Hole Keys
    • C Footjoint
    • Split-E Mechanism (not all models)
    • Option for curved headjoint for young beginners

Intermediate Flutes - All silver plated $800 to $2,000

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint (not all brands and models)
    • Split-E Mechanism (not all brands and models)
    • C# trill Key

Intermediate Flutes - Solid Silver Headjoint and plated body $1,400 to $2,500

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint (most brands and models B footjoint is the only option)
    • Split-E Mechanism (not all brands and models)
    • C# trill Key (not all brands and Models)
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)

Intermediate Flutes - Solid Silver Body with plated keys $2,000 to $3,500

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint (most brands and models B footjoint is the only option)
    • Split-E Mechanism (not all brands and models)
    • C# trill Key (not all brands and Models)
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)


Handmade Flutes - All silver plated or solid silver headjoint $3,000 to $6,000

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint (most brands and models B footjoint is the only option)
    • Split-E Mechanism (not all brands and models)
    • C# trill Key (not all brands and Models)
    • Headjoint Cut Options (not all brands and Models)
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)

Handmade Flutes - Silver Body and plated keys $5,000 to $10,000

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint
    • Split-E Mechanism
    • C# trill Key
    • Headjoint Cut Options
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)

Handmade Flutes - All Solid Silver Drawn Toneholes $10,000 to $15,000

  • Features available in this category:
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint
    • Split-E Mechanism
    • C# trill Key
    • Headjoint Cut Options
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)

Handmade Flutes - Solid Silver or Precious Metal Alloys Soldered Toneholes $15,000 to $25,000

  • Features available in this category:
    • Soldered Toneholes have the option of being silver or gold
    • Silver or Gold Mechanism
    • Inline or Offset G
    • Open hole keys
    • C or B Footjoint
    • Split-E Mechanism
    • C# trill Key
    • Headjoint Cut Options
    • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)

Handmade Flutes - Gold or Platinum $20,000+

    • Features available in this category:
      • Drawn or Soldered Toneholes
        • Soldered Toneholes in silver or gold
      • Silver or Gold Mechanism
      • Inline or Offset G
      • Open hole keys
      • C or B Footjoint
      • Split-E Mechanism
      • C# trill Key
      • Headjoint Cut Options
      • Gold Riser and Lip Plate Options (not all brands and models)
Contact our Resident Flutists to set up your trial today!

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