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Old 01-23-2011, 01:58 AM
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Flute players: What do you know about Sonare flutes?

I shuttled a car-less neighbour on some errands today, and she wanted to go to a music store. And we did. I can figure my way around a keyboard, and noodle a bit on guitar, but my main musical love is the flute. So those were what I looked at while she was busy elsewhere.

I fell in love with a Sonare SF-709 flute. I found it almost effortless to play, with a bright tone and easy action. It is an open-hole flute, which I've never played before, but I could pick it up easily enough, I'm sure (heck, after a few minutes with it, I was playing my way through my old favourites). It was a beautiful instrument, and I wondered...?

But I'm not about to spend that kind of money without knowing a little more. Do any Dopers know about Sonare flutes; and if so, would you recommend them?
Old 01-23-2011, 02:16 AM
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I don't play much anymore (TMJ problems) but I was a serious flutist through high school and college.

Never heard of Sonare, to be honest.
Old 01-23-2011, 09:04 AM
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Is this by any chance a magic flute? I find those sound great but can be hell if you can't hit those high notes.
Old 01-23-2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyla View Post
Never heard of Sonare, to be honest.
If it helps, a little Googling tells me that Sonare is a division of Powell Flutes, and that Sonare flutes use Powell headjoints. So, perhaps we can expand the question a bit: what does anybody know about Sonare and/or Powell?
Old 01-23-2011, 10:00 PM
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The website says the 709 has pointed arms, is rose gold plated, and sterling silver throughout. Quite frankly, my first reaction was , but as a flautist, it is definitely worth the money to buy a solid silver flute, and not just a silver Powell head joint. I've only heard positives about Powell headjoints. I'd be careful about Sonare, because they say they partner with powell but offer "affordable prices". Be sure to get the proper paperwork guaranteeing it to be handmade, and suchlike- because Sonare can be sketchy with their key mechanism, but it could just be the factory made lines.

However, depending on taste, I wouldn't go for the gold plated, as it tends to give a different tone (a bit sweeter, brighter than a standard silver and a bit less versatile when playing aggressive baroque, however it could just be me and my skill level). I'd use the extra money needed for the gold plating to probably buy another brand. A pure Powell flute of a middling series (pointed arm, only silver plated with solid silver headjoint), or a higher series of Altus, or a nice Japanese brand handmade would be a safer buy than a top of the range less known brand.

Last edited by AnnaKareninja; 01-23-2011 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Flute rambles make me incoherent
Old 01-23-2011, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaKareninja View Post
A pure Powell flute of a middling series....
The music store did have a "middling series" pure Powell, which I tried also. It played about the same as the Sonare that I liked, but lacked the tone (though its tone was better than that of any flute I currently own). It's a tough call, but I still liked the Sonare.

Not sure whether I'm asking Dopers to talk me out of the Sonare, or to reassure me that it's what I should get, but I do welcome discussion.
Old 01-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
I fell in love with a Sonare SF-709 flute. I found it almost effortless to play, with a bright tone and easy action. It is an open-hole flute, which I've never played before, but I could pick it up easily enough, I'm sure (heck, after a few minutes with it, I was playing my way through my old favourites). It was a beautiful instrument, and I wondered...?
It might be good to experiment on the open hole situation. My fingers don't look any different from anyone else's -- they aren't hideously bent and I have five on each hand right where they are supposed to be -- but I have always found the open holes impossible to cover the way my fingers curve. I've had to be content with the closed hole system and be laughed at.

Here's hoping you don't have that problem.

I never heard of that brand of flute, but Powell is a good name.
Old 01-23-2011, 10:45 PM
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But at the end of the day, you should get the flute that makes you happy, Spoons. Can I randomly flute anecdote? Yes I shall. Many years ago, I had a craptastic flute in the literal sense- the mechanisms ran down after 6 years, however, the headpiece had a really wide lip plate that perfectly suited my side embouchure (team beaded-lip). But it made really sparkly high notes and had lovely warm low register. It made Younger-self Anna happy, for the short time it lived, being of a non known brand off a factory line. But the 709 is really really beautiful. squee!
Old 01-23-2011, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaKareninja View Post
But at the end of the day, you should get the flute that makes you happy, Spoons
I've spent the last day looking at my current roster of flutes (all two of them), and thinking, and playing, and wondering why my dear old [Brand X] is so difficult to play compared to that Sonare, and thinking....

Quote:
Can I randomly flute anecdote?
Please do!

Quote:
Many years ago, I had a craptastic flute in the literal sense- the mechanisms ran down after 6 years, however, the headpiece had a really wide lip plate that perfectly suited my side embouchure (team beaded-lip). But it made really sparkly high notes and had lovely warm low register. It made Younger-self Anna happy, for the short time it lived, being of a non known brand off a factory line. But the 709 is really really beautiful. squee!
Whatever works, works. My dear old Artley (yes, I know, no points for class there), which has been my trusty companion on trips to the USA, Australia, and all parts of Canada; has seen me well through all kinds of situations. But it is a workhorse, chugging along through whatever I throw at it. And to its credit, it has survived.

I'd like a delicate, beautiful, flute; one that isn't going to live on beer-spattered tables in Sudbury or St. John's or Kamloops. Lord knows, my dear Artley and I have done that enough. I'd like a flute that can play with the local symphony, if they let me. And that sounds silver or gold (flautists will know what I mean).

The 709 is so beautiful that I have no other choice but to ... squee!
Old 01-23-2011, 11:45 PM
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Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.
Old 01-24-2011, 04:54 PM
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I can't tell you anything useful about the brand, but I can tell you my experience with open holes.

I went from an offset G/closed hole to an inline G/open hole.

I like the open holes but I have to keep the plug in for the 3rd hole for left hand.
Just can't get my finger to cover that one properly.

If I ever get another flute, I might try out open but offset and see how that works.

Good luck.
Old 01-24-2011, 09:16 PM
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I have a Yamaha, solid silver head, silver plated body, with an offline g and open hole style with low B foot. I have the same problem as Clare de Loone, but with the opposite hand - I have to use the little plastic plug for my ring finger on my right hand, because I can't keep that hole covered effectively.

My flute won't win any awards, and it's not fancy. But I play in the orchestra where I work, and it functions fine.

If you like the Sonore, get it (if you can afford it). You like what you like.
Old 01-26-2011, 07:23 PM
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I'm a clarinetist, not a flautist, if you like the tone, can play well on it, and enjoy the looks, what else are you wondering about? Durability? Brand reputation?

You've played it. You probably know more about how good a fit it is for you than anyone else. So, as a fellow woodwind player, I say go for it.
Old 01-27-2011, 08:55 AM
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If you like it, go for it. I have never heard of Sonare, but then again I haven't bought a flute in 23 years.

For me, it's all about tone and feel not name. I have a very decent Armstrong that produces such deep tones, it's almost like a warm blanket. It's my everday noodling flute. I also have a high line Miyazawa that produces sweet, clear tones. The Miyazawa is my "playing in public" flute, especially in churches where the sounds soar.
Old 11-23-2015, 02:42 PM
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Don't get a sonare flute!

I have had a sonare flute for the last 6 years. The metal on the keys started to react with the case that came with the flute and it started to tarnish badly. After I had it for about a year, I sent it to them to have the tarnish taken off (which they said would be an easy fix for just over $100). My flute was returned 2 months later with very little difference in the tarnish, but they charged me about $500. Their excuse was they believed that I wanted more done on it (replacing perfectly good pads, replacing all the corks and some screws). I called and sent emails about this to them, and I was given responses from a computer, or a "we will get back to you about a refund". They never got back to me, so when I contacted them again, I was given the same response. I also heard from people that the alloys in the flutes were not the best and too pliable. I opened my case to start practicing and after lightly cleaning off the flute with a cleaning cloth, the a flat key broke off at the rod. I take good care of my flute, had yearly COAs, but this brand and company has let me down constantly. Do yourself a favor and don't buy a sonare flute.
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