Top Choices For Intermediate Flutes – A Shopping Guide

Thinking about switching to an intermediate or better quality flute?

There’s plenty to consider, aside from simply choosing one with the most affordable price. You must also think about your preferences and needs when it comes to the instrument. Another point to consider is the amount of playing you’ll be doing. Will you keep on studying? Perhaps even join a group where you’ll be required to have a more professional sounding instrument?

You might have also considered buying secondhand—doing so has its merits, but you’ll find it difficult to find a flute that completely suits your preferences and playing needs. This also includes any changes in the foreseeable future where you might require more from your instrument. Needless to say, if you plan on playing for a long time or if you intend on taking your skills to a more professional stage—purchasing a brand new one is your best option.

We review six different intermediate flutes to help you choose the right instrument for yourself.

 

Our Top Choice Is:

Gemeinhardt 30B Offset Flute!

What Is The Best Intermediate Flute?

Buying any flute can be a daunting task, there are many different models, makes, and types to choose from. Each one varying in price as well as popularity. This is one of the main reasons why doing a bit (or a lot!) of research is important towards finding the best flute for your needs.

First thing you need to consider is this: Be wary of flutes that are too cheap. I understand how easy it is to get lured into purchasing a flute that’s priced way below your budget—but this could come with not-so-great consequences. Most of the time, the price says a lot about the quality of the instrument. If you’re looking to step-up your playing, then you must know that these cheap flutes typically don’t produce the best sounds and are also difficult to play.

One of the best intermediate flutes available is the Gemeinhardt 3B Flute

 

Gemeinhardt 3B Flute

In fact, choosing faulty or cheap flutes have become the reason for so many people to give up on playing. They believed that they did not have the ability, when in truth, it was all the instrument’s fault. Poor quality instruments will produce low quality sounds, no matter how good the flutist is. 

Next, it is important to stick to your current playing level. What I mean is, if you’re an intermediate player, avoid going for beginner flutes since it won’t do you any favors—especially if you’re seeking to improve your abilities. The same goes for choosing a flute that is way about your playing level—such as professional instruments. These are not easy to play and come with features that only advanced or professional flutists need. 

Size is also a key factor. While flutes don’t exactly come in different sizes, there are attachments such as curved headjoints that could make playing much more comfortable for flutists. What it does is bring the keys of the flute nearer the body, thus reducing the stress. Yes, it adds to the price, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Without it, bad posture could arise and it can take years to sort it.

Choose a flute whilst keeping the future in mind. Buy an intermediate flute but always be mindful of your developing ability as well. There are models that can be upgraded, helping you avoid purchasing a new one should your skills no longer match the current one you have.

Pearl 525RB Quantz Flute | 4.5 Stars

The Pearl 525RB mixes affordability and reliability in one elegant package. It is great for flutists who want a step-up instrument that also comes with different features that can be used for professional playing and any further advancement in a player’s skill.

 

 

It comes with a silver plated headjoint and body, as well as a sterling silver lip and riser. The 525RB’s French style open key holes, couple with its extended “B” footjoint makes for a responsive and versatile instrument that’s sure to fulfill and satisfy most player’s needs.

The instrument’s inline G key design is preferred by many professional players and provides a more traditional response when compared to the Offset G mechanism. Another thing to note is that its French-style open hole keys enables players a wider range of expression, opening the door to experimentation with more advanced techniques—such as glissandos and quarter tones.

Features Of The Pearl 525 Quantz Flute:

  • Mouthpiece.
    This features an ergonomic design to ensure comfort during longer performances and rehearsals.
  • Ergonomic keys.
    Again, these offer a secure grip and plenty of comfort across its playing surface. Perfect for both practice and performance.
  • Core bar.
    This comes with a one-piece construction to maximize and boost its durability.
  • Nickel body.
    This design lends the flute a classic look and tone that’s preferred by many.
  • Offset G.
    This promotes better posture and an improved finger technique for the player.

What we liked:

  • B Footjoint.
    This gives the instrument an ability to play notes down to a low B which is the lowest of the standard “C” footjoint. Aside from boosting the instrument’s overall range, the length of the tube offers a bit of extra resistance lending the flute a mellower and darker tone.

What we didn’t like:

Yes, it does require more precision but the benefits certainly outweigh that minor issue— something that can be overcome with practice and time.

Check for the latest price on this Pearl 525 flute

Pearl 505RE1R Flute | 4.2 Stars

Pearl is a well-known brand when it comes to the flute market and when it comes to their P-series, this particular model is one of the most competitive. It is considered by many to be one of the best when it comes to ergonomic design. The 505RE1R features a split E mechanism, making it one of the most innovative in the Pearl P-series flutes.

 

Pearl PF505 Flute, great for beginners. High quality flute at an affordable price

 

The body is silver plated, which as you may or may not know, lends the instrument a distinct tone. The keys are silver plated as well, so expect the sound it projects to be excellent—though considered to be an intermediate model, playing it does provide flutists with a similar feel to that of a more advanced and professional instrument.

For those unfamiliar with what the spilt E mechanism does, its purpose is to enable the player to play a clear and distinct sound regardless of the note they’re playing.

Features Of The Pearl 505 Flute:

  • French pointed arms.
    As with every Pearl flute, this helps maintain that trademark intonation and sound that’s distinct to its maker.
  • Comes with a protective case.
    Given the need to keep your instrument safe and avoid any damages to it that can compromise the sound, the 505RE1R comes with its own sturdy case that you can easily carry around wherever needed.
  • Cleaning equipment
    Protecting your instrument also means investing in its maintenance. This model comes with its own cleaning rod, enabling you to retain its intonation and appearance for a long time despite constant use.

What we liked:

  • Silver plated.
    Compared to gold, silver plated instruments produces better quality tones. It is also economical. This is the most affordable among Pearl flute models but doesn’t scrimp on the essentials.

What we didn’t like:

Despite the fact that it is considered to be the most affordable among Pearl flute models, it still is quite pricey. The features it does have can also be found in other, more competitively priced instruments so you may want to think twice with this one.

The Pearl 505 flute is one of the more affordable flutes in the Pearl range

Gemeinhardt 3B GLP Flute | 3.7 Stars

Coming from a company such as Gemeinhardt, there’s plenty to expect from this particular open hole model. In fact, many consider it to be one of the most advanced and professional quality intermediate flutes currently available in the market. Amongst its many commendable features would the gold-plated lip plate on its J1 head joint.

 

One of the best intermediate flutes available is the Gemeinhardt 3B Flute

 

Typically, people go for silver over gold given the tone it lends to every note, but some may argue that that gold-plated delivers a mellow, resonant sound when compared to silver plated and cupro nickel plated flutes. Following the traditional French style, it also features inline G keys.

Features Of The Gemeinhardt 3B Flute:

  • Cleaning equipment.
    Comes with a cleaner and a protective hard-case that’s sure to prevent any damages to your instrument.
  • Gold lip plate.
    Having this in your instrument improves its tone because it prevents the air needed to make the sound from touching the lip plate. To some, the effect is subtle, but is still essential if you want to produce a great quality sound.
  • B footjoint.
    This adds weight to the instrument which, in turn, also increases its resistance and produces a darker tone when compared to a tone produced by a C footjoint. For many intermediate players, the B footjoint is the standard choice.

What we liked:

  • Open hole flute.
    Many consider this design to be beneficial when it comes to improving the player’s hand position. Another benefit is improved tone and volume—in fact, many professional and higher-quality flutes mostly have open-holes.

What we didn’t like:

  • Price
    It might be a bit pricier compared to other makes, but don’t let the price tag discourage you from getting the 3B GLP. This flute, doesn’t just come with great design, it also has features that are surely worth the price.

The Gemeinhardt 3B flute is one of the best flutes for intermediate flutists

Gemeinhardt 30B GLP Flute | 4.2 Stars

Gemeinhardt is known for both their professional and student flutes, whilst they aren’t the instant favorite for many, they tend to offer the most competitive prices without scrimping on the essential and special features. The 30BLGP is a good example of this—it’s an excellent student and intermediate flute that can also hold its own even in some professional settings.

Our top choice for the best flute for an intermediate flutist is the Gemeinhardt 30B flute

Similar to other intermediate flutes available in the market, this model only weighs in at just one pound with dimensions of 2 x 2 x 25.6 inches—it is highly compact and easy to carry around. It can be conveniently played as well, without worry of strain. 

It also comes with an open hole design, which improves sound intonation aside from being one of the most popular choices for both professional and intermediate players. Because of its B foot joint design, it also meets the specifications set by different music teachers when it comes to step-up flutes most recommended for students.

 

Features Of The Gemeinhardt 30B Flute:

  • Lightweight.
    This is essential, especially for long periods of playing as it can helps with comfort. Having a lightweight instrument also means that it is highly portable, allowing you to bring it anywhere with ease.
  • Designed with the intermediate player in mind.
    The B foot joint design doesn’t just give better intonation to this instrument, it also meets requirements set by professionals for intermediate flutes.
  • Offset G.
    This provides the added benefit of enabling people with smaller hands or younger students to play this flute model with great ease.

What we liked:

The B foot joint also enables this flute to produce much greater resonance because of its long tube. A player would also be able to take advantage of improved fingers, allowing for easier and more comfortable playability in the upper register. Even people who have smaller hands should find playing this model convenient and without the need for unnecessary exertion.

What we didn’t like:

Not everyone likes the offset design and would prefer something inline, so not having that option might be detrimental to some players.

The Gemeinhardt 30B flute is our choice for the best flute for intermediate flutists

Pearl 795 Elegante | 3.5 Stars

The elegante series from Pearl is certainly among their best sellers and this particular model is a favorite among professionals and students alike. The Pearl Elegante 795 is designed and crafted with excellent workmanship, enabling it to project a distinct sound and precise intonation, but at a price that many would be able to afford.

Another popular flute for intermediate flutists is the Perarl 795 Elegante flute

It is one of the most solid silver flute models available and comes with the popular French style key system that’s preferred by many. This model also features a sterling silver Forza headjoint and a silver-plated mechanism.

Can’t choose between offset or inline?

Whilst these two are pretty much the same acoustically, know that it is a matter of comfort if you’re to choose one over the other. Some people find inline G keys to be easier to play, with each one lined up in a straight line and mounted on the same rod. Offset is preferred by many because of how comfortable it is, with the keys mounted on separate posts.

Features Of The Pearl 795 Elegante Flute:

  • Inline or Offset?
    Players can choose between inline and offset versions of this Elegante model. 
  • Silver plated keys
    Comes with silver plated and French style keys. Both add to the intonation and playabiity of an instrument.
  • Solid silver body
    Every model comes with a solid silver body and head, French pointed arms, as well as a B foot joint.
  • Protective case
    Comes with a protective case and a cleaning rod to help you maintain, as well as protect your instrument.

What we liked:

Players can also choose between inline or offset G, depending on their playing style and the kind of tone they need.

What we didn’t like:

Note that the split E mechanism is a standard for offset G models and isn’t available on inline ones.

The Pearl 795 Elegante flute is popular with intermediate flutists as it offers both inline or offset G key

Pearl Vigore 695 | 3.5 Stars

We’ve already established the fact that Pearl is a globally known brand and have worked with some of the finest flutists when it comes to designing their flute models. They are also one of the best when it comes to intermediate flutes, each one carrying their signature one piece core bar and pinless construction which lends to smoother keys, and a much clearer tone.

The Pearl Vigore 665 is another top quality flute from Pearl music

The Vigore 695 has all of those features combined with a 3K gold headplate, a silver headjoint, and a silver plated body. Yes, it isn’t the most affordably priced flute models currently available in the market, but rest assured that you’re paying for something that’s well worth its value.

The one piece core bar, for those unfamiliar with it, basically means that Pearl designs their flutes bodies in one piece as opposed to others that make use of multiple pieces to form the instrument. Multi-piece flutes often suffer from durability issues, especially if they are used regularly. This is something you can avoid with Pearl flutes.

Features Of The Pearl Vigore 665 Flute:

  • Pinless construction.
    Many manufacturers design their flutes with traditional metal pins on their keys. Pearl makes use of socket head screws which are inserted under the keys—simple, but it does prevent the keys from getting snagged on clothing and can even prevent erosion because of perspiration.
  • B foot.
    Most beginner flutes have a C flutes, but the benefit of having a B foot actually gives you an additional half step when it comes to the lower registers. This will become essential as you advance more.
  • D# roller key.
    In conjunction with the B foot, this enables the player to easily slide across the rest of the keys without clunking any of them.

What we liked:

The unique one piece core bar that ensures the instruments durability and stability. Given its price, this is important to any user especially if they intend to use it regularly.

What we didn’t like:

This is one of the most expensive intermediate flutes available—the price alone might discourage any player from purchasing it. But consider the above features before you make a decision.

The Pearl Vigore 665 flute is popular with intermediate flutists available on Amazon

Conclusion

Of the different models we reviewed, the stand out model would be Gemeinhardt 30BGLP Offset Flute. Sure, the Pearl models have a lot of features that seem to outweigh this instrument, but we’re looking for a good balance between design, features, and price—and the 30BGLP checks all of that with ease.

It’s got great craftsmanship to back it up, but without the hefty price tag the others have. The instrument also boasts of variety—giving every type of player something that would meet different types of playing preferences.