Gemeinhardt 2SP Student Flute Review
If you are serious about learning to play the flute, the Gemeinhardt 2SP Flute is one of the best choices available.This is a quality flute that will not cost you $$$ thousands.
Gemeinhardt has long been one of the most respected manufacturers of musical instruments including flutes. Music teachers have been recommending their products for decades.
Buying a first flute for a beginner, learning to play is an important decision. You will want an affordable instrument that is specifically designed for students. Student flutes are designed so that students have less difficulty learning the proper fingering technique.
The ideal flute should be durable enough to withstand some rough treatment since young students will likely not know how to handle and care for it properly.
Another consideration is that the flute should still be able to produce pleasant sounds even when being played by a beginner.This is where the Gemeinhardt flute shines with beautiful notes and intonation
It is understood that when the student first starts playing, the flute will produce some shrill sounds. But these should abate as the student continues to practice. For a younger student I would recommend you consider the 2SPCH model. This is chrome plated and comes with a curved headjoint, making it easier for a small child to play. See image below.
To ensure that you are getting the best quality flute, buy one from a recognized brand in the music industry.
There are only a handful of these, but one that stands out is Gemeinhardt, which is based in the US state of Indiana, although it has factories in Taiwan and China.
Kurt Gemeinhardt, who was born in Germany, made his reputation crafting handmade flutes before he traveled to Indiana in 1928 and founded the company that bears his name.
Gemeinhardt is the largest musical instrument manufacturer that specializes in piccolos and flutes. Its product line encompasses instruments for all skill levels, ranging from students to professionals. They are known for combining advanced technology with handmade craftsmanship to produce instruments with optimal sound quality.
Notable Features Of The Gemainhardt 2SP Flute
One of the most notable exclusive features of the Gemeinhardt 2SP flute is its J1 headjoint. The J1 is standard in the majority of Gemeinhardt flutes. The headjoint is the part of the flute that touches the player’s mouth, and includes the blow hole and the lip plate.
The J1 headjoint makes it easier to play the flute since it offers the least resistance when you are blowing. It is very responsive in the low register while allowing you to easily reach the high register.
For a younger child consider the Gemeinhardt 2SPCH flute with the curved headjoint.
Other features include:
- Plateau-style keys.
In this style of key, there are no venting holes in the middle. In contrast, French keys are open in the center, and the player has to cover the holes while playing.
Closed-hole keys make the flute easier to play, and thus is a standard feature on student flutes. Once the student graduates to an intermediate or advanced level, they will play open hole flutes since these allow them more control over the instrument’s intonation, as well as having an improved tone.
- Offset G keys.
On flutes, the G key is where the player’s left ring finger rests. On standard flutes, the keys are inline, meaning that they are all mounted on a single rod, and are in a straight line with the other keys.
Offline keys, on the other hand, are mounted on a separate rod, which makes them slightly out of line from the other keys. Students who are learning to play find offset G keys more comfortable since the hand positions they have to make are more natural. But these keys have become more popular even among professionals since it helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
- C footjoint.
A flute with a C footjoint can only play up to a low C, since it has only two keys. Most standard flutes have a B footjoint, which have three keys and allows the player to play the B note, which is one note lower.
In practical terms, however, most flutists will rarely play the B note. Thus, having a flute with a C footjoint is enough for most players. If you decide to play on a more serious basis, you may want to upgrade to a flute with a B footjoint.
- Y arms.
The arm is the part of the flute that connects the key to the rod. Y arms attach to the edge of the key.
Many higher-end flutes, on the other hand, use French pointed arms, which not only extend to the middle of the key, but also are soldered on top. This does not mean that Y arms are less sturdy compared with French pointed keys, since they are still durable.
- Triple silver-plated.
Silver plating is a standard feature on student flutes, with the plating over a copper body. Professional flutes are usually made wholly or partly of silver, since this metal creates a better sound. The silver-plating on student flutes is intended to provide some of these tonal benefits, but at a lower cost.
Gemeinhardt flutes, however, feature a triple layer of silver plating. This ensures that, as long as you take care of your flute properly, the instrument will retain its luster even after years of use.
However, this means that you will have to wipe it with a cleaning cloth after every use.
The flute comes with a plastic cleaning rod and hard shell carrying case. This is important since it provides you with the accessories you need to maintain your flute. Despite the triple coating, the silver plating will eventually wear off if you don’t clean the flute after every use.
It has a five-year warranty. Students who are seriously practicing the flute will graduate to a step-up flute within two or three years. Thus, if the flute develops a problem during this period, the company will service it so you won’t have to buy a new one.
It has an affordable price point. Although price should not be a primary consideration when choosing a student flute, parents will naturally still take it into consideration. This is because they do not know if their child will stick with the instrument. Thus, they would be hesitant to invest in an expensive instrument.
The Gemeinhardt 2SP is considered at the lower end of the price range, which makes it a good choice for parents. But the lower price does not mean you are compromising on quality. The flute still provides good sound quality to encourage the students to keep practicing.
It is manufactured under good quality control conditions. In particular, to ensure the flute has no leaks on the body, it is subjected to two tiers of bench testing with a Magnehelic gauge.
In practical terms, there are not that many cons with the Gemeinhardt 2SP and a lot of these boils down to personal preference.
- Carry Case
For instance, there are some complaints that the hard carrying case is of poor quality. If you find this to be the case, you can invest in a separate case, even if this represents an additional expense. But there are some who make the argument that Gemeinhardt focuses its attention on the flute itself, which is where it matters the most.
- Cleaning Accessories
Other complaints relate to the lack of cleaning accessories. For instance, the cleaning rod included is made with plastic, rather than metal. There is also no cleaning cloth. Thus, if you prefer a metal rod and a cleaning cloth, you would have to spend extra to buy these.
Gemeinhardt offers a separate Flute Care Kit, which includes everything needed to retain the instrument’s original appearance by removing the tarnish. Of course, this represents an additional expense, but it is worth it to protect your investment.
There are also others who unfavorably compare the Gemeinhardt with student flutes of other brands that are in the same price range. For instance, they claim that another brand is easier to play than the Gemeinhardt. But this con ultimately comes down to personal preference, as well as what your music teacher may recommend.
The Gemeinhardt 2SP is one of the most highly rated student flutes on the market. It is made with a high level of craftsmanship and quality control. This makes it one of the more durable student flutes around, able to withstand the rough treatment that children will likely give it when they are still learning to play.
It is also sold at a relatively low price point. Combined with the high quality of the flute, the price makes it a good value for parents. The long warranty period is also a plus since it assures parents that they will be able to get the instrument serviced if necessary, and they won’t have to buy a new flute.
One drawback, however, is that you will have to spend extra for cleaning accessories to maintain the appearance of your flute. But this expense will be more than worth it if your child decides to stick with the flute.
If you have other children who may be interested in playing, the Gemeinhardt 2SP can also be passed on to them if cared for properly. Some parents have said that they have owned their flutes for years and they still remained in good playing condition with minimal servicing required.