Questions & Answers

How long does my Japanese flute delivery take?


Usually within 48 hours, very often the following day. We use Post Office Special Delivery which is super reliable. We’ve never had a flute go missing!




Why are your prices much cheaper than London dealer flutes?


London flutes shops have huge overheads which must be recovered in sales. The main private dealers without shop fronts don’t carry out maintenance, cleaning and servicing in house, so have to partner with outside technicians which adds huge expense.

We don’t have these shop overheads, and our flute servicing and maintenance is all done in-house.

On top of that, we buy large quantities of used flutes each time, as the European agent for Japan Woodwind. Having one main supplier, we receive substantial discounts on all our Japanese flute stock.

Please compare our flutes for sale with other London and UK flute dealers.




What is a flute pad & why is it important?


The pad is the (usually) yellow colored part of the key that blocks air from leaving the tonehole, as you press the key. It’s vital that the pads fits perfectly over the tone hole, so that the player doesn’t need to use any pressure. The pads have a skin type cover that can start to break with age, and cause a leak. Once this happens, it will need replacing.

Don’t attempt to remove the pads and start shimming them (inserting pieces of paper called shims underneath, to keep them flat), you’ll open a horrendous can of worms that could become expensive.




What should I look for in my first used flute?


Definitely fully serviced and play checked. Pads that are not too old. Warranty. If you like a bargain, don’t mind some cosmetic wear. Stick with Yamaha YFL 211S if you’re a student, as they’re the easiest to sell on at a later date and so keep their value well compared to others.




Why buy a pre-owned flute?


Like cars, once you take a new flute out of the box, it loses a lot of value. We have many used flutes that are at least 80-90% as new, but at about half the new price!




Is it essential to have solid silver?


No, it’s not essential, but you will get a more rounded tone in general, and more response for the player. See our Yamaha BRAND INFO page for more details on this. YOu can access the page from the YAMAHA FLUTES FOR SALE page.




What is a split E?


This is a mechanical system on the flute that closes of most of the left centre tone hole when you play the high E. This makes the note easier to play, and so is particularly popular with students.




What is an E-facilitator (donut)?


A piece of plastic or metal that blocks off part of a tone hole to make the high E easier to play. Often fitted to flutes without a Split E mechanism.




What is inline / offset G?


The two center keys (G) are either in a straight line with all the other keys (inline), or they stick out 5mm or so which makes it easier to play for students with smaller hands. Beginners should generally buy an offset G flute.




Is the age of a flute important?


Rather than focusing on the age of a flute, focus on its current condition. A 30 year old good quality flute that has been well looked after could be a much better buy than a two year old flute that has been played to death and not serviced!

Many earlier Yamaha student models are almost identical to the current versions, they've hardly changed. So there are some real bargains there. Ask us about them.




Are Yamaha flutes the best for students?


We recommend MADE IN JAPAN Yamaha student flutes, as the production lines are the best, and the flutes come out consistently good. Stick with 211S and 311 models as opposed to 212, 312, as their production has been outsourced to other countries.




Do you always have 211/311 flutes for sale?


Always over 10, sometimes 20! The only dealer in Europe to have this amount. We have a direct supply from Yamaha type schools of music in Japan, so the flutes are mostly pristine and hardly used.




Will worn silver plating, or worn silver affect the sound of the flute?


No, focus on the condition of the pads and mechanism. If cosmetic use doesn't bother you, save some money.




Why the difference in price between two of the same flutes?


Just down to the amount of wear on the surface of the flute, or maybe a small ding etc. If this is the case, or the pads are quite well used, we explain this clearly.




Why don't you take payments online?


We have many students and parents of students that are buying for the first time, and we want to ensure that they're buying the most suitable flute. Sometimes there is a cheaper option which will do the job just as well. Also, we like the more advanced player to be 100% sure of what they're buying. We NEVER PUSH SALES, and we NEVER try to persuade a customer to buy a more expensive flute. Our reputation is built on value for money for customers, and that's how we have become a major player in the UK used flute market. If we find bargains for teachers and their students, they come back. PLease call or email us, and we can send you a PayPal Invoice. You don't need a PayPal account, you can just fill in your card details. Also we can take bank transfer.




Why should I buy my Japanese flute specifically from Premier Flutes?


He have very close connections with the Japanese flute industry. This gives us DIRECT access to most spare flute parts on new and older models from all the major manufacturers. Losing a screw, damaged key or post, we can source replacements, even on very old models. Our owner speaks Japanese, and we also take intern staff from Japan's largest woodwind repair and maintenance company, Japan Woodwind, for several months a year. Through these close relationships, we have friends inside the major manufacturers that are actually designing the current ranges of Japanese flutes.