8 Best Bass Flute Reviews 2017 – Best Bass Flute Brands

Best Bass Flute & Best Bass Flute Brands

Best Bass Flute & Best Bass Flute Brands

Sinking a chunk of money into a musical instrument can always be a challenging process. Not only must you contend with hundreds of hours of practice before it begins to yield its full potential, you also want to make sure the quality of the instrument you shelled out for is up to snuff.

Guides such as this one are here to make the difficult decisions a bit better. This article will take an in-depth look at eight different bass flutes from seven different brands, giving you some insight into which one should make the cut.

Each of these instruments can retail for over a thousand dollars, so it is imperative you make an informed choice in which flute you end up purchasing.

What are the Best Bass Flute to Buy?

2) Pearl 305 Series Bass Flute

  • Reputable Brand
  • Silver-Plated
  • Pinless Key Mechanisms
  • T-bar Hand Rest

1) Jupiter JBF1000 Bass Flute

  • High Quality
  • Adjustable Crutch
  • Brilliant Tonal Quality

3) Yamaha YFL-B441II Bass Flute

  • Professional
  • Reputable Brand
  • Gold-Brass
  • Smooth Key

For each bass flute we examine, we’ll be taking a look at what it’s made of, how it’s designed, and, most importantly, how it sounds. After we finish with the individual analysis of each flute, a final conclusion will be made about which flutes fit which situations and which are of the highest overall quality.

8 Best Bass Flute and the Best Bass Flute Brands

1) Jupiter JBF1000

We will be presenting two different Jupiter bass flutes today, and the first is a reworking of the flagship Jupiter bass flute model known as the JBF-523S.

Though it looks slightly less luxurious than the previous bass flute, the Jupiter JBF1000 is not made of any cheaper stock. Coated in silver over a nickel base, the JBF1000 promises a long-lasting lifespan, with quality tones over the whole of its existence.

Jupiter is a household name in manufacturing flutes, and their mainline bass flute model does not disappoint. The name of the game for the JBF1000 is ease of playing, and it delivers this in two distinct ways.

Firstly, it offers an adjustable crutch, allowing players to more comfortably hold the instrument on their thumb. Secondly, the keys have been spaced as ergonomically as possible while still retaining a consistent tone.

Speaking of tone, how does it sound?

In short, just like you think a bass flute should. If you were to conjure up in your mind the look, feel, and sound of a standard, quality bass flute, the JBF1000 would likely be what you imagined. Again, it lacks the nuance and resonance of the highest-tier offerings, but it presents a well-defined pitch and timbre in capable hands.

2) Pearl 305 Series Bass Flute

What would bass flute review be complete without a Pearl? Pearl has been one of the most recognizable names in commercial and student flute use for decades, and for good reason. Pearl will often manufacture seemingly innocuous mid to high-end flutes that feature subtle and important innovations and design decisions.

Keeping in line with this idea, the 305 Series Bass Flute features several inviting differences from the norm in bass flute construction. At first glance, it appears to be a normal, silver-plated bass flute with all the usual trappings.

However, beyond the standard materials used in its manufacture, it offers such interesting deviations as pinless key mechanisms, T-bar hand rest, and one-piece core-bar construction.

The pinless key mechanism reduces wear on the internal components of the bass flute’s key bars and achieves smoother key action. The T-bar hand rest, vaguely reminiscent of a bassoon crutch, provides support for the player’s left hand. Finally, the one-piece core-bar can help keep tone even and sustained, though this is negligible in instances of proficient bass flutist skill.

The 305 is capable of maintaining precise, nuanced tones, and with the help of if its unique design features, it will be easier to control those tones.

3) Yamaha YFL-B441II Bass Flute

Right out of the gate, you need to understand that the YFL-B441 line of bass flutes is extravagant. Just like Yamaha’s A421 line of alto flutes, their bass flute series is made of gold-brass, a warmer, richer material than the silver-plated offerings from most brands.

Even upon first glance, it is clear to see that this instrument is a cut above the rest. What’s even more, gold-brass is lighter than other instrument materials, making this bass flute the easiest and most ergonomic to hold for extended periods of time.

Yamaha’s product is among the highest-end of all commercial bass flutes. While that does mean it carries a hefty price tag, it is well worth the investment. Its construction is top of the line, offering smooth key presses, longevity, and a clean, clear tone.

The word ‘crisp’ has been thrown out a few times in this review, but ‘clean’ and ‘clear’ are used here to denote that the B441II is a caliber above that descriptor. Keep in mind, however, that the tone it produces, while phenomenal in nearly all aspects, is colored a bit differently than most other bass flutes, so be diligent in noting a distinction in its sonic palette.

While it can be said that there are professional, wholly handmade designer bass flutes out there that will surpass all others, Yamaha’s strikingly luxurious and warm-toned B441II presents a commercial masterpiece alternative.

4) Jupiter JBF1100E

JBF1100E Bass Flute  JBF1100E (Previous JBF-1125ES)

Our second Jupiter bass flute will present itself as the most unique among the bunch. You’re likely eyeing the small difference in model identification between the two flutes and wondering how it could possibly differentiate itself from a bass flute from the very same company. After all, just how different can bass flute even get from the core standard of what a bass flute is?

Previously known as the JBF-1125ES, the Jupiter JBF1100E distinguishes itself from the competition with an upward-curving headjoint. Unlike traditional bass flute designs which have the player holding the instrument in the same manner as the Western concert flute – that is, with the opening of the flute facing to the right of the musician when held in playing the position – the JBF1100E is held upright, with the opening facing the floor.

This style of design recalls a clarinet or a soprano saxophone, the latter of which conveniently shares similar fingerings and embouchure styles with the flute. But the design tricks don’t stop there.

The JBF1100E also features a ‘split E mechanism,’ which improves the tone quality of high E. This can be a huge deal, as the upper register for some bass flutes can be a difficult sell at times due it’s tenuous hold over the higher pitches. This design can help even out pad wear, as well, since the hand position can be more relaxed across the keys compared with holding the instrument aloft and to the side.

Although some of the most grandiose bass flutes out there may still beat it in terms of superb tone quality, the Jupiter JBF1100E makes a name for itself as a unique, well-designed instrument, certainly deserving thought from the more adventurous flutist.

5) Schiller Elite Bass Flute

The Schiller Elite is immediately recognizable by just how lustrous it is. The sterling silver-coated body appears lovingly polished, and the fully-assembled piece is quite honestly stunning to look at.

However, when it comes to musical instruments, how they look must ultimately play a minor role compared to how they sound. Luckily enough, the Schiller Elite delivers, but it’s biggest selling point in terms of sound may surprise you.

This particular bass flute has its own special selling point: leather pads. Most instruments with metal keys will have either a plastic or felt pad underneath them to better seal the air holes and mask the sound of metal striking metal. With leather pads, you not only get a more reliably quiet fingering technique, the pads should last longer than usual, as well.

As far as tone, the Elite sounds great but not spectacular. Every tone sounds crisp and clear, but either end of the registers leave a bit of nuance to be desired. However, another notable selling point for this flute lies in a riser within the chimney of the head joint, which ostensibly improves feedback to the player on how the instrument is sounding.

The Schiller Elite presents itself as another mid-tier option masquerading as finely crafted alongside the Vento, only this offering actually is finely crafted.

6) Gemeinhardt 21BSP

Similarly to Pearl, Gemeinhardt is an oft-heard name in the realm of commercial and student flute making. Similarly to Jupiter as well, it looks and feels like what one would imagine a standard, high-quality bass flute would look like.

Luckily, Gemeinhardt’s 21BSP presents two design differences from what makes a stock bass flute so middle of the road. Firstly, this bass flute also features a crutch-like hand bar for the left hand, though this one is slightly more ergonomic and helps the hand to curve in a natural and comfortable fashion. Secondly, a redesigned headjoint helps produce some truly beautiful tones right from the embouchure, a particularly nice touch for overtones.

Gemeinhardt makes no bones about who this is marketed towards, specifically targeting long-term flute students wishing to expand beyond the entry-level instrumentation of the alto flute or piccolo.

While its tones and timbre are not superior to other high-end commercial bass flutes, its ‘ergonomics first’ design approach should be extremely welcoming for students and the musically curious.

7) Di Zhao Bass Flute

Similarly to the Vento and Schiller bass flutes, the Di Zhao attempts to find a middle ground between entry-level flute manufacturing and high-end professional design. However, unlike the former two brands which mostly stay in the low end of the quality spectrum, Di Zhao seeks to offer a truly mid-level instrument.

Modeled after masterclass instruments while skimping on some more finer details to cut costs, the Di Zhao bass flute presents a very alluring piece of craftsmanship. The head joints are hand cut for a polished look and feel, and it is easy to tell that someone has taken great care in the instrument’s creation.

In addition to looking and feeling great, the flute also sounds (mostly) great. The tones are clear and defined, and it can move between its lower and higher registers with ease. Sonically, the major drawback for the Di Zhao appears to be its projection capabilities; though its pitch and timbre can be full and rich, it has difficulty translating its sound throughout a given space.

Overall, the Di Zhao bass flute produces an extremely compelling mid-tier option that truly exists in the space between the low- and high-ends of the bass flute assembling world.

8) Vento 901-VE8302BASS

We will have a look at the Vento 901-VE8302BASS. This flute is a bit rarer than the other models, and this may be for good reason; the design of this flute lacks trill keys. Trill keys are essential for many aspects of flute playing, especially in solo or improvisational pieces. Without them, you may find certain sounds are nearly impossible to elicit from the instrument.

As far as construction goes, the flute looks solid overall. The pieces should fit together easily and soundly, though it has been noted that it tends to leak when first in use. Experienced instrument technicians can correct this, though the additional cost of having work done on a brand new instrument needs to be taken into account.

When played, the lower registers sound very rich and full. Going higher and higher produces more difficult-to-control tones, but nothing deal breaking.

All-in-all, a solid mid-level bass flute that lacks a common and crucial function of higher-tier offerings. The Vento attempts to offer high-quality craftsmanship at a lower price point but doesn’t quite stick the landing.

Choosing the Best Bass Flute from the Best Bass Flute Brands

Before making our final comments, let it be clearly known that these eight models are not the only bass flutes in existence. A number of major brands, including Powell and Haynes, were not represented in this piece. Please, do yourself a favour and make an informed choice by ensuring you actually have all the information you can find.

2) Pearl 305 Series Bass Flute

  • Reputable Brand
  • Silver-Plated
  • Pinless Key Mechanisms
  • T-bar Hand Rest

1) Jupiter JBF1000 Bass Flute

  • High Quality
  • Adjustable Crutch
  • Brilliant Tonal Quality

3) Yamaha YFL-B441II Bass Flute

  • Professional
  • Reputable Brand
  • Gold-Brass
  • Smooth Key

As far as conclusions go between these eight instruments, the clear winner is Jupiter. With two stellar models of relatively high-end bass flutes, Jupiter is a brand you cannot take lightly when it comes to flute construction.

Offering a brilliantly crafted and tonally amazing bass flute in the form of the JBF1000, as well as a unique, wonderful design in the form of its vertical JBF1100E, it would be less likely to go wrong when choosing from its library of well-crafted flutes.

However, one would be remiss not to mention Pearl’s 305 as well, presenting its own unique and expertly designed high-end bass flute, replete with innovative composition choices like its pinless mechanism.

If one is inclined towards expensive tastes, Yamaha’s B441II endeavours in a truly masterful commercial instrument. No other flute on this list is as beautiful, sonically colorful, or well crafted as this. Unfortunately, no other flute is as costly as this, either.

For a mid-tier option, Di Zhao presents a finely made – if slightly quiet – piece of craftsmanship, with handmade headjoint work and world-renowned quality assurance. Gemeinhardt offers a high-end student model with ergonomics at the forefront, sure to inspire many an aspiring flutist with it’s welcoming design.

Schiller and Vento try to get away with cutting corners in the interest of saving you some money, but only Schiller truly succeeds. With a genuinely beautiful finish and a more than adequate sound, the Elite stands as a viable budget option.

The Vento, on the other hand, lacks some key features required in certain styles of music, and while sufficient in tone, has been shown to suffer from mechanical errors.

Always remember to carefully consider your options before making a final decision on purchasing your chosen instrument. The bass flute provides a low, rich tone to flute choirs and general ensembles, as well as being a truly moving solo instrument, so make sure your selection is the right one for you.