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Allora AAFG-103F Series Bb Flugelhorn
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- Key: Bb Bore: .459-inch Leadpipe: Standard Leadpipe Material: Yellow Brass Bell: 6-inch Bell Material: Rose Brass Valves: Nickel Piston (3) 1st Valve Slide Adjustment: N/A 3rd Valve Slide Adjustment: Trigger Features: Vertical Valve Slides; Rose Brass Bell Case: Yes Mouthpiece: Yes Finish: Lacquer
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The Allora line of instruments was developed to offer the student musician an instrument that offers an excellent start to their music career yet is priced at a point that makes it available for most families. To obtain the Allora name, an instrument must first meet exacting standards for intonation, comfort and mechanical reliability. The end result is an instrument that not only sounds beautiful but can withstand the rigors of those first few band years.
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Tone is good. Sounds good enough to use in performance. No blatant tuning issues.
Build quality seems fine. No mechanical failures so far. Third valve slide feels a bit slow/heavy no matter how I grease it.
Would recommend getting a better mouthpiece than the stock one.
Based on my past experience with trumpets (but no previous experience with flugelhorns) this Allora surprised me with its weight. To me it is a heavy instrument. Looks kind of slender and maybe even delicate in the four sharp pictures provided by Amazon, but you can take my word for it, this thing is solid! It is very well made, above average in build quality, and everything you see in the pictures accurately reflects this. All the fixtures, braces, slides, locks, and spit valves are precision fitted, well sprung, and smoothly functional. The valves are smooth and quiet, and the pinky lever on the right side is likewise solidly designed and moves smooth and easy. Tuning is done via a telescoping lead pipe with a twist key lock--again, solid, tight and smooth.
I just can't get over the build quality of this instrument, especially considering the price. As for the tone quality, I can't pose as an expert, although some have commented that any difference between the Allora flugel and those of the big guys like Yamaha would be minimal at most and probably not detectable to the average listener. To hear it for yourself, go to WWBW.com where you'll find a short video wherein a store guy plays a few notes. For me that was impressive enough to put me over the top in deciding to take a "chance" on my purchase.
Though not mentioned anywhere that I could see, it does come with a hard-shell case that won't impress anyone visually but will protect this little darling very well. It does not come with accessories of any kind, cleaning or lubricating products, or even a brief manual.
I've read rumors, guesses, and strongly held but erroneous opinions online about where the horn is made, from China to Timbuktu and beyond, but a reliable source places it in the former East Germany, in a factory that was abandoned by the Soviets when they skedaddled back in the '90s, then rebuilt by today's unified Germany.
I bought the 3 year protection plan but wonder if I'll ever need it.