I’ve had several flutes throughout the course of my career and two of them, including my current one, have been Altus (and they were purchased long before I started working for F&F after trying every brand under the sun!). In terms of sound, I find them extremely malleable, colourful, offer great projection and even throughout the registers. Perception of sound is subjective though so you will need to try them and see if they suit you.
What is not subjective is how good their mechanism is, and it is one of the best there is. You really need to run your fingers over these keys yourself in order to appreciate it. Altus never switched to a pinless mechanism because they simply don’t need to. They have absolutely perfected their version of a pinned mechanism. It is quick to respond, light, silent and stays in adjustment for an extremely long time. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to what one would want in a mechanism and best of all, they’ve included it on all their flutes, from their entry level professional quality flute, model 807 all the way up to the venerable model 1807 (AL). The only thing lacking is a fancy name to help market it better! Oh well, you’ll just have to try it and see for yourself.
For almost 30 years, Altus has hand-crafted flutes that embody the ideals of vintage inspiration and modern technology. Created by Master Flute Maker Shuichi Tanaka, each Altus flute reflects his passion to combine the finest playing flutes with the finest materials and artistry. The meticulous design of the Altus flute and its acclaimed Altus/Bennet scales offers excellent intonation, carefully tuned harmonics and balanced registers. The masterfully hand-sculpted headjoints and precision tubings produce the remarkable sound of the Altus flute.
Pure 997 Silver – Altus’ exclusive powdered Pure Silver (PS) tube is made possible only through highly innovative sinter technology. Normally, pure silver is too soft for successful flute tube production because it requires trace amounts of harder metals in the alloy to give it sufficient strength. The traditional method of creating a melted metal alloy results in pure silver tubes unsuitable for flute making. Sinter technology creates hard tubes of pure silver by compacting the silver under great pressure without melting it into a soft alloy. This unique process produces a dense and brilliant hard silver tube with supreme projecting qualities.
ALTUS was the first flute maker to manufacture instruments from this material and also supplies it to other makers. In contrast to the ALTUS “PSD”, the tonehole risers of the ALTUS “PS” – Model 1707 are soldered on. This results in far greater purity and clarity of sound, the instrument has high tonal flexibility, it is homogeneous across the whole gamut, and the enormous projection capacity across all registers will certainly not remain unnoticed. A truly masterful instrument, made by an artist for artists. Denis Bouriakov, who is a long time Altus 1707 player, had this to say about his instrument:
“The PS, with its unique sinterized tube, has depth and colour similar to platinum. Strength and power push this flute to open with amazing projection and intensity.”