The best Flute under $50?
As a flute teacher, I am constantly on the hunt for good quality, inexpensive flutes to recommennd and sell to my beginning students. One of the best flute makers in the industy (IMHO) is Butch Hall. Butch has been making flutes for a long time and I always loved his $49 Little Horse flute in A minor. But, for the longest time, Butch made his flutes with his trademark fingering. Butch designed his flute fingering to enable an octave and a half (15 notes) in his flute, something that I admire becuase of the extended range of the flutes. However, for beginner students, I recommend starting with a flute with the 'easy tuning'. Butch makes one of the easiest to build flute kits, which he tunes in the easy tuning, so two years, while I was making a purchase of bunch of flute kits for a class, I asked Butch if he would consider making his Little Horse flute with the easy tuning fingering. Unfortunately, his reply was that to keep the price low on the Little Horse, he already had established the jigs for drilling the holes, and that it wouldn't be cost effective to change. I understood the answer... fast forward to today.
While I certainly can't take credit for Butch's decision to change, but I can give him many kudo's for the making the choice to offer the Little Horse now with the easy fingering (mode 1/mode 4). The other thing that has enabled Butch to offer this flute is that he is drilling all of his 7/8 inch flutes, and I think that improves the accuracy of the sound.
In addition to the Little Horse, Butch is also offering his Le Mita Cola (retail $59?) which is the big brother to the Little Horse, in the key of G minor. So in my opinion, if you or someone you know is looking for great entry level instrument, I highly recommend both of these flutes by Butch Hall.