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Flute/Piccolo
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Subject Topic: Bass Flute - Setting head joint cork Post ReplyPost New Topic
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admin
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Posted: October.03.05 at 3:40pm | IP Logged Quote admin

What's the formula for setting a head joint cork on a bass flute? I'm hoping it's NOT the same as a regular flute 'cause it's not holding out for that....not enough threaded rod. Sad

Michelle
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sharonmarrell
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Posted: October.04.05 at 3:16pm | IP Logged Quote sharonmarrell

Apparently the formula is the same for all the flutes. The diameter of the tubing at the blow hole center is equal to the distance from the center of the blowhole to where the cork is placed. I get 17mm for C flute; 22mm, alto; 8mm, Piccolo. I didn''t have a bass handy but I'm guessing 27mm. hope that helped.  
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Posted: October.04.05 at 3:26pm | IP Logged Quote admin

Hi Sharon,

I ended up calling Harold at J.L. Smith & Co. and David Straubinger. David didn't have a measurement but told me about finding the "sweet spot", especially on middle G. Harold gave me the measurement of 29mm.

Surprisingly, David's explanation was more helpful in this instance. On this particular bass flute, the threaded rod holding the cork wasn't even close to being long enough for the crown to screw onto at 29mm. The "sweet spot" ended up being about 3/8" left of the 29mm. Once I started moving the cork more than an 1/8" away from the spot I lost the lower register and the G wanted to jump up to higher overtones. And while the flute wasn't overly in tune with itself at any placement of the cork, this was the most in tune.

Just one more reason I say that we as repair techs need to be proficient on the instruments we repair. Sounds like I need to write a blog entry on the subject. Hmmm....

Thanks again Sharon,

Michelle
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SallyGeisert
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Posted: October.13.05 at 6:15am | IP Logged Quote SallyGeisert

Michelle-
Can you explain the "sweet spot"? Does this work on all flutes and piccolos?
Thanks,
Sally
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Posted: October.13.05 at 11:01am | IP Logged Quote admin

Hi Sally,

First, I am an ok flute player... with college level chops. Finding the "sweet" spot on THIS flute was nothing more than finding where all the notes in all the octaves played. When the head cork was placed outside of a small range, I lost the lower octave and certain notes couldn't be tonged. The same thing happens on saxophones when the mouthpiece is way out of tuning range.
I assume regular flutes react the same way but haven't tested it because I know where the ball-park spot is.

David's description of the sweet spot was when the flute is comparatively full and sings in relation to other settings of the cork and is usually most noticeable on the G right above the staff. I haven't messed around with regular flutes or piccs since talking to him to know if I'm an accomplished enough player to notice this.

Will post back once I get a chance to mess with it.

Thanks,
Michelle
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