Chiff and Fipple Forums

English or French? R&R or Pratten?
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Author:  jemtheflute [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English or French? R&R or Pratten?

Thanks, cac, and thanks for your e-mail. A thoughtful, thorough response. I'm not making any evaluative comments myself, nor passing on ones I've received elsewhere, at least for now. I don't want to skew responses here beyond what reading other folks' posts here already does.

Author:  jjdura [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English or French? R&R or Pratten?

I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been noted, i.e., the Pratten has a great bottom end; the Rudall is well balanced; and the French flute has a weak bottom but very nice upper register. Having said that, I am wondering if the Rudall (given that the head was made by Wilkes) has an unlined head, whereas the Pratten and the French are both probably lined. If so what we are hearing may be an artifact of the heads or even an acquired bias for the sound of an unlined head. Just wondering....


Author:  jemtheflute [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English or French? R&R or Pratten?

Thanks, John. I think that response calls for some more information - something I didn't mention in the YT blurb but would have had I thought to. Both the Pratten and the R&R have fully metal-lined heads - the Wilkes head for the R&R is lined, as is it's own original Patent Head, of course (not used). The Besson "Perfectionnée" is unlined: that is, as it has an integral tuning slide, it is lined only so far as needed to secure the inner metal tube of the tuning slide structure into the wooden tube. Some would term that "part-lined", but I consider that a misnomer/poor choice of description as there is no intention whatever to line the head and the makers wouldn't, I believe, have thought of it as a "lining". I am not in any case a believer in the idea that there is a significant or consistent difference in sound or response character between lined and unlined heads. I certainly don't notice it as a player.

I'll also add at this stage that some of the things folk are commenting on I would attribute to player deficiencies and/or the quick swap without having been practising on each flute situation of the video, rather than thinking of them as intrinsic to the individual flutes. For example, the Besson has a stronger low end than I managed to show; the Pratten is not at all difficult to get sweet and easy high notes out of, but its very large holes require greater accuracy to seal than I achieved; I can play the R&R more richly and resonantly and with better intonation than I managed there. If I played them a lot/prepared better on them and did separate recordings after playing myself in to each one, I think the results might be a bit different. That said, I do recognise a lot of what folk are observing.

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