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 Post subject: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:46 pm 
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I’m still obsessively researching flutes and saving money, trying to decide what to order when the time comes. Casey Burns, Paddy Ward, and Terry McGee are high on my high as of right now.
So, the Grey Larsen Preferred model. I understand it has smaller tone holes compared to Prattens and Rudalls. Does this affect volume? If I hypothetically ended up with one of these would I find it too quiet for session playing? As someone with smallish hands, the model appeals to me, but I don’t want to get something comfortable for my hands if it means compromises in overall playability.
Having said that, I am willing to sacrifice some volume in favor of sweetness of tone, so am leaning towards a Rudall style moreso than a Pratten style.
I figured I might as well see what the resident experts have to say.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:04 pm 
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From 2014:
Akiba wrote:
A really good flute. Perfect for someone who wants a small-holed flute that can play loud and rough or soft and smooth.

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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:33 pm 
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That sounds like it might be perfect!


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:08 pm 
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While you are saving your pennies, you might keep your eyes peeled for an antique Firth, Pond & Co. to come on the market. A member just listed (and possibly sold) a Firth, Pond & Co. one key boxwood flute in May of this year. Cost 400 GBP. They come up ocassionally for sale on fleabay. I had the opportunity to service a four-key Firth, Hall & Pond made of cocus which was outstanding at A=440. Amazingly, the original models for McGee GLP's sometimes change hands for less than the modern replicas.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:22 pm 
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The loudness of the flute will depend 99% on your embouchure for the first year or two or....more.

Flutes come in (approximately), Rudall-style smaller holed, medium holed and larger, Pratten-style.

There seems to have been a preference for Pratten-style over the past decade or so, but maybe that has swung back to smaller-holed flutes a bit in the last few years. Most modern makers are offering a choice, now.

If I recall, Terry's GLP is based on a smaller holed Firth, Hall & Pond. I play a slightly later, "Firth, Pond & Co", which has medium-ish sized holes, larger than the GLP, but not at all as large as the Pratten style. Since I bought mine, I've been watching, and they don't come up very often.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:39 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
While you are saving your pennies, you might keep your eyes peeled for an antique Firth, Pond & Co. to come on the market. A member just listed (and possibly sold) a Firth, Pond & Co. one key boxwood flute in May of this year. Cost 400 GBP. They come up ocassionally for sale on fleabay. I had the opportunity to service a four-key Firth, Hall & Pond made of cocus which was outstanding at A=440. Amazingly, the original models for McGee GLP's sometimes change hands for less than the modern replicas.

Bob


I actually have plans to get an antique flute to tide me over, just waiting on the seller to finish his vacation. It’s a boxwood German, 6 keys, not A 440 but will be good to practice with keys at home.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:46 pm 
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On the other hand, the Rudall Refined model might be a good alternative.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:01 am 
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tstermitz, strictly speaking, it is a brutally excessive simplification to state that flutes come in Rudall-style smaller holed/medium holed style or larger holed Pratten style flutes. The bore profiles you find in the Firth, Pond, and Hall flutes are a departure from the smaller bore early Rudall flutes. These flutes developed in relative isolation from the mainstream developments that occured in England. A close reading of Terry McGee's article about measuring and analysing Grey Larsen's Firth, Pond & Co. flute will highlight this departure from the early Rudall instruments that the American makers like Riley, Firth, Hall, Pond and Hopkins had knowledge of.
These 'American' style flutes are not 'session cannons' but can deliver respectable volumes, and do so without some of the more egregious flaws you can find with some of the more extreme large hole/large bore Rudall designs and large bore Prattens. Every flute is a collection of acoustic compromises. Some bore profiles will deliver loudness at the cost of severely veiled notes, e.g. the e-E and the degree of false tuning when you use various cross fingerings for C. The 'American' bores can give respectable E's and acceptable C's without recourse to the C key, and still be agile, with crisp ornamentation, and easy-speaking second octaves.
I, for one, have had the misfortune of going home from a session with a headache after having listened to a loud flute with dubious intonation for several hours.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:53 am 
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Thomaston wrote:
On the other hand, the Rudall Refined model might be a good alternative.


I recently bought a flute from Terry and I’d recommend chating with him (or whoever you decide on) and tell him what you are looking for in a flute.

Though, I also suspect Terry may chime in too since I’ve seen him around on the forum lately.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:53 pm 
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I owned and played one of these for several years -a six-key GLP based on the Firth, Hall & Pond design. Probably the favorite wooden flute that I have played, just wonderful, responsive and sweet - but I sold it because it did not produce enough volume in the sessions that I typically participate in, and session playing was its main job. You can play it on edge so that it projects by adjusting your embouchure, and while it does respond to that style, it is never going to be a Pratten. It also does not have a particularly strong low D, but conversely is very well balanced across the registers and played nicely into octave 3 and in-tune. Ornamentation was just a delight! I have large hands, and had no problems with the small holes, and the keywork is of high quality and ergonomic.

In a lot of ways I miss it, and someday I may pick up an un-keyed version. Most people who get rid of them ultimately seem to regret the choice. They seem to retain their value for resale.

So while I do miss it, the Pratten style suits my style better. It would be just right for someone with smaller hands, or is having trouble with arthritis, or just likes how it performs. Class instrument so long as you are clear about what it does and does not do. It is a quiet and responsive flute. And yes very sweet sounding.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:32 pm 
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@Bob. Yes, it's a simplification, or just a bump to point out that things aren't binary.

I really like my Firth, Pond & CO. By measurement it is almost identical to the William Hall listed at Terry's site, not the earlier Firth, Pond & Hall of Grey Larsen that Terry used as a model for the GLP. The holes are a bit larger. I don't know whether that makes it louder than the GLP, but it is ample for a small session and adequate for a large session, if the piper isn't sitting next to you!.

The big advantage of an antique flute is that the price is lower than for a new flute, especially fully keyed. I would not have purchased a C-foot on a new flute due to the expense, but now that I have one, I wouldn't want to give it up.

I took me quite a bit of relearning and lots of practice before I gained good tone and volume, let alone consistency. My flute's embouchure certainly requires focus (strength, control, precision and relaxation). I'd like to think I'm a better player for all that effort. It will play a nice, resonant low D (and C), after lots of long-tone exercises. That is probably true of any flute.

Other things about 19th Century flutes that I have learned:
- You are expected to hold down the Eb key to open up the low F# and E notes. Those notes are in tune on my flute, just not as open.
- Cross fingered C-nat works well. OXO XXX, not OXX OOO.
- The high register is available - with focus and practice. C, C# and D are easy, E & E# not too bad, That's as high as I can go.

http://www.oldflutes.com/american.htm


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:36 am 
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To answer the first of the OP's questions, all other things being equal, small holes make
for less volume.


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Have you thought about looking at John Gallagher's flutes? He's in West Virginia. http://gallagherflutes.com/

He makes a few different styles, but the one likely of interest to you is his "small-holed" Rudall. I've played various styles of his over the years, and finally bought one of his "large-holed" Rudalls, which I love. His flutes all sound relatively similar (due to a similar embouchure), but you'll get more volume and different tone. His wait list is pretty short, and the prices are very good.

Anyway, here's a video of Ivan Goff playing one of them; I'm not sure which style, but I think it's one of the Rudall styles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYYJXayX9bo


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 Post subject: Re: McGee GLP, volume?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:24 am 
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I’ve owned two GLP flutes in the past. Lovely flutes but not session canons. I switch to David Copely flutes and really love them. They give me everything I wanted from the GLP but didn’t get. I have small hands too.


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