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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Hi folks,

In November, I had to switch from the wood keyless Irish flute we all love so much around here, to the modern metal Boehm flute because I had terrible numbness in my fingers and hands while playing the Irish flute, i.e. carpal tunnel, from too many gigs and sessions playing with too much tension, slapping the holes too hard. Good news, my numbness has healed by 90+%. Bad news is I'm still working to get fully up to speed on the new flute. (It's always a struggle, ain't it?)

I've made some progress and wanted to share two recordings I did yesterday which I find intriguing. I'm playing a flute made by Di Zhao (DZ 500) that has a sterling silver headjoint and silver plated body. I then bought a blackwood headjoint made by Rodger Young of Annapolis, MD. I'm having a hard time deciding which headjoint I like better, so I recorded the same tune with each headjoint.

Can you tell which is wood and which is silver? Which track do you like better?

Any other feedback is appreciated as well.

Recording #1 https://app.box.com/s/8y0wnygvfnsd5h2jpconmufvg85lryx9

Recording #2 https://app.box.com/s/64d9jh0ez2froj540llnkuysou9qw1f7

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:21 pm 
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okay, I bite, although my opinion is of no importance:
I listened to both tracks several times, through speakers and through headphones.
Lovely playing, very subtle differences. I prefer #2 over #1 slightly.
To me #2 has a little more brilliance, slightly more pronounced higher frequencies.
It sounds a little brighter, and for me more present, probably because of that.
Now which is silver, which wood?
From the common prejudice I would say the brighter one is silver, i.e. #2.
But then I could be totally wrong, basing this just on a common prejudice!

Wishing you speedy healing!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:43 pm 
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I find myself echoing Hans in terms of assessment. The differences are very subtle to the point that I had to strain to hear them; in the first recording I hear slightly more overtones and "creakiness", which I like, but again the difference is very small indeed and I couldn't be sure that it was simply an accident of the moment, and not the heads themselves. I agree that the second sounds slightly brighter. Taken together, my own preference leans toward the first, but taken separately both are equally very nice, and suitable.

As to which is which, I really hesitate to guess; but in the interest of playing the game, I'll hazard that the first recording is with the wooden headjoint (bearing in mind that a friend can make an all-metal Boehm flute sound very dark and "wooden" indeed).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:31 pm 
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Difficult to say, but I'd go with the consensus - #1, wood, #2 , metal. I'm more interested in where that particular setting comes from. Sounds like a c-natural in the first part instead of the more common c-sharp. Haven't come across that before. It works, but changes the character of the tune from "bright" and "driving" [ if you've heard Harry Bradley's version ], to more "melancholy", and even "sedate", if that makes sense. Nice playing, in any case, and I like them both.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:35 pm 
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I like the first one better. I'm not sure if it's wood or metal, but it's closer to what I think of as the "right" tone for ITM.

Sorry to hear about your difficulties and glad you've overcome them!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:03 pm 
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About the setting, it’s mainly from Mike Rafferty’s “New Broom” album. When I first learned it, I thought the A part was all C nats, but a friend told me it should all be C sharps. So now I combine the two because I like how it sounds and it fits well on the silver flute. So I guess it’s my own setting. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Jason,

I can't seem to get the link(s) to work. Is there another way I can hear the samples?

I'm really interested as I have hand issues that have forced me to adopt the Boehm flute as well. I play a Gemeinhardt and bounce back and forth from the original silver head and an Armstrong Fajado wooden head joint.

Sometimes it seems to me the silver head joint sound "woodier" than the wooden one. Sometimes it's the other way around. All I can think is that some days my embouchure is just better than others.

Most of the people I admire who use the Boehm flute for ITM seem to use a silver head, some use a wooden flute and others a wooden head joint. They all sound great. Horses for courses maybe?

Anyway, please keep us posted as to which is which and which most people prefer.

Piper Joe

PS: recently tried out a Di Zhao flute from the Flute Center of New York...what a nice instrument! :thumbsup:

PPS: I'm just down the 101 from you...if you ever get to Solvang let's get together for a tune or two...and a pint or two. :poke:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:26 pm 
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piperjoe wrote:
Jason,

I can't seem to get the link(s) to work. Is there another way I can hear the samples?

I'm really interested as I have hand issues that have forced me to adopt the Boehm flute as well. I play a Gemeinhardt and bounce back and forth from the original silver head and an Armstrong Fajado wooden head joint.

Sometimes it seems to me the silver head joint sound "woodier" than the wooden one. Sometimes it's the other way around. All I can think is that some days my embouchure is just better than others.

Most of the people I admire who use the Boehm flute for ITM seem to use a silver head, some use a wooden flute and others a wooden head joint. They all sound great. Horses for courses maybe?

Anyway, please keep us posted as to which is which and which most people prefer.

Piper Joe

PS: recently tried out a Di Zhao flute from the Flute Center of New York...what a nice instrument! :thumbsup:

PPS: I'm just down the 101 from you...if you ever get to Solvang let's get together for a tune or two...and a pint or two. :poke:


PM me your email and I can send them to you.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:08 pm 
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I prefer the first and guess it's wood.

Question: How did you do switching from (or between) the different F/F# fingerings? Just a lot of practice, or did you play Boehm before simple-system?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:38 am 
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chas wrote:
I prefer the first and guess it's wood.

Question: How did you do switching from (or between) the different F/F# fingerings? Just a lot of practice, or did you play Boehm before simple-system?


Yes, I did play Boehm before, but that doesn't matter that much for what I do now. Do you mean the simple vs. the Boehm F#? Yes, that takes some practice; but I also switch between the two different F#'s on the Boehm flute, i.e. hole 5 for F#'s next to E (and F# rolls) and hole 6 F# for going from F# to D. I use both F#'s in the B section. Takes practice.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:13 am 
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Ok—#1 is the silver original headjoint; #2 is the wood.

I was playing the silver all day then popped on the wood one for the recording.

I like the wood one better, as a recording and to play with. It’s more responsive and I think the tone is fatter, fuller. The flute is quite loud with either headjoint, but the wood one is actually louder.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:42 am 
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I'd lean towards the wood head joint as well...but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sound on the SS one either.

Do you have a B or C foot on the Di Zhao?

Piper Joe


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:56 am 
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Akiba wrote:
Ok—#1 is the silver original headjoint; #2 is the wood.

See? There you go. I don't like to guess people's ages, either; people wind up hurt.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Akiba wrote:
Ok—#1 is the silver original headjoint; #2 is the wood.

See? There you go. I don't like to guess people's ages, either; people wind up hurt.

I definitely don't guess ages, or whether someone is pregnant (except in my head).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:41 pm 
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popsnorkle wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Akiba wrote:
Ok—#1 is the silver original headjoint; #2 is the wood.

See? There you go. I don't like to guess people's ages, either; people wind up hurt.

I definitely don't guess ages, or whether someone is pregnant (except in my head).

It's just good policy. There was one who was around 35 who'd seen some wear and tear, and when he asked me to guess, I honestly thought he was in his 50s. Don't know why he was pissed off at ME...

And that was the last time I ever did that.

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