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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:25 am 
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1.) Howdy, I've recently started working on learning baroque flute and have a rottenburgh resin baroque flute 440 hz by Roger Bernolin. I have found a site selling a Ralph Sweet baroque flute in rosewood, 415hz/440hz, but can not find any sound clips or reviews for his baroque flutes, only his irish or simple system flutes. I know this question is subjective, but would a wooden Ralph Sweet baroque flute be a step up from my current Bernolin resin baroque flute?

2.) What would be a good wood to choose for a baroque flute in terms of durability or less likely to crack?

3.) I've read that playing at 415hz is about a half-step lower than 440hz, does that mean if I'm playing at 415hz and transpose a half-step up, I'll be playing at 440hz?

Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

https://www.bernolin.fr/english/store.p ... ry=9887061

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:53 am 
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Elfforce1 wrote:
would a wooden Ralph Sweet baroque flute be a step up from my current Bernolin resin baroque flute?

Very unlikely. Bernolin flutes are superb.

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What would be a good wood to choose for a baroque flute in terms of durability or less likely to crack?

Box would be the most typically authentic, but realistically any wood that's good for making flutes.

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does that mean if I'm playing at 415hz and transpose a half-step up, I'll be playing at 440hz?

Yes, but it won't sound the same. The timbre and technical difficulties will be quite different due to the fingerings required.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Elfforce1 wrote:
1.) Howdy, I've recently started working on learning baroque flute and have a rottenburgh resin baroque flute 440 hz by Roger Bernolin. I have found a site selling a Ralph Sweet baroque flute in rosewood, 415hz/440hz, but can not find any sound clips or reviews for his baroque flutes, only his irish or simple system flutes. I know this question is subjective, but would a wooden Ralph Sweet baroque flute be a step up from my current Bernolin resin baroque flute?

2.) What would be a good wood to choose for a baroque flute in terms of durability or less likely to crack?

3.) I've read that playing at 415hz is about a half-step lower than 440hz, does that mean if I'm playing at 415hz and transpose a half-step up, I'll be playing at 440hz?

Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

https://www.bernolin.fr/english/store.p ... ry=9887061


I'm totally in agreement with Peter, but will add a couple of details:

Ralph's baroque flutes are hybrids. They're kind of like a very small-holed Irish flute or a baroque flute with a Rudall-Pratten-style embouchure. I had one for awhile, and it was sort-of a gateway drug. If you're already playing a traverso, you want to stick with that rather than backtrack to something that's closer to an Irish flute.

One thing I'll point out about your current flute is it's probably very heavy. The polymer probably has a density of around 1.4, while boxwood is around 0.9. If you have any hand issues, you'll probably benefit from a lighter flute. I have a couple of polymer flutes that I love, but I only play them when traveling, as they give me fits.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:09 am 
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chas wrote:
One thing I'll point out about your current flute is it's probably very heavy.

Thinking of my Bernolin flute as quite light, I just weighed the flutes I have in the house:

Copley Delrin Eb (short D foot, silver rings) 276g
Copley Delrin D (short D foot, silver rings) 294g
Bernolin resin Delusse A=415 (so effectively a C# flute in A=440 terms) 298g
Copley Solomon blackwood (long D foot, four keys) 384g
Pearl silver-plated Boehm (C foot) 406g
Trevor James solid silver Boehm (C foot) 450g

So I'd suggest that, while a boxwood model may be lighter, the Bernolin's not particularly heavy in either polymer or general flute terms. (It would presumably be lighter than the Copley at A=440.)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am 
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I concur with the Bernolin votes. I have a 415 Hottetere that I play outdoors a LOT during the summer, and in addition to sounding great
it is zero maintenence and practically indestructible. Aulos makes a Stanesby "ivory" model, but they are molded, not turned live the B.
Wooden transversos can get very pricey.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:28 am 
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But if anyone's interested in an Aulos Grenser, I still have one for sale. See viewtopic.php?f=36&t=104219 (languishing in the "Sold or Old" bin.

Best wishes.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:33 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
chas wrote:
One thing I'll point out about your current flute is it's probably very heavy.

Thinking of my Bernolin flute as quite light, I just weighed the flutes I have in the house:

Copley Delrin Eb (short D foot, silver rings) 276g
Copley Delrin D (short D foot, silver rings) 294g
Bernolin resin Delusse A=415 (so effectively a C# flute in A=440 terms) 298g
Copley Solomon blackwood (long D foot, four keys) 384g
Pearl silver-plated Boehm (C foot) 406g
Trevor James solid silver Boehm (C foot) 450g

So I'd suggest that, while a boxwood model may be lighter, the Bernolin's not particularly heavy in either polymer or general flute terms. (It would presumably be lighter than the Copley at A=440.)


Geez, the metrologist in me had to go weigh my flutes. ;) All the traversi are A415.

Olwell all-wood Nicholson (probably Brazilian rosewood): 230
Olwell (I think IH) Rottenburgh, kingwood: 238
Cameron A Grenser, boxwood: 236
Noy GA Rottenburgh, boxwood: 250
Aulos Stanesby Jr polymer: 346

So the Bernoulin, somewhat to my surprise, is about halfway between a wooden flute and the Aulos, which I had assumed would be typical of a polymer flute. Does anyone have an idea what polymer Bernoulin uses? I had thought the Aulos was acrylic, which has a density of 1.2, but it must be acetal, which is 1.4. Maybe Bernoulin uses acrylic.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Bernolin never quite says what his resin is:
'The resin used was developed after long research and was perfected by Vincent Bernolin who wanted above all to reveal the sound quality of this new material. The manufacturing process is completely different from that of industrially-made flutes moulded in ABS plastic, which invariably have a tinny sound.'
(https://www.traversos-bernolin.com/english/flutes.htm)

'These are two different resins, not only from a visual point of view but also about their mechanical characteristics. The Ebony color resin is stiffer and sends back energy, so the sound is a little clearer than with the Ivory resin, which gives a slightly more mellow tone. However, these differences are slight, and unrelated to the visual difference which is much more bigger.'
(https://www.bernolin.fr/english/resin.htm)

I think the Aulos flutes are all ABS.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:22 pm 
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I was a Baroque flute major at Uni for a time, I had a Ralph Sweet rosewood Baroque flute with the two joints 415 and 440, and my impression at the time was that it wasn't really a serious Baroque flute. I got it because it was the least expensive thing I could get my hands on, back around 1980.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Bernolin never quite says what his resin is:
'The resin used was developed after long research and was perfected by Vincent Bernolin who wanted above all to reveal the sound quality of this new material. The manufacturing process is completely different from that of industrially-made flutes moulded in ABS plastic, which invariably have a tinny sound.'
(https://www.traversos-bernolin.com/english/flutes.htm)

'These are two different resins, not only from a visual point of view but also about their mechanical characteristics. The Ebony color resin is stiffer and sends back energy, so the sound is a little clearer than with the Ivory resin, which gives a slightly more mellow tone. However, these differences are slight, and unrelated to the visual difference which is much more bigger.'
(https://www.bernolin.fr/english/resin.htm)

I think the Aulos flutes are all ABS.


Yes, I now remember Bernoulin not saying what polymer he uses.

I just looked up ABS, and to my surprise, the density can be varied from 0.9-1.5. Wow, it's just like wood that way.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:27 am 
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Dave Copley sells a boxwood baroque-style flute. Never read a review of it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:45 am 
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It's merely a baroque-styled flute, being the same as his regular flutes in terms of bore, embouchure and finger holes. So not what you want for playing baroque flute.

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