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 Post subject: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:15 am 
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Just wondering if anyone out there has any experience of Solen Lesouef flutes? I'm looking to buy her 6-keyed Blackwood flute and I'm thinking of getting the Ivory embouchure and silver lip plate. Has anyone tried this particular flute? And if so any feedback/observations would be most welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:16 pm 
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I have a 6-key Mopane flute from Ms. Lesouef. Very nice instrument. Somewhat slimmer than those that I've played from other makers but quite comfortable in the hands. I have neither the ivory embouchure lining or the silver lip plate. I asked about the ivory lining and Ms. Lesouef's response was (and allow that English is not her native tongue), "ivory has a higher density than wood , i find it has a bit more definition but looses in warm tone (describing a sound without trying is very awkward) though the difference is tiny." I've found her to be quite responsive to emails.

Best wishes.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:12 pm 
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Thanks so much for the quick response. I've been in touch with her regarding the 6-keyed and she is indeed responsive to emails.
I'll drop her a line and ask her advice. I'm also not that long (3.5 years) playing so I want to be sure I'm not biting off more than I can chew.
Thank again for the insight.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:45 pm 
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My first flute was made by Solen, and my keyless is an antique Firth & Pond keyed flute.

In comparison, the Lesouef was much easier to play with good & consistent tone. The F&P has an embouchure that required me to work much harder and longer before I was able to achieve consistency.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:56 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
People are still using ivory? I find that surprising. Really? Even if it dates from before the International Ban on the Ivory Trade, do you really want to have ivory from a potentially poached elephant in your embouchure? Each to his own.

The density of ivory is 1.8-1.9. The specific gravity of African Blackwood is about 1.08 - 1.3, that of Mopane 0.88 - 1.08. Specific gravity is very close to density (density compared to density of water). So ivory is much heavier than wood. What evidence is there that this provides a better tone at the embouchure? The specific gravity of silver is 10.5. If there is any truth to this idea, silver would have to be far superior, according to the stated logic.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:43 am 
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Andro wrote:
People are still using ivory?

Mammoth Ivory:
Solen Lesouef web page wrote:
What about Ivory embouchures? Well it’s subtle but i believe the sound of Mammoth Ivory is more focused, however a wooden embouchure has a warmer tone.
http://sosolaflute.com

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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:14 am 
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I wouldn't want mammoth ivory in a flute, mainly because it could be mistaken for restricted elephant ivory when crossing an international border. I'm not sure how many customs inspectors could tell the difference on short notice. Of course that doesn't matter if you never travel outside your country.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:58 am 
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Quote:
I'm not sure how many customs inspectors could tell the difference on short notice.


They are, supposedly, trained for that sort of thing.

Identification guide for ivory and ivory substitutes. - Edgard O. Espinoza Mary-Jacque Mann with an Introduction by Kenneth W. Goddard, Director National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory World Wildlife Fund Washington, D.C.,'-in cooperation with the CITES Secretariat (PDF)]

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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:59 am 
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If a maker is using Ivory on a modern flute these days it is likey an Ivoriod type material. There are many out there. You can't commercially sell new elephant Ivory products. I think the restrictions are even active for antique Ivory commercial sales.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:48 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Big difference between ivory, implying Elephant, and Mammoth ivory. Pretty important one too.

I'd like to see evidence about using dense embouchure linings improving tone. Speaking as a harpsichord maker myself, it has often been noted that people, even very learned and discriminating musicians, often hear imaginary qualities in instrument materials that cannot be measured acoustically. That is _not_ to say such differences do not exist, it's that we need to be careful.

The thing about flute embouchure holes is that technique is the majority of the matter. Recent discussions here about hearing differences between wooden flutes and silver Boehm flutes were highly revealing. It's not simple!

If people are going to say ivory when they mean synthetic ivory, they should say so. Also, as far as having trained custom officers being able to pick the difference between the real thing and some of the very excellent modern synthetics with grain and all, on a busy day at the airport in various countries, I would not be willing to risk having a flute impounded by mistake.

On a similar topic of perception of tone quality, it is well known amongst hifi dealers that people tend to preceive silver amplifiers as bright and sunny, and black ones as warm and dark. This is called the faceplate effect. Very real - visual interfering with hearing perception and biasing it.

cheerio!


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:25 am 
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If I may say so, the fact that customs agent are trained, etc., is no guarantee that
the individual who vets your flute will be trained, won't be a bully set on humiliating you, will care about the truth, and so on. The old devil gap between concepts and reality. I've had some interesting experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:36 am 
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Exactly Jim. Personally I wouldn't risk it. It's tempting fate. Busy customs officers don't care about your flutes, very likely, and they will pounce on ivory.


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 Post subject: Re: Solen Lesouef flutes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:00 am 
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Hi, I have a blackwood 6 keyed Lesouef flute, with one all-wooden head and one ivory/silver (I bought it second hand and it came with both heads). I love this flute, and I prefer the wooden head. Dunno exactly why but the sound is closer to what I think an irish flute is supposed to sound like (sorry for my english dunno if it's clear...)


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