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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:54 pm 
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Someone has maybe read my post on rash under my lower lip. I started to play my McNeela African Blackwood irish flute from January but, due to my persistent skin irritation, I'm thinking to move to an upgrade: a key-ed (or keyless...I'm still not sure) irish flute with silver lip plate. If anyone has it, does the sound really change in a colder one? If it changes, I would upgrade my flute in any case (time is passing and even if I've been not playing from a such long time, I don't want to wait too much) maybe starting without the lip plate. If it doesn't significantly change, I would order a Solen Lesoeuf...or maybe other flute makers apply it?
Many thanks for your advise
Mara


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:09 pm 
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Marish wrote:
If anyone has it, does the sound really change in a colder one?

Sorry, not exactly sure of your meaning here, but I'll assume I got the idea:

It might depend on whether the inlaid lip plate fully surrounds the embouchure hole, but I'm not going to suggest that it necessarily will. My lip plates have always been "partial" - that is, they only covered the contact area, but aside from a small section of the back of the hole, the rest of the embouchure's edge was wood alone, as it normally would be. I felt there was no appreciable effect on normal tone, nor with that arrangement would I expect there to be. Looking at Solen Lesouef's website, the lip plate pictured is much like mine have been, although Lesouef's covers more of the back of the hole (imagine it without the ivory bushing, and you get the general picture). If that is the basic approach you have in mind, I would say you should have nothing to fear tonewise. The bushing is another matter, and one I have no personal experience with. I assume that in Lesouef's picture it is presented strictly as an option.

There are some inlaid plates that cover the entirety of the cut - usually those plates are oval, more rarely square - but I haven't tried those. There are also designs that wrap around the entire headjoint like a sleeve; you see that approach on old flutes, but I don't know if any modern makers are still doing that. Someone else will have to weigh in on how or if those designs affect tone.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Since your last post I discovered a product online, available here in the States called Protec LP1 Lip Plate Patches. They were around $12 for a fair number of them. You might want to give them a try temporarily. I haven't used them but they say they form a barrier between your skin and the instrument. They were listed on Amazon. Perhaps they are available near you as well.

The Solen LeSouef flute on his site has a lip plate that surrounds what appears to be a completely round embouchure hole so that could definitely change the sound. You would have to ask him for sound samples to see if it is a sound that is pleasing to you. I have seen some makers making a lip plate such as Nanohedron describes that only cover the area where your skin makes contact.

The Lip Plate Patches look like they would cover the same area.

I don't know what other makers you are considering, but make sure you are getting sterling silver if you are sensitive to metals. When I was a child I would break out from my nickel silver Boehm flute. That may or may not be a problem for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:50 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
The Solen LeSouef flute on his site has a lip plate ...

Apologies for being picky, but "him" is a her.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Thanks. It is great to hear of women making instruments!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:25 pm 
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Location: Behind the anthracite and shale curtain.
Cellophane tape i.e. scotch tape.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:16 am 
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busterbill wrote:
The Solen LeSouef flute on his site has a lip plate that surrounds what appears to be a completely round embouchure hole so that could definitely change the sound.


in the Lesouef i owe, the plate does not surrounds totally the embouchoure, only the inner half or so, and the embouchure is not round but oval


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:41 am 
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Mara - I've never been happy with the sound I've heard from flutes with a lip plate that extends around to the audience side of the flute. I don't know why this is, as the science would suggest it shouldn't matter. So perhaps it's psychosomatic? The only other explanation I can imagine is that differential expansion could result in the metal overhanging into the chimney, and in the busy vibrating airflow in the gap between lip and edge, it generates modulated noise. That would be consistent with the "sizzly" edge to the tone that I don't like (unlike the "harmonic" edge to the tone that I do like!).

Fortunately, there's no need to have the lip plate extend round the far side of the hole, as long as it covers all the area your chin and lip are going to be exposed to. If differential expansion pushes that metal into the embouchure hole, it shouldn't matter, as your lip extends further.

busterbill - I was intrigued by your mention of the Protec LP1 Lip Plate Patches. We don't think of metal flutes as problematic for some players in the same way as we can are aware of wooden flutes, but clearly that's not the reality. So that tells us that simply having a metal lip plate added doesn't necessarily solve the problem - you need to make sure you are not allergic to the metal as well! Silver seems pretty safe in this regard, but I do remember having at least one customer who was allergic to silver.

Hmmm, or was it the silver? Interesting to remember that sterling silver is only 92.5% pure silver - it has copper added to encourage it to work-harden to make it strong enough for practical purposes. Whether a 7.5% copper content is enough to bother sensitive skin is interesting. It wouldn't have to be alloyed in the case of a lip plate - the underlying wood will provide all the strength needed. But whether you can buy pure silver in a convenient sheet form I don't know.

And yes, great to have at least one woman in the field, but begs the question, why only one? (We've had others - Claire Soubeyran died early last year. Catherine Folkers was part of baroque makers Folkers and Powell but they closed their workshop in 2010.) I saw earlier today that our local Woodworkers group now boasts 25% female participation, 10 years ago there was only one. She was of course made the secretary!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:06 am 
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Hi Marish,

I am not allergic to African Blackwood but it is clinically true that some people are. I also play silver Boehm flute. I am not allergic to silver - and again, some people are allergic to sterling silver - but I use a thin clear plastic stick-on lip plate protector to stop my beard scratching the nice silver plate.

The ones I use are the Willows' Invisible Lip Plate Guard. Good flute shops have them, very cheap and one lasts for ages. Non destructive, and the glue has no effect on the silver.

As a subtle point I note the protector does not go around the back of the embouchure hole, presumably so as not to interfere with the complex and delicate air flow there, even though the plastic is just a thin film.

Andrew


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:57 am 
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And then there is always scotch tape, or packing tape. Readily available, cheap, and my view is that a
strip of it, or packing tape, below the embouchure, just creasing the bottom of the hole, works very well and lasts a very long time and is very easily replaced in the unlikely event you would need to. I only know about wood, and it works well enough to end all difficulties, in my experience. Why spend money
on more expensive remedies, which I submit work no better? Send me the money.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:19 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Why spend money on more expensive remedies, which I submit work no better?

Some of us like it that a lip plate looks sharp, and it speaks to how we care enough to give our instrument the best, as we can afford; it's as simple as that, and reason enough. Thrift is all well and good, but there comes a point where thrift for its own sake becomes indistinguishable from mere tightwaddery. For me personally, tape is only a temporary fix, and frankly on the shabby side for my tastes. My question to you is, what's your investment in steering people away from what they'd rather do?

jim stone wrote:
Send me the money.

Sorry, I'm skint - spent it all on a lip plate. :P

By the way, Marish: If you do get a lip plate, be sure to wipe down your flute very well when you receive it, because if there is any shop dust left over, it will be on the plate, too. I know this from unfortunate personal experience. Afterward, I just used a damp cloth inside and out, wiped every surface I could reach, and I was surprised at what it picked up. Lest there be any oils or resins left behind, I also gave the plate a good - but careful - cleaning with some swabs and rubbing alcohol. Perhaps that was overkill, but when you have blackwood allergy, better safe than sorry, right? Everything was fine after that. Make sure your case is cleaned well, too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:27 pm 
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I think the aesthetic argument is a weak one. Put on carefully the tape is virtually invisible,
so it looks like wood. There is nothing the matter with how most flute-woods look, which is part of the
reason we play wooden flutes in the first place. Of course if you think lip-plates look great and less shabby, follow your heart. As this is one of several threads on lip plates and their possible difficulties I do want to alert people that IMO there is an equally effective, immediately available, durable, good enough looking, virtually free substitute. There is no question that it won't change the sound of your flute. My impression is that folks reading these threads may not always be sufficiently aware of this option, which also has the benefit of sparing them shipping their flute off for carpentry, waiting, etc. or finding a lip-plated flute to begin with. Lots of people read the threads who don't post in them. My investment is in acquainting them with the serious possibility of fixing this forever in the next two minutes for free. Some may find it helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Very good. :)

I will say, however, that calling the aesthetic argument weak will strike some as rather philistine. For what it's worth.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
... there comes a point where thrift for its own sake becomes indistinguishable from mere tightwaddery

Isn't there something in the C&F CCMP about avoiding tightwaddist accusations?

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:22 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
... there comes a point where thrift for its own sake becomes indistinguishable from mere tightwaddery

Isn't there something in the C&F CCMP about avoiding tightwaddist accusations?

Not yet. I don't think we even have a CCMP. :wink:

OTOH if you meant me, I did not accuse, sir: I merely observed, homespun and philosophical-like from my rocker on the front porch, as it were.

But by all the powers in Heaven, tape? Tape? Can't take you people anywhere. If you want from accusations, try this: There are flutemakers out there whose kids might have shoes but for their clients' parsimony. You know who you are. Enjoy your tape in good health. Tsk.

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