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 Post subject: Delrin/polymer flutes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:56 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I like my delrin flutes, great tone, & easy to care for. :)

Just thought I'd mention it..... :D

:thumbsup:

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Last edited by fatmac on Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:18 am 
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I have a delrin M&E that I really like. It’s easy to get the “hard” sound on it, and it’s of course extremely durable and requires no fussing whatsoever, aside from an occasional swabbing. I leave it sitting around assembled and pick it up when the mood strikes. The ratio of pleasure to cost is excellent—I’ve gotten so much joy out of learning to play it for so little economic pain. In that sense it’s a great flute, and who could ask for more?

What I don’t like about it—it’s relatively heavy and feels a bit inert, like driving a big sedan rather than a sports car. I have a wooden flute, an old no name antique that needs work, and an Ellis “essential flute” and those both feel very different, more like there’s a dialogue going on between me and the flute, if that makes any sense.

I was all set to plunk down my shekels for one of Ellis’s ebonite flutes when we got flooded. Twenty years in this house with no water in the basement, and we had a freak catastrophic flood in our town that dumped three feet of water and wiped the finished basement out, so we’re broke.


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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:05 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I too have an M&E in 'F', it's heavy, but has a great tone.

My others are a Damian Thompson 2 piece in low 'D', & a pre used Tony Dixon 3 piece in low 'D'.

I also have a pre used aluminium Davy Angus 3 piece low 'D'.

(Plus a couple of piccolos in high 'D').

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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:31 am 
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I don't know if my flute is heavy because delrin is heavy, or if it's just heavily built. I don't even know if it's "delrin," which is a brand name.

One of the slightly frustrating things about the "irish flute" is it's not easy to try other flutes. They are almost none for sale near me and there isn't a robust local community where I could try different flutes. The local Comhaltas branch just held its annual week of workshops, and I might have been able to try some flutes there, but the money all went to buying a new HVAC unit to replace the one the flood wiped out. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:04 pm 
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I have a lot of flutes of various materials (probably at least 20 different woods), but have only owned Delrin Irish flutes. First was a Paddy Ward, which was amazing, but I am selling it because of some tendon issues. Second is by Dave Copely with finger hole adjustments that have completely solved my tendon issues. Also an amazing flute. They each have their own tone, just as wooden flutes by different makers. Bottom line is that I've never regretted buying Delrin.


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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:18 am 
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my understanding based on previous discussions on here was that the M&E flute is not Delrin(TM) but some other polymer with similar characteristics. but i notice McNeela are now selling an identical flute, which must surely just be a rebranded M&E, and they describe their flute as "Delrin®", so now i'm not sure.

ETA: but they also describe the flute as having a C natural "foot key" when it clearly doesn't, and not having a tuning slide when it does (you can see it in the picture, it's identical to the M&E one), so possibly the person who wrote that eBay listing doesn't actually know very much about the flute, or maybe they used the wrong picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:27 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Actually, the M&E claims it is made from a food grade polymer, but I'm using delrin here as a generic for polymer as it is the most widely known polymer. :)

Edit: I've changed the title to reflect this. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Delrin flutes...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:36 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I have a delrin M&E that I really like. [...] What I don’t like about it—it’s relatively heavy and feels a bit inert, like driving a big sedan rather than a sports car.


i had the same problem with the M&E feeling heavy. yesterday i took the endcap with the metal plate off (leaving the bare cork) and it's made a huge difference to how it feels - the balance is much better, closer to my wooden flute, and it's nicer to play. i'm still not very fond of the key placement though - the flute feels like it was made for someone with much larger hands than me, especially with the left hand keys.

ETA: my M&E also had a problem with the middle body joint being very loose; i removed the cork binding and replaced it with thread and it's much more secure now. i also slightly sanded down the vertical edge of the socket, which was quite uneven, to improve the fit between the two pieces.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:29 am 
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Interesting--my M&E is keyless and has no metal cap, and no cork or thread at the joints. I have to admit I feel a certain amount of skepticism about who is actually making M&E flutes, but the years have made me cynical.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:48 am 
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I think delrin itself is not a great material because it's soft, at least the stock delrin most often used (you can get it in different hardnesses I believe)

That degree of squish, to my ear, eats some of the higher partials and makes the sound less crisp. This may be only distinguishable to the player, but you want an instrument that inspires your best playing and that you can feel humming under your fingers when you hit the sweet spot, which is muted with delrin.

That said, whatever variant of delrin Dave Copley uses is excellent, because I adore both his polymer and wooden flutes.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:56 am 
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If I may drift slightly, I bought a five key ebonite F flute from the Irish Flute Store a bit ago.
Needs no care. Oh my, what a beautiful sound! I really would like to try an ebonite flute in D.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:48 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
If I may drift slightly, I bought a five key ebonite F flute from the Irish Flute Store a bit ago.
Needs no care. Oh my, what a beautiful sound! I really would like to try an ebonite flute in D.


Ahh, F flutes are delightful! I would only get a synthetic keyed flute, if the time comes where I reliably need one.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:33 pm 
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MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
Ahh, F flutes are delightful! I would only get a synthetic keyed flute, if the time comes where I reliably need one.

Why only a synthetic for a keyed flute? Wouldn't your choices be much wider for keyed wooden flutes, both new and used? Is it mainly the zero maintenance factor? Just curious.

I'm one of those "I want my fingers to touch wood" players, maybe because I've played only wooden musical instruments of various types all my life. But I do appreciate some of the merits of synthetic materials.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:25 pm 
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I like delrin, prefer wood, but ebonite is, to my ear, as good as blackwood. I think it was Rockstro who said it was the best flute-stuff.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:33 pm 
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I like Delrin. I have two Tony Dixon Delrin flutes. One, a four piece non-tunable in Eb, the other the bog-standard three-piece combination low whistle head/flute.Both conic bore. The Eb I picked up for 100 quid, the combo for 145. They are a common 'beginner' flutes and can be seen sold as 'used' quite frequently for not so many pennies. Considering they are zero maintenance, bullet-proof pub flutes, they should not be discounted. They have a booming bell note 'D', with surprisingly good intonation (Slightly tunable, showing >20 cents variation across the first octave and a half) and a surprisingly forgiving modern-cut embouchure hole. Given the quantity of Dixon Whistles McNeela are selling, I would venture that his three piece Delrin low-D flute is an un-branded Dixon, particularly in the absence of Mike Cronnoly saying otherwise.
The unkeyed delrin flutes I have are excellent for 'knocking-about' where I wouldn't take my $3,000 Serov Blackwood six key.

Bob

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