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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:49 am 
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i just love this flute! It's like a partner you can respect, who makes you get better. I've improved a lot partly because it's so rewarding to play.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:58 pm 
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Hello,

I got my new ellis pratten in past week,

I also have old maple version pratten, essential eb(bocote) , d(ebonite), c(ebonite).

I "order" this new pratten before Geoffrey made the new test model,
some reason let me wait half year.

for me (I turn the embouchure egde with the fingers hole midline),
the new ellis pratten is very very easy to get the "hard" tone & "chiff".
both ellis pratten have a "narrow" embouchure is don't need too much air,
old ellis have warm tone more quite,
new ellis is lound a many, almost like essential,
I think the more narrow bore let the tone lound but not noisy feel.
lound but gentle.
ellis pratten can play smoothly more fast with the old version.
I can also play essential with hard tone, but the will be more wild.

a part of my experience.
Forgive my English.

Ho


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:08 am 
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I don't know way to share the photo.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/einRz7e4BFwMfBpH9

two headjoint pratten and essential D, C
all is ebonite.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:22 pm 
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You are the guy who ordered the crazy colors! Very cool,

I like the Ellis Pratten more every time I play it.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Focus on the embouchure holes to see what I mean.

That jumped out at me right away.

kkrell wrote:
If you go back to discussions & emails from Michael Cronnoly himself, he has indicated that he makes the flute bodies himself. While he can make his own keys (and probably does for more expensive custom work), he has said that he imports keys from Pakistan to control cost on his stock keyed flutes.

When I got my polymer M&E (ordered direct from Michael Cronnolly) it was quite evident that the post-mounted keywork was stock material sourced from elsewhere. I don't know what metal they were made of, but they were plated with a very bright metallic coating - chrome, possibly - which started flaking off over time, and the metal underneath looked much like weathered nickel silver. Given the price, I couldn't fault Michael for that bit of corner-cutting - although it must be said that the keys didn't perform smoothly, but what can you expect from mass production. The flute itself, however, sounded great and was in good tune. There's no way I would have inferred that the flute had come from anywhere but Michael's own workshop.

Would I recommend a polymer keyed M&E? If your considerations are mainly price, then I would indeed, with certain caveats - less than stellar key quality/operation, and his flutes, at least back in the day, were noticeably heavy. Other than that, I thought mine was a very good flute in the trenches. There was no question in my mind, though, that for keyed flutes, I would one day be moving on.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:04 pm 
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I wonder, are there keyed flutes on the Ellis horizon?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:41 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I wonder, are there keyed flutes on the Ellis horizon?


I've had some long talks with Blayne (Irish Flute Store) on this very subject. For the time being I don't think so.

If I was only making conical bore flutes I would certainly integrate keys. But of course, key work is another art form in itself, and would take some time to master. But at this point I make so many different types of flutes (shakuhachi, bansuri, Chinese xiao, rim blown flutes, Pratten, Essential flute, Chinese dizi, and a few others that are not officially in my catalog) that I think I'm spread about as thin as I go without going cuckoo :-)

As it stands now I'm taking a hard look at my flute catalog and considering dropping some of the flute lines that I do, simply because I want to give more attention to some of the others.

But never say never. If I get a lot of interest in the ebonite Pratten flutes I might think again about adding keys.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:23 am 
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"But never say never." Sigh, if there was ever a sentence that got us flutemakers into more trouble, I can't immediately bring it to mind. Still, that way lies adventure!

Now, you'd probably need to consider the metals you used for keys, given that ebonite is sulphurous (sulfurous if you prefer) and can be expected to tarnish silver rather quickly (silver sulphide, Ag2S, is black). Period ebonite flutes tended to use nickel (German) silver.

Or are you finding that's not a problem with more modern ebonites?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:42 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
"But never say never." Sigh, if there was ever a sentence that got us flutemakers into more trouble, I can't immediately bring it to mind. Still, that way lies adventure!

Now, you'd probably need to consider the metals you used for keys, given that ebonite is sulphurous (sulfurous if you prefer) and can be expected to tarnish silver rather quickly (silver sulphide, Ag2S, is black). Period ebonite flutes tended to use nickel (German) silver.

Or are you finding that's not a problem with more modern ebonites?


No, you called it. Tarnishing IS still a problem! The first time I put sterling silver rings on an ebonite headjoint (Boehm) I got a surprise. Mind you, the headjoint was ebonite and was in a box with other ebonite pieces and had a lid on it, so it's sulfur exposure was rather concentrated. And it's not so terrible with something like a bore ring, and if the player doesn't mind the extra maintenance, a periodic rub with a jewelers cloth takes care of it. And in fact, the same cloth can be used on the ebonite (over time) if the ebonite itself starts to oxidize. I messed around with nickel silver rings for the headjoints but decided the silver was still the way to go. Silver flute players like silver :-)

But polishing a bore ring is very different than polishing a bunch of key work! I wouldn't want to deal with that, personally, and I'd be inclined to use the nickel (German) silver. That's what I use for the rings and slide on my Pratten.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:13 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
I messed around with nickel silver rings for the headjoints but decided the silver was still the way to go. Silver flute players like silver :-)

I presume you've considered stainless steel. Why not that?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
I messed around with nickel silver rings for the headjoints but decided the silver was still the way to go. Silver flute players like silver :-)

I presume you've considered stainless steel. Why not that?


I've done stainless steel rings on some previous flutes, but stainless steel is very hard to work with. It does not machine easily (unlike high carbon steel) and I've never tried soldering it, though I know it's possible. The rings I made were parted off of a length of stainless steel pipe, then held onto an expansion collet in the lathe while I machined them into half-round shapes. Huge pain in the neck :-) There might be an easier way, but nickel silver doesn't react with the ebonite and is easier to work with.

Silver flute players might have some bias toward stainless steel. I'm speaking in generalities because obviously they are homogenous population. I think they would prefer nickel silver, simply because it has the word "silver" in it :-)

I was told an anecdote about a maker who constructed a Boehm flute out of stainless steel. It played great, sounded great and was damn near indestructible. But no one wanted a stainless steel flute. Personally it sounds ideal! Doesn't tarnish, can take rough handling (compared to silver or gold). But it's not "sexy", and that's a much bigger deal with a lot of players than one might imagine.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:42 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
Silver flute players might have some bias toward stainless steel. I'm speaking in generalities because obviously they are homogenous population. I think they would prefer nickel silver, simply because it has the word "silver" in it :-)

Could be. I'm not a fan of nickel silver myself; it's okay-ish when new, but for me there's something off-putting about its look as trim and key material, especially as it ages. The "silver" in the name is meaningless to me, because I know that nickel silver has no actual silver in it, being primarily an alloy of nickel and copper. I thought of stainless steel on the basis of it being more able to remain bright, compared to nickel silver, which can dull considerably. I remember one old flute of mine whose nickel silver ferrules and keys were so weathered that they looked like grey stone; the metal didn't respond to your average polishing methods, and I wasn't about to buy a buffing wheel if that's what it took.

Of course there's no way that stainless could substitute aesthetically for actual silver, but for my own instruments I personally would consider it over nickel silver.

I am also leery of nickel silver on account of its toxicity. Admittedly it was never an issue on my fingertips, but others might be more sensitive. OTOH, I have a glasses case made of nickel silver, and if I handle it much, my hand starts burning slightly. That's another reason I thought of stainless: its comparatively hypoallergenic qualities.

A new thought: How about titanium? Strong, light, corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, and not so bad a look:

Image

Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
I was told an anecdote about a maker who constructed a Boehm flute out of stainless steel. It played great, sounded great and was damn near indestructible. But no one wanted a stainless steel flute. Personally it sounds ideal! Doesn't tarnish, can take rough handling (compared to silver or gold). But it's not "sexy", and that's a much bigger deal with a lot of players than one might imagine.

And OTOH I can understand the inclination away from a solid stainless steel flute, for as illogical as it is. The sexy factor matters; aesthetically, the idea of a stainless steel flute sounds brutish and merely utilitarian - something one might expect to come out of a Soviet milieu.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:07 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I thought of stainless steel on the basis of it being more able to remain bright, compared to nickel silver, which can dull considerably. I remember one old flute of mine whose nickel silver ferrules and keys were so weathered that they looked like grey stone; the metal didn't respond to your average polishing methods, and I wasn't about to buy a buffing wheel if that's what it took.

I've had good luck with just some 0000 steel wool. You simply rub it gently (with bore rings it is pretty easy) and it brightens right up. But you are right about stainless--it is lovely and bright and it's not going to tarnish, which is a big point in it's favor. And even with the steel wool, while that might be handy for rings I can't imagine trying to clean up a bunch of nickel silver keys! Too many nooks and crannies.

Nanohedron wrote:
I am also leery of nickel silver on account of its toxicity. Admittedly it was never an issue on my fingertips, but others might be more sensitive. OTOH, I have a glasses case made of nickel silver, and if I handle it much, my hand starts burning slightly. That's another reason I thought of stainless: its comparatively hypoallergenic qualities.

I had honestly never considered this, and when I first started using nickel silver I didn't even know it had any toxicity. I don't react to it at all, but I've since heard that some folks do. Probably not an issue with a tuning slide or bore rings, but keys? No way to avoid touching the keys :-)

Nanohedron wrote:
A new thought: How about titanium? Strong, light, corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, and not so bad a look:

From what I understand, titanium cannot be soldered, so the conventional approach to bore rings (for example) would not be possible. I mean, it can be soldered, but it takes very special gear (like a CO2 laser in a contained argon atmosphere). I believe one could cast titanium parts but again (and I'm only this moment reading about it on the inter-web) it seems like there are temperature/oxidization issues to contend with.

Nanohedron wrote:
And OTOH I can understand the inclination away from a solid stainless steel flute, for as illogical as it is. The sexy factor matters; aesthetically, the idea of a stainless steel flute sounds brutish and merely utilitarian - something one might expect to come out of a Soviet milieu.


:lol: That's so true!

I think this all underlines why silver is such a prized material for flute making. It is sexy, and it's easy to work with. It adds to the cost a bit compared to something like nickel silver, and it might not be a great choice for ebonite, but it has an elegance that other metals don't have. And the truth is that is really fine with ebonite so long as the player doesn't mind maintaining it now and then. But it will show signs of tarnish quite quickly. I've never timed it, but I'm guessing within a couple of months you'd notice it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
A new thought: How about titanium? Strong, light, corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, and not so bad a look:

From what I understand, titanium cannot be soldered, so the conventional approach to bore rings (for example) would not be possible. I mean, it can be soldered, but it takes very special gear (like a CO2 laser in a contained argon atmosphere). I believe one could cast titanium parts but again (and I'm only this moment reading about it on the inter-web) it seems like there are temperature/oxidization issues to contend with.

Hmm. Sounds like a bit of a pain in the shorts for flute bits, depending on how much of a gear head you are. I did a bit more looking, and for all its initially attractive qualities, titanium is also not ductile, at least not nearly so in comparison to silver. Titanium rings (jewelry), for example, cannot be sized. This is probably not an issue with flute ferrules, but it would still be a factor to consider.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:05 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
A new thought: How about titanium? Strong, light, corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, and not so bad a look:

From what I understand, titanium cannot be soldered, so the conventional approach to bore rings (for example) would not be possible. I mean, it can be soldered, but it takes very special gear (like a CO2 laser in a contained argon atmosphere). I believe one could cast titanium parts but again (and I'm only this moment reading about it on the inter-web) it seems like there are temperature/oxidization issues to contend with.

Hmm. Sounds like a bit of a pain in the shorts for flute bits, depending on how much of a gear head you are. I did a bit more looking, and for all its initially attractive qualities, titanium is not ductile, at least not nearly so in comparison to silver. Titanium rings (jewelry), for example, cannot be sized. This is probably not an issue with flute ferrules, but it would still be a factor to consider.


I think that if a maker was making only one size of flute (in the case of myself I only make a D Pratten in this style) they could conceivably hire a casting service. As you say, re-sizing is not an issue for bore rings since the diameter is always the same. Getting a few hundred rings at a time would certainly be feasible if one wanted to make the outlay.

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