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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:23 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
It will come as no surprise to some that I don't think it was how they were "designed". It's how many 19th century flutes were made (for a range of historic reasons), and Irish players in the mid 20th century learned how best to deal with them. Not everybody can, but those who can can make them work very well indeed. So, the practical problem becomes can you learn how to do it?

Forget anything anyone says about "lipping up the note". Nobody can lip a note that far. It's all about getting rid of the low D entirely, shifting all the energy into the 2nd D and the higher harmonics. Any remaining low D content will make it sound flat.

The extraordinary thing is that, when we hear the harmonic series minus its fundamental (ie the rest of the harmonics but without the low D), we still imagine we hear the low D. And we interpret it as a very hard low D.

Interestingly, I'm having a bit of a play with a spectrum analyser while I'm typing this. And when I'm the most successful at "hardening" the Low D note and removing the Low D fundamental content, the bulk of the energy is ending up in the third harmonic, which is second octave A. But it continues to sound like a very hard D.

The alternatives are, change the flute for one you can manage, or have the flute retuned. I've had to do a few over the years (mostly originals), but you should be able to find someone a lot closer than I am!


Insightful and interesting feedback Terry - much appreciated


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:30 am 
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What is the deal with McNeela music? He sells "Sam Murray" flutes. But I though Sam Murray retired? McNeela says "Yes, Sam had taken a break from making flutes for a few years but we're delighted he is back making them for us at McNeela Music." Hmmm. Are these really being made by Sam Murray?


There's no reason to think why they wouldn't be. Sam Murray always provided the odd flute to Powell's in Galway. And I think I saw one there not too long ago.

I suppose dealing with a middleman, providing flutes whenever they're ready, without deadlines and the pressure of customers banging on the door, phoning and emailing, is an easier and less stressful way to work for him. He never quite dealt well with the pressures, and with the occasional unfortunate result, I must add. When left to his own devices he is capable of delivering wonderful flutes, in his own time.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:17 am 
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It seems to me a lot of problems are solved by strengthening one's embouchure.
That can't hurt, anyhow, and is a good idea for its own sake. Long tones on the
low D, maybe fifteen minutes a day. I have a lovely flute Bryan Byrne made me.
It took me a decade to blow the low D in tune, but I did it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:16 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
PB+J wrote:
Why am I so cynical? McNeela sells "The NEW Irish (Cocuswood) Flute" for $278. Call me skeptical that it's cocus or that it's made at McNeela's shop for $278


I certainly have never seen cocuswood of that colour. Sheesham (from Pakistan) certainly.

Real cocuswood blanks would cost about $278! And you still have to make the flute!

Isn't the outer sapwood of Cocus a light blonde color? Could it be sapwood and McNeela is technically correct in calling it Cocus, if not exactly ethical because it's not the traditional heartwood?

Look at this image from the site. Is there a hint of the darker heartwood color as an inclusion on the side of the tuning slide barrel?
http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server5000/ ... 00.750.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:29 pm 
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Conical bore wrote:
Terry McGee wrote:
PB+J wrote:
Why am I so cynical? McNeela sells "The NEW Irish (Cocuswood) Flute" for $278. Call me skeptical that it's cocus or that it's made at McNeela's shop for $278


I certainly have never seen cocuswood of that colour. Sheesham (from Pakistan) certainly.

Real cocuswood blanks would cost about $278! And you still have to make the flute!

Isn't the outer sapwood of Cocus a light blonde color? Could it be sapwood and McNeela is technically correct in calling it Cocus, if not exactly ethical because it's not the traditional heartwood?

Look at this image from the site. Is there a hint of the darker heartwood color as an inclusion on the side of the tuning slide barrel?
http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server5000/ ... 00.750.jpg

We had this thought on another thread. Terry McGee pointed out that it was unlikely to be sapwood, because sapwood only forms a thin layer.

I really don't believe that the flutes being sold by McNeela are cocus. Judging by the sound clip, they're at best FLOs in any case.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:25 pm 
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Cocus, Brya ebenus, also known as espino de sabana, granadillo, cocus wood, cocuswood, and coccuswood, is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Jamaica. Horticulturally it is known as the Jamaica rain tree. Average Dried Weight: 72 lbs/ft3 (1,160 kg/m3). Grain is usually straight or slightly wavy. Fine, even texture with good natural luster. Janka Hardness: 3,720 lbf (16,550 N)

Sheesham, Dalbergia sissoo, known commonly as North Indian rosewood, is a fast-growing, hardy deciduous rosewood tree native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southern Iran. D. Sissoo is a large, crooked tree with long, leathery leaves and whitish or pink flowers. Average Dried Weight: 48 lbs/ft3 (770 kg/m3) Sissoo generally has a straight grain, though it can be interlocked—sometimes severely so. Texture is medium to coarse with a good natural luster. Janka Hardness: 1,660 lbf (7,380 N)

I think, on the basis if the above, we can say there is no legitimate reason to call Sheesham cocuswood. Different continents (India vs the Caribbean), different families (peas vs rosewood), one slow-growing (to the point of near extinction), the other fast-growing. The technical benefits of cocuswood shine out - 1160KG/M3 compared to 770, fine even texture compared to medium-course, double the hardness figures.

Sheesham is a furniture timber (like teak, walnut, maple), not a wind instrument timber. I reckon wind instrument timbers start at the weight of water. Boxwood 0.98KG/M3

I just noticed Waddywood, an Australian acacia from the Simpson Desert, clocks in at a staggering 1430KG/M3. That makes it heavier than Delrin (Polyoxymethylene)! Janka Hardness: 4,630 lbf (20,600 N). No wonder it's called Waddywood (a waddi is the indigenous name for a club). Looks gorgeous too! I want some! (Alas it is rated "rare and protected".)

https://www.wood-database.com/waddywood/


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Wow "Waddi wood" is kind of amazing. Wood database says it commonly used for fence posts! What a shame. Unless you're a sheep rancher.

Ipe--has anybody ever tried that? It's used all over the place around here as flooring. We have a screened porch made with lots of it before I got more concerned about tropical hard woods. It machines really well--I've made a bunch of Bodhran sticks out it on a small lathe--and very smoothly. I've made some fretboards out of it and it's hard to glue and I had a thin one crack under pressure of the truss rod


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Hey, don't knock fence posts. My first gidgee flute was made from a fence post a friend brought back from the outback for me!

Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut. 1100KG/M3, fine to medium texture, so in the right ballpark. Shrinkage might be a bit much at 5.9 (radial) and 7.2 (tangential) compared to Blackwood's 2.9 & 4.8. But against that it's T/R ratio is 1.2 compared to blackwood's 1.7. That might bode well for stability. Sigh. There is so much to think about with timbers! And flutes.

(I'm going to have to do some of that thinking soon. The Australasian Acoustical Society has asked me to review a new book on timbers for musical instruments. Gulp!)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:59 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
...Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut. 1100KG/M3, fine to medium texture, so in the right ballpark...


Before anybody buys Ipê to try it, I can say that I bought it several times while living in Brazil but it doesn't ream well. The reamers tear out the grain.

Garry

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:37 am 
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Useful advice there, Gary.

I'd said above: "Sigh. There is so much to think about with timbers!", and you've just identified another, workability. To which we can add density, fineness, hardness, rigidity, imperviousness, appearance, shrinkage, stability....

Why on earth do we continue to mess with this antiquated wood stuff? Oh, I remember.

Because we love it.....


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