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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:47 pm
Posts: 3
Hello
I am looking for advice around a particular 19th C. flute which I may buy.
I am remote from the instrument, so can't try it out.

It's a Boosey & Co. Pratten Perfected from 1895.
It has SL of 570mm and C#-Eb of 244mm
Terry McGee classes flutes with these figures as "slightly high pitch" ( A445 HZ )

I am waiting for the seller to send me an audio/video of the flute so I can hear the scale ( Skype audio was very poor ).

Has anyone had experience of a very late 19th C. Pratten Perfected in terms of:
Slide extension needed to play at A440?
Tuning/intonation at A440?
Responsiveness at A440?

I have a well focussed embouchure, so if the scaling at A440 ( don't know how to word that ) is good, I expect to be able to fill the Pratten.
I'd love to hear your experience of this class of flute at A440

Kind Regards
Pat


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:14 am 
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 1:37 am
Posts: 180
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Pat, I don't have an instrument the same, but I do have a D'Almaine from 1827 or so. It's perfect at A440. But that's not the point. If you search the forums archives here there is a huge amount of discussion about sounding length measurements being a rough guide only to pitch, as there are so many interacting factors. It's really only useful for a rough assessment.

Given the date of yours (or soon to be yours) it would be unlikely to be designed for A440 at that decade. Sure you can pull the slide out further if it's a A445 instrument, but it is unlikely to be optimal, which is, I think, your question.

As per your request, you would need to find somebody with an identical flute to ask. Much as I completely despise Facebook, there is a good Flute Historical group there with many very learned people, many with large collections of important instruments. So perhaps I can point you there? I think even Robert Bigio participates.

Andrew


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:47 pm
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Andro
Thanks, I appreciate your reply. Yes I am familiar with the Flute History group. ( Jem Hammond and others have been great source of advice and knowledge )
"optimal...." what does that mean really, I don't need every note to be perfectly in tune.

I have a RudallCarte from 1888 or so that needs the slide at 19mm to play at A440, but it's great ( for Irish music ).
Sure the F# is flat and I think the C# also, and there's probably an acoustic anomaly around the bore where the extended slide leaves a gap? but when I and the flute are warmed up its great.
( If I push the slide in and play around Eb it sings more, so for me its optimal around 8-10mm )

Terry talks about a HZ needs a mm, so a flute designed for A445 might need an extra 5mm to play in concert nowadays.... depending on embouchure flexibility and who knows what else.
I guess I am gambling on having the slide out a piece ( somewhere between 15-19mm maybe ) and hoping that the flute will be in tune enough to play Irish trad ( like my Rudall Carte and countless other old flutes brought back to life since the 70's )

If so I can always get an extended barrel made for it.

Thanks again
Pat


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 11:25 am
Posts: 19
My PP Boosey is an early model and has a SL of 580mm. Plays at 440 slide extension of a mm or two.

I'm actually going have a look at a friends Boosey and Co 7xxx (SL of 570mm) this week. Currently not playable but I'm going to try get a sound out of it.

Will let you know how I get on.


D


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:47 pm
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Thanks so much.
My target flute might need 19mm slide extension.

Any idea on the implications of that ?
The intonation is fine at 440
Thanks again.
Pat


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 6:00 pm
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I have owned and played a number of original Pratten flutes, from the initial Hudson flutes to the Boosey variety (all made by John Hudson).
Great flutes.....except for one thing: In my experience, the C# is woefully flat unless you use a couple of keys to vent it sharper and into tune.
Again, my experience. But I have had at least two dozen of the flutes through the years.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:06 am 
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 6:57 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Pat,

My Boosey Pratten was finished by John Hudson on 30 September 1881, so it is a bit older than the one you are looking at. The sounding length is the same, but centre of C# to Eb is 248mm. I would expect them to be the same dimensions.

Plays very nicely at A440 with the slide extended 12mm. Let me know if you need anything else.

Cheers
Andrew Le Blanc
Melbourne


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