Question on Copley Flutes

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tradlad123
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Question on Copley Flutes

Post by tradlad123 »

Hi all, I have a delrin Copley, and a Blackwood flute from another reputed player of the likes of Lejeune, Lehart, etc. Tone wise I feel the Copley is more "colored" for my ears, despite being in delrin. So my question is if it is more "rudalesque" and hence the observation, or is it more of my embouchure/air flow, etc.
The reason I'm asking is if it's just a different style of flute, I may try getting a wooden version and see if it's "the one" for me.

Thanks!
jim stone
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by jim stone »

It would help to know the other flute. You might compare the two and see if
the Copley has a wider bore. This could be giving the Copley the sound you notice.
If so, odds are it is being reproduced on the wooden version. Anyhow, the fact that you like the Copley flute you have is some evidence that his wooden
flutes may be for you.
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by Sedi »

Apart from bore profile, the biggest factors (in my opinion at least) are hole size and stopper position. Bigger holes, bigger sound, and the stopper can be slightly farther out, which will further strengthen the sound. But the cut and size of the embouchure hole is also a large factor. All those factors of flute geometry have probably more influence on the sound than the material of the flute.
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by BKWeid »

Copley flutes are influenced by Hawkes and Son of the late 1800's.

Some of the tone quality, perhaps a large portion, comes from the embouchure cut as Sedi says above.
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by gwgtaylor »

Just curious: would you get a flute in the exact same configuration but only in Blackwood or would you change it with a C natural thumbhole or keys or something like that. Material on flute doesn’t really impact tone the way it does on resonant instruments like percussion. I imagine if the embouchure cut and bore were the same it would sound identical so why bother. Unless you’re thinking of getting into some pretty woods like olive or pink ivory. What do you have in mind? :)
jim stone
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by jim stone »

Just a note to say that this matter is controversial, that is, there are intelligent and experienced
people on both sides. I've owned Copleys in wood and also in delrin and to my ear they sound
different, the delrin good, the wood better. A metal lined head, in the opinion of people who have
posted here, projects sound better on a wooden flute. Its absence, it is sometimes said, can
make for a more 'woody'
sound. No wish to open the bucket of worms--just to alert people that, whatever the truth is,
neither view is universally accepted. FWIW, a number of people think two identically similar flutes
made of different stuff may sound different on account of that difference, and a number don't.
jim stone
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Re: Question on Copley Flutes

Post by jim stone »

Also FWIW, I play keyless flutes with a C natural thumbhole (or keyed). I feel the C natural thumbhole makes the instrument more agile and opens worthwhile options in ornamenting. Again, there are plenty of fine flooters who scoff at this and
feel the crossfingered C natural is all they want. Another one of these controversies. As mentioned, I find the thumbhole useful,
and it can be put in by a flutesmyth (e.g. Dave C) inexpensively (or, in the case of a new flute, free).
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