Mollenhauer single key flute?

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Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by ErikPearson »

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum but have really enjoyed gaining from the wisdom of posters in my quest to learn traverso. So, here's my question- I have a Mollenhauer single key flute and I have no idea of its history or if it's a good instrument, or when they might have made them, etc. It's an old company but doesn't look like a super old flute. It says "Fulda" on it. Does anyone have any experience with these and/or are they desirable? I got a more standard baroque flute that I like better and might move this one on, but am curious about it and can't find any info. It seems like boxwood, has larger finger holes than a traditional baroque flute, and a nice brass Eb key. Thanks!
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Sedi »

You could ask them directly as they're still in existence.
https://www.mollenhauer.com/
I think they even made a few historically accurate instruments until recently and just stopped that line of production a few years back. So it might indeed be a new flute.
Fulda was and still is their production site.

Conrad Mollenhauer GmbH
Weichselstraße 27
36043 Fulda
Germany
info@mollenhauer.com
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Ben Shaffer »

I could use a Flute like that for Colonial Reenactments.
Let me know if you want to sell it
Ben
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by ErikPearson »

Great idea! I'll contact them, not sure why I didn't think of that :-).

And, Ben, sure, let me think about it and I'll contact you if I decide to get rid of it. It's a nice flute, it's pretty loud and a pretty good tone. I'll let you know, and I can send some photos of it.

Thanks. Once I've heard from Mollenhauer, I'll post on what they say..

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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Flotineer »

Let us know what you find out!
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by cac »

I played one in the 1960s. It was made of unstained boxwood and was nicely crafted. However, it had small holes, not large ones, so it may not have been similar to yours. It was not a good instrument sound-wise, certainly nothing like the tonal quality of the baroque flutes von Huene was making at the time. Chet
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by rykirk »

I'm interested to see what you find out. I wish more large manufacturers made affordable wooden flutes. I think there's a hole in the market between cheap PVC flutes and the several thousand dollar boutique instruments. I recently ordered a Aulos traverso tho I've seen rumors those may also go out of production soon.

Mollenhauer currently makes the 'Picco' which is an interesting look instrument. High C, side blown flute with a recorder fingering system. That such an instrument is possible makes me wonder why historically there was never a side blown flute with the recorder fingering, surely more versatile for chromatic baroque music. I suppose the pinky stretch may be too much on a full sized tenor instrument.
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Ben Shaffer »

I'm interested to see what you find out. I wish more large manufacturers made affordable wooden flutes. I think there's a hole in the market between cheap PVC flutes and the several thousand dollar boutique instruments. I recently ordered a Aulos traverso tho I've seen rumors those may also go out of production soon.

Ykirk brings up a very good point
If you had larger Manufactures make Wood Flutes I would guess that would bring down the price of Keyed Flutes
The example that comes to mind would be Clarinets
I bought a used blackwood LeBalnc Clarinet, keyed of course for under $200
Its hard to say but a comparable Wood Flute with Keys would likely be $200 + used
The actually reason is there is not enough of a demand for keyed Irish Flutes, so you don't see large Manufactres making them.
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by cac »

The Aulos Stanesby Jr traverso is a very good instrument. The intonation is excellent, the cross-fingerings speak well, the tone is fine. It is as good as most wooden traversos and better than many. I don't know about the other Aulos traversos. Be careful when buying these Aulos flutes not to pay an inflated price. In North America, it might be possible to deal directly with the distributor, Rhythm Band Instruments (rhythmband.com). Their price is USD $551.40 for the Stanesby. However, I found a used one for much less. This instrument is tuned to A=415Hz. The other Aulos is less expensive (USD $373.15) and is tuned to A=440. Perhaps someone else can give an assessment of its quality. Chet
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by rykirk »

cac wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:29 pm The Aulos Stanesby Jr traverso is a very good instrument. The intonation is excellent, the cross-fingerings speak well, the tone is fine. It is as good as most wooden traversos and better than many. I don't know about the other Aulos traversos. Be careful when buying these Aulos flutes not to pay an inflated price. In North America, it might be possible to deal directly with the distributor, Rhythm Band Instruments (rhythmband.com). Their price is USD $551.40 for the Stanesby. However, I found a used one for much less. This instrument is tuned to A=415Hz. The other Aulos is less expensive (USD $373.15) and is tuned to A=440. Perhaps someone else can give an assessment of its quality. Chet
I ordered the Grenser. I had a few people who own both tell me the Stanesby has a nicer tone but that in practice the 415hz was a bit of a hindrance to versatility and the hole spacing was off enough to make it an annoyance switching to other instruments. I intend to use it for more than just historically informed baroque performance and want to be able to play with pianists, guitarists, record with my pipes, and other wind players etc. So the 440hz flute got my $$$.

Prices for these at Western retailers are grossly inflated. I saw them selling for 400-600 USD but I got mine ordered brand new from a seller in Japan for 250 USD. I'll wait the extra two weeks for shipping for that price. I'm really looking forward to it showing up.
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by ErikPearson »

Hello Again,
I got an email from the Mollenhauer expert on the historical flutes. She said that they stopped making traversos around the turn of the century (meaning 2000, that is) and had made them since the 60s, so this flute is from somwhere in there. They made 2 different kinds: an earlier model "normal" (that's the one I have), and a later model after a Grenser which seems fancier and was around 1650 DM at the time (don't remember what the approximate exchange rate was), but clearly fancier- both were usually in boxwood. Anyway that's the lowdown on the one I have. Not quite sure what the "normal" ones cost at the time.

In reading some of the subsequent posts in this thread I might throw in that I got a Bernolin resin Rottenburgh at 415 at the beginning of the pandemic and really think that's a great flute. As with other traversos I've tried (not that many, actually) it takes a little adjustment to find the right resonance in the embouchure position because of the smaller hole, but once you find it, it's got a fantastic tone and they are very affordable- not much more than the prices mentioned about the Aulos ones. Just wanted to weigh in with that one in case nobody'd heard of them. I have not tried one of the Aulos ones to compare, to be honest, but nevertheless I think the Bernolin is great, esp for not being wood.

e
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by skap »

Thank you for sharing this information about the Mollenhauer traverso.
Yours must be like the one that is currently available on earlymusicshop.com
(Previously Owned Woodwind section). 440Hz, large embouchure hole and
slightly offset 3rd and 6th finger holes ? If I were you I would keep it for a while:
it could be interesting to compare the two at different stages as you continue
to explore the possibilities of the Bernolin, until you are really sure you don't
like the Mollenhauer.

As to the Aulos vs Bernolin, the question still remains open for me. I've acquired
a hand-made resin Rottenburgh (NOT a Bernolin though, keep that in mind !)
some time ago and went, progressively, from adulation to rejection.
The Rottenburgh is now in the drawer mainly, and Aulos Stanesby Jr. back from the drawer,
competing with wooden traversos. I got a valuable tip on this forum (from Terry McGee) that
the origin could be an excessively sharp blowing edge that Delrin has a tendency to provide.
So I bought a 10x triplet jeweler's loupe and examined all the flutes I have (that is, not so many,
but still) and had a divine revelation. As to the Aulos, it didn't have this problem as its embouchure
hole is molded (to the exact form of the original, I hope) and not machined.
Maybe molding and not machining is the right way for resins ?
I wonder how sharp the blowing edge of the Bernolin is ?
I don't suppose you would have a jeweler's loupe handy ?
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Peter Duggan »

skap wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:54 pm Maybe molding and not machining is the right way for resins ?
Moulding will always be more limiting than machining in terms of achievable bore profiles etc. There's nothing you can do to shape a moulded flute that you can't with a machined one, but the reverse is not true.
I wonder how sharp the blowing edge of the Bernolin is ?
My Bernolin (415Hz Delusse with Palanca-style embouchure) is sharper opposite the lip than at the sides (where it's rounded off), but not a razor edge. It's clearly been shaped with care. It's also a much better instrument than the Aulos 440Hz Grenser I had before.
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by Katharine »

rykirk wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:07 am I'm interested to see what you find out. I wish more large manufacturers made affordable wooden flutes. I think there's a hole in the market between cheap PVC flutes and the several thousand dollar boutique instruments. I recently ordered a Aulos traverso tho I've seen rumors those may also go out of production soon.

Mollenhauer currently makes the 'Picco' which is an interesting look instrument. High C, side blown flute with a recorder fingering system. That such an instrument is possible makes me wonder why historically there was never a side blown flute with the recorder fingering, surely more versatile for chromatic baroque music. I suppose the pinky stretch may be too much on a full sized tenor instrument.
Isn't the Picco largely the Aulos version of the Yamaha "fife"? https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical ... index.html (Not sure about the Picco, but I see a lot of people saying they're using the Yamaha as a "starter Boehm flute" for kids too young to handle a full-sized one yet.)
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Re: Mollenhauer single key flute?

Post by skap »

Peter Duggan wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:47 am My Bernolin (415Hz Delusse with Palanca-style embouchure) is sharper opposite the lip than at the sides (where it's rounded off), but not a razor edge. It's clearly been shaped with care. It's also a much better instrument than the Aulos 440Hz Grenser I had before.
Thank you for this information. Did you look at it through a magnifying glass ? With a naked eye they all looked more or less the same to me,
but using a 10x loupe made a big difference. I managed to take a few photos (sorry, the flute got a bit dusty), but in reality one can see much
more detail. Still, it can illustrate what I'm talking about. Even at 10x there's always a "line", a clear separation between two surfaces.
If it was wood, you would see a rounder shape at this magnification.

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