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What in the World?! Who Made This 5-key Flute?!
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Author:  Nanohedron [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:19 pm ]
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Denny wrote:
okay :D

I expect that was a response to the "no smart remarks" bit. :wink:

Author:  Denny [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:26 pm ]
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uh huh :D

Author:  Cathy Wilde [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:47 pm ]
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Did/does Arie de Keyser make keyed flutes? He makes pipe chanters, so the block-mounting wouldn't be out of the question ... some of the keywork looks like it might be at home on a chanter as well.

I have a keyless de Keyser I bought from Hobgoblin many moons ago (when they were less than $300, that's how long ago) that reminds me of Suzie's flute (only mine has bright blue electrical tape on the barrel :lol:)

A quick search on his name didn't turn up anything else beyond that, an NPU address for him in Malahide, and a teeny tiny picture of a keyless on a musical instrument seller's site called Harte's.


Author:  Cathy Wilde [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:50 pm ]
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However, further looking on Hobgoblin does turn up a Pakastani-made flute that looks similar as well ...

Author:  Aanvil [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:20 pm ]
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It does look very similar I must say.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:21 pm ]
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Yep. Same one as you get from Lark in the Morning.

Author:  jemtheflute [ Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:34 am ]
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Sure looks like it. I'd not seen such before, and I had a look on Lark's website the other day and couldn't find such there now. Still, we'll see. I don't really care if it is Pakistani if it plays/can be made to play tolerably well for the price range. Look how decent that "swirly-headed" keyless I sold a while back that was most likely Pakistani turned out. Not a Burns or a Hammy starter flute, but pretty comparable to a Seery. If this thing hits that level I'll be content - and it has almost (as in no low C#/C) a decent set of keys too! FWIW, I just checked the Hobgoblin online catalogue and they are selling the ones Aanvil copied the picture of at £299 as "Glenluce" flutes, and making it clear they are made in Pakistan. At that price (from a sensible commercial viewpoint) they have to at least work tolerably (no-one, even unknowledgable newbies, would buy them else!), even if they aren't in the same class as other starter flutes in that price range by name makers.
We shall see, we shall see.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:49 am ]
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Could be Lark have dropped that particular flute line by now, although they were selling it for the longest time. And I've noticed that their online catalog doesn't necessarily show all products offered in their kill-a-tree catalog, or else I just haven't figured out how to navigate their website properly. Haven't gotten a mail catalog from them for quite a while, so I can't confirm or deny.

But, that's where I got mine.

Author:  jemtheflute [ Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:59 am ]
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Nanohedron wrote:
"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." - Dan Greenberg

"Same goes for uilleann pipers, I'd say." - Nano

Shouldn't that be "to" U pipers, Nano? Of course, talking to one's cat(s) is absolutely a sign of perfect sanity. And they are far too wise to answer! 8) Much better than humans! (Wish I still had one :cry: - a cat, that is.)

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:07 am ]
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I know, I know. As soon as I changed my siggy I realised that there were inherent problems with it.

So here's it in a nut(case)shell: persons talking at length and with glowing enthusiasm/dark despair about cats are, assumedly, cat owners. Uilleann pipers talking at length and with glowing enthusiasm/dark despair about uilleann pipes are, assumedly, persons. Both are in positions to have their sanity questioned. I have to admit to being in each set.

And yes, anyone talking to uilleann pipers is at grave risk of pernicious ennui, at least. Persisting in doing so is insane. Unless they're both pipers: in that case things are already long gone twirly for those two and there's nothing to be done for it. Just let them gabble merrily away and you'll leave the room if you know what's good for you.

Obviously it's not been one of my better siggy lines. I'll change it soon enough.

Salon agate,

Author:  Cathy Wilde [ Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:41 am ]
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Whoa, I just met a Pakastani flute that puts our wee Lark in the shade. I feel so bad for the folks who bought it. We're going to see if gentle playing in, a few gallons of oil, several rolls of teflon tape and maybe some judicious sanding of the joints can make it at least playable (though alas probably never truly in tune) .... but oh gosh, I'm so glad they only paid $41.00 for it on ebay. Beware the 3-Piece Rosewood D(b) Flute! Image

Author:  Nanohedron [ Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:39 pm ]
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That's the thing about Pakistani-made "Irish" flutes: there are so many designs, and more variety now than ever. Time was when all there was, or so it seemed, were two choices: a keyless blackwood with chunky brass ferrules, or the five-keyed block-mounted blackwood with nickel silver metalwork (the one pictured above); both have brass headlinings and shoulder sleeves. I also know that keyless well as it's the first I ever bought; the five-key was the next. Later on that was enough of that.

Now, in addition to those, there are other keyed and keyless designs to sort through. I have to say I found and tried one design of *reportedly* Pakistani-made keyless, blackwood with some sort of white metal ferrules (I'm guessing nickel silver or stainless, but I could be wrong) offered up now by Hobgoblin that is actually a pretty good flute, and sleek-looking into the bargain. It was a pleasant surprise. The other (the nickel silver five-keyed mentioned above): not so much. Nothing had changed; it was as poor a player as ever, or at least the one I tried was. As for the good one, I don't know if consistency can be counted on, but if you can hoof it to one of their shops, it's worth a try.

Edit: After a quick trip to the Hobgoblin website, I see that the good one I mentioned apparently is NOT Pakistani, but made by De Keyzer in Ireland, the same one as mentioned by Cat. So much for the knowledgability of shop clerks...

My only reservation about the De Keyzer is the endcap. Looks great, nice visual appeal, but looks even harder to remove than the higher Pakistani dome. Odd...the Hobgoblin site sez "brass rings", but I don't recall that. It was about a year back, anyway.

Author:  jemtheflute [ Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:54 am ]
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Right then! :D

It came, I dun it up, it's OK!

Sure, it must be one of the Pakistani things as Nano rightly ID-ed it and Aanvil demonstrated with the Hobgoblin link. The clincher for me was the traces of chrome plating on some of the keys and the female part of the tuning slide. Other things too..... the crudeness of the keys, the rather soft springs on them and the style of the wood turning, in particular the dished and excessively deep thread lapping beds are also evidence, plus a flare in the reaming of the bore at the upper body tenon. The style and fit of the ferrule rings and crown too. Also, once cleaned, the foot section in particular showed pale patches in the grain of the wood similar to that of the "swirly headed" keyless I sold a while back, which had a similar pedigree.

Gawd, it was in a yucky state! Obviously its last owner was one of those pesky "dowse it in oil" types! So pointless! Anyway, I got it all cleaned up, fixed its cracks (barrel, upper tenon, foot socket) and a chipped block, re-lapped the tenons, repadded it, fixed the keys so they actually work (they're crude and not brilliant, but they do now function properly) and tweaked the embouchure, which although clean and tidy enough was not at all undercut or well finished. I tried not to enlarge an already big hole more than I could help, but have got it playing much more responsively. It plays quite well in tune, although the low D was sharp and I've put some beeswax in the tone-hole to cure that. All-in-all it is a decent enough player now I've attacked it - I played it at the session in Liverpool last night and it is pretty loud and was quite fun to play.

Here are some pics of it cleaned up, tweaked and sorted,




plus some clips:
Video clip on BoxNet with The Golden Keyboard & Ships are Sailing

and some audio clips:
Scales etc.
The Humours of Ballyloughlin
The Green Fields of Rosbeigh & The Roscommon Reel
Improvised pseudo Air
The Cup of Tea

As is apparent, I was having arguments with my embouchure whilst doing these clips! When I played the flute again the same evening at a session as mentioned above and had warmed up properly on my R&R, I was really honking it (by my standards, at any rate!)

FWIW, it has gone on trial to a young lady I met at the Liverpool session who is playing a Seery keyless and wants to explore keys but can't at present afford a higher range one. I think this would make her a good low-price introduction, but I don't know yet if she'll go on and buy it...... I'm asking £250 for it, which I think given its evident playability is good value - they're £300 un-tweaked and unvouched for from Hobgoblin!

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