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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:08 am 
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Sorry for the inflamatory subject line, but I came across this article online and wondered if anyone knew whether it was true: http://isellguitars.com/offers-yearly-u2w1bV161m1p3d3QOMpTV3l3-instead.shtml.

Not that I have a problem with their flutes being partially manufacturered in another country (after all it seems like virtually everything else is these days), but it does put another face on the potential upgrade possiblities for an inexpensive flute. Of course the final "voicing" and tweaking of toneholes and embochure hole is likely more of an art than science, so I'm not sure I'm ready to try it at home.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:45 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:51 am 
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Nope, I've been working with Michael for years. He whittles the rascals himself.

I can't remember where he gets his keys made.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:00 am 
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That article, unfortunately, makes everyone wonder about this issue. I've not gone to Michael's place, but a few chiffers have and my understanding is that every M&E flute is made by Michael himself. Perhaps he tried tweaking Pakistani flutes at one point (I recall seeing flutes on ebay at one point that said they were pakistani but tweaked by an Irish flute maker...but I haven't seen those in 3-4 years now and no name was ever given to the maker and the flutes were not labelled as M&E), but none that I know of were ever sold as M&E flutes. Rod Cameron did the same thing for a bit - tweaking both Pakistani and Aulos baroque (injection molded cheaper flutes), so Michael isn't alone in doing this if he truly did.

I know when I asked Michael about a new endcap, he told me he had to make it and unless I wanted to send the headjoint over I might need to do a bit of sanding on it because although the flutes are similar each one he makes is a bit different - that doesn't sound like mass-produced importing to me.

I do believe his keys are imported from Pakistan...although he can make keys, and has for some folks, he uses cheaper keys to keep the cost down. You can kind of see them in my avatar...they're not pretty, but they work great and are well placed.

Eric


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:08 am 
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A friend once emailed Michael about keys, and he stated that he's waiting for a new charge of keys from Pakistan. But his flutes are hand-made by him.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:38 am 
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There is some confusion between "M&E" and "M AND E". I have one of each...the "M AND E" looks like it might have been made in Pakistan....it was certainly never hand finished like the M&E (I'll be doing that myself as the holes wern't even deburred) Other differences are the cap, the liner rings etc.....section tendon lengths are different....

Edit: I guess most of the confusion is in my own mind.....I kept thinking "AND" when seeing "&" on that one.....guess I was trying too hard to find one...

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Last edited by Jack Bradshaw on Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:40 am 
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Doc - I saw that 8 keyed M&E on your site - great price for a blackwood 8 key flute. I wonder what Michael would charge to retrofit one of his 6 keyed flutes and make it an 8 keyed flute. Not that I really need those lower notes, but dang they'd be cool... :P

Eric


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:48 am 
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Jack - that's interesting...I've never heard of a flute labelled "M and E". I'd love to see a picture. It does make one wonder if it was a short lived venture trying to bring in some extra cash...

Eric


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:53 am 
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Yeah, the article is about Dr. Mark Polczynski, who is the webmaster for M&E as far as I can tell...
http://www.irishflutes.net/mef/Tutor.htm

Maybe someone should email the good doctor. He may want to clarify this.


Last edited by fearfaoin on Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:53 am 
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Image

Well, life is just full of little surprises......I bought this as an M AND E assuming it was from the site referenced above.....when it came in I gave it a quick glance and put it away....now having dug it out I see the cap says M&E RUDALL & ROSE........

This a different flute from my own M&E Rudall.....completely....

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Last edited by Jack Bradshaw on Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:55 am 
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Jack Bradshaw wrote:
Image

Yeah, that's the polymer M&E R&R. I have one. The holes look a little
rough, I think because Delrin is really hard to work. But it plays fine.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Thanks for clearing this up guys.

I really didn't think it was all that likely, especially with the wide spread in playing quality between the one Pakistani flute I tried and the M&E that I own. The former was not only unplayable (tonewise), it wasn't even assemblable without modification. The M&E demands a focused embochure, but with that plays very well with session volume and good tone.

BTW my M&E has a completely different endcap with a metal plate insert that has the business name etched into the surface.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:17 pm 
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fearfaoin wrote:
I think because Delrin is really hard to work.

Not to be picking nits or anything but delrin is a real treat to work with and I believe Michael uses a PVC or ABS polymer for his flutes(please, correct me if you know better). I have three M&E's. The finish detailing is wildly different on each but they play equally well. That certainly supports the "handmade" aspect in my mind. "M" and "E" are both nice people to deal with.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:29 pm 
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Feadoggie wrote:
Not to be picking nits or anything but delrin is a real treat to work with and I believe Michael uses a PVC or ABS polymer for his flutes(please, correct me if you know better).

No, you're right. I meant ABS, but mistyped.
Though, I can't really vouch for that either... it was just what I'd heard.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:52 pm 
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Ok, so I went looking for the reference from which "not delrin" got stuck in my head and found the "Woodwind Quarterly" article from 1996 which stated :

"In Spring of 1996, I had the pleasure of working for two days with Michael Cronnolly, flute maker and player from County Mayo, Ireland. Cronnolly makes traditional Irish flutes using pretty much standard woodworking tools and techniques, but these days sticks primarily to polymer for his flute bodies. He uses PVC polymer (like in water pipes) because it is relatively inexpensive and is available to him in rod stock. "

Of course that's a long time ago and Michael could be using an entirely different polymer now. I have no idea where I thought ABS might have come into it. They are good flutes no matter what they are made from.

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