Rudall Rose Carte #6264

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Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

I expected this Rudall Rose & Carte flute to sell for more than this. Maybe the mismatched head put people off, if indeed the head is a mismatch.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/186185677606
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Flutern »

The embouchure hole seems to be chipped, one ring is missing and the SL suggests that it's high pitch. These could have been contributing factors. They certainly were for me...
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by tstermitz »

Given the sales price plus $500 - $800 in repairs, and you are pretty much at $3,000. Great for a large-holed Rudall, but high for a small holed one. Personally, I don't think a renovated Rudall & Rose 8-key should be cheaper than a modern 6-key. All the Rudalls I've played have acceptable intonation at A440, but there are persistent rumors to the contrary.

I think prices on R&R flutes have backed off a bit, and this one had smaller to medium holes plus needed other repairs... For the risk, I actually thought it was a bit high. Normally, I assume R&R flutes play fine at A440, but in this case someone added a later, Rudall-Carte head so all bets are off.

(1) R&R flutes actually come up every other month on eBay or auction houses.
(2) Right now there are about 4 or 5 Rudall and Rose flutes advertised in various places, and they seem to be selling slowly.
(3) It is startling to see the how high the auction fever can drive an untestable R&R flute in need of repair.

I've played the risky Rudall game, and I came out with a stunningly good R&R, but luck is a chancy lady. I think most R&Rs are good flutes, but I would rather pay the man the money (even at a high price) for one that I KNOW is good, based on a reputable recommendation, if not personal, hands-on.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

Yes, I was curious about the sounding length too. Given the relatively late date associated with the serial number and maker's mark, it should fall into the period where the flat foot problems had been addressed, which would shorten the SL without shortening the scale length. Also, depending on the amount of tuning slide extension for the flute to play best in tune with itself, it could still be close to A=440 hz and in tune with itself, even though it has a measured SL around 575 mm with the slide completely closed. There are a few unknowns here.

Terry McGee's website shows an SL range of 567-578 for "Perfected style" flutes (and by this I assume we are talking about flutes with flat foot mostly corrected for). Since this RRC flute's 575 mm SL is close to the upper end of that range, I would assume that this si in the zone for modern pitch "Perfected style" flutes, and the the 567mm end of the range is for those at HP. But that is just my interpretation of what Terry posted. Again, there is quite a bit unspecified.

Terry's Guide to the Length of Flutes

Also, Terry's Rudall and Rose study shows flutes around this range of serial numbers (#6264) generally being close to modern pitch, and the HP ones being of significantly different design. See the "estimated best pitch" graph here:

Terry's RR Study Conclusions

So, it seems to be an open question about whether this one will be HP or good at modern pitch. I'd be interested to hear from owners of later model Rudall Rose Carte (or Rudall Carte) flutes, what the SL (with slide fully closed) is for flutes that play well at modern pitch.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

tstermitz wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:12 pm I think prices on R&R flutes have backed off a bit, and this one had smaller to medium holes plus needed other repairs...
I was wondering whether the market for R&R flutes had cooled off a bit. I hadn't realized that there were 4 or 5 R&R flutes up for sale right now. Maybe this is a bit of a supply and demand effect and an indication of the small size of the market.

Regarding hole size, there were no dimensions given, but I didn't see anything unusual about the hole sizes in the pictures. It looked rather typical for a medium hole, later, Rudall to me. But do the larger tone hole models sell for more? I would expect that they could be more prone to intonation issues ... just based on the assumption that the really large tone holes were an attempt to get a longer scale length body to play at a higher pitch (resulting in a flat foot) rather than redesigning the overall bore and scale length.

But I agree with your speculation about risk. You never really know what you are going to get unless you have had the opportunity to do a close, in-person, inspection.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Flutern »

paddler wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:29 pm So, it seems to be an open question about whether this one will be HP or good at modern pitch. I'd be interested to hear from owners of later model Rudall Rose Carte (or Rudall Carte) flutes, what the SL (with slide fully closed) is for flutes that play well at modern pitch.
Just 2 data points, but I happen to be the owner of the RRC that's currently on the Irish Flute Store. The SL is exactly the same (575 mm), and the serial number is not too far (mine is a bit earlier, #6032). Similar small holes, too, so I would assume these two flutes to have similar playing characteristics. Jay Ham retuned my RRC using shellac to flatten sharp notes (including keyed notes): it now plays very nicely at A=440 after Jay's adjustments, but before that I found its intonation rather difficult to manage at A=440, and it had a noticeably flat foot. In comparison, my earlier RR #3934, which has a Patent Head and slightly larger holes, plays much more nicely at A=440 as is. The SL of this one is 580 mm.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

Flutern wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 5:13 pm
paddler wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:29 pm So, it seems to be an open question about whether this one will be HP or good at modern pitch. I'd be interested to hear from owners of later model Rudall Rose Carte (or Rudall Carte) flutes, what the SL (with slide fully closed) is for flutes that play well at modern pitch.
Just 2 data points, but I happen to be the owner of the RRC that's currently on the Irish Flute Store. The SL is exactly the same (575 mm), and the serial number is not too far (mine is a bit earlier, #6032). Similar small holes, too, so I would assume these two flutes to have similar playing characteristics. Jay Ham retuned my RRC using shellac to flatten sharp notes (including keyed notes): it now plays very nicely at A=440 after Jay's adjustments, but before that I found its intonation rather difficult to manage at A=440, and it had a noticeably flat foot. In comparison, my earlier RR #3934, which has a Patent Head and slightly larger holes, plays much more nicely at A=440 as is. The SL of this one is 580 mm.
Interesting! That certainly does seem quite definitive, but I am surprised, and a bit confused, particularly about the idea that your flute would have a flat foot and a sounding length for high pitch tuning that is supposedly too short. If the scale length is shorter than it should be for A=440 hz, then as the slide is extended the foot notes should get flatter at a slower rate than the notes vented higher up the bore, in which case the foot should be, relatively, sharp. If the notes higher up the bore are flattened by other means, so that the tuning slide doesn't need to be extended so far, then the foot should be even sharper. Or am I missing something?

So I wonder what was going on with your RRC flute? Did it have any noticeable tenon compression or distortion of the bore? Out of curiosity, which notes were originally sharp of yours? And how much tuning slide extension do you have when playing at A=440 hz (after the tone hole modifications done by Jay)? Not disputing what you say, of course, but I am quite curious about what was going on there.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Flutern »

paddler wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 8:52 pmInteresting! That certainly does seem quite definitive, but I am surprised, and a bit confused, particularly about the idea that your flute would have a flat foot and a sounding length for high pitch tuning that is supposedly too short. If the scale length is shorter than it should be for A=440 hz, then as the slide is extended the foot notes should get flatter at a slower rate than the notes vented higher up the bore, in which case the foot should be, relatively, sharp. If the notes higher up the bore are flattened by other means, so that the tuning slide doesn't need to be extended so far, then the foot should be even sharper. Or am I missing something?
I'm saying "High Pitch" because I remember Pol Jezequel, with who I corresponded about this flute, saying that this flute's SL was about halfway between his D model (593 mm) and his Eb model (557 mm), but I'm perhaps using this term inadequately :-? .

Anyways, I had some extensive correspondance with Jay about this flute before sending it to him, so I went through the emails we exchanged and here's some more information that might be useful:

- Jay asked me to set low D for A=440, and measure the deviations from the scale. Here's what I got at the time (keeping in mind that the pads were original, and Bb was held with a rubber band because it was leaking):

C 0
C# -25
D 0
Eb -10
E 10
F 15
F# -5
G 25
G# 35
A 60
Bb 35
B 50
C 50
C# 25

- He also asked me to measure the C# to Eb distance, which was about 255 mm. He suggested to try to play the flute at A=430, and indeed the scale was much better, although the tone was dull and the tuning slide was almost fully extended.
So I wonder what was going on with your RRC flute? Did it have any noticeable tenon compression or distortion of the bore? Out of curiosity, which notes were originally sharp of yours? And how much tuning slide extension do you have when playing at A=440 hz (after the tone hole modifications done by Jay)? Not disputing what you say, of course, but I am quite curious about what was going on there.
The sharp notes were mostly A's and B's. Unfortunately I didn't look for tenon compression or things like that. Casey Burns would be the person to ask, since he took detailed measurements of this flute before selling it to me. Unfortunately he's no longer a member of these forums...

Before the tuning adjustments, it needed a ~12 mm slide extension to play at A=440 (tuning to G). After the tuning adjustments,
I mostly played this flute with a new headjoint made by Jay, so I don't recall what slide extension the original headjoint needed after the modifications, but Blayne Chastain says that it plays at A=440 with a 5 mm extension. Two different players, so the figures are probably not directly comparable, but hopefully that gives you an idea.

Does this all more or less make sense or does it add more confusion? Now I'm almost tempted to get this flute back to get to the bottom of this :D
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

Thanks for the detailed response Flutern! That makes much more sense, and is quite well in line with what I would expect. The tuning behavior you describe is quite common for English flutes of that period. At least based on my experience, these flutes are usually best in tune with themselves with a significant amount of tuning slide extension (usually more than the 12 mm you mentioned for yours), and the tuning balance can still center not far from A=440 hz. It is as if the head has been shortened to allow for playing at higher pitches, but the scale length of the body and bore profile was for a lower pitch. So given what you describe, I would definitely not refer to this SL as being an HP flute. My use of that term, at least, refers to a flute whose scale length is too short, and whose tuning is such that it is best in tune with itself at a higher pitch.

But having said that, it would not surprise me if the head length was a little shorter than ideal. This is why these antique flutes often play better with a new, longer head. Acoustically, everything is the same, apart from the lack of such a large bore cavity around the extended tuning slide, which of course influences the tuning of notes whose pressure nodes or antinodes fall in that location. That is just one factor among many that can influence things, and most modern makers who use these flutes as the basis for their own models compensate in various ways for the idiosyncrasies of their particular original.

Anyway, based on your new info and that from Blayne, it sounds to me as though these flutes (yours and the eBay one) probably are scaled (in terms of SL and scale length, at least) around a target that is quite close to A=440 and typical of later Rudalls. It is not uncommon for the low D to be pitched slightly low, even for flutes that don't have the flat foot syndrome (which usually results in foot notes that are VERY low).

By the way, I noticed on steampacket's R&R register site that the eBay flute here (#6264) is very close in serial number to the one owned by Hammy Hamilton for the past 40+ years (#6315). I assume that he has hung on to that one for so long because it is a good one.

Well, anyway, I'll eventually find out the truth about this eBay flute because I was the fool who bought it! And at that point I'll let you all know. My surprise at the final sale price was based on a history of bidding on these for more than a decade, and never actually winning any of the auctions. Too cheap, I suppose. Or at least not fully committed. I did have the dubious honor of managing to set the winning price on numerous past auctions, by virtue of having made the second highest bid.
:swear:

So, when I eventually get my hands on it I'll share the details. My goal, assuming it is a good one, is to use it as the starting point for a Rudall model of my own making. I already have a Pratten..ish design that I'm very happy with, and a small holed, small bored, American model, so I've been looking for a medium-holed, relatively recent, Rudall for a while. I have similar flutes by Wylde, Fentum, Imlay and others, but not an actual Rudall, and I'd like to do a detailed comparison. So, I hope this one ends up being good. I'll be doing all the restoration myself, and likely make a new (additional) head for it too, so there will be time involved there, but no real expense. Labor of love, I suppose.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by tstermitz »

Congrats Jonathan on your purchase. After bidding up all those others :lol: , you deserve to get one for yourself.

It will be interesting to hear your assessment and comparison with the other 19th C flutes you have.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Flutern »

Thanks paddler, your explanation about the shortened head on a lower scaled body makes sense to me and seems to match my experience with this flute. The headjoint Jay Ham made for this flute (and that I'm now using on my Rudall & Rose) is longer than the original.

Congratulations on winning this one, and do let us know your thoughts about it once you get it.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Steve Bliven »

paddler wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:50 am .....I already have a Pratten..ish design that I'm very happy with, and a small holed, small bored, American model.....
By the way, the small holed, small bored, American model is very nice. :thumbsup: :)

Best wishes.

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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by paddler »

Thank you all for the information and encouragement! It is nice to see that you don't bear a grudge, even after I bid up all those previous auctions and possibly cost you all a fortune. :twisted:

And Steve, its great to hear that the F. Riley replica is still working well for you. I have been meaning to check back in with you on that for a while now. If this new Rudall works out I will likely try making some replicas of it using stabilized (vacuum resin infused) wood like I did with your Riley. That'll be a way down the road though because I'll have to do a detailed bore map and make all the reamers and other tooling for it first.
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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Steve Bliven »

paddler wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:48 am If this new Rudall works out I will likely try making some replicas of it using stabilized (vacuum resin infused) wood like I did with your Riley. That'll be a way down the road though because I'll have to do a detailed bore map and make all the reamers and other tooling for it first.
So, not ready for Christmas this year? :)

Best wishes.

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Re: Rudall Rose Carte #6264

Post by Terry McGee »

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you come to grips with the beast, Paddler. And happy to compare any data with records I have.

In a funny juxtaposition, I'm currently fixing up a US-made William Hall flute which I hope will fill a hole in my experience. Haven't measured it up properly yet, but the bore seems to lie a little bigger than the Firth, Pond & Co that gave rise to my Grey Larsen Preferred model, but a bit smaller than the bore of my Rudall Refined model, similar to the flute featured by Chris Norman. The holes are probably a little bigger again, so it seems to have a bigger holes-to-bore ratio than the smaller English flutes. Which is of course the definition of "better vented". It seems easy and willing at this stage. It will be interesting to see where it fits in when I get it fully working.
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