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Headjoint to buy? Help please

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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:00 pm

Headjoint to buy? Help please

Postby EricDolphy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:58 am

Hello, Looking for some advice towards what headjoint to get next.

I'm playing on an Armstrong 87* (solid silver body and foot, plated keys, open hole, low B).
It came with a "P4" headjoint which I don't like.
The low end comes out easily, but the second register and up is too difficult on it.

Looking to replace it with another headjoint.

Armstrong makes cuts called S cut, G cut, B, T2, F, ...
I am confused by all these options without the details of what they mean.

I prefer a flat, rounded squarish embouchure cut...(similar to Powell signature - I had one, but no one would fit it for me so I just sold it)
The P4 I have has the embouchure cut very weirdly, I do not like the wave shape.

I'm looking at the S cut at the moment. I wish there was somewhere to see these in person (I'm in Los Angeles), it's so hard to figure out the details from pictures online.

Thank you for any help!!!

EDIT - Flute model is Armstrong 87, had the 180 for a coupe months just before that.
Last edited by EricDolphy on Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Headjoint to buy? Help please

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:55 am

First off, my Armstrong catalog is old. Really old. So the models might not match despite that some of the names are the same. Here's what it says--

B (basic) - somewhat undercut. Noted for excellent flexibility, dynamic contrast, and well-focused tone. Very popular for players of all levels.

S (select) - slightly more undercutting.Players with developed embouchures note warm sound and good flexibility throughout its range.

T (traditional) - a traditional, more conservative design which features less undercutting. Favorable comments on its dynamic flexibility.

P (progressive) - for the player who prefers more undercutting. Noted for quick response, "nice rich tone," and lyrical qualities on slurred passages.

(and then the one that seems to have no corresponding match to any of your current ones)
C (combination) - a unique cut with a combination of radiused undercut angles. Relatively easy articulation and good intonation between octaves.

There's no description of the embouchure cut/shape. And there's no G or F in my list, so they're obviously more recent developments. But I would assume the others (including the T2/P4) would have similar characteristics to these old descriptions, just updated and/or improved.

Have you tried calling any dealers, like Woodwind/Brasswind? Or even Conn-Selmer themselves? I'm a little surprised LA has no Armstrong dealers--I have two in my part of the KC metro, and I know they'd be happy to help me out, too.

Good luck getting things figured out.


Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Headjoint to buy? Help please

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:03 am

Okay, I got curious, since the entire KC metro is smaller than LA. I got on Conn-Selmer's site and did a search for dealers within 25 miles of zip 90001. There's at least a dozen pages of dealers listed. Now of course, none of these may be close to your part of LA, but I'm betting there's at least one Armstrong dealer that is. Have you stopped by the store and asked them about the headjoints? They probably should even be willing to order in one of each for you to try and compare.

Again, good luck getting this figured out. Post what you learn and help out others!


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Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Headjoint to buy? Help please

Postby kristy21859 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:48 pm

Personally, I recently bought a newly made Select cut( sold silver thin wall headjoint) from Armstrong with a choice from three different models: solid silver thin wall, gold plated lip and inside, and gold plated entirely. Honestly, there's a lot of variance in each individual headjoint made, so there is a lot of trial and error. Definitely stick with Armstrong for the headjoint if your flute is an Armstrong (it's hard to find other brand headjoints that fit Armstrong flutes). The new headjoints still fit older models from the 70's and up. Definitely try multiple cuts and models from each cut. I recommend going to a flute store to test different brands outside of Armstrong to find the best shape to fit you, take a picture of the cut, then pick from the Armstrong collections which looks the most similar to that. Ebay is a great place to find Armstrong headjoints and compare different cuts at a great price; I got mine for $110. I had to resize it to fit my Haynes flute, but I absolutely adore it. I wish you luck!

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