crown plug

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
User avatar
woof
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:06 am
Location: North East US

crown plug

Post by woof » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:57 am

What difference will it make to flute intonation and/or anything if the crown plug was approx 1mm short of being in the exact center of the embouchure hole when measured using the mark on the cleaning rod?

User avatar
Iolaus
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:36 am
Location: Orange County, California

Post by Iolaus » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:55 pm

I don't think that small of a discrepancy would matter much.

ick27
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:25 am

Post by ick27 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:52 am

It does have some effect, most noticeably on the third octave. I think it's probably best to keep the cork at 17.4 mm and learn to play in tune with that position.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1820
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by pied_piper » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:19 am

I've heard differing opinions on the cork position - 17.3mm is the one that I've frequently seen rather than 17.4. When sighting into the embouchure hole, there is some margin for error depending upon whether your eye is perfectly centered over the hole. However, the difference between 17.3 and 17.4 (0.1) mm is probably insignificant. A difference of 1 mm is not - that's a variation of about 6%.

It's also known that some cleaning rods are not accurately marked. YMMV
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

User avatar
woof
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:06 am
Location: North East US

Post by woof » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:00 pm

pied_piper wrote: A difference of 1 mm is not - that's a variation of about 6%.

It's also known that some cleaning rods are not accurately marked. YMMV
I do not have calipers but using a mm ruler my cleaning rod mark appears to be 17.?mm so it is pretty close. In my case the crown plug is too far back (towards the crown) by about 1mm. Would this pitch up or down the intonation?? I know different crown plug designs supposedly have an effect on the tone or so I seem to recall reading.

fluttiegurl
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:05 pm

Post by fluttiegurl » Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:08 am

In theory, it would lower the pitch. However, it is more likey that it will effect the pitch in various places on the scale (especially the third octave). In other words, it will effect how the flute is in tune with itself. You will be able to tune one note, but others may be effected. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect flute scale, though some may claim this. I have found that with my particular set up, 17.3mm works best for the overall scale of the flute. I discovered this with a tuner, and made a point to mark my tuning rod myself for future reference.

Different cork assembly designs have been tested the world over and some claim they have a noticeable effect on tone. Just like everything else in the flute world, if you expect a difference, there will be one. A poorly placed cork or a cork that leaks will have a negative effect on tone quality, just as leak anywhere else in the flute may effect tone.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1820
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by pied_piper » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:22 pm

woof wrote:I do not have calipers but using a mm ruler my cleaning rod mark appears to be 17.?mm so it is pretty close. In my case the crown plug is too far back (towards the crown) by about 1mm. Would this pitch up or down the intonation?? I know different crown plug designs supposedly have an effect on the tone or so I seem to recall reading.
I would suggest adjusting the cork so that your cleaning rod mark is centered in the embouchure hole. Loosen the crown a couple of turns and push in toward the embouchure hole. Then recheck the position and repeat until it is centered. Don't use brute force effort to move it and don't hit it with anything to move it - you could damage the headjoint.

If you find that the cork is so tight that you can't push it in with moderate force, it may be stuck from being in that position for many years - you may need to get a technician to loosen it.

Conversely, if it's so loose that it moves too freely and doesn't stay in place, the cork may be old and dried out - have a technician replace it.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

User avatar
woof
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:06 am
Location: North East US

Post by woof » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:04 pm

If you find that the cork is so tight that you can't push it in with moderate force, it may be stuck from being in that position for many years - you may need to get a technician to loosen it.
[/quote]

Thanks fluttiegurl and pied piper. So I loosen the crown cap a couple of turns then push in and the cork should move? Then do I re-tighten the crown cap or leave it be-- once the cork is in position? I may have caused this since I did tighten the crown cap a few weeks ago and I have noticed that the upper octaves are now not in tune like they were when I first got the flute.

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1820
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by pied_piper » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:34 pm

woof wrote:So I loosen the crown cap a couple of turns then push in and the cork should move? Then do I re-tighten the crown cap or leave it be-- once the cork is in position? ...
Right. When the cork is positioned correctly, you should VERY gently tighten the crown back until you feel it touch the end of the headjoint. Only use light finger pressure when re-tightening - think of the finger pressure required to pick up an egg without breaking it. Turn it only until your fingers begin to slip (remember very light grip) and then leave it there - no tighter than that.

If you should push the cork in too far, then you'll need to tighten the crown using a firmer grip so that it pulls the cork away from the hole. In that case just leave the crown alone - it will already be tight enough.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Post Reply