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Armstrong Model 80 Information

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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WeekendFlutist
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby WeekendFlutist » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:15 pm

Hello,

First time posting here. Long story short. I used to play in school, then only here and there. But recently wanted to start taking a little more serious approach to playing. Bought an Armstrong model 80 kinda on a whim when my Armstrong student flute became unplayable due to stuck keys and a unmovable key pin... I really didn't want to invest any money into as it's pretty beat up and needs a lot.

As the title says, I am looking to find more information on the Model 80. The serial suggests that it was made in 1974. both Head and body have "Sterling Silver" Marking, but the Foot only has a "S" Marking. Does that mean the foot in only silver plate? I can't seem to find any official documentation. Also if you have or have played a model 80, how would you compare this vintage flute to a modern one?

SylvreKat
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby SylvreKat » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:33 pm

Welcome!!

As you can see in my sig line, I've owned an Armstrong 80 since high school. Good solid workhorse of a flute.

It IS all silver body, with plated keys.

It does play like a 30+ year old $1000 flute compared to my Yami. But then it's not really a fair comparison since the Yami normally costs $4000+ more. I haven't played any modern intermediate flutes, so can't advise you there.

I hadn't known until playing the Gemi 50th Anniversary special that the keys were sluggish at all. My repairman tweaked the keywork to respond better, which really helped. It's still slower than my Yami, but that works great for me. I practice on the 80, then switch the last week or so to the Yami and breeze through. I only upgraded to the Yami 'cause Brook-Mays was bankrupt and sold the Yami for $900-something. Otherwise, I'd still be playing my 80, and content doing so. Then again, I don't get paid so am not a professional. High-end players may disagree.

You shouldn't be disappointed with your 80, although you might end up outgrowing it if you really get into your fluting.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

WeekendFlutist
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby WeekendFlutist » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm

Kat,

Thanks for the response! I'm glad to hear that my spur of the moment purchase was a good investment. But I recently discovered that I may have bought more than just the flute. Upon the first inspection, it was apparent a few of the pads had chunks taken out of them. Not thinking too much into it, I just thought it was an old flute and already had anticipated re-padding it. Well, so I prep the flute for the new pads by, ordering new pads, disassembling and removing old pads, doing a baking soda/aluminium dip bath (I've read some members opinion on this and I do agree it can cause more harm then good, so I didn't leave any one part in for more then a few moments.), and doing a much need polishing with a some jewelers rouge. (I still have some discoloration inside the tube, I tried putting my cleaning rod on a drill with some jewelers rouge and reaming it with a soft rag, but it only helped a little, any advice on how to get a mirror finish? The rest of the flute came out really nice, better then I thought it would. Way better then my Armstrong Student model would ever be)

After doing all of that work, I'm researching a little more on my old pads issue and discovered that Pad Bugs (Carpet beetles) are the cause of the damage!!! And then it hits me... That night of the unboxing. What I thought was a lady bug flying around the house (in the very same room I had the flute) was actually a carpet beetle :shock: . ugh... So now I have my case in the freezer in hopes it'll kill off any larva (if any)... Does anyone have experience with this? What other measures can I take to make sure I don't have damaged pads in the near future?

Also Kat,
Do you play inline G or offset G?
Last edited by WeekendFlutist on Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SylvreKat
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby SylvreKat » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:13 pm

I believe the only real cure for carpet beetles is just buy a new case. 'Cause I've read that freezing doesn't always kill off everyone in there. Usually, but not always.

And don't store your flute on the floor in the closet, or anywhere dark. That's where the little buggers like to hang out when they're not feasting on flute pads.

Bummer about the bugs. Hopefully you caught it early and won't see any more damage.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

WeekendFlutist
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby WeekendFlutist » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:57 pm

Kat,

That's good advice! Luckily I haven't found anymore evidence of pad bugs. Ebay specials :roll: ...
But good news though. I did my first repadding and have really been enjoying the model 80. In fact I'm shocked of how nice this vintage flute turned out. I still have to get use the the in line G from my student flute that had an off set G. I'm also having a hard time hitting that low C, but that could be a mixture of things... But everything else seems to be solid.

Are you working on any pieces at the moment?

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pied_piper
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby pied_piper » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:56 pm

If you repadded it yourself and the low C is hard to play, chances are you have a leak(s) someplace. Did you use a feeler to check every pad for leaks all around each pad's circumference?
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

WeekendFlutist
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby WeekendFlutist » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:06 am

pied_piper,

You were right. My F# was ever so slightly leaking. I found this by playing a low F and releasing pressure on one key at a time. When I got to my F key the note cut out. Adjusting the screw on the F key by a hair corrected the issue and also improve the volume of my lower register.
I was thinking it was the G and G# keys. I had the hard time shimming those, as one key is canted up and to the side for the other.
Hopefully I'll won't have to repad another flute in a long time. But now I know to take note of shim locations when removing the old pads.

SylvreKat
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby SylvreKat » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:09 am

Good to read that you're enjoying your 80. It really should last you for years of good playing. Esp since you've figured out repadding it. Good job there!

Mine has never loved its bottom notes (another thing my Yami has over it). I remember my teacher not picking a solo for contest because of that. And seems she even played it with similar results. It's a fuzzy memory from 35 years ago, so might not be truly accurate. But to this day I struggle with the80's D-C#-C, whereas the Yami sings those right out.

I'm not really working on anything right now. I'm waiting for my treble to get back from Guo, then I'll work on soprano sax parts for my flute quartet. I should probably be practicing some of the other songs/parts while I wait....

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Armstrong Model 80 Information

Postby pied_piper » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:04 pm

I had the hard time shimming those, as one key is canted up and to the side for the other.
Hopefully I'll won't have to repad another flute in a long time. But now I know to take note of shim locations when removing the old pads.
If a key cup is not perfectly level with the tone hole, it makes a padding job much more difficult. Most pro flute techs will check and align any key cups that are not level before starting to install new pads.

There are a lot of variables with regards to pads and shims. If you change a pad and simply reuse the old shims, that does not guarantee the new pad will seal properly. And when I say minute,I talking about variations even as small as 0.0005 inch. Pro techs will use feelers around 0.001 or 0.0005 inch to verify that the pad is contacting the tone hole with equal force around the entire circumference. If not they will add or remove shims to get the contact to be uniform. When you get new pads from the manufacturer or another supplier, there will be minute variations in the pad thickness from pad-to-pad. There is also no guarantee that a pad will be 100% flat and uniform around its surface area. To do a proper repad job, one must have an assortment of new shims in various sizes and thicknesses. The pro tech will often start by installing shims as needed to allow the pad to contact all of the tone hole at the same time. If the pad is too thin or there is insufficient shim thickness, the pad will contact the tone hole on the front but not touch enough in back. If the pad is too thick or too much shim thickness is present, the pad will contact first in back but not in front. Again, the feeler is used to verify uniform contact.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--


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