Just to throw a bit of a joker into the pack here, I recently bought a flute by the East German maker Paul Krebs (probably made around the early 70s or late 60s). The craftsmanship is really superb - and I've also had it completely repadded. It's not solid silver - it's clearly some sort of alloy, probably nickel silver - but here's the interesting part - it has a wooden lip plate and riser and that certainly makes a difference to the tone - sweeter in the upper registers than a completely nickel silver flute, and reedier in the low register. It's unusual to see flutes with just a wooden lip plate but it seems to work, giving all the power and projection of a metal flute and the same possiblties for varying the tone, which aren't possible on a wooden flute, yet it also has a hint of a wooden sound to it. Kind regards, This makes me think that it's true that the headjoint makes the most difference to the overall sound of a flute - I don't think there's any disagreement about that - but even within that, the nearer you are to the source of sound (i.e. the embouchure), the greater the difference to the sound, so in the end a very decisive factor must be the actual riser and lip plate - what they're made of and how they're cut, that make the most difference to the tone. Regards, T.