Flute Problems

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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purplecatti
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:26 am

Flute Problems

Post by purplecatti » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:44 am

Hello, I'm a nube to this forum.
I own a rather unhappy altus 807, well actually it's me that's unhappy.
For the last few months Albert has lost a serious amount of tone and 'power'. The top register sounds reedy and thin and the tone overall sounds quite fuzzy. The tuning is shot to *poo* too, I can pull the headjoint almost right out and it's still too sharp even when I'm lipping right down, not always though.
It does need a service, it last had one two years ago. I am slightly worried and just owndered if anyone could suggest any possible problems it could be. If anyone has any idea of cost I would be most grateful, seeing as I have rather limited means at the moment.
My 807 is about 15 years old, it's not had any drops or been sat on but it has had rather a hard life. It was my A level and degree flute, and for about 6 years was played roughly 4 hours a day or more. Then he was left in his box for a year whilst I went travelling and was serviced when I got back two years ago and seems to have gone into a steady decline from about 6 months ago.
I find it a bit upsetting actually as I haven't been sure whether it's me or the flute. After having a bit of a tantrum my flute teacher has told me it isn't me although I have been playing worse due to Albert misbehaving and losing form is annoying me to distraction.
Can anyone shed any light? It doesn't feel as though it's any one particular pad that's gone although it does feel a little 'clunky' but that's due to needing a service I think.

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

Re: Flute Problems

Post by pied_piper » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:00 pm

There's no way to remotely diagnose your flute with any certainty, but there's a good chance that that your flute has some leaks. It could be a combination of several things like several small pad leaks or it could be a leaky headjoint cork. Your best bet is to have a flute technician check it over to pinpoint what is wrong.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

lianeandflute
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:19 am

Re: Flute Problems

Post by lianeandflute » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:13 am

you're supposed to get flutes serviced once a year anyway, so definitely get it checked out by a top flute technician - it's really worth it if they can fix it for you! you own't have these problems any more :)

although… don't shoot me for saying this, but sometimes things just get old and don't work like they used to and can't be restored to their former glory. i don't know enough about the technical side of flute making and fixing to actually have a huge amount of confidence in what i'm saying :\ haha, but maybe your flute is getting old and worn? you might have outgrown it anyway and maybe it's time for a new one? this is just an idea that sprang to mind and i'm not trying to be insensitive or anything haha, i'm sure someone will correct me anyway :P

ANYWAY go and get it checked out :) if it can be fixed it will be such relief for you :)
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

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

Re: Flute Problems

Post by pied_piper » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:01 pm

Unless the flute has been severely damaged (like run over by a truck or similar physical damage), there's no reason it can't be restored to like new playing condition. The Altus 807 is a decent well made flute, but not top of the line. The parts that wear out, like pads, felts, and corks, can be replaced during a repad. For a flute that is not serviced regularly and not kept lubricated, it may have some wear on the key shafts, but even that does not mean it is worn out. Worn keys can be tightened and adjusted to work perfectly. That's what an overhaul should take care of. The only question there is whether it's worth it or not. An overhaul of a flute can run upwards of $800-1000. If it simply needs pads and adjustments, it would be much less and could still be made to play like new.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

lianeandflute
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:19 am

Re: Flute Problems

Post by lianeandflute » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:58 pm

Well then that's good news, if you want to stay with this flute then it can be restored! yay
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

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