Pearl, the Tone with a Bone....

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wally
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:18 pm

Pearl, the Tone with a Bone....

Post by wally »

Last week, got briefly more stoopider than I usually am, and bought a Pearl 501 from a pawn shop, knowing it needs lots of work. I now think maybe the HJ cut was made just for me.... Will I get over it? This cut seems to produce a couple more mid-range or core partials than I am accustomed to, really dig the tone with a bone.

I've owned or played various Yamahas (581, 365, 225), a Sankyo SR Custom, a Powell Signature HJ, Jupiter 711R, assorted Miyazawas, Armstrong 303, Heritage handmade, and so forth ....

Get the picture? I thought I was in love with the Powell Sig (on my student Yamaha or about anything else), now I've just gone and dumped everything into the dustbin of history by playing a crappy-condition pawnshop Pearl student flute with a PH5-J headjoint. (I had to grow 3 more fingers just to hold down all the leaky stuff (Bb, G#, F#....) I think now I may have to play a few more Pearls just to see if/how it gets better.

I can't wait to set this thing up (yeah, planned to do that myself, the vocational side, part of the reason for the purchase).

Can anyone educate me on the scale these Pearls use? Bennett? Some variant thereof?

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JButky
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm
Location: Mt. Juliet

Re: Pearl, the Tone with a Bone....

Post by JButky »

wally wrote:
Can anyone educate me on the scale these Pearls use? Bennett? Some variant thereof?
It's a cooper variant. More cooper than variant.

Glad you like the flute...
Joe B

wally
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:18 pm

Post by wally »

Joe, thanks. Were all of these PF-501s made in Taiwan, or only after a certain year/SN? This one has a serial of 66xxx something.... Does Pearl have a serial chart I can check on the net?

This thing was not exactly treated that well by its former owner(s). Seems to have been a bar flute, still got the nicotine/whiskey aroma, plenty of tiny dings (per dent work, I haven't developed a 'feel' for nickel-silver yet, it seems very hard and springy compared to brass saxophone tubing).

After disassembling and cleaning, I found that the pads seem to be in really nice shape .... Does Pearl use a stabilizer backing of some kind even on these old 501s?

Only thing I've found that concerns me is, the low-D tonehole rim on the body joint has been filed flat (not really, it still looks unflat overall), but the filing went too far. Under a 10x loupe I can see a split through the roll on the inside (arm) edge of the rim. Is there a way to fix this? I was pondering fluxing the crack and melting a very small speck of 94/6 tin/silver into it as 'filler.' Whoever filed it also left a lot of burrs on the inner rim. Should I leave it alone?

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JButky
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm
Location: Mt. Juliet

Post by JButky »

wally wrote:Joe, thanks. Were all of these PF-501s made in Taiwan, or only after a certain year/SN? This one has a serial of 66xxx something.... Does Pearl have a serial chart I can check on the net?
Taiwan only. 501 were made from 1988-2005. Then they became the 505 when everything went with the pointed keys. After my badgering for a couple years they are finally starting to assemble their serial # records. I get updates, but its nowhere near for me to be able to look it up for you. I would have to send the complete serial # to the factory for lookup.
After disassembling and cleaning, I found that the pads seem to be in really nice shape .... Does Pearl use a stabilizer backing of some kind even on these old 501s?
The new ones are machined to have a flat back, so no additional stabilizer is needed. I haven't seen a 501 in a while so I'm not sure if those were machined also or stamped
Only thing I've found that concerns me is, the low-D tonehole rim on the body joint has been filed flat (not really, it still looks unflat overall), but the filing went too far. Under a 10x loupe I can see a split through the roll on the inside (arm) edge of the rim. Is there a way to fix this? I was pondering fluxing the crack and melting a very small speck of 94/6 tin/silver into it as 'filler.' Whoever filed it also left a lot of burrs on the inner rim. Should I leave it alone?
You can try solder if it is a small gap. Cutting it off and replacing a roll is a fairly good amount of work.

Sounds like an aftermarket attempt at leveling gone over the top. If it plays pretty well the way it is. I would leave them as they are..
Joe B

wally
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:18 pm

Post by wally »

Okay, thanks, I won't worry about how old it is ... definitely 'old enough' and been around the block a few times. I think I may keep it for myself, not sure yet but one more flute doesn't take up much shelf space here, heh heh... I could see selling my Yamaha before letting this one go....

I carefully popped out the Eb keypad on this 501. No flat back, no stabilizer, just three shims.... I'll assume the rest of the flute is like that.

If I keep it, I won't mess with the D tonehole rim because the pad there is sealing okay. If I resell it, I may try to fill the gap (very narrow...) with 96/4, but I'll have to let the buyer know either way. Just eyeballing it when cleaning, I thought a couple other toneholes were a notably unlevel, but this one is the only one that's been filed. Looks as though it may have been a rotary tool, else they dressed it down with emery paper or something...

Right now it still has lots of slop and signs of quack surgery with scotch-tape underneath natural cork on some feet, valentino cork on others, and white felt on yet others.... What was the original material? I have Yamaha-supplied synthetic felt I plan to use....

Joe, would the current entry-level Quantz 505 keycups be machined flat also?

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JButky
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm
Location: Mt. Juliet

Post by JButky »

wally wrote:

Right now it still has lots of slop and signs of quack surgery with scotch-tape underneath natural cork on some feet, valentino cork on others, and white felt on yet others.... What was the original material? I have Yamaha-supplied synthetic felt I plan to use....

Joe, would the current entry-level Quantz 505 keycups be machined flat also?
White felt was standard..still is.

Current 505's have machined flat backs inside the keycup.
Joe B

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