Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

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JasonTongRulz
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by JasonTongRulz »

I was just randomly thinking - If Gold Plating does little or nothing to the tone of a Flute then.. am I right in saying Silver Plating on non-Solid Silver/Nickel Silver/Whatever you want to call it Flutes are purely cosmetic?

Unless Silver Plating actually does something to the sound..

Kshel
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by Kshel »

I would agree that plating in general is for aesthetics. But I'm sure someone will have a differing opinion. How your flute appears to others seems to heavily determine how good you are in their eyes. :roll:

fluteguy18
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by fluteguy18 »

In my opinion you're right on the money. The only material that I think plating might change the sound is platinum. MAYBE. Platinum is far more dense than either gold or silver, and every time I've compared platinum plated and their non plated counterparts I've noticed a difference in how they play. The reason I say MAYBE is because there aren't many platinum plated flutes around. Muramatsu has platinum CLAD which is different. Clad I think is far thicker if I understand it correctly (but don't quote me on that). Altus has some plated flutes and I think there *might* be a difference. To me they played differently but I don't know if they sound differently.

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cflutist
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by cflutist »

One of the ladies at a Masterclass I attended last July had a Platinum Clad Muramatsu. That flute was absolutely beautiful to look at and produced (by her) the most gorgeous tone.

Arlee
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by Arlee »

fluteguy18 wrote:In my opinion you're right on the money. The only material that I think plating might change the sound is platinum. MAYBE. Platinum is far more dense than either gold or silver, and every time I've compared platinum plated and their non plated counterparts I've noticed a difference in how they play. The reason I say MAYBE is because there aren't many platinum plated flutes around. Muramatsu has platinum CLAD which is different. Clad I think is far thicker if I understand it correctly (but don't quote me on that). Altus has some plated flutes and I think there *might* be a difference. To me they played differently but I don't know if they sound differently.

I hadn't heard about platinum clad flutes. Makes me think of All-Clad cookware though where the steel is the outside and inside and aluminum is the core between the twp layers. I wonder if something similar is the case when they talk about clad flutes? Anyone know for sure?

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cflutist
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by cflutist »

Platinum Clad Models

These fine instruments are favorites of performers who want a flute that is a step above. Platinum clad flutes feature the dependable Muramatsu key mechanism, and are made with a unique plating process of platinum over solid silver. This generous coating of one of the most precious and durable of metals - platinum - creates an extraordinary quality of sound. The beauty and easy maintenance of this model is an attribute that makes this flute so desirable. This model is available with custom options including engraved headjoint and keys. The American Platinum Clad is stamped MA on the ribbing, assuring our customers that their flute was made in Japan and imported by Muramatsu America to American specifications.

fluteguy18
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by fluteguy18 »

see, that bit makes me wonder what the difference is... Their EX model is silver plated. How is the plating/clad different for the platinum clad models?

Arlee
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by Arlee »

Yeah that makes it sound like they are just saying clad to make it sound more fancy than plated.

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pied_piper
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by pied_piper »

There is a difference between clad and plated metals.

From metals.about.com
Definition: A composite metal containing two or more layers that have been bonded together. The bonding may have been accomplished by co-rolling, co-extrusion, welding, diffusion bonding, casting, heavy chemical deposition, or heavy electroplating.
When I think of clad metals, I associate it more with the bonding methods rather than electroplating. Electroplating typically deposits metal which is very thin (often measured in micrometer thickness or less) but clad metals are typically applied much thicker. For this reason, electroplating can peel, flake, or wear off, but cladding is more durable and does not usually suffer from those problems because of the greater thickness of the applied metal.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

wkzh
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Re: Just a Thought.. if Gold Plating does little/nothing...

Post by wkzh »

A bit of a late reply, but here goes...

This question started when our dearest Dayton Clarence Miller built his own gold flute and claimed that the tone was extraordinary due the gold...

Random point of note: he's not a flute maker, but a physicist, so it's pretty amazing that he made an amazing flute.

Back to the question, recalling Plato's definition of "knowledge", knowledge is "true, justified, belief". The crux of the matter lies in the "belief". Many acousticians have been trying to prove that material doesn't affect tone quality (see a paper by Linortner), but others who claim that they have superior "scientific knowledge" such as Drelinger still persist that there is an effect.

To quote my local flute tech, "It's a black art."

To give a bit of the theory, basically the amount of energy carried by the flute is so small, and the mass of the air is so little, that the degree to which it causes the metal to vibrate is negligible. NOTE: THIS IS DIFFERENT FOR WOOD FLUTES.

To conclude, conclude yourself!

KZ
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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