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Joe - toneholes 
 

Joe - toneholes

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Joe - toneholes    11:17 on Sunday, February 26, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

Joe B,

Another question.

I noticed that the Pearl Opera and Maesta models (along with my Brannen and Haynes) have soldered toneholes while other flutes do not. Powell and Burkart do the same.

What benefit, if any, do soldered toneholes offer? Logic says that the solder joint could fail. Does it affect the sound that is produced at all? If not, why would a flutemaker even bother to solder toneholes?

All I know is that it adds to the cost of the flute due to the labor involved.

<Added>

Thank you again.

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Re: Joe - toneholes    17:32 on Sunday, February 26, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JButky
(657 points)

What benefit, if any, do soldered toneholes offer? Logic says that the solder joint could fail. Does it affect the sound that is produced at all? If not, why would a flutemaker even bother to solder toneholes?


Well, there are lots of advantages to soldered tone holes, but what you've probably been told regarding tonal aspects is not among them.

It is FAR EASIER and less stressful to a flute body to do a soldered tone hole rather than a drawn tone hole. Soldered tone holes are easier. You make a tone hole separately, you can machine the rim to be what you want it to be, make it level, solder it to the body and cut the hole. Piece of cake! If you have future problem because of damage, you can take it off, repair it, replace it, etc.

A drawn tone hole requires a lot more intense equipment. You need to poke an elliptical hole in the body and then support the tube while The flute sits in a form an a spinning bullet is pulled out through the hole to form the tone hole. It must then be trimmed and then rolled so as not to act like a cookie cutter on the pad skin.

The drawing rolling process can distort the bore, and leave the tone hole rim less than level. Because the rim is rolled over, it is also thicker than a soldered tone hole. Damaging a drawn tone hole rim badly is near catastrophic, because it IS the body. (I had to fix one yesterday, not fun...)

The best reason for soldered tone holes in terms of playability is response. This has nothing to do with acoustics however despite what everyone has been told. It's about mechanics... A properly level and thin soldered tone hole requires less finger pressure to seal the pad on the tone hole rim. Being flatter and having less surface contact area makes the pad seal faster with less finger pressure, allowing improved response. (think lbs/square inch, If a pad is snow, then you can press an ice skate into it a lot easier than a snow shoe...)

A Drawn tone hole can be leveled, but it must also be re-profiled to be a thin as possible to approach the resposne time interaction of pad to tone hole that a soldered tone hole automatically has.

Also if you've examined a lot of flute bores, you will notice how straight the bore is where the tone holes meet. Many a drawn tone hole has a distortion at this point from the drawing process forces.

So the traditional line of soldered tone holes are darker and drawn tone holes are more responsive have no basis in fact. As with many things out there, these things originate out of strange ideas that are not related acoustically. For example:

The idea behind the drawn tone hole, (which only came along until tooling was modern enough to accomplish it, everything else prior to that was soldered tone hole) was to make the tone hole extruded as one piece of the body to make it more responsive. The soldered tone hole had a solder point and that difference/interruption made the flute less responsive and hence---darker. (Making something more responsive makes things often brighter for a lot of reasons I won't go into here) So this was initially marketed as an improvement over soldered tone holes. The continuity of metal through the tone hole was thought of as more responsive for that reason. But unfortunately, there is no basis in research for that at all. The air column really doesn't care if it's drawn or soldered.

There are so many gadgets out there that have succumbed to the misinterpretation of science and reason false conclusions. When you take an original experiment and divorce it from its logical conclusions, it sounds like a convincing argument but if you understand the science, the creators of some of these things may believe them, but it's complete balderdash.

The same is the non sequitur we have come to be told regarding soldered vs drawn tone holes. It's just a misunderstanding of acoustics, but unless you know better it sounds like a convincing argument.

Joe B

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Re: Joe - toneholes    18:08 on Sunday, February 26, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

Thanks Joe, very informative.


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Re: Joe - toneholes    18:31 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

whiteandproud
(15 points)

It some what amazes me that any person could play the flute (or be passionate about it) and not know something like this. If I had a such high dollar flutes to flaunt on a forum then I would at least know something about them.

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Re: Joe - toneholes    18:32 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

whiteandproud
(15 points)

cflutist, what kind of flute do you play on again. Oh wait, I think you listed that about 100 times already on here. Good for you.

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Re: Joe - toneholes    18:45 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

cflutist
(175 points)

The Ugly Green Monster rears its ugly head again. I post and read Larry Krantz's Flute List where people talk and ask questions about many different brands of professional flutes all the time and NO ONE gets treated like you are treating me.

Perhaps it is the demographics here.

Joe happens to be very knowlegeable and I wanted to hear his opinion on whether the different toneholes make any difference in the sound produced.

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Re: Joe - toneholes    18:55 on Friday, March 02, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

whiteandproud
(15 points)

People usually don't take kindly to braggers such as yourself. I must have read a thousand times on this forum about your gold Brannen. You just have to put it in every post. Do you do it to make people feel inferior to you? I have heard you play. The guy on the Powell in your video has a better sound.

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Re: Joe - toneholes    08:03 on Saturday, March 03, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JButky
(657 points)

It some what amazes me that any person could play the flute (or be passionate about it) and not know something like this. If I had a such high dollar flutes to flaunt on a forum then I would at least know something about them.


The reason for asking the question is because there is so much misinformation out there that is akin to "old wives' tales" and not based on scientific or acoustic facts. I'm one who is knowledgeable about both the marketing side and the technical side and will also separate fact from fiction and tell you.

Quite frankly I'm glad the question was asked. I get tired of hearing the usual wide spread line being spouted and just accepted with no explanation as to support such fallacies. At least someone who wants to know has the courage to ask and discover the truth.

Joe B

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Re: Joe - toneholes    09:35 on Sunday, March 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Zevang
(491 points)

Joe B, thanks so much for enlighting us with so many details. Itīs what really matters in this forum.

   

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