1977 DeFord 8B scale

1977 DeFord 8B scale

1977 DeFord 8B scale    18:04 on Thursday, December 31, 2009          

(246 points)
Posted by jim22

This may sound a little academic, but I play a 1977 vintage DeFord open-hole flute. The body is marked '8B'. I'm interested in what scale (Boehm, Cooper, ???) this flute is based on. 30 years ago we didn't have fancy electronic tuners that are available today. Some notes, especially C#, don't sound consistent with the others. How does this flute compare to a modern one with regard to intonation.


Re: 1977 DeFord 8B scale    08:53 on Friday, January 01, 2010          

(657 points)
Posted by JButky

The Old Defords were "old" scale flutes, meaning the traditional lower pitched scale.

You can still play them with other modern flute scales, they just require a bit more effort to play with others. Some people like this since they've played these types of flutes all along and the embouchure gymnastics are the normal course of playing. It depends on how you are used to playing.

Joe B

Re: 1977 DeFord 8B scale    13:07 on Friday, January 01, 2010          

(246 points)
Posted by jim22

Thanks, I figured as much.

This morning I did an experiment. Using a tuner to read pitch, I recorded the errors from playing isolated notes on the DeFord and also on an open-hole C-foot Armstrong, I believe also made in 1977 per the serial number..

Of the two, the DeFord is MUCH more responsive to dynamics, but that wasn't the topic of the experiment.

What I found was that both flutes were flat on the bottom end and sharp on the top end. The pitch errors were overall worse on the DeFord. The DeFord's C and C#'s were some of the worst on the sharp side.

I only practice when I'm motivated, I don't study with an instructor, and I never perform, but I think I would really enjoy a really good flute. Maybe when I make my second million ... :-)


Re: 1977 DeFord 8B scale    17:38 on Friday, January 01, 2010          

(183 points)
Posted by binx

I would make life a lot easier on you and your embouchure by just going out out and getting a more modern flute. There has been so many improvements on flutes and headjoints since 1977.


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