The flute trials are over. Recently, I bit the bullet and bought a silver handmade Powell flute, and I paired it with a Ruby Aurumite soloist cut headjoint.
Once I decided that I wanted a silver inline handmade Powell, I spent a lot of time trying out different headjoints. I found this to be a time-consuming process because there were aspects of each headjoint that I liked, so I had to be patient until I could get my hands on one that had each of those desirable qualities in the same headjoint. The soloist cut works best for me. Eventually, I narrowed my choices down to a silver, a 9k Aurumite, and the Ruby Aurumite. I played them in different rooms and on various repertoire over a period of time. I recorded myself playing each of them; besides listening to the recordings myself, I sent them to a friend for his opinion. The richness of the Ruby Aurumite sound was what finally won me over, and I decided on that one.
Shortly after making my decision, I performed at the Canadian Flute Convention, and I found that very little transition was necessary from my old flute to the new one. The scale seems to be slightly different, which will take some adjustment, but the mechanism is solid and the tone color potential with the headjoint is exciting.
I find myself in the market for a new flute. I’m not in a hurry to purchase, and I plan to try out many different instruments before deciding what I want to go with. This week, I’ve been playing a wooden (grenadilla) flute made by Powell. The mechanism is sterling silver and it has a B foot joint, French cups, and offset G. It’s pitched at A=442. I’ve tried two different headjoints with it this week. My own personal grenadilla headjoint has a sterling silver tenon; I also tried a grenadilla headjoint with a 14k gold tenon. The instrument has a beautiful, warm sound. I did notice a difference in the sound between the two headjoints. However, they seem to be cut slightly differently, so the differences can’t be attributed to material (silver versus 14k gold) alone. It’s a comfortable instrument to play. It does take slightly longer to warm up than a metal instrument — and I only played it for short intervals, as it was only finished a couple of weeks ago — but once it’s warm, it has a lovely sound. This flute is definitely on the short list.