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I am thinking of buying a new flute and am wondering if Straubinger phoenix pads are desirable. I know many people complain about Straubinger pads because they require unrealistic precision and break easily. But what about Straubinger phoenix pads? Are they similar to the Straubinger pads (and thus have the same problem) or are they completely different and turns out to be great pads?
 

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If you have a flute technician that is adept with Straubinger pads the Phoenix pads will be quite nice. They're a little more forgiving than his regular pads and designed to work better with a production flute. The precision required for the pads isn't unrealistic, just beyond the level of patience and attention to detail most technicians display.
 

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I don't find installation to be all that hard but us regular repairers can't get them without a blessing from the company. A set of good woven felt double skin standard pads costs me around $10 whereas the Straubingers are a bit over $100. They are pretty forgiving as to leaks but in the tropical climate here, the foam under the skin tends to deteriorate in a year or two.
 

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I don't find installation to be all that hard but us regular repairers can't get them without a blessing from the company. A set of good woven felt double skin standard pads costs me around $10 whereas the Straubingers are a bit over $100. They are pretty forgiving as to leaks but in the tropical climate here, the foam under the skin tends to deteriorate in a year or two.
I don't have easy access to any Straubinger certified technician. So if the pads deteriorate 2 years after my purchase, is it possible for a regular technician to replace phoenix pads with regular pads?
 

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I do this quite often....i agree the Phoenix pads do no seem to last very long.
I see the HayneS Amadeus " model in my local!!
 

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Another problem would be when one pad needs to be replaced and the tech only does conventional pads. The flute will later need to have that pad replaced for a match. I do it for those who need a quick fix (like in a few hours). I just prefer the good old pads like we have used for at least a century. Also I don't like automatic transmissions and self propelled lawn mowers.....
 

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The Haynes Amadeus used a Chinese knockoff of the Straubinger pad with a very weak skin, they've since changed to L. Pisoni and are much more durable. The Phoenix pads are a bit thicker than the regular Straubinger pad so an ,080" bladder pad can take their place in a pinch, but there will be a change in feel.
 

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If you have a flute technician that is adept with Straubinger pads the Phoenix pads will be quite nice. They're a little more forgiving than his regular pads and designed to work better with a production flute. The precision required for the pads isn't unrealistic, just beyond the level of patience and attention to detail most technicians display.
Or that the owner is prepared to pay for.

What I find astonishing is all the extremely time-consuming shimming work that I see behind installed Straubingers, presumably by people officially trained, and intended to make replacement possible with very little additional work. However there there are leaks thicker than the thinnest shims involved. That suggests to me that the process is actually beyond most factories using them and other trained installers, &/or quite unreliable.

OsCeZrCd , there has been a fair bit of discussion on Straubinger pads here before. Do a search.

I prefer to replace Straubingers with 1.5 mm tradition pads of very high quality stocked by Kraus especially for the purpose, mounted in the Straubinger mounting cup. (Available only to technicians, but could probably be ordered from Music Center.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Or that the owner is prepared to pay for.

What I find astonishing is all the extremely time-consuming shimming work that I see behind installed Straubingers, presumably by people officially trained, and intended to make replacement possible with very little additional work. However there there are leaks thicker than the thinnest shims involved. That suggests to me that the process is actually beyond most factories using them and other trained installers, &/or quite unreliable.

OsCeZrCd , there has been a fair bit of discussion on Straubinger pads here before. Do a search.

I prefer to replace Straubingers with 1.5 mm tradition pads of very high quality stocked by Kraus especially for the purpose, mounted in the Straubinger mounting cup. (Available only to technicians, but could probably be ordered from Music Center.
I have done extensive search of this forum and other internet resources before posting this thread about Straubinger pads. I know most people complain about its unrealistic precision requirements but Brannen could make them work (although the cost of their flute is incredible). So I was not considering Straubinger pads at all.

I posted this thread only because I was unsure about Straubinger phoenix pads. Very little information can be found about this pad.

Gordon, I know you have always been very willing to help on this forum. If you have worked with these phoenix pads, could you tell us more about them? How hard are they compared to regular pads? Do they have an unusual dimension to hinder replacements with traditional pads?
 

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I've seen overly shimmed traditional bladder pads with leaks of the same magnitude. I'm more inclined to believe that flute work in and of itself is beyond the scope of most technicians. For whatever reason patience and light touch are more exotic than they ought to be.
 

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I have done extensive search of this forum and other internet resources before posting this thread about Straubinger pads. I know most people complain about its unrealistic precision requirements but Brannen could make them work (although the cost of their flute is incredible). So I was not considering Straubinger pads at all.

I posted this thread only because I was unsure about Straubinger phoenix pads. Very little information can be found about this pad.

Gordon, I know you have always been very willing to help on this forum. If you have worked with these phoenix pads, could you tell us more about them? How hard are they compared to regular pads? Do they have an unusual dimension to hinder replacements with traditional pads?
I agree, very little info on the phoenix pads. What does astound me is that the changes are all in the direction towards more traditional pads. Changes which to me clearly acknowledge the various deficiencies of the older ones. Give another decade or two and they may evolve completely back to traditional pads!

Just one example: https://s3.amazonaws.com/instrument...tos/YFL-Straubinger+Phoenix+Pads+Parts-2b.jpg
(Which can be found in context, with more Phoenix detail, by scrolling down at http://www.instrumentalsavings.com/...sional-Flute-p/yamaha-flute-yfl-677h-lpgp.htm
Straubinger has tried to overcome the issue of pad membrane tearing where it goes over a rather sharp plastic edge that defines the circumference. To do this he has formed a felt-like material over that sharp edge to protect the membrane. my experience of felt-like materials is that if this is done to them, then flatness will be compromised on the pad face and unwanted springiness introduced. And it was this flatness that was perhpas the best practical feature of the original Straubingers. The springiness of the felt substitute(?) that Straubinger uses has always been of concern to me. Fighting springiness to effect a seal, no matter how small the fight, is not good for a player wanting a delicate touch. Hmm.

I don't know whether I have seen and worked with Phoenix pads yet, because I have not disected one, nor probed at my customer's pads edges to check them out.
I recently did work on a Muramatsu with their take on the same concept. I think it is equally disastrous as the original Straubinger. I am not the only one it seems, from earlier pages of the link below.

I just read what I think is a worthy statement by repair technician and player, "jbutky", who to my knowledge attracts respect in the world of repairers second to none.
About the 4th post doen at http://www.8notes.com/f/25_224149.asp?spage=3
 

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The Phoenix pads I've encountered have still been pretty dang flat. The reason David came up with them was to have a pad that was friendlier to use for production flutes. We have a Yamaha 677 in the shop with the Phoenix pads that was a joy to adjust and plays beautifully.

The Muramatsu pad design was much worse in many ways, the brass back is much less flexible than delrin, the metal stabilizer had holes and was not as level as it should be, and all of this over a non level tone hole... In my experience, they are not nearly as good as David's pads.
 

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I think you would have to measure the flatness while under a specified pressure at many points across a diameter or three. Not easy to do. When we are talking of 10 microns being significant, and we are for pads of this sort, then the eye cannot gauge flatness unless on a reflective surface.
 

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How about I gauge flatness based on ease of installation and adjustment? I don't work in a lab. Let's just say they look flatter with the naked eye than the Pisoni Lucien deluxe pads and J.L. Smith E series pads I also have in stock. Let's say for example that I had an easier time shimming and adjusting the 677 with Phoenix pads than I did with the 874 we have in stock with Lucien Deluxe.

For me the proof of the pudding is in the taste.
 

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.... which in this case, takes some years to determine, i.e. long-term reliability with a light touch and minimal follow-up adjustment.
 
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