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Discussion Starter #1
I've been playing around with C foots on my flute (Jupiter 1011) which came with the factory B foot. The C foot on one of my other flutes (an Artley from the 1970s) fits (with a little tape) so I've been using it to test out whether to get a factory C foot for this flute.

While the scale/intonation is off (as expected), the flute feels more responsive with the C foot.

I like the tone of this flute (D-2 headjoint), though it's got a lot of edge and zing so any more would be too much. I'm afraid the C foot may be adding just a touch of extra zing to the sound which may be excessive but the effect is so subtle I can't be sure if it's just expectation bias.

Anyway, I kinda like the quicker response of the C foot and its bigger bottom octave, so before I plink down a few hundred bucks on a new factory C foot, I was looking for any comments or advice the experienced players here might have.
 

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While the scale/intonation is off (as expected),

I'm thinking you already know this but... If you do need to tune more than usual from the head joint, the tuning "cork" in the head joint is what you can use when changing the foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
RandyJ said:
While the scale/intonation is off (as expected),
I'm thinking you already know this but... If you do need to tune more than usual from the head joint, the tuning "cork" in the head joint is what you can use when changing the foot.
I was referring to the fact that the toneholes in my 30 year old Artley foot are not in the same positions as those in the Jupiter foot. This difference in intonation is less than I expected - just a few cents on the Eb for example. This wouldn't happen with the factory C foot.

I didn't notice the C foot affecting the pitch of any of the other notes, at least not enough for me to notice.

I've heard people describe the C/B foot difference as HUGE. I wouldn't go that far - seems rather subtle to me. Slightly more responsive throughout the range, perhaps a bit more in the bottom octave. Slightly brighter sound with more zip. But the differences are so small I'm not even sure a listener would hear the difference.
 

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If you ask me, B foot is the biggest fraud perpetrated on flautists. It has very little use and makes flutes harder to play. Many flutes are imported here to US will only b foot, like my Muramatsu. Most German orchestral players are smarter than this, however, and play plateau c foot flutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I see it as a preference rather than a fraud. The B foot seems to make the flute slightly more resistant. This has a subtle effect on the tone and response. Some people might like it, others not.

I can't explain *why* it matters, though, because if the flute is sufficiently vented I can't imagine how the length of the tube can matter. Some kind of end/edge reflection effect of the waveform? Who knows. All I can say is that it does seem to matter - even if it is only a small difference.

P.S. the C foot also seems slightly louder. Perhaps an effect of lower acoustic impedance? Just a guess. Knowing that slightly louder sounds are often perceived by the human ear/brain as "richer" "fuller" or other terms not associated with loudness, this might explain what people describe about C foots.
 

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I have to agree with danarsenault. I'll stick with my flute which has a c foot, plateau keys and an off-set G. It's just easier to play well that way.
 

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I agree too.

Randy wrote "I'm thinking you already know this but... If you do need to tune more than usual from the head joint, the tuning "cork" in the head joint is what you can use when changing the foot."

Really? The crown cork position can be used to specifically alther the tuning of the bottom 3 okr 4 notes? No.

Altering that cork enough to affect these notes will have other more profound effects, probably undesirable.

From http://www.langemusic.com/Articles/flutecork.htm

"Myths about Tuning

Adjusting the tuning cork forward or back does not adjust overall intonation of the flute up or down universally. Although you will succeed in sharpening or flattening overall, movement out of center will relatively flatten the upper register and sharpen the lower or visa versa. This will distort the scaling of the flute. Position of the cork is measured as follows: the length of the end plate to the center of the embouchure hole is equal to the diameter of the tube at the center of the embouchure hole. This measurement is most commonly 17.3mm. Physics determines the proportions! Flutes are designed to play most in tune with this proportion set properly and proper tone hole placement (scaling)."

More detail at http://www.langemusic.com/Articles/flutetune.htm
 

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The B foot is useful for the stability and response of the high C, and if you like to play with multiphonics it gives some added possibilities. Rampal was totally against the B foot, saying it ruined the balance of the flute. I like others find that it gives a bit of added resistance at the bottom, but I find the difference minimal. There are, of course, a few orchestral pieces that call for a low B, but they are few and far between.

Toby
 

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Thanks Gordon for those links. I had a printout of Joe Butkevicius' article, but I had misplaced it. This information raises the question that if the the diameter of the headjoint at the center of the embouchure hole determines the placement of the cork, is there any way to measure this accurately because of the location of the lip plate?

I had always taken the measurement of the diameter of the open end of the headjoint to check the notch on the cleaning rod, but shouldn't the measurement at the embouchure hole should be slightly smaller than this due to the taper of the headjoint?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The diameter of the head tube at the embouchure hole is actually *bigger* than at the cork end of the tube. From one flute to the next there is variation in the amount of taper, the bore diameter and the cork end diameter. Theoretically the diameter at the embouchure hole "should" be 17.3mm but I would expect some variation around this number.

Overall it is only a small difference but I think I am liking it better with the C foot. It was a bit confusing at first though because there is so much hype about this I expected a bigger difference.

Can anyone explain why there is any difference at all? If the flute tube is sufficiently vented at the toneholes how can its overall length make any difference?
 

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jmartin said:
I have to agree with danarsenault. I'll stick with my flute which has a c foot, plateau keys and an off-set G. It's just easier to play well that way.
I just recently switched from my all-sterling, open-hole, in-line, B-foot, Gemeinhart (that was perpetrated on me by someone who gave me a few lessons when I was coming up to speed on flute a decade or so back) to a student Yamaha, offset, plateau, C-foot with an upgrade headjoint. The tone is different than the G but certainly not inferior. The response and ease of play is a big improvement. I do have some residual guilt about talking a local buyer into buying the G from me, but it was in excellent condition and was what her teacher had told her to get.
 

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If you need a Jupiter C-foot, there is a Jupiter for sale on ebay (started about the 26th?). It is advertised as needing repairs. It looks like the LH section is missing but the foot is OK.
 

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jbtsax said:
Thanks Gordon for those links. I had a printout of Joe Butkevicius' article, but I had misplaced it. This information raises the question that if the the diameter of the headjoint at the center of the embouchure hole determines the placement of the cork, is there any way to measure this accurately because of the location of the lip plate?

I had always taken the measurement of the diameter of the open end of the headjoint to check the notch on the cleaning rod, but shouldn't the measurement at the embouchure hole should be slightly smaller than this due to the taper of the headjoint?
It definitely shouold be based on the bore diameter at the centre of teh emkbouichure hole, not the tenon end of the tube, which is considerably larger. Engineers supplies have a variety of bore gages (with length extensions), depending on what accuracy you are seeking. In practice, unless a flute is an odd-ball, you can reasonably assume this diameter to be 17.3 mm.
 

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jbtsax said:
Thanks Gordon for those links. I had a printout of Joe Butkevicius' article, but I had misplaced it. This information raises the question that if the the diameter of the headjoint at the center of the embouchure hole determines the placement of the cork, is there any way to measure this accurately because of the location of the lip plate?
Traditionally, bore disc gauges are used to map out a bore. These are sized discs on the end of a rod inserted into the bore. You really need to have a least one, the 17.3mm to get you in the ballpark. I can post a picture if you'd like.

I had always taken the measurement of the diameter of the open end of the headjoint to check the notch on the cleaning rod, but shouldn't the measurement at the embouchure hole should be slightly smaller than this due to the taper of the headjoint?
As Gordon said, you can't go by that. That "is what it is" based on the taper and length of the head and is not consistant. If you really want to get cork placement correct for any headjoint, scale length and player, you need to go through that playing routine in that article to get it customized. Measure first and use that as your cork placement guide to start. Then do that harmonic play testing comparison because it adds the player to the equation which can change things more than the cork placement!

Joe B
 

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JButky said:
Traditionally, bore disc gauges are used to map out a bore. These are sized discs on the end of a rod inserted into the bore. You really need to have a least one, the 17.3mm to get you in the ballpark. I can post a picture if you'd like.Joe B
Thanks Joe, a picture would be great.
 

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MRC01 said:
Overall it is only a small difference but I think I am liking it better with the C foot. It was a bit confusing at first though because there is so much hype about this I expected a bigger difference.

Can anyone explain why there is any difference at all? If the flute tube is sufficiently vented at the tone holes how can its overall length make any difference?
Well, "sufficiently" is a loaded word. There are a couple of things to consider, AFAIK. First, a tone hole at right angles to the main tube with a certain chimney height is not the same acoustically as the end of the tube cut straight off. The math for this is well understood (though not by me ;-). And then there is a kind of matrix effect, in which open holes in the tube below the highest open hole create a kind of bandpass filter, not to mention reflections from any edges which bounce back up the tube and have their own effects. Think about it: if tone holes completely vented the tube, forked fingerings would have no effect whatsoever...

Interestingly, closing the lowest key on a B foot stabilizes and corrects the intonation of the highest C (which is why most B foot B keys have a little "gizmo" key). If you look at that, there are four open tone holes above that closed B tone hole at the bottom. Four open tone holes would seem to be adequate to "completely vent" the tube, and yet somehow that tiny bit of difference--one hole closed near the bottom--is quite significant for that one note (and that note only).

The acoustics of a woodwind bore are stunningly complex--which is one of the reasons that no one has yet come up with anything approaching a decent mathematical model of one. First approximations are often about as far as you get.

Toby
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Adjusting the tuning cork forward or back does not adjust overall intonation of the flute up or down universally. Although you will succeed in sharpening or flattening overall, movement out of center will relatively flatten the upper register and sharpen the lower or visa versa.
Gordon, my problems with the flute are exactly that the upper register tends to be slightly sharp while the lower is slightly flat. Could moving the cork's position aid in this?
 

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Consult Joe's articles - links in my earlier post. He is an expert in this area.

But your problem is likely to be related to embouchure, amount of embouchure hole covered, angle of airstream, and breath pressure. Placing a band-aid crudely over such problems just makes more problems, IMO. There is easy turn-a-screw fix.
 

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Well, I have a 10 1/2 US size foot, and it works fine. I'll post up pictures later. :D


Now honestly, for curiosity's sake. What's a foot? I have a feeling it's that metal thing that you blow through on the flute. Kind of like a mouthpiece. But I never thought that was changeable or affected the sound. I wouldn't know. Never played the flute.

Just curious.
 

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Gordon, it's more a problem with a headjoint I've been playing recently, which supposedly employs superior tuning system. I wonder if the cork being moved could make it line up perfectly as with my old headjoint.
 
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