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Phrasing? Brazing? Maybe FREEZING as in cryogenic treatment? I do it - makes me think I'm doing something cool for the horn. Search for cryogenic if that's what you're talking about.
 

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From fluteworks.com

(Man, google is amazing! ;) )

We are nationally recognized for our innovative work with these modifications. If your flute is stuffy or stiff sounding, it would probably benefit from our skillful hand cutting of the embouchure hole. Each headjoint is individually assessed to ensure maximum improvement. Tone hole fraizing remedies excessive cracking between intervals. Please refer to our Data Page, "Fraizing and Undercutting" for a more detailed explanation of these procedures.
 

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Yes, but did you find the Data page?:D

Fraising or undercutting of the tone holes is done by rounding off the tonehole edges from the inside out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is this the same as chamfering? Are they smoothing the tone hole where it meets the key pad, or where it joins to the body?
 

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According to the acousticians, undercutting, chamfering or fraizing (as you like it) can have a significant effect on response--much, much more than wall material. Getting rid of sharp edges in the bore reduces turbulence and internal reflections in the air column, and it is highly recommended when- and wherever it can be done by Nederveen. As regards headjoints, I have some personal experience. First, I had the embouchure of my bass flute redone a couple of decades ago by a man in Modena, Italy famous for redoing head joints, and the difference was *amazing*. Second, I have a Cooper-style headjoint with undercut chimney sides, and the difference between it and a classic Boston-cut headjoint is huge. Of course there may be other factors at play (such as the curve of the headjoint tube), but the ease with which it blows is, I think, indicative of a much better coupling between the air jet and the air column.

Basically in thin-walled metal instruments you can't actually round the edges of the tone holes, you have to curve the bottom of the tone hole or embouchure hole chimney so that it does not meet the body tube at a right angle. This is not easy, and my Cooper-style head joint was significantly more expensive than a standard Powell head. Doing this on the tone holes would add a lot of cost to a handmade flute.

But extruded tone holes? It seems to me that it would be a simple matter to draw the tone holes in such a way that would mimic chamfering. I wonder if anyone has tried this...

Toby
 

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I use drawn tone holes and they are tapered slightly giving a mild undercut. On soldered tone holes there is more metal that can be worked with. I undercut and overcut all heads. Today makers are getting away from the heavy top cutting that was popular in the 80s.
 

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MRC01 said:
Is this the same as chamfering? Are they smoothing the tone hole where it meets the key pad, or where it joins to the body?
It usually refers to where the tone hole meets the bore.

As regards the practice on flutes with drawn tone holes...

Fraising is most effective at the north and south sides of the hole (north being closest to the head cork.) In these locations of a flute and sax, the the tone hole walls are very low. I doubt there is enough room for effective fraising, andn if it were done, it may actually be counterproductive as far as turbulence goes, when it is so close to the influences at the TOP of the tone hole. Reduced turbulence at the bottom of the tone hole may well result in greater turbulence at the top and around the pad.

Note that the embouchure hole acts as a tone hole for every note, the tube being acoustically open at both ends, and this particular tone hole has a much taller wall, On most modern flute heads it is significantly fraised.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
G-dawg said:
From fluteworks.com
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Yep that is from Pat North at Cincinnati Flute Works. She comes highly recommended by a couple of pros I know and I'm going to be trying a couple of her custom cut headjoints. These will be customized factory heads. After speaking with her on the phone I am hopefully enthusiastic; she seemed to understand exactly what I was looking for. That combined with recommendations from people I trust made it a no-brainer to try them out.

As for getting a bespoke built hand cut HJ versus a custom modified factory head, I am not sure which way to go so I am trying both directions, but I've had good luck in the past with modified factory heads. I am looking for the sweet flutey sound that David Colvig gave my old 3SB years ago, yet modern makers all seem to be focusing on huge projecting modern sounding heads. Think of seeking a Ransom Wilson kind of sound in a Galway world.
 

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MRC01 said:
snip

I am looking for the sweet flutey sound that David Colvig gave my old 3SB years ago, yet modern makers all seem to be focusing on huge projecting modern sounding heads. Think of seeking a Ransom Wilson kind of sound in a Galway world.
You may find that undercut headjoints give you just the opposite of what you seem to be looking for. My experience is that undercut heads tend to be loud and easy to blow, and mine ,at least, is just the opposite of zat sweet Frainch sound--loud and piercing it is, without a hint of air (although as I mentioned, this might be due to other dimensional factors as well as the undercutting).

From which I segue into this: the composition of the harmonics in the sound, from whence derives (to a great extent) the characteristic voice of the individual flute, is only partially dependent on the cut of the embouchure. My feeling is that the embouchure hole is somewhat analogous to the reed on a sax. The response, to some extent, and the ease of blowing is quite heavily tied to the reed. The final sound is also of course, to some extent determined by the reed, but the characteristic voice of the instrument is more dependent on the mpc, neck, and the bore.

Which is just a long-winded way of saying that you should try different heads with different tube geometries. For that flutey sound you might even want to go with an old-style head with high chimney walls with very little undercutting.

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter #12
kymarto said:
...Which is just a long-winded way of saying that you should try different heads with different tube geometries. For that flutey sound you might even want to go with an old-style head with high chimney walls with very little undercutting.
One of the sweetest sounding most responsive flutes I ever played was an old Haynes from the 1940s. Also all the HJs I really liked have had elliptical blowholes not big squarish ones. IME, big squarish holes tend to make a bold, projecting, sizzling modern sound that grabs one's attention but it's a sound my ears quickly tire of. I tend to have a big powerful sound anyway and a head like that just takes it over the top. Jupiter's factory D-2 and D-4 headjoints are like this. Also the Powells I've played which is probably why they never floated my boat all that much. It's fun for certain styles of playing but I have a limited tolerance for it.

That said, some smaller elliptical holes can't take the power and I have to really hold back to avoid cracking them. So medium size seems about right. I like a sweet flutey sound, but by no means dainty. A sweet flutey sound that has resonance and depth of tone.

So if I had to guess based on experience I'd say medium sized elliptical hole, minimal undercut and medium chimney height. As for taper, not sure but since it affects intonation as well as tone I'd want it to be matched to the flute's scale or tonehole positioning.
 

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If I were you I'd look at Prima Sankyo heads. I've generally found them to be quite easy blowing, but with a lot of high partials and not much in the mids, which gives a nice, sweet but large sound.

The factors that determine head joint response and sound are nastily interactive and very complex, defying easy analysis. I have played (serially) a number of different heads which appear similar in terms of embouchure hole shape and geometry but which play quite differently. When everything is in balance you end up with a dynamite headjoint which LIVES, and then the next one, with a small difference somewhere, just doesn't make it at all. The tube contraction is quite important. Nederveen points out that as long as it is anywhere in the ballpark it performs the function of bringing the partials into line, but it is the small variations within those parameters that determine all the fine timbral and response characteristics.

Toby
 

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Fraizing.

Is that like indulging in strawberries in France (during the winter) ;)
 

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Oh no, more terminology. Fraizing. I was just starting to understand crazing (lacquer wear of a certain type). This is just too much! What's a poor sax hobbyist to do! :confused:
 

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Ignore it. It's flute talk, clarinet talk, oboe talk... No saxophone content.
 

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I thought fraizing was an expression used by Southerners......... "Ah went up to Chicago, and I wuz fraizing my butt off............"
 

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I think it is sheet metal worker talk, at least in the Black Country in England. Fraizing means cutting the fray (i.e. the frayed edges after shaping has distorted the metal).

In the alternative, this is a definition from the internet: A machine which guides briar block against cutters to duplicate preselected pipe shape. A clamp-fitted shaft and a cam follows a master model to shape shank and lower half of bowl.

There used to be a TV game in England called, Call My Bluff. Any takers?!
 

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Pipes might be shaped like a sax, but A cutter used to shape the bowl has little relevance to saxes.

Sheet metal is a bit closer to saxes, but the concept doesn't apply to fine tuning of a finished instrument.

Never heard of the show. In the states a similar show was called "Whats my line ?"
 
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