Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flute Pad Choices

Did you know that when you send your flute in for repair at Powell, you have a choice of pads?  There are three types of pads to choose from since today's flute pads may be different from older models.  Current Powell models are outfitted with Straubinger pads, which Powell started using around 1990.  Other pad options are hard pressed felt and soft woven felt.  Construction layers differ in these pads and are described below:

1) Straubinger pad - Plastic base, thin microfiber layer, skin
2) Hard pressed felt pad - Cardboard base, thin pressed felt, skin
3) Soft woven felt pad - Cardboard base, thicker woven felt, skin

L to R: Straubinger, hard pressed felt, soft woven felt
So, which should you choose?  It is really a matter of preference, but our website mentions the following characteristics:
*Felt pads: Made of cardboard, felt, and a bladderskin exterior. Softer, not as resonant, but can withstand significant finger pressure.

*Straubinger: Made of plastic, microfiber, and a skin. These are used on all of our new flutes because they are designed to be more stable and resonant. In addition, they give the mechanism a crisp response.

Whichever works best for you and meets your needs as a performer is really the best choice! 

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