Here at Powell, we're often asked if it is possible to retrofit a C# trill to a flute that did not originally have this option. It is possible, although it requires work to the body of the flute -- which can certainly take longer than an ordinary C.O.A. or overhaul. So, if the body requires work, and a new tone hole is added, will it affect the scale? Will there be any changes to response and weight?
We asked our Vice President of Production, Rob Viola, and he answered these questions for us. Rob shared the following:
The scale of the instrument is determined by the placement of the tone holes on the tubing, so the addition of a tone hole does not change the scale unless it requires other tone holes to move. In the case of a C# trill key, the position of the C# tone hole does not require making any adjustments to the scale. The addition of a tone hole does change the response of the instrument by adding more resistance inside the tube and weight to the outside.
So, although it is a complex operation that could leave you without your flute for a longer period of time, it is possible. However, any change to the body of a flute will change it's response -- as Rob mentioned above. Understanding the changes ahead of time certainly helps -- and if you are interested in the C# trill but want to go a different route, you can always upgrade to a new flute...
*Note, the C# trill in these photos was not retrofit (we didn't have a flute with a retrofit C# in the shop to photograph...)