Friday, August 22, 2014

How Well Do You Know Your Flute?

If you have been shopping for a new flute, you've probably come across many choices, options, and specs for different models.  What do they all mean -- and how do they compare with your own flute?  Even if you are not looking for something new but are curious about the features and manufacturing date of your flute, if you play a Powell you can find this information online!

The Powell website's online bible allows you to enter a Powell serial number and find the specs on that instrument.  For instance, we entered serial number 14543 and found the following:

It may be a bit hard to read, but the photo above is a computer screen shot with the search results, which are:

Serial Number: 14543
Completion Date:  9/16/2011
Specs:  Powell Handmade Custom 14K Aurumite flute with sterling silver mechanism, .016" tubing, soldered tone holes, A442, Modern Powell Scale, B footjoint with gizmo, offset G, French cups, split-E and Powell pinless mechanism.
Model:  Handmade Custom Flute

So, this tells us quite a bit about the flute -- the date of completion, model, body and mechanism materials, body thickness, type of tone holes, pitch, scale, and options.  For someone looking to purchase a new Powell, it may be difficult to remember all the specs if you are trying multiple flutes, so you could print these results to help in the decision making process.  If you are searching for your own flutes, you may find information you did not know previously.  Perhaps you wondered if your flute had soldered tone holes, or a pinless mechanism, or the body tubing thickness -- and the search results can tell you this.  Wondering when exactly your flute was made?  As you can see, a quick database search will tell you the exact month, day and year!

All Powell instruments are listed in the database, so even if you have a serial number with only 2 digits, you should be able to find it.  If you have a Handmade Conservatory flute, you may need to enter "CHM-(serial number)" or "HC-(serial number)."  For instance, "CHM-123" or "HC-123."  Whether it is a flute or piccolo, it should be searchable.  Since the records were transferred from the physical "Powell Bible" to the online database, it is possible that you may find an error.  In that case, make sure to contact our Marketing Director, Christina Guiliano-Cobas at to let her know.

After you find the specs, you may be wondering what they mean -- like "soldered tone holes."  We have plenty of information on our website, and in our Flute Builder blog as well.  If you are on the blog, type "soldered tone holes" in the search bar, and see what comes up!  You should see several posts.  Between our general site, Flute Builder blog, and a Google search, your questions should be answered!

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