We recently came across a Powell Aurumite Conservatory flute in the testing room, and something seemed a bit different... The footjoint seemed a bit "shorter" and seemed to be missing a tone hole. Was this a mistake? Of course not! It was simply a C Foot flute. With Powell Flutes, every model is available as either B Foot or C foot. This includes, Signature, Conservatory, and Custom models. In fact, there is an option to buy an additional foot for the custom flutes. So, for example, if you were to by a Custom with a C foot, you could purchase an additional B foot as well. Powell Sonaré flutes are available as B foot or C foot models, which are actually identified by the first letter of the model. You can see a listing of these models on the Powell Sonaré page of the Powell website. You will notice codes for various model numbers. If the code begins with a C, it's a C foot -- if it begins with a B, it's a B foot. Examples would be CGF and BGF. A CGF would have a C foot, inline G, and French cups. The BGF would have a B foot, inline G, and French cups.
So, what exactly are the differences between a C foot flute and a B foot? Well, the C foot, as you can see in the photos, has a range that extends down to C. With this range, there are only two tone holes on the footjoint, no B key, and no gizmo key. A B foot flute would have a range that extends down to B, so it would have three tone holes on the footjoint, a B key, and (on Powell flutes) a gizmo key. The gizmo key helps facilitate the high C -- you can read more about its history in our previous post on the gizmo key. However, B foot models of Powell flutes are also available without a gizmo key. Because a C foot flute has less physical material in its construction, it will also be lighter to hold and will be priced lower than a B foot. In the U.S., the majority of Powell sales are for flutes with a B foot. In the UK, many players prefer the C foot. Regardless of your choice, Powell has the option with each model (as mentioned above). There are also cases available from Powell for either a B foot or C foot flute. The photos below show Aurumite Conservatory C foot and B foot models.
|C Foot -- two tone holes, no B key, no gizmo.|
|Close-up on C footjoint.|
|B Foot has three tone holes and additional keys.|
|Red arrow points to gizmo key, yellow points to B key.|