We received the following inquiry regarding the production process and how it affects the scale, and we thought many of you might have the same questions:
How do you construct the scale of your instruments? What are the advantages of having a flute with a handmade scale when compared to a mass-produced flute?
Powell Flutes are made today using the Modern Powell Scale, but over the course of 79 years we have used a few different versions of flute scales. Our current scale is based on the Cooper Scale by Albert Cooper; but there are modifications that have been made to better suit a Powell instrument.
In theory, there could be no difference in the scale of a handmade flute versus a mass-produced flute. The position of the tone holes on the tubing determines the scale of an instrument, and that is not a factor in determining whether a flute is handmade or mass-produced.
However, flute makers who offer handmade soldered tone hole flutes have been the quickest to make modifications to their scales to improve intonation. Thus, most handmade flute makers offer a more even and in-tune scale. In addition, handmade flute makers are more likely to continue to improve their scale based on the opinions of professional flutists.