Saturday, June 13, 2015

Introducing the Signature II Headjoint

In our previous post titled "Signature Spotlight," we learned that the Signature flute was designed to offer Powell's craftsmanship and the legendary "Powell Sound" at an affordable price, and the hand-cut Signature headjoint was crafted specifically to compliment the flute.  The Signature headjoint is identifiable as its name is engraved on the headjoint, three lines below the logo. You will find a Signature headjoint not only on each individual Signature flute, but on every Powell Sonaré model as well.

Over the years, we've received requests for a "more free-blowing" Signature headjoint, and this year, we set out to design a completely new style headjoint known as the "Signature II." Prototypes were developed and then tested in several phases by flutists on the Powell production and sales teams, Powell artists, and Powell dealers.  The resulting headjoint was not only free-blowing -- it was completely unique.  We sat down with Powell finisher and headjoint cutter, Lindsey McChord, to learn more about the Signature II headjoint...

The Signature II is the latest in Powell's offering of headjoint styles, which includes the Soloist, Philharmonic, Venti, and Signature.  Lindsey told us that the Signature II uses the Soloist wall and the Philharmonic lip plate, which is slightly wider than the current Signature lip plate.  Those who have tried the Signature II found that it is extremely responsive and allows for clean, crisp articulation while producing a full and focused sound.

Whereas the headjoint's sound and response are apparent to the player, Lindsey gave us a special inside perspective -- literally. She shared her mirror tool with us, letting us take a closer look inside the headjoint where the riser meets the headjoint tubing. She explained that the riser is cut very differently, and that the design for the Signature II is "all about round and continuous shapes."  It contrasts from the Philharmonic, Venti, and Signature, which are cut to be more angular inside.   When we looked inside the headjoint, we could see that the bottom of the riser blended perfectly into the tubing with incredibly smooth, rounded edges.  It was easy to see the roundness and continuous shapes that Lindsey explained.  She said that for other headjoint styles, the undercutting is traditionally done on the sides only, but with the Signature II headjoint, undercutting is done completely around the bottom of the riser to achieve this smoothness and continuity. Like the undercutting, the overcutting for the Signature II is also very rounded.

What exactly does the cutting style of the headjoint mean for a flutist?  Well, Lindsey tells us that the rounded shapes allow air to go smoothly through the riser and down into the tube without anything catching the air stream.  The rounded overcutting and undercutting make the headjoint "very smooth to play."

Lindsey added that she is "especially excited about the new headjoint because it is so different from anything else."  If you're interested in trying the Signature II headjoint, click here to find our list of authorized Powell dealers in your area or contact us directly with any questions.

1 comment:

  1. Now I wish I could afford a Powell Flute! I cannot even afford a Powell Sonaré model?


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