Sunday, July 26, 2015

Handmade Custom Choices

If you are thinking about purchasing a Powell Handmade Custom flute, there are several options and material choices that truly customize the instrument to your preferences.  Today's choices go well beyond silver and gold to include grenadilla wood and eight different metals.  In addition to the body choices, you also have different options for the mechanism material on flutes with 10k, 14k , 19.5k, platinum, and grenadilla bodies.  Whereas soldered tone holes are available on all metal flutes, drawn tone holes are also an option for silver flutes and most gold flutes (with the exception of 14k white gold).

Each Handmade Custom flute is also made with your preference for key cups (French or American), G keys (offset or inline), pitch (A-440, 442, or 444), and footjoint, (B foot with or without gizmo, or C foot).  Metal flutes may be ordered with either a pinned or pinless mechchanism.  Further customizations include the option of a C# trill, D# roller, split-E,  and G-disc. engraving, 10k or 14k tone holes, and a 14k "package' of 14k tone holes, posts, and rings.

The chart below (click it to enlarge) lists materials, options, and customizations for Powell's Handmade Custom flutes.  To view more information, download the full Powell brochure at

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Signature and Custom Piccolos

Powell Signature Flute and Signature Piccolo

Thinking about purchasing a Powell piccolo?  Wondering what models are available?  Powell currently offers two models, the Signature and the Handmade Custom.  We thought we would take a look at the two to find out more about their features and options...

Powell Handmade Custom Piccolos
in Kingwood (left) and Grenadilla (right)
In terms of materials, the Signature piccolo is available in grenadilla wood with a sterling silver mechanism. The Handmade Custom piccolo is available in either grenadilla (with a sterling silver or 14k rose gold mechanism) or kingwood (with a 14k rose gold mechanism).  The Signature piccolo is pitched at A-442, and the Handmade Custom piccolo has pitch options of A-440, A-442, or A-444. Both the Signature and Handmade Custom piccolos are made with 10k white gold springs, feature the Modern Powell scale, and have the option of a split-E.  The standard headjoint for both the Signature and Handmade Custom piccolos is the Classic style, but there are additional options: the Wave (for the Signature and Handmade Custom) and the Profiled (for Handmade Custom).  One additional feature of the Handmade Custom piccolo is that the tone holes are reinforced with phenolic inserts.

At first glance, it may be difficult to distinguish the two models -- especially if you are looking at the Signature and the grenadilla Handmade Custom with silver mechanism.  However, as you look closer, you'll notice that there are two slight differences on the outside: the rings, and the text under the logo.  Both the Signature and Handmade Custom piccolos have rings on the bottom of the body, bottom of the headjoint, and top of the headjoint (below the crown).  However, the styles of these rings differ.  The Signature rings have a flat style with a slightly elevated edge.  On the Handmade Custom, the ring at the bottom of the body is curved, and the rings on the headjoint are flat (but without an edge like the Signature's headjoint rings). Also, looking at the logo at the top of the body, you'll notice that both have the words, "Verne Q. Powell Flutes" and "Boston," but the Signature model has "Signature" added directly under "Verne Q. Powell Flutes."

To learn more about the Powell Signature and Handmade Custom piccolos, visit

Close-up on the Signature ring and text under logo.
Handmade Custom has a curved ring at the bottom of the body
and flat rings on the headjoint.
Another view showing both headjoint rings on the Handmade Custom.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Introducing the Heavy Wall Handmade Conservatory Flute

Powell Heavy Wall Handmade Conservatory Flute

In 1928, Verne Q. Powell published his very first brochure, offering flutists the choice of two models of sterling silver flutes -- the Handmade (with soldered tone holes) and the Commercial (with drawn tone holes).  The Commercial model had a long 60-year production history and is still a prized possession of many flutists today.  After the last Commercial model was produced in 1988, Powell continued to receive requests for this popular style. In 1993, Powell launched a completely resigned version of the Commercial model, the 2100.  In 2002, the 2100 was redesigned as well, marking the introduction of the current sterling silver Handmade Conservatory model to the public.

Today, we celebrate a particularly historic milestone for the silver Handmade Conservatory flute.  In addition to having drawn tone holes, the original Powell Commercial model had a body tubing thickness of .018".  Over the years, the Powell drawn tone hole models shifted to a medium thickness of .016".  For flutists who prefer the .018" "heavy wall" tubing, this option has only been available on Custom Powell models.  We are pleased to announce that the sterling silver Powell Handmade Conservatory model is now available in either .016" or .018" tubing.

The new heavy wall Handmade Conservatory offers flutists an even greater selection of options while celebrating the model's original predecessor, the Powell Commercial model (click here to view our previous post on the original Powell 1928 brochure).

If you are interested in trying a heavy wall silver Handmade Conservatory, follow this link to our online dealer locator page. For those without a Powell dealer in the area, contact Daniel Sharp at