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» F# Comparison, DeRuby, Light, Gomez, Higgins, and a recorder

dabbler   


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Post #1

Attached File  F__Quartet.jpg ( 417.21K ) Number of downloads: 23
More of an overview than a review and very much an experiment, so here goes:

Part 1 Stephen DeRuby vs Ken Light:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kFu7UPTICg&t=19s

Part 2 JP Gomez vs Barry Higgins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gKas7gzlGc&t=27s

Part 3 Scale: Native American style vs Recorder

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNLSjbDNFCg&t=2s


This post has been edited by dabbler: Nov 18 2017, 07:29 AM
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Attached File  Screen_Shot_2017_11_17_at_3.03.33_PM.png ( 3.65MB ) Number of downloads: 15
 


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Prairie Wolf   


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Post #2

Don't know if it is my You Tube settings or what, but I can't get the video links to come through. blink.gif

QUOTE(dabbler @ Nov 17 2017, 12:25 PM) *
Attached File  F__Quartet.jpg ( 417.21K ) Number of downloads: 23
More of an overview than a review and very much an experiment, so here goes:

Part 1 Stephen DeRuby vs Ken Light:

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=9kFu7UPTICg

Part 2 JP Gomez vs Barry Higgins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gKas7gzlGc

Part 3 Scale: Native American style vs Recorder

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=iNLSjbDNFCg



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MonoLoco   


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Post #3

Hi.

Thanks for sharing those vids.

You stated that Ken's flute is one single piece and Stephen's is split. Are you sure? You might have it backwards, but I'm not sure myself.


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dabbler   


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Post #4

QUOTE(Prairie Wolf @ Nov 17 2017, 12:31 PM) *
Don't know if it is my You Tube settings or what, but I can't get the video links to come through. blink.gif

It may be me. Ill check the links, and the design too on light and deruby.


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #5

I was unable to view the first and last videos, but I found links from the middle one that got me there...

Ken Light/Stephen DeRuby:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kFu7UPTICg



NAF vs. Recorder:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNLSjbDNFCg

Hope that works.

Also, Scott, in the photo that dabbler posted, the DeRuby flute is the one on the bottom. Open that photo, and I think you'll be able to spot the seam on that flute. I never knew of Stephen "gun boring" single piece flutes and surely didn't see any equipment for doing so in his shop last year. But I did see (literally) miles of half-tube material for making two piece flutes!



QUOTE(dabbler @ Nov 17 2017, 02:25 PM) *
Attached File  F__Quartet.jpg ( 417.21K ) Number of downloads: 23
More of an overview than a review and very much an experiment, so here goes:

Part 1 Stephen DeRuby vs Ken Light:

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=9kFu7UPTICg

Part 2 JP Gomez vs Barry Higgins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gKas7gzlGc

Part 3 Scale: Native American style vs Recorder

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=iNLSjbDNFCg


This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Nov 17 2017, 05:40 PM


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Mike   


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Post #6

QUOTE(Prairie Wolf @ Nov 17 2017, 12:31 PM) *
Don't know if it is my You Tube settings or what, but I can't get the video links to come through. blink.gif

Yea, you posted the links from your YouTube editing tool, so you posted two of them as your "edit" version that is meant for you when you are logged in. The other one is the "watch" version for everyone else. (I probably got the terminology wrong, but you get the idea. The links should have "watch" in them.

Nice comparison. The range of timbre that variety of these flutes make is pretty striking when heard side-by-side. Thanks for that!

Mike

This post has been edited by Mike: Nov 17 2017, 06:54 PM


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dabbler   


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Post #7

Thanks for the tech support. Here are the revised links and I also updated the original post:

deruby-light

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kFu7UPTICg&t=19s

higgins-gomez

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gKas7gzlGc&t=27s

naf-recorder

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNLSjbDNFCg&t=2s


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Post #8

QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Nov 17 2017, 05:37 PM) *
Also, Scott, in the photo that dabbler posted, the DeRuby flute is the one on the bottom. Open that photo, and I think you'll be able to spot the seam on that flute. I never knew of Stephen "gun boring" single piece flutes and surely didn't see any equipment for doing so in his shop last year. But I did see (literally) miles of half-tube material for making two piece flutes!

I wasn't even looking at the pics (Doh! ... very clearly evident there), but I thought Ken Light split all of his, so that's was I proposed the possible mix-up. So, Ken makes solid-bore?


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Brother Cavefish   


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Post #9

F# is one of my favorites


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dabbler   


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Post #10

QUOTE(MonoLoco @ Nov 18 2017, 02:58 PM) *
I wasn't even looking at the pics (Doh! ... very clearly evident there), but I thought Ken Light split all of his, so that's was I proposed the possible mix-up. So, Ken makes solid-bore?

I'll send him a note and follow up if there's an answer. My other D sharp by him is split, but if this is two parts, the seam is invisible.


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #11

Interesting comparisons.

The more important factors to me, between DeRuby and Ken Light, would be the alternative tuning, of the Ken Light flute. Many players still don't know about that factor, and I have seen experienced players forget to finger songs correctly, on the alternative tunings. I have Ken Light flutes, but never did actually acquire any of DeRuby's flutes, as I never had the opportunity to try them, either at an event, or in flutes other players had.

I think the main difference I hear in the Higgins flute, vs. the Gomez flute, is associated with the bore diameter. I tend to like the larger bore flutes myself, especially in lower keys, as the smaller bore doesn't work as well in the lower key range, without wide finger spreads. The Gomez flute is more mellow in tone, and I much prefer that tone, although Gomez is one of my fave makers, and I don't have any flutes from Higgins, again partly because I never had the opportunity totry one at an event or in a flute belonging to another player.

The comparison of NAF and recorder, is really more about the difference between a fipple instrument vs. one with a SAC to me. The expressiveness of the flute with a SAC is very different from the one with just a fipple edge. I do have recorders and I only play them in the New Age style. I d not like recorder consorts, at all, because they typically only play classical music, and I am not a classical music type of person.

I think NAF is pretty much a personal preference kind of thing, as to the sound differences between makers, given the same overall quality of voicing and tuning. Kind of like warbling flutes.........that's pretty much an acquired taste, that's not for everyone.


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Post #12

I thought Ken made 2 piece flutes too, but I might be wrong. A 2 piece flute that starts out as a single piece of quarter sawn lumber can have a seam that's very difficult to find. In a skillfully reassembled piece, the seam can appear to be just another one of the lines in the woodgrain! As far as I could tell, Stephen rarely "matched" pieces. His massive stocks of pre-made half-tubes made it impossible to find find two pieces that were originally together as lumber. The trick to working with Stephen's materials is finding two pieces that look good together even though they're not matched.

Decoding DeRuby's materials and methods has been challenging and very intertesting.

QUOTE(dabbler @ Nov 19 2017, 07:05 AM) *
I'll send him a note and follow up if there's an answer. My other D sharp by him is split, but if this is two parts, the seam is invisible.


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Post #13


I'll bet dollars to donuts that Ken Light's flute is two halves glued together. That is how he made them for a long time, and the fact that this one has a raven's beak tells me that this one's bore was not drilled from the foot, and the integral mouthpiece tells me that the bore was not drilled from the mouth either. I THINK I see a seam in the photo, but it it probably just a really well-matched seam, which, as Keith mentioned, is fairly easy to do with western redcedar's straight grain, especially in slow-growth boards with tight growth rings.

Mike


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Post #14

Yes, Ken Light does the two-halves method. I've seen photos of him working on flutes at different times and they are always halves because he hand carves the bore (does not use a router). This explains why he only uses Western Red Cedar. Very soft, very ease to carve. If you are making a bore with a gouge it makes a difference.


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Post #15

Here's a photo of the raw stock that Stephen DeRuby used to make his flutes. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of this material from his estate. It was mostly eastern red cedar, but there was a small amount of walnut and canary wood in there too. Stephen had this stuff milled for him (by some unknown supplier). It consists of 8-foot long half-tubes, already rounded in the bore and on the outside. How cool his that, eh? Who ever heard of such stuff?

Now, the tricky part comes in gluing those halves together while keeping the seams flush inside the bore and preventing the clamping pressure from distorting and/or cracking the wood. Those problems cropped up every time in my first attempts at gluing up! blink.gif So, it took months to develop a system that avoided all of that...well worth the effort! A dear friend of mine knew Stephen far better than I. When I explained to him how I was struggling to get inside of DeRuby's head, he lovingly quipped, "That's a scary place, dude." rolleyes.gif

So, can the halves of these flutes be "book matched" to the positions they had as solid pieces of wood? Absolutely not. But, the natural colors of the wood make attractive and interesting pairings possible. Plugging and sealing the wall that separates the SAC from the bore was a whole 'nother adventure!

DeRuby was a genius. As massive as the amount of material was that he had at his disposal, you would not believe the extent to which the would go to patch and salvage every possible inch of it. Amazing.

This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Nov 19 2017, 07:17 PM
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Post #16

Between Ken and Stephen.
I like Stephens flute better. I like the tone. Nice.
And J.P Gomez wins every time!


This post has been edited by Terry B: Nov 19 2017, 07:29 PM


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Post #17

I have a Barry Higgins G# with the optimized tuning. One real advantage of that flute is that it is reliable and in tune above the octave, with good solid tone. It, like my Coyote Oldman flute, has a bit more of a nasal sound, probably due to the narrow bore. I like them. I also like my Gomez flutes, and I have more of his futes than any other maker.

This post has been edited by goldfinch: Nov 23 2017, 02:08 PM


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Post #18

QUOTE(goldfinch @ Nov 23 2017, 02:07 PM) *
I have a Barry Higgins G# with the optimized tuning. One real advantage of that flute is that it is reliable and in tune above the octave, with good solid tone. It, like my Coyote Oldman flute, has a bit more of a nasal sound, probably due to the narrow bore. I like them. I also like my Gomez flutes, and I have more of his futes than any other maker.

Well, I find each is nice to play for different moods and occasions. I played Kenís at a memorial service for my dad a while back, and the Gomez flute records really welll, (which is also new to me). Am also discovering there can be quite a range of tonal qualities with the Higginsí flute and I keep the Deruby in my office, which is just fun to play. I am still learning how to navigate the tunings, and as far as the recorder, I see that as more of a entry point to get kids, (and anyone with a recorder), interested in the NAF. Iím glad this post has generated some thoughtful comments, and I stand corrected about the split. I think what all of these share is an impressive quality of artistic craftsmanship. Iíve got another quartet in the key of G, so stay tuned! -Phil


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