Flute Overhaulin’

Wow! Just got my flute back after a long overdue overhaul and I cannot believe the difference! The sound is so resonant, the low notes come out without coaxing, and the runs really rip. It’s amazing!

Finding good repair people can be really difficult, but I have had excellent luck sending mine to the US distributor for Miyazawa Flutes, West Music in Coralville, Iowa. I play a hybrid, a Miyazawa PCM body with a silver Powell head, so sending it to the Miyazawa shop just makes sense to me. The tech Erik did such a great job! It was a complete overhaul, new springs, new corks, those fancy Straubinger pads, and a thorough clean and polish. It looks like a new flute, it is so shiny now. They even crafted and installed a brass nut to replace the washers and putty that I had put in the crown when I was experimenting with adding weight to the head, ala Patricia George. I bet that was a nasty little surprise when they pushed out the cork!

Because it has a ‘foreign’ head joint, all the repair techs had to try it out. The reviews sounded favorable, but Erik did comment on my “funny old head joint”. I had to politely point out that the body is older than the head.

My poor flute had gotten so bad that I was convinced that I needed a new flute (of course, who doesn’t think that!), but now I think I can hang on a little longer. Though I take great pride in being able to do basic cleaning and oiling and make some adjustments myself, I will definitely not let it go so long next time. I’m always telling students to go get their flutes fixed, it’s about time I followed that advice!