You Break, We Fix.

Instrument Repair Diagnostic Page

When you are filling out a Flute Service Order or a Piccolo Service Order, you can use this page to help discern, and then describe, the concerns you have about your instrument.

Instrument is noisy/clacky

  • pads are noisy
  • mechanism is noisy

Keys do not move freely

  • keys stick to the tone holes
  • keys release from the tone holes, but move very slowly as they rise

Sound is not focussed

  • the entire range of the instrument sounds “off,” out of focus
    • there is a leak in the upper end of the flute
    • the whole flute is leaking
    • the tone holes are coming unsoldered
    • there is a crack in the body
  • the low register in particular is weak
    • the pads in the right hand are leaking
    • the adjustments to the f# are incorrect
    • the g’s are leaking
    • the g# is leaking (this may also cause a general haze to all of the notes)
  • the high register is difficult to get or to make as pretty as before
    • the a-a# adjustment is off
    • the keys come up too high
  • flute is out of tune
    • the cork is significantly off-center
    • the key ventings are all incorrect

Things to check

  1. Turn the instrument upside-down, and look at the pad surfaces. Do they look ripped or frayed? Is the problem at the edge of the pad, or the seat of the pad?
  2. Slide the keys up and down the instrument. There should be very little “wiggle-room” for the keys to move. This is a check for excess end play in the mechanism, a source of noise and instability.
  3. Gently and slowly close the french cups. All of the keys should move the f# or a# at the same time. This is a check for lost motion, and also could indicate an adjustment problem.
  4. Is your head joint cork centered and firmly in place? Use the line on your cleaning rod to check for centering. Screw in the crown, clockwise; if it screws in easily, the cork is dried up and will need to be replaced.