PVC Irish Flutes
Why an Irish flute made of PVC? The material is ideal for the purpose. It is cheap, easily available, durable, easy to work with, it has similar properties with the hardwoods traditionally used for flute making (PVC is abut 10% denser than ebony), and there is lots of information online about making flutes.
Unfortunately most of the flutes made of pvc, and the tutorials available online, show some drawbacks, related to the fact that pvc tubing presents a conical section. The first of them, the hole corresponding to the right ring finger is a long distance away from the others, forcing an awkward position for the right hand and being unsuited for people with small hands. Flautes Vallina has solved the problem adapting one solution inspired in the transitional recorders of the late renaissance-early baroque era: reducing the inner diameter of the tube in the last hole, allowing a distance of only 33mm (from center to center) between the holes of the index and ring finger of the right hand.
The other problem is the relatively low thickness of the tube wall. The characteristic sound of the Irish flute is often described as reedy, dark and deep, imposible to achieve with only 2mm of wall thickness in the embouchure hole. The most common solution is adding an external lip plate, as found in the Boehm style flutes. The result is acoustically satisfactory, but aestetically unpleasant (yes, it’s a minor detail, but the elegance of the Irish flute as object is unmatched!). Again, the solution consists in adding material in the inner part of the tube, allowing an embouchure hole wall of 4,5mm.
Some other interesting features are: it is divisible in three parts for storage and transport convenience. The optional decorative rings are made of sterling silver. The three parts are jointed with stainless steel tenons, without variation in the inner diameter. It features the wedge developed by Raoul Fajardo, that deepens the sound in the lower register, solves intonation problems in the high register, and gives it the characteristic sound of the simple system flutes of the 19th century, so sought after by irish flutists. It is tuned in low D, and it is tempered close to just intonation. Some chromatic notes are possible, but it is most suitable for playing in D major, G major and their relative modes.
This flutes are affordable quality instruments, suited for beginners, and also for advanced or professional flutists in the need for a backup instrument.