Product Design

Our fundamental desire as flutemakers is to dedicate our craft towards creating flutes that perform as true partners with every player. We would like to interact with players, not only to gain the satisfaction and trust from them, but also to express our craftsmanship through their needs. In order to make a more reliable flute as an extension of the artist, it is neccessary to deepen our understanding of musical expressions and its methods by interacting with many players and who love the flute. 

Material Selection

We offer four different types of silver: Altus Silver, the silver material of the past revived to modern times, and High purity silver materials etc.

Altus uses different materials and processing methods. The resulting tones with various characteristics allow each player to choose one that is best suited for individual sensibilities. Four kinds are available for silver material alone: Sterling silver with a silver content of 92.5% is the most standard material for flutes. We also offer Britannia silver with a silver content of 95.8%, Ag997 pure silver with a content of 99.7%, and Altus silver which was born after trial and error, pursuing the tone of old French flutes, with a silver content of 94.6% and several other elements. Since each material has different density, hardness, and ductility, it naturally leads to differences in the flute making process.

Tubing & Metallurgy

Differences in density, hardness, and ductility of each kind of material naturally lead to differences in the flute-making process, maximizing the overall performance in terms of tone and the harmonic structure.

A flute with the seamed tube allows the player to develop it from a processed metal to a musical instrument. The Altus AL and 1607 utilize the "seamed tube" manufacturing method, an indispensable method used for making old French flutes, where a single rolled metal sheet is brazed at the end faces. Compared to ordinary seamless tubing, the seamed tube method is more time-consuming and requires more proficiency. As the flute is played over time, the residual stresses in the metal will gradually dissipate and the molecular arrangement will change to a more ideal form for producing sound.

A pure silver flute possesses supreme projecting quality and it requires innovative technology to make. Powder metallurgy is the method used for processing silver of high purity, in our case, .997 silver that comes standard on the Altus PS model. Normally, pure silver is too soft for successful flute tube production under the traditional processing method, where metal is melted. However, powder metallurgy makes it possible and benefits not only the sound quality but also the durability.

Altus Scale

Our own scale with ideal harmonics meets player's requirements and preferences.

All Altus flute models utilize the Altus Scale. The Altus Scale is the achievement of the research and development in collaboration with Mr. William Bennett, one of the world's foremost musicians and a leading authority on flute scales. Our aim has always been simple: to produce a sound with the right harmonic structures at the right pitch.
The resulting scale is highly recommended and desired by many players. It features a soldered C# tone hole as standard on all models.

The C# tone hole operation is especially important in the Boehm system and has multiple purposes. It not only produces the original C# note, but it also acts as a vent hole for many notes. The ideal scale requires having its specific key height set properly. Our design is also based on the condition that the headjoint draw is 5mm and in an environment where the temperature is 21-23 degrees Celsius.

Key Mechanism

Delicate mechanism and smooth key actions.

Flute key mechanism consists of rods, keys that rotate around a rod, and posts that support them. In precise design with small clearances between parts, the areas of contact increase and cause friction losses in key action. We adopted the combination of a cannonball-shaped tapered convex part and a conical concave part on the king post between the right-hand and left-hand primary keys. By adopting this shape, the connection of the parts becomes a line rather than a surface, achieving both precise construction and smooth key action. This design is mostly for high-end models as it requires skill to adjust, but we utilize it on all our models.

Soldered tone holes

"gold solder" that hardly deteriorates even after years of use.

The tone holes on Altus soldered models use gold solder. Conventional solder can develop gaps between the tone hole and the tube caused by saliva and other factors over long-term use. Altus uses 80% gold content solder preventing the joint-part deterioration supporting the life of the flute sound for many years. 

Posts and Ribs

Flange shape that brings out the true sound of the flute tube.

The vibration of the flute tube affects the sound and is influenced by the ribs and key posts. All Altus flutes are equipped with a wide-shaped rib flange that touches the sides of the tone holes rather than the conventional washer style which diverts around the tone holes. Our design takes time and effort to manufacture and reduces unwanted vibration from the keys as much as possible. This accentuates the characteristics and differences derived from the material of the tube itself.

Spring

Spring made of "SP-1", with excellent elasticity.

The SP-1 spring is used in 1207 and higher models. SP-1 is an alloy comprised of 10% gold, 30% silver, 10% platinum, and several other non-ferrous metals providing excellent elasticity as a spring material. The standard series uses a stainless steel spring. 

Key Pipes

Keypipes made of high-purity silver for extra durability.

Our all-silver models use Ag997 Pure Silver for all the keypipes. Its material characteristics provide torsional rigidity and wear resistance, reduced key problems, and contribute to a longer lifetime.

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