Customize your Sankyo with the following options:
Open Holes or Closed Holes
Open hole keys have a hole in the center of the key that the flutist covers with their finger. The open holes are covered by the left hand 2nd and 3rd finger and the right hand 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers. Open holes are more popular for all flutes above the student level, and therefore are considered standard in many markets. The open holes allow for extended techniques such as multiphonics or pitch slurs, as well as venting for better pitch. Playing a flute with open holes requires good hand position and finger accuracy. Closed holes, also known as plateau keys, are available by special order only in many markets.
B or C Footjoint
All flutes come with the choice of footjoint either built to low C or to low B. The B footjoint extends the range of the flute down to low B. While the low B is increasingly used in repertoire, the extension of the tube has other effects as well. The longer tube creates more resistance in the extreme registers, having a longer air column to "push." Some see this as positive while others prefer the ease of response on a C footjoint. To counteract the additional resistance of the B footjoint, the high C facilitator (commonly referred to as the "gizmo key") closes the low B tonehole to improve the response of the 4th octave C. The high C facilitator is standard on each Sankyo B footjoint.
Drawn or Soldered Toneholes
Drawn toneholes are crafted from the flute's body tubing. A small hole is punched into the tube and a sphere of steel, similar to a ball bearing, is placed inside the tube below where the tonehole will be located. The steel ball is then pulled up and out, pulling metal up from the tube to create the tonehole. Drawn toneholes are typically characterized by flutists as feeling free, flexible, and responsive. Sankyo flute models 201, 301, 401, 501 and 701 have drawn toneholes. The 10k, 14k and 18k gold flutes are available with drawn or soldered toneholes.
Soldered toneholes, on the other hand, are manufactured independent of the flute tube. A pilot hole is placed where the tonehole will be located and the tonehole is soldered onto the tube. The remaining tubing metal within the tonehole is removed so that there is a smooth surface joining the tonehole to the tubing. Soldered toneholes are indicative of the highest level of flutemaking because of the time and skill involved. Flutes with soldered toneholes are frequently characterized as resistant and dark in timbre. Sankyo flute models 601, 801, 901 and 24k gold have soldered toneholes. The 10k, 14k and 18k gold models are available with drawn or soldered toneholes.
Offset or Inline G Keys
All models are available with a choice of inline or offset G keys to provide the most comfortable left wrist and hand position. There are no pitch or tonal differences.
Standard Wall or Heavy Wall Tubing
Standard or Heavy wall tubing refers to the thickness of the tube of the flute. A silver flute with standard wall thickness (or medium wall) tends to have a brilliant, responsive sound. It is especially well suited for players who blow with a more gentle airstream and/or an extremely compact airstream. A silver flute with heavy wall tubing tends to have a darker, more powerful sound. This is generally well suited for flutists who put a high volume of air through the flute and/or uses a fast airstream when playing. The increased resistance of the tubing compliments players who tend to overpower a thinner walled flute, bringing ease of response with rich color.
Gold is a more dense material than silver, thus the tubing thicknesses are not as heavy. Because of the density of the material, gold flutes tend to have a darker, warmer sound.
The D# and C# footjoint rollers facilitate movement of the right-hand 4th finger on the footjoint keys. The rollers are available as options on the 401 through Gold flute models.
The NEL is built into the Sankyo flute tube in the lower G tonehole making the opening smaller. It facilitates a high E that speaks easily without the conventional split-E mechanism. The NEL is standard on all Sankyo flutes.
Split E Mechanism
The split E divides the action of the upper and lower G keys, permitting the lower G key to close when high E is played. Closing the lower G key and fingering high E decreases venting and brings more stability to the note with a faster response. This mechanism employs a separate rod and must be made on the flute during the manufacturing process. It ensures tonal stability of the high E, secure attacks and smooth slurs between the third octave A and E. Split E mechanism is available on all Sankyo flute models as an option.
C# Trill Key
The versatile C# trill key simplifies many awkward trill and tremolo fingerings. It is exceedingly helpful in difficult technical passages. In addition, use of the C# trill key when playing open C# dramatically improves pitch and clarity. The C# trill key is activated by a lever using the right-hand first finger. The lever is connected to a long rod which vents an additional key cup. The C# trill key is an option available on all Sankyo flutes models.
B-C# (first and second octaves): Finger B and trill the C# key.
C-C# (first and second octaves): Finger C and trill the C# key.
High F#-G#: Finger high F# and trill the C# key.
High G-Ab: Finger high G and trill the C# key.
High G-A: Finger high G and trill the C# trill key and D trill key in unison.
High Ab-Bb: Finger high Ab and trill the C# trill key, the D trill key and the D# trill key in unison.
In the first octave, tremolo to C# from G, Ab, A, Bb, B or C by trilling the C# trill key.
In the second octave, tremolo to C# from A, Bb, B or C by trilling the C# trill key.
In the first octave, tremolo to D from G, Ab, A, Bb or B by trilling the C# trill key and the D trill key in unison.
In the first octave, tremolo to D# from G, Ab, A, Bb or B by trilling the C# trill key and the D# trill key in unison.
G-A Trill Key
The G-A trill key is located next to the D trill key. When pressed, it activates two additional trill keys on the back of the flute. By playing this key together with the D trill key mounted next to it, the high G-A trill is made easy. The G-A Trill is available by special order on all models.
Handmade engraving: The flute is an instrument which also holds value as a work of art. Sankyo offers beautiful engravings on the body of the instrument as an option. By personalizing your flute with the hand-carved designs of proficient craftsmen you will certainly feel an ever deeper attachment to your instrument.
Machine engraving: At Sankyo Flutes, we have succeeded in using a machine to recreate the aesthetic properties of engravings created in the hands of craftsmen.