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Technology, Innovations & Flutemaking

Exclusive Alloys

Miyazawa has long been famous for making great strides in the development of innovative materials in flute making. Miyazawa's Gold-Silver (GS) alloy and PCM-Silver alloy are shining examples of such innovation.

Prior to the advent of metal flutes, weight and density were considered to be the most important aspects in wooden flute making. As modern flute makers switched from wood to metal, so began the experimentation with finding materials to achieve better tone quality and greater ease of playing. Today, the founding aspects of weight and density are incorporated into the concept of hardness.

The element of hardness in a flute tube, along with tubing thickness, is a determining factor in the tonal color and response of a flute. In general, hardness is directly related to response; the harder the material is the faster the response of the instrument. Density, which is achieved through metal content and tubing thickness, has a relationship to tone; the more dense the material is the deeper or richer the tonal quality.

In producing an alloy (a mixture of materials), a heat process is used to fuse selected materials together. The result is a material with greater hardness than the individual components. After the fusion process, the alloy is in sheet metal form. The sheets are made into flute tubing by pulling the sheets through an arbor and die, a process that further tempers (hardens) the metal.

After lengthy experimentation and research, Miyazawa created the PCM-Silver alloy. This alloy contains silver, copper and other precious metals. PCM-Silver was developed from a desire to produce a material with a density greater than nickel silver and a hardness greater than sterling silver. Such a combination results in a material with a tonal range more colorful than nickel silver and with a response faster than sterling silver. It is particularly effective when used in lower harmony flutes, such as the Miyazawa Alto flute.

Miyazawa's decision to employ the Gold-Silver (GS) alloy stems from a desire to create an instrument that combines the brilliance of silver with the warmth and tonal spectrum of gold. The GS alloy used by Miyazawa contains 10.5% gold and 89.5% silver and other semiprecious metals. The alloy's concentration of gold is responsible for its striking tonal capacity and has the added benefit of rendering the metal resistant to tarnish.

Because of our willingness to develop and use innovative new materials, Miyazawa is able to offer a variety of models that provide a wide tonal spectrum and exceptional response. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a trial of our flutes.

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