The Abell Headjoint

The Abell Headjoint is available in three versions: for C Flute, for Alto Flute and for Simple-system Flute. All Abell Headjoints are manufactured from tropical hardwoods and precious metals and produce a wide tonal spectrum through the full range of the instrument.

Price List (January 2024)

African Blackwood (Grenadilla) with Sterling Silver:
For Boehm-system Flutes-
~ C Flute Headjoint$2,200
~ Abell Whistle Headjoint$1,850
~ Alto Flute Headjoint$2,450
~ ‘Missing Link’ Tuning Ring$75
~ Black leather-covered French style hard case$200
For Simple-system Flutes-
~ Headjoint$1,850
~ Interfacing barrel-joint$300

C Flute Headjoint

The Abell Flute Co. offers headjoints manufactured from African Blackwood and Sterling silver in two styles of embouchure design producing distinctly different tonal qualities.

The Standard model has a rectangular shape and is modern in its design and response. It speaks easily through the full range of the flute and produces a bright, open sound. This style headjoint is designed primarily to play comfortably in large ensembles and orchestral work, though it is not limited only to those venues.

The Oval model has a slightly smaller, elliptical shaped embouchure and is designed especially for small ensemble and chamber music where a more intimate sound is required. This style headjoint also plays easily through the full range of the flute and produces a very clear, centered tone with an especially dark and pungent quality in the lower registers.

Though the two styles have different attributes of color and response, both the Standard and Oval models can be used in a variety of different settings for many types of music; and both models will exhibit a warm, wooden sound with a complex and intriguing tonal spectrum.

All Abell headjoints are designed to articulate easily throughout the entire range of the flute repertoire, yet with enough resistance and flexibility to allow the player to produce a clear, stable, and focused tone through a wide variety of colors and textures.

All headjoints are made to fit most flutes and can usually be made to fit uncommon or special instruments with no adverse effects to the response of the headjoint or the flute. To insure the best results, it is recommended that proper fitting to the customer’s instrument be done at The Abell Flute Co. with turn-around time being rarely more than a few days. Note: The outside diameter of the Abell Boehm-system C-flute headjoint is larger than standard metal headjoints and will not fit into the headjoint slot in flute cases designed for metal flutes.

The Abell ‘Missing Link’ ring is a simple and elegant solution for providing more power and stability to the playing characteristics of the Abell Flute.

The primary source of sound produced by the flute is made by the vibrating column of air inside the tube. Correspondingly, the flute’s body tube also vibrates, and the material, density and thickness of the tubing will have an effect on the vibrations produced in the body tube.

When the headjoint is pulled out for tuning, a gap is produced, not only in the air column inside the tube, but also in the physical connection of the flute tube itself. The interruption of the air column is minimal from the gap produced (due to the thin metal tenon tubing) and has little effect on the flute’s playing characteristics. However, the gap produced in the body tube compromises the ability of the body tube vibrations to act in tandem with the air column vibrations.

The Abell ‘Missing Link’ fills the gap in the body tube that is produced when the headjoint is pulled out for tuning. This ring connects the headjoint and body to form an unbroken conduit for vibrations in the body tube which precisely match the vibrations in the internal air column. When both the air column and body tube are vibrating in tandem, there is a discernible difference in the strength and stability of pitch and articulation as well as a wider tonal palette.

Note: The headjoint, tuning ring and body must all be pushed together tight for optimal results. Once all the parts are in place, the pitch of the flute will be set; hence, additional rings may be required for re-setting the flute to a different pitch.

For additional information, including photos and detailed instructions for ordering the Abell ‘Missing Link’, please contact The Abell Flute Co.

Alto Headjoint

The Abell Alto headjoint is manufactured from well-seasoned African Blackwood and Sterling silver and is designed to fit any 25mm bore Alto flute. The headjoint is made in a straight-style and is currently offered with one style of embouchure shape, allowing for the greatest amount of flexibility, articulation, and a broad tonal spectrum. Due to acoustic and manufacturing limitations, the Abell Flute Co. does not offer curved wooden Alto headjoints.

Simple System Headjoint

The Abell Simple-System headjoint is offered primarily for players in the Celtic and Gaelic music traditions and is made on a cylindrical bore (as opposed to the parabolic bore used in the Boehm-system headjoints). The Simple-system headjoints are manufactured applying the same knowledge and attention to detail used in making the Boehm-system heads; and the headjoints are designed to allow fitting to almost any Simple-system flute regardless of the age of the instrument. Note: While the Abell Simple-system headjoint alone cannot alter any possible inherent intonation or scale problems in a given Simple-system flute, it will enhance both the tonal spectrum and articulation on the instrument.

Additional Information

All headjoints are manufactured from well seasoned, instrument grade African Blackwood (and other tropical hardwoods) and Sterling silver requiring just a light, occasional oiling of the wood with almond oil for optimal protection and response. It is recommended that the headjoint be swabbed dry after each use.

Headjoints manufactured by The Abell Flute Co. are offered with a fifteen day trial period after purchase, and are guaranteed to be free of defects in the materials and in manufacturing for the period of one year from the date of purchase.

Please note that the prices listed above are for the manufacturing only and do not include any additional VAT and/or Customs duties when the instrument is shipped outside the US.

The Abell Flute Co. can also provide any necessary documentation regarding your instrument (date of production, materials used, appraisal, etc.) at no charge. Please contact us using the contact information provided below.

For further information or to place an order for a headjoint, please contact the Abell Flute Co. directly from the information provided below.

Note: As of January 2, 2017, all products manufactured from any of the Rosewood species (Dalbergia) are now regulated for commercial trade under the new CITES regulations ( African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) is in the Rosewood family and is currently included on this list for regulation. However, there are no problems with exporting or importing instruments made from this wood aside from its being regulated by the countries involved. The Abell Flute Co. has all the required permits and documentation necessary for exporting and importing under these new CITES regulations. There may be delays on deliveries as well as additional costs for documentation required to ship Rosewood instruments internationally. Also, there may be documentation required to import Rosewood instruments into countries outside the US. Please contact The Abell Flute Co. for additional information.

Update: As of December 2, 2019, CITES removed the Rosewood family from its list of regulated items when used for musical instruments and parts. The above required documentations are no longer necessary.