Left, details of the former lefthand syste: the axle is attached to the F# key and the cam at the right and turns inside the other keys and around two end-screws with the E or D key, when you play the F#. From 2020 this system has been replaced by the ‘right hand’ of New 2020 System, right picture: all keys rotate independently around a fixed axle.
Details of the new 2020 system. See also Making flutes Al parts have been redesigned and modulated in such way that size, strength, weight and functionality are optimally matched. All bonds between keys are easily adjustable with special screws. There are no pin-hole connections at all, only screw systems. The left hand axle was already a fixed axle in all AV flutes. Now there is also a fixed right hand axles that give the keys a lighter run and by wich the key system is more reliable. The offset system became half inline. By means of two sound stripes the flutist can choose between differences in sound color and responsiveness. The silver keywork has been extra 1000/1000 silverplated.
Detail of the new left hand system. Instead of a rotating axle the four keys revolve independently around a fixed axis which gives a faster, more responsive key action and a smoother feeling in the right hand. All adjustments between keys are very pricise due to special mushroom screws.
The left hand keys already had a fixed axle. Now also the right hand system has got one. Even the thumb Bb lever is precisely adjustable. The lefthand- and E-mechanics bridge are redesigned.
The offset system is more in line with the other keys. Both flutists who always use a full offset system and those who are used to an inline flute can play well with this position. This middle ground between the two positions also has a number of technical advantages.
You can determine your own timbre with the AV sound strips.
The cork on the tenon joints can be covered with special caps to protect the wooden body of the flute from cork grease. The important grease stays where it belongs and does not spot or effect the bore or cleaning cloths.
The cups, which were originally cast then finished, are now turned out of one solid silver piece. They are stonger and more stable than before.
The adjustment of the cork is one of the most important elements for sound quality and intonation. Now the cork has been calibrated to be set in the most ideal place. Additionally, after turning the crown, it is possible to turn it back to its optimum setting.
The thumb system is now more stable and is constructed using two tubes.
The thumb system in profile: one fixed axis with two tubes turning around.
The new flute cases are stronger and covered with the finest quality leather.
The sound of an Alfred Verhoef flute is determined by the specific wood of that flute and its various measurements. All the measurements are equal with the exception of the diameter of the instrument, which is determined each time by the specific properties of the wood which is used.
When a flute is ready to play, I make tiny changes to the blow-hole and bore until the flute begins to sing and the optimal sound is there. As a result of this, every flute is unique and there is no ‘standard’ AV flute. All the keywork is built to fit each particular flute , with the precision needed to fit the diameter of each instrument coming from skilled handiwork.
As a flute maker I am always aware that there are matters which could be improved. Technically, new developments could lead to the keywork becoming stronger, more stable or more ergonomical, helping to aid a flutists posture. It might be possible to enhance the colour or the purity of the instrument further. The pictures above show the latest developments I have made to my flutes. Some aspects of these developments are explained further under ‘Making Flutes’.