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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000408.txt from 2003/06

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Hitech flutes (was needle springs)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 09:39:19 -0400

At 10:17 AM 6/13/2003 +0100, Keith Bowen wrote:
>Clarinets don't "need" needle springs either, other than to save a very
>small amount of space at the contact point on the key. The effect of the
>tapered shape of a needle is simply to alter the shape that the spring
>takes when flexed. It does not alter the force in any way that cannot be
>compensated by changing the overall diameter. I imaging they were simply
>traditionally easily available as English sewing needles. Nowadays one
>just buys the tempered wire in uniform diameter. The word "needle"
>probably is just used for "small diameter wire" ... which is equally
>painful on impalation!

As I understand it, one of the main advantages of the tapered needle spring
over a constant-diameter
rod spring is the reduction of friction at the point where the spring hooks
to the key. The taper also, no doubt, affects the overall responsiveness
of the spring as well. You will notice that all the HIGH END saxes and
clarinets have them. Student models have non-tapered stainless steel
springs for durability (and probably safety!). Flutes have softer bronze

Bill Hausmann

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!

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