Over the past century the Boehm-style flute has seen relatively little change. Nagahara Flutes has a staff filled with innovative minds constantly looking for ways to improve the performance and quality of the modern flute for the comfort of the performer.
Nagahara is committed to producing flutes that will assure the player an enjoyable and secure performance experience, knowing that their instrument will assist as an ally to their art, not an obstacle to overcome.
Nagahara Flutes offers unique innovations in improved sound, dynamics, and ergonomics. Precision, artistic expression and comfort is the goal of Nagahara with each flute, continuing their mission to always deliver the best flute made anywhere, enabling freedom of expression to each flutist's voice.
All Nagahara Flutes are hand-made in Boston and feature soldered toneholes, French-style pointed arms, and custom headjoints. The Nagahara Thumb Key and Pinless Mechanism are standard on all flutes. There are three basic flute models: Standard , Full Concert , and Galway. Additional options are available on all models including Split-E mechanism, C# trill, D# roller, and Wearless Mechanism installations. The Galway model comes standard with Wearless Mechanism type II and No Gizmo Key (added upon request only). Flutes are available in either 950 silver (95% silver), 950PT50 silver (95% silver + 5% platinum), gold (10k, 14k, 16k, 18k, 20k) or platinum.
Nagahara Flute Models
Standard model flutes are custom built by hand to the specifications of every customer. This flute model is played worldwide by professional and recreational flutists. The Standard model flutes feature the Nagahara Thumb Key and the Nagahara Scale providing improved stability and tone of e2, and enhanced response and intonation of the third octave offering the player a broader tone color palette and better intonation for section playing.
Full Concert Model
The Nagahara Full Concert Model flute is truly a milestone in the history of the flute's design, development and construction. Not since Theobald Boehm has any flute maker addressed every area of the flute's physical construction and acoustic properties. While having the same mechanism construction and overall length of the Standard Model, the Full Concert design has unique features which enhance the different areas of the instrument. These features include an enlarged bore and tonehole size, elongated headjoint for greater taper, and the Nagahara FC System scale designed by Kanichi Nagahara. It is a revolutionary design offered exclusively by Nagahara enabling improvements in tone, resonance, dynamic range and intonation control.
Sir James Galway Model
Just like the Maestro's instrument, the Galway Model Flute includes a Galway Model Headjoint, Nagahara Pinless Mechanism, the Wearless Mechanism Type II, Triad V3 pads, and a special Galway key design for enhanced finger grip.
Nagahara Flute Innovations (Features)
Nagahara Thumb Key
The thumb key is a notorious trouble spot due to the short length of the mechanism tubing involved and the action of the player's thumb at a right angle to the key's axis of rotation. Nagahara has developed a more durable, stable mechanism, the Nagahara Thumb key (US Patent #5,708,226). The secret to this new assembly is the double-sleeve configuration assuring stability and strength combined with an ergonomic shape designed to improve comfort. This revolutionary key design is standard on all of our instruments.
Nagahara Pinless Mechanism
Modified from the traditional Left-hand Pinless/Right-hand Pinned mechanism, the Nagahara Pinless Mechanism presents a sleek and elegant look featuring an additional hidden bridge on the right hand that still allows an underslung Split E. This new design is sure to give more comfort without and bulky mechanism or obstructions under the hands. The Pinless design enhances the performance of the mechanism providing even and effortless key movement, which combined with the Wearless Mechanism creates the ultimate smooth legato action. In addition, this new design is great for repairs and maintenance, making it easier and quicker to disassemble the instrument.
Nagahara Wearless Mechanism
(U.S. Patent #6,812,391) was created to further improve the stability and dependability of the already highly acclaimed mechanism and key work. The idea is simple but profound. Specially formulated plastic inserts are used at common points of friction to reduce playing wear & noise, and to provide a smoother action and response for an extended period of time. This also prolongs the life of the overall mechanism and will reduce the need for adjustment and eventual overhauls. Available as an added option in three levels of installation: Type I Basic (9 inserts); Type II: Standard (18 inserts); Type III: Complete (26 inserts)
Kanichi Nagahara's special passion is the headjoint. His years of research and experience have led to the patented Extended-Lip Riser. This unique riser has a front protrusion or "lip" which extends up onto the plane of the lipplate leaving no solder line at the blowing edge for a smooth surface. Since both surfaces where the airstream touches are of the same material, the sound is enhanced. The effect can be compared to having an entire lipplate of the material at a lower cost.
TRIAD V3 Pads
The V3 pad offers a moisture resistant design using synthetic materials that allow the pads to maintain stability in most humid environments. The revolutionary V3 pads feature three uniquely combined material that have yielded the same properties as the previous TRIAD pad design, but with more flexibility, stability and a bit more "crispness" in feel and sound. After much experimentation, Nagahara found that the V3 pads are even more stable than the previous pads further enhancing the resonance and response of the instrument, and are easier to handle.
Galway Locking Crown
In early 2006, Kanichi Nagahara and Sir James Galway discussed the common problem of a headjoint crown becoming loose as well as how to further enhance the resonance of a headjoint. Kanichi was aware of this issue for some time, but it was only after this conversation that he thought of an elegant and simple solution, the Locking Crown. Consisting of a "Top" & "Base" section, this brilliant two-piece crown was originally designed to improve security and stability of the crown and to avoid the "buzzy" loose crown issues. However, additional benefits have been found with the use of the Locking Crown. Most players experience an increase ease of the articulation, better note attack for pianissimos in the upper register and more clarity in the middle-lower register. Also, there is an increased control of intonation on the top register, more focused/centered core in the the sound (forward projection), and greater resonance. Available in Light, Medium, Heavy and Extra Heavy on all metal headjoints, the standard equipment is the Light base edition.