Nagahara Flutes Overview

Nagahara is truly a one-of-a-kind company, making a one-of-a-kind instrument. Kanichi Nagahara, having a broad experience working for both Japanese and American flute makers, has created an instrument which draws on the best aspects of both worlds, combining Japanese production ingenuity with traditional Boston craftsmanship. From start to finish, every flute and headjoint is made at their shop near Boston, MA.

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 Mechanicm type II and No Gizmo Key (added upon request only).

Nagahara flutes are available in either 950 silver, 950PT50 silver, gold (10k, 14k, 16k, 18k, 20k) or platinum. All silver flutes have sterling silver mechanism. The gold and platinum flutes are offered with either sterling silver or 14k gold mechanism. Platinum flutes are available upon request and are only offered in the  Standard and Galway models.

The base price of every flute includes a headjoint of matching tube material. Flute bodies are not sold alone.  The silver flutes come standard with sterling silver lipplate, riser and crown. The gold instruments (14k, 16k, 18k and 20k)  come standard with 14k gold lipplate, riser, crown top and a silver with gold ring crown base. 10k gold flutes are only available with silver toneholes and mechanism and feature a 14k gold riser and 10k crown top with silver base. Instruments with silver mechanism are made with silver ribs, posts, and rings.

Every headjoints comes standard with a light base Locking Crown - crown upgrades are available by special order.

STANDARD MODEL
Like all of Nagahara's flute models, the standard model flutes are custom built by hand to the specifications of every customer. The Standard model flutes are offered in the following material combinations:

  • 950 Silver body & toneholes with sterling mechanism
  • 950PT50 Silver body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 10k gold body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body & toneholes, with sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body, toneholes & mechanism
  • 16k gold body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 16k gold body & toneholes, with sterling mechanism
  • 16k gold body, with 14k gold toneholes & mechanism
  • 18k gold body, 14k gold  toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 18k gold body, with 14k gold toneholes & mechanism
  • 20k gold body, 14k gold  toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 20k gold body, with 14k gold toneholes & mechanism

*Platinum instruments are made upon special request.


FULL CONCERT MODEL
The Nagahara Full Concert model flute is truly  a milestone in the history of the flute's design, development, and constructionNot 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 our “Standard” model, the Full Concert design has unique features enhancing different areas of the instrument, including:

  • A larger bore size providing greater air control, a wider range of dynamic capability, and increased projection
  • An elongated headjoint for greater taper and resonance
  • A special scale system carefully calibrated and tested with the new dimensions for better intonation
  • Closer hand position giving a stronger sense of balance throughout the instrument both physically and sonically
  • Larger toneholes allowing greater ventilation and facilitating the flute's ability to "speak"

The Nagahara Full Concert model flute is a revolutionary breakthrough in modern flute design. Go ahead, try one and experience the endless possibilities!

Nagahara Full Concert flutes are offered in the following material combinations:

  • 950 Silver body & toneholes with sterling mechanism
  • 10k gold body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body, 950 silver toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body & toneholes, with sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body, toneholes & mechanism
  • 18k gold body, 14k gold toneholes, sterling mechanism
  • 18k gold body, with 14k gold  toneholes & mechanism

Additional Mechanism options are available.


GALWAY MODEL
Sir James Galway professional flute is our greatest  creation to date. It is sure to surpass all expectations. This innovative model include Kanichi's original pinless design featuring hidden bridges throughout the main line creating a clean and elegant look. Like all the Nagahara flutes, this instrument is completely hand made using  the highest level of craftsmanship.  

Additionally, just like the master's flute, the Galway model comes standard with the following features:

  • Special Galway Model key cup design for better grip
  • Nagahara thumb key
  • French (open-hole) 
  • Soldered toneholes
  • No Gizmo Key  (added upon request)
  • Triad V3 hand-made Nagahara pads
  • Locking crown with light base 
  • All Pinless mechanism
  • Nagahara Wearless Mechanism (Type II)
  • The Galway Model headjoint

The Galway flutes are offered in the following material combinations:

  • 10k gold body with 950 silver toneholes & sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body with 950 silver toneholes & sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body & toneholes with sterling mechanism
  • 14k gold body, toneholes & mechanism
  • 16k gold body with 950 silver toneholes & sterling mechanism
  • 16k gold body with 14k gold  toneholes with sterling mechanism
  • 16k gold body with 14k gold  toneholes & mechanism
  • 18k gold body with 14k gold  toneholes,  sterling mechanism
  • 18k gold body with 14k gold  toneholes & mechanism
  • 20k gold body  with 14k gold  toneholes &  sterling mechanism
  • 20k gold body with 14k gold  toneholes & mechanism


Nagahara Thumb Key
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 in all of our instruments. This simple but meaningful improvement to the flute’s mechanism is sure to make a difference in fast passages and legato movements with added comfort, better hand position for consistent balance, and extended stability after years of playing.


G Key Options

Nagahara Flutes are available with the option of an Inline, half-offset, or offset G mechanism. (Half-offset offered at an additional cost.)


Traditional or Triad V3 hand-made Nagahara pads
Handmade at Nagahara's shop, 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 materials that have yielded the same properties as their previous TRIAD pad design, but with more flexibility, stability and a bit more “crispness” in feel and sound. Similar to the now retired TRIAD pads, the V3 pads have the same amount of layers but substitutes all paper and cardboard materials with special synthetic material resistant to moisture.

After much experimentation, they have found that the V3 pads are even more stable than the previous pads, further enhance the resonance and response of the instrument, and are easier to handle.  Plastic shims of different thickness are used to meticulously balance the pad to obtain a perfect seal over each tonehole. Although they still require a proper handling technique, the V3 pads are much quicker to install and adjust, and need less overnight settling time and break-in period in comparison with Nagahara's Traditional and previous TRIAD pads.

Customers have the choice between Traditional pads, made of all natural felt, and the new V3 pads. Because of the great tonal advantages and enhanced stability, V3 pads have become the pad of choice of the grand majority of customers both in the US and Internationally.


Locking Crowns with Light Base
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 not 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.


Nagahara Wearless Mechanism (Type I, II, or III)
The Nagahara Wearless Mechanism (U.S. Patent #6,812,391) was created to further improving the stability and dependability of their already highly acclaimed mechanism and key work.

This ingenious idea will allow players to focus more on making music and less on whether their flute will perform consistently and without failure during critical auditions, demanding concerts, and recording sessions.

The Nagahara Wearless Mechanism inserts are available exclusively on Nagahara Flutes as an added option and comes in three levels of installation:

Type I: Basic (9 inserts)
Type II: Standard (18 inserts)
Type III: Complete (full installation- 26 inserts)




Nagahara Scale
Developed with the orchestral flutist in mind, the Nagahara Scale attempts to address such problem areas on the flute such as d#2-f2, and the entire third register. As all makers know, a perfect lower octave can be calculated mathematically. The problems begin with the middle and third octaves, which are harmonics of the lower fundamentals. " E2" is one of the most unstable notes, as the lowest pitch to be sounded as a partial of its fundamental. Through an exhaustive trial-and-error process of manipulating tonehole size and position, the Nagahara Scale has improved the stability and tone of e2, and enhanced the response and intonation of the third octave as well. These developments have resulted in a superior scale, offering the player a broader tone color palette and better intonation for section playing. Many of our customers have told us of the overall improvement of the sound of the woodwind section of their orchestra after switching to the Nagahara Scale it makes an immediate and noticeable difference. Flute and oboe players can talk to each other once again.

In conclusion, the Nagahara Scale offers the player the opportunity to concentrate on making music, without wasting effort trying to conform an unruly instrument to the rest of the section. The end result is a performance filled with musicianship and expressive power.

Nagahara Extended Riser
Within the purview of flute making, Mr. Nagahara’s special passion is the headjoint. His years of research and experience have led to their second patent - the Extended-Lip riser (US Patent #5,844,156). This unusual riser, also known as the “Nagahara Riser” has a front protrusion or “lip”, which extends up into the plane of the lipplate at the blowing edge. Since both surfaces where the sound is produced are of the same material, the sound is enhanced. The effect can be compared to having an entire lipplate of the material in question. For example, a silver headjoint with an 18K gold Extended-Lip riser has a similar sound to that of a silver headjoint with an 18K gold lipplate.



Nagahara 
 extended risers are offered in the following materials: 14k gold, 16k gold, 18k gold, 20k gold, 22k gold, Platinum

The most popular combinations are silver lipplates with gold Nagahara risers, and gold lipplates with platinum Nagahara risers.  If the lipplate and the riser are both silver or both gold, it is recommended to use the Traditional riser instead.