Product Reviews: Powell Plug-O's Flute Plugs
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“Great quality ”
Great quality great value fast delivery thanks
“Excellent product for long-term customising of my flute!”
I have always played with my left hand plugged and my right hand with open holes. Plug-o's have offered me the perfect solution for a closed hole flute in the left hand. There are inline open hole purists who do not “approve” of this but it is what works for me and I love the way my flute feels - it is truly my flute. The plug-o's (made from argentium silver) are neat, extremely well made and fit extremely well (the smaller 7 mm Powell Plug-O's, as opposed to the Sonare 9 mm ones) into my Altus 1007 (intermediate range) flute straight out of the box. The mid-range altuses have tapered curved edges to the open holes so the plug-o's lip sits very neatly and looks completely like a closed hole. I don't know how they work in Azumi flutes or higher end altuses (the solid silver open holes on the 1207 and above felt different to me). Being made of solid metal I am also more aware of the vibrations under my fingers, as opposed to the dead feel of silicone plugs, and feel more connected to the instrument. They do not make the flute sound stuffy one bit.
These do not fit in my spare Pearl 505, which has very straight open holes, so the plug-O's poke out at the top. I believe they could be adjusted in the workshop by shaving down the lip but then I imagine they would wiggle their way through like silicone plugs. For the same reason I imagine I would have had the same issue on my old Murumatsu. From what I read elsewhere the Plug-O's will fit Powell; Amadeus; Altus; Haynes Classic Q models; Pearl 695 and 795 models only.
Some musicians like gadgets, some don't. The way I look at it is that it's important for the flute to feel the way the player wants it to in order for them to play at their best without putting strain on their body. If this means customising by plugging some holes, having offset G, using a thumb rest or playing around with the cork and crown assembly, this can only be a good thing. Flutes are awkward, round and weighted at one side. People are awkward – come in different shapes and sizes, with different hand shapes (and different index finger to ring finger ratios) and unique physical requirements/handicaps. We all play for different reasons and their is no "one size fits all" when it comes to instruments. I am happy to see this being recognised. The flute is ultimately a means to an expressive and creative end. Yes, it is important to develop and nurture healthy technique, posture, hand position etc but much better to do it on a flute that truly fits you than on an instrument you have to fight. So, yeah, go Powell and your Plug-O's (Powell site states that “[$6,000+] Flute not included with $40 Plug-O's” - oh well, worth a try, but still worth the cost for excellent plugs!).