FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are Geoghegan Headjoints made in America?
Yes, Geoghegan headjoints are made in America, in Moretown, VT, by engineer Michael Geoghegan (guh-‘hey-gan) who first entered the flute-making industry in the 1970s. The workshop is near the town of Stowe, VT, and the capital city of Montpelier. It is a 45-minute car ride from Burlington Airport. If you are visiting Vermont please set up an appointment to come and try Geoghegan headjoints.
What makes your headjoints different from the rest?
- Our Tantalum and Niobium headjoints are made of refractory metals which are both denser and harder than other metals. Denser and harder refractory metals positively influence the low-frequency and high-frequency overtones respectively, allowing for a broader spectrum of sound.
- Our headjoint models are not soldered but instead, have the wall fastened to the tube using patented Power Bands. Developed initially because Tantalum and Niobium are inert and cannot be soldered, this method keeps our silver and gold headjoints harder because we don’t solder anything to the tube. Geoghegan headjoints resonate better.
- The various dimensions of the wall of a headjoint, have their effects on performance characteristics. Enhancing any particular characteristic can diminish the other performance characteristics. Therefore, the best compromise must be found for each dimension. This harmonious compromise was the goal we achieved in our wall. An individual wax of the wall was then precision machine-milled and then precision cast. We use the same wall for all Geoghegan headjoints of all models.
- Our headjoints are in fact handmade but with a far greater amount of accuracy and consistency than traditionally made headjoints. We use new and innovative systems to ensure consistency across all headjoints that we make.
For even more ways that Geoghegan Headjoints are different than other top headjoints, read FAQ – Headjoint Design.
IF THE WALL OF THE LIP PLATE IS NOT SOLDERED TO THE TUBE THEN HOW DOES IT STAY IN PLACE OR NOT TWIST?
The wall is soldered to the lip plate and then the wall/lip plate is secured to the tube without soldering and held in place with the pressure of Power Bands. In order to ensure that the wall/lip plate does not twist or shift on the tube, a hole is cut in the tube that perfectly matches the shape of the wall. The wall/lip plate then snaps into the hole of the tube, effectively preventing the wall/lip plate from shifting or moving. A bead of sealant is applied between the wall and tube before the Power Bands are installed to ensure an airtight seal.
WHY IS YOUR HEADJOINT SO HEAVY?
The weight of the headjoint is due to added weight in the crown and the assembly. The crown is filled with solid brass and the stopper assembly also contains an extra brass weight. This is a very intentional design and although it feels a little heavier than other headjoints, the benefit of the extra weight is worth the adjustment.
To understand the purpose of this added weight, we offer the following analogy. If you were to throw a golf ball into a net or something soft and spongy, it would bounce off with little energy. It would not go very far. If you were to throw that same golf ball at concrete, it would rebound with almost as much energy as you used to throw it. The inclusion of the extra weight in the assembly and crown creates a hard, dense surface that reflects all the sound, as opposed to a traditional cork and hollow assembly that absorbs some of the sound. Our crown assembly will not require the regular maintenance that cork requires. It should endure for the life span of the headjoint.
HOW DOES YOUR HEADJOINT IMPROVE THE SCALE AND INTONATION OF ANY FLUTE?
The special taper of the Geoghegan headjoint makes use of very specific and finite dimensions that are crucial to the harmonics of the scale and intonation of the flute. The whole 3 rd register from high D on up is brought down in pitch. High C is 30 cents lower, high B is 15 cents lower and high Bb is in tune.
When trying a Geoghegan headjoint for the first time do not make any customary adjustments to your embouchure because Geoghegan headjoints play better in tune on any flute. If you make the usual adjustments, you might sound more out of tune initially, than if you did not make any adjustments at all.
WHICH FLUTES ARE YOUR HEADJOINTS COMPATIBLE WITH?
A Geoghegan headjoint is sized to fit any concert flute in the key of C. Since the tenon of the headjoint is small enough to fit any flute, temporary and permanent methods can be used to fit the tenon of the headjoint snugly into the barrel of a flute.
Refer to the question “How do I fit a Geoghegan Headjoint to my flute?” for a more in-depth response to the different methods of proper fitting.
PERFORMANCE OF EVERY HEADJOINT ACROSS MODELS IS THE SAME WITH LITTLE TO NO VARIATION. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
The method of fabrication of our headjoints is so controlled that little to no variation occurs between the headjoints of a particular model during production. One Niobium headjoint will perform as well as another one of our Niobium headjoints if they are compared side by side. We use machinery to develop parts that fit together and index with each other as a natural check to fitting and positioning on the headjoint. For quality control, if any part is not properly fabricated it is not used on the headjoint. Additionally, one headjoint design is used on all our models of Geoghegan headjoints. The only variations that exist among the different models of headjoints are the metals that are used and the sound they produce. This reduces a significant number of variables from model to model, making it easier to switch between playing different models of Geoghegan headjoints.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHOOSE THE CUT OF THE EMBOUCHURE?
No. The cut of the wall of our headjoint is identical on all Geoghegan headjoints and is in line with the style of a free-blowing cut. Because each dimension of the wall has a particular effect on different performance characteristics, the wall that we have developed supports the very best balance of all these performance characteristics.
TANTALUM REFERRED TO AS “BLUE PLATINUM“. IS IT A TYPE OF PLATINUM?
Tantalum is similar in density to platinum, performs like platinum, and is referred to as “blue platinum” because of its blue-gray color, but it is not platinum. Tantalum is a refractory metal, and it is a pure element. For more information about the performance benefits of refractory metals, see “What is so special about the refractory metals you are using?”
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE REFRACTORY METALS THAT YOU ARE USING FOR YOUR HEADJOINTS?
Tantalum and Niobium are refractory metals. Refractory metals on the periodic table have the highest melting point of all elements except carbon. They are both denser and harder than other metals. They have similar qualities to transition metals like gold, silver, and platinum but they are inert (extremely corrosion resistant) so nothing can be soldered to them. The greater density affects the low-frequency overtones and the greater hardness affects the high-frequency overtones allowing for the broader spectrum of sound that is produced by headjoints made of these refractory metals.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
HOW DO I FIT A GEOGHEGAN HEADJOINT TO MY FLUTE?
In order to fit a Geoghegan Headjoint to your flute, you can cut and apply copper foil tape to the tenon of your headjoint so that it fits snugly inside the barrel of your flute. We include little Fit Packs of tape and instructions so that you can apply it yourself for trial or after purchase. Copper foil tape is used to pressure fit Geoghegan headjoints in the tenon of any flute. Since the metal foil adheres to the surface of the headjoint, there are no vibrations or air leaks as a result of using this fitting method. The foil is an adequate method of fitting the headjoint to the flute for a significant length of time but we do recommend that the headjoint eventually be properly sized to the barrel of the flute.
Permanent mechanical fitting methods used by your favorite flute repairman can only be used for the 14 Karat Gold, Sterling silver, and Elan models. Traditional headjoint fitting methods cannot be used on Tantalum or Niobium headjoints. No heat should ever be applied to any Geoghegan Headjoint model. Please consult with us if you have any questions.
DO YOUR CROWN ASSEMBLIES REQUIRE REGULAR MAINTENANCE?
Because the crown assemblies are made with rubber and not cork, they do not require regular maintenance. They should endure for the life span of the headjoint. Please check the FAQ – Headjoint Design for very specific maintenance notes related to Geoghegan Headjoint crown assemblies.
PURCHASE, TRIAL AND RETURN TERMS
WHAT ARE YOUR PURCHASE, TRIAL & RETURN POLICIES?
We allow a trial of two weeks effective from your date of receipt once a Geoghegan Headjoint is purchased directly from us. If your headjoint is returned to us within two weeks of purchase, in the condition in which it was received, you will be refunded the full value of the Geoghegan Headjoint (and any applicable sales tax). Any applicable shipping charges and, or VAT (for international orders) will not be refunded following
When you return a Geoghegan Headjoint, it is advisable that you utilize a tracking service and delivery confirmation for the shipment to guarantee receipt of your delivery to us. If we do not receive the item for the return, we will not be able to refund your purchase. If there is any damage to the item when it is received by us, we will reduce your refund by the value of the repairs necessary to restore the item to its original condition. For this purpose, you may decide to insure the item.
Any Geoghegan Headjoint that is not purchased directly from us, may not be returned to us for a refund. If you have questions about a Geoghegan Headjoint purchased through one of our dealers, please contact us with your inquiries.
CAN YOU SEND A PRICELIST OF YOUR HEADJOINTS?
If you are a dealer, please contact us about special dealer rates.