FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are Garner Headjoints made in America?

Yes, Garner Headjoints are made in America.  The headjoints are made by Engineer Michael Geoghegan who first entered the flute industry in the seventies.  The workshop for Garner Headjoints is located in a little town in Vermont called Moretown.  If you are located nearby or are visiting the area, please set up an appointment to visit and try out Garner Headjoints.  The workshop in Vermont is nestled in the hills between Stowe, Burlington, Sugarbush, and the capitol city of Montpelier.

What makes your headjoints different from the rest?

There are a few things that are different about Garner Headjoints:

  • Refractory metals which are both denser and harder than other metals are used for the tube of a few models of Garner Headjoints.  Harder and denser refractory metals positively influence both the low frequency and high frequency overtones, affecting a broader spectrum of sound.
  • Garner headjoint models are not soldered but instead have the wall fastened to the tube using patented Power Bands.  This keeps the metal headjoint harder by eliminating the softening of the tube that occurs through the more standard method of soldering the wall to the tube.
  • There is a method to cut the embouchure the same every time for all models of Garner Headjoints.  This eliminates great variations that might otherwise occur between the headjoints of similar and dissimilar models.
  • An individual wax is precision machine milled identically for every wall used on all of the Garner Headjoints and that wall is then precision cast.  The very specific dimensions chosen to be used on the wall for all Garner Headjoints was determined by finding the best compromise between the different characteristics that each dimension in the embouchure effects.
  • 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 are made.

For even more ways that Garner Headjoints are different than other top headjoints, read the information on the about uspage.

PURCHASE, TRIAL AND RETURN TERMS

What are your trial & return policies?

We allow a trial of two weeks effective from your date of receipt once a Garner Headjoint is purchased directly from us.  If your headjoint is returned to us within two weeks of purchase, in the conditions in which it was received, you will be refunded the full value of the Garner Headjoint (and any applicable sales tax).  Any applicable shipping charges and, or VAT (for international orders) will not be refunded following your return. 

When you return a Garner 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 fix the item to it’s new condition.  For this purpose, you may decide to insure the item.

Any Garner Headjoint that is not purchased directly from us, may not be returned to us for a refund.  If you have questions about a Garner Headjoint purchased through one of our dealers, please contact us with your inquiries.

Can you send a pricelist of your headjoints?

We would be happy to send you a catalog of our headjoints with a retail price list.  If you are a dealer, please contact us about special dealer rates. 

Can we try out your headjoints in Europe?

We are happy to ship headjoints that are purchased from us to Europe, but customers will be responsible for shipping and any duty or VAT (value added tax) that might be added after delivery of the product into their country.   If a headjoint is returned to us after the designated two week trial, we will not be able to refund shipping, duty or VAT charges associated with our customer’s international purchase.  Check our dealer page for distributors within Europe who you might arrange to test or buy a Garner Headjoint through.

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 on all models of Garner Headjoints but for the models with patented Power Bands the wall is secured to the tube without soldering and held in place with the pressure of Power Bands.  In order to ensure that the wall and lip plate do not twist or shift on the tube, a hole is cut in the tube that perfectly matches the shape of the wall.  The wall with lip plate then snaps into the hole of the tube effectively preventing the lip and wall from shifting or moving.  A bead of sealant is applied between the wall and tube before the Power Bands are installed to ensure an air tight seal. 

Your headjoints contain a material other than cork. Is this true?

It is true that our crown assemblies are made without cork.  We use rubber instead.  Because these crown assemblies are made with rubber and not cork, they do not require regular maintenance and will last for many years without any special attention.

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 brass and the assembly also contains an extra brass weight.  This is a very intentional design and although it feels very different 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 will bounce off of it, but not very far or with not much energy.  If you throw that same golf ball at concrete, it will rebound with almost as much energy as you used to throw it.  Construction of the extra weight in the assembly and crown creates a hard dense surface that reflects all of the sound, as opposed to a traditional cork and hollow assembly that absorbs some of it.

How does your headjoints improve the scale and intonation of any flute?

The special taper that was developed and is used for all of the Garner Headjoints that are made uses very specific and finite dimensions that are crucial to the harmonics of the scale and intonation of the flute. The whole 3rd 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.

Keep in mind while you are trying a Garner Headjoint not to make any manual adjustments to your embouchure that you are used to making while you play.  Because Garner Headjoints play better in tune on any flute, if you make the usual adjustments you’re used to when you’re trying a Garner Headjoint, you might sound more out of tune than if you didn’t make any adjustments at all.

Which flutes are your headjoints compatible with?

Garner Headjoints are sized to fit any concert flute in the key of C.  Since the tenon of the headjoints are small enough to fit into all flutes, temporary and permanent methods can be used to fit the tenon of a headjoint snugly into the barrel of a flute.  Refer to the question “How do I fit a Garner 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 for all headjoints is so controlled that very little to no variation occurs between the headjoints of a particular model during production.  In this way, there are effectively no “lemons” produced so as an example our niobium headjoint will perform just as well as another one of our niobium headjoints if they are compared side by side.  A few ways in which “lemons” are eliminated is by using machinery to develop parts that fit together and index with each other as a natural check to fitting and position on the headjoint.  For quality control if any part is not properly fabricated, it is not used on the headjoint.  Additionally the basic headjoint design developed is used on all of our different models of Garner Headjoints so the only variations that exist between the different headjoints are in the materials that are used.  This reduces a significant number of variables from model to model, making it easier to switch between playing different models of Garner Headjoints.  

HEADJOINT SPECIALIZATION

Is it possible to choose the cut of the embouchure?

No, the embouchure on all Garner Headjoints is the same, and in line with the style of a free-blowing cut.  Because each dimension of the embouchure has a particular effect on different performance characteristics, the embouchure cut that we have selected and use on all our headjoints we believe is the very best compromise of all of these characteristics.  They are all cut the same in order to minimize variation between headjoints of the same model and all of our headjoints produced.

Can Power Bands be added to my headjoint?

On any Garner Headjoint without Power Bands, or any headjoint from another manufacturer, the wall and lip plate have been soldered to the tube using traditional methods.  Power Bands cannot be added after soldering methods have been used.

HEADJOINT MATERIALS

Is there any gold inside the Z-Gold headjoint?

The Z-Gold Headjoint is fabricated from a solid sterling silver tube, chimney, lip plate, and crown that is sputter coated with layers of gold and zirconium.  The exact percentages in the coating are proprietary, but the application of the various layers of gold and zirconium is accomplished through particle vacuum displacement, a very durable coating method.  While there is a small percentage of gold in the headjoint, the greatest percentage of material in the headjoint is sterling silver, not the gold or zirconium layers. The combination of these materials applied over a sterling silver headjoint enhance both the high and low frequency overtones giving the headjoint a broader spectrum of sound by effectively hardening the tube and adding more mass and density to the headjoint.

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 grey-blue color, but it is not platinum.  Tantalum is a refractory metal, and it is a pure element.  See the related question “What is so special about the refractory metals you are using?” for more information about the performance benefits of refractory metals.

What is so special about the refractory metals that you are using for your headjoints?

Tantalum, niobium and tungsten are all 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 balancing out the full spectrum of sound that is produced by headjoints made of these refractory metals.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

How do I fit a Garner Headjoint to my flute?

In order to fit a Garner Headjoint to you 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 with the tape and instructions so that you can apply it yourself for trial or after purchase.  Copper foil tape is used to pressure fit Garner Headjoints in the tenon of any flute.  Since the metal foil adheres to the surface of the headjoint, there is no vibration 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 and Sterling silver models. Traditional headjoint fitting methods cannot be used on Tantalum or Niobium headjoints.  No heat should ever be applied to any Garner Headjoint model.  Please consult us with 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 the life span of your headjoint.  Please check the product page for very specific maintenance notes related to Garner Headjoint crown assemblies.