Piccolo Probe Attachment (The Flute Ferret)

22nd August 2023

In this short blog we take a look at the Piccolo Probe for use on the Flute Ferret device. This combo can be used to diagnose pad leaks on piccolo flutes and help you resolve them. It’s a ‘must have’ for any discerning Woodwind Repair Technician.

The Challenge: Piccolo Pad Seating

Piccolo Flutes are one of the most challenging instruments to both repair and play test. The deep cut outs in the wood where the toneholes sit, can make the process of using a feeler gauge challenging. At times it requires the feeler to be pulled out on quite a steep angle. This can give the technician a false reading of resistance where there might be a leak.

Furthermore, the tone of the Piccolo when played in the bottom register can be hollow and misleading of its tonal quality. Many technicians find the instrument challenging to play, even when the instrument is fully set up. 

The Solution: Piccolo Probe & Flute Ferret Combo

All of these scenarios can now be rectified with one tool: the Piccolo Probe for use on the Flute Ferret. The Flute Ferret in itself is a great help in both diagnosing, communicating and repairing Flutes. Now with the new Piccolo Probe attachment you can remove the guesswork when working with Piccolos.

The sensitivity required for Piccolo repair can be fatiguing. Many woodwind repairers may recognise the feeling of wanting the pads to seal so badly you’re worried you might miss something. When using the Piccolo Probe you’ll get a clear answer if the pad is leaking or not. With practice it can even be used for key regulation.

As most players play the Piccolo as a second instrument, they may have playing issues that’s hard to pinpoint as an issue with the instrument or embouchure. By using the Piccolo Probe attachment for the Flute Ferret on assessment you can visually show the player how each pad seats in an easy to understand way. This can be a great way to explain why the instrument is not playing its best. It will give confidence to the player that they can trust the pads are seating. 

How Does The ‘Piccolo Probe’ Work?

The soft silicone seals expand to perfectly seal off the bore on either side of the tonehole you’re checking. It even works on the more tapered piccolo bodies. It comes with a replacement inner cone to accommodate unusually large bore Instruments and this is an easy swap to do when needed. 

The tool sits comfortably in the hand with a turned wooden handle for your palm. This makes it quick and easy to access the turning wheel which controls the mechanism. This tool can speed up and streamline many parts of Piccolo repair and take away some of the challenges when handling this unique and sensitive instrument. 

How To Buy

Here at Dawkes Music we sell both the Piccolo Probe and the Flute Ferret main device you need to operate it. Both are available via our online store with quick worldwide delivery.