After several years of success with our Nagahara wooden lipplate headjoints (available in grenadilla or mopane), Kanichi Nagahara decided to experiment with an all-wood design that would fit on a standard metal flute body. This resulted in a beautiful balance between Classical and organic Baroque sounds, with great potential to be used in world music, jazz or even modern avante-garde pieces.
The most careful selection process of the wood is done using expert judgement, in order to pick only the best pieces for our creations. Nagahara uses the finest quality aged hardwoods from Africa. These are cut at our shop and sent to be treated at an offsite location in order to improve the durability and resistance against weather and humidity changes
Each type of wood projects a different tonal quality and voice depending on the density of the wood and the cut of the headjoint. Below you will find a brief description of the woods that are currently available, along with their sound characteristics. See Embouchure Cuts page for cut options.
Also known as grenadilla, this wood displays a rich dark tone throughout all registers with great sound projection and a bit of edge. Blackwood is the densest woods found in the world and is the most broadly-used type of wood by makers of musical instruments.
Usually found in a deep chocolate brown color, this sweet-toned wood proves a popular choice for musical instrument makers. Though it exhibits a gentler tone than the denser woods above, mopane still projects a tremendous depth of sound and is one of the most durable woods found in Africa. It's acoustical properties are sought after by many flutists who appreciate the response and clarity of tone found in this wood.
This rare pink-colored wood from South Africa offers a beautiful timber filled with colorful texture and elegant resonance. According to folklore, the pink Ivory tree is considered royal to the Zulus in South Africa and rumor says it is rarer than diamonds. Pink Ivory headjoints are limited upon availability of wood stock. Looks and sounds striking from stage!