Flutemakers’ Favorites: Headjoint Materials

Mar 31, 2021

Having considered some of the qualities associated with various flute headjoint materials, it is time to do a deeper investigation into the qualities associated with different combinations of metals. With so many combinations available, you may wonder “What are my options for headjoint materials at Burkart Flutes?” For a comprehensive guide of all Burkart combinations, continue reading!

At Burkart, even though our specialists are able to hand craft any imaginable combination, many years of research and headjoint making have yielded the most ideal metal combinations to pair with Burkart flutes as well as other instruments. Flutists around the world have come to love the unique metal combinations that give Burkart flutes their characteristic clarity and easy response.


Perhaps the most common material for a flute headjoint, sterling silver contains a 92.5% silver content combined with other metals for structural and sonic integrity. Sterling silver headjoint produce a sound that is balanced and brilliant. Although sterling silver headjoints can be made with with a .014” thin wall thickness or .018” heavy wall thickness, today it is most common for Burkart headjoints to be constructed with an .016” wall thickness.

Silver flute with silver keys



Our 998 alloy is 99.8% silver and achieves a more complex sound than sterling silver with an amazing ability to project. The 998 material is both hard and reflective, imparting vibrancy and color to a beautifully distinctive sound. 998 headjoints are made with an .016” wall thickness and are available with a wide variety of lip plate and riser combinations.


Commonly referred to as our 9K/AG material, the exterior of this headjoint tube is 9K gold and the interior is sterling silver. The layered construction of this tube marries the richness of gold with the response and clarity of silver. Rich in aesthetic appeal, the 9K/AG headjoint is constructed with a 9K gold lip plate and sterling silver riser.

9KAG Gold on Silver Flute footjoint with Burkart logo engraving


Our 595 tubes are made of 5% platinum and 95% silver. These headjoints deliver the increased spectrum of color and dynamic commonly associated with platinum, but with considerably less weight and cost. Combining focused sound and ample projection, the tonal intensity is greater than with sterling silver. Playing a 595 headjoint feels like driving a fancy sports car with superior handling!

Solid gold custom Elite Burkart flute



The newest material to be added to the Burkart headjoint family, the 9K solid rose gold headjoint was crafted to be paired specifically with the Burkart Professional 9K Gold Drawn Tone Hole flute. A wall thickness of .014” offers a rich tone with agile response. This headjoint plays easily in any dynamic range and produces a sound that is consistent and even in all ranges of the instrument.


Burkart 10K gold headjoints offer less resistance than 14K gold. 10K gold adds color and depth while embodying the projecting qualities of silver.  In the early days of Burkart, many flutists preferred pairing a sterling silver lip plate and riser with their 10K gold headjoint. Although this combination has been discontinued, many flutists now enjoy the more popular combination of a 10K gold tube with 14K gold lip plate and riser.

14K and 19.5K GOLD

14K and 19.5K headjoints achieve a dark and dense “gold sound” with significant increase in resistance and a wide palette of inspiring colors. As 14K and 19.5K gold are denser materials, these headjoints tend to produce a sound that is round and luscious.


Our platinum headjoints are made with 14K embouchures to keep their sound balanced and accessible. This combination enables an unlimited palate of color and flexibility for the performer from delicate pianissimos to the most aggressive fortes. The clarity and layered richness of a platinum headjoint is one of the most gratifying pairings on any flute body.


Whether you are a seasoned professional searching for new colors and flexibility, or a music student in need of a headjoint to accompany you to the next levels, your headjoint is here at Burkart. If you have specific artistic visions in mind for your headjoint, our specialists would be happy to assist your in finding your ideal Burkart headjoint pairing. Not only are Burkart headjoint styles innovative, but the combinations of materials is diverse. Lillian Burkart, alongside our team of headjoint makers, has spent many years tirelessly striving to make flute headjoints that will produce the sound and feel that is ideal for you.

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