While we've been stocking Azumi flutes for a number of years now, we often get enquiries about the difference between their Z model and S model. So here's a definitive explanation...
Azumi produce two series of flute:
The ‘Z’ series – AZ-Z1, AZ-Z2 and AZ-Z3
- ‘AZ’ stands for Azumi
- The second ‘Z’ stands for ‘Z’ cut (square) embouchure hole
- '1' stands for silver lip, '2' for silver headjoint and '3' for silver headjoint and body/footjoint tube
The ‘S’ series – AZ-S2 and AZ-S3
- As above except ‘S’ stands for ‘S’ cut (oval) embouchure hole
- The headjoint (and body/footjoint tube on the AZ-S3) is made in .958 Britannia rather than .925 Sterling
- The ‘S’ cut heads are the same design as those found on Altus flutes.
Z Cut: free-blowing, responsive, easy
S Cut: open, warm, full sound
That’s the technical stuff. However, the practical difference for the performer is that the ‘S’ cut headjoints are very resonant, and typically reward those players who put a lot of air down their instrument. The difference is price is very small (even smaller for VAT free purchases).
There is a very tangible difference in performance so it is definitely recommended to try both models – they will capture two distinctly different types of player. Both varieties are also available with open holes.