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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:24 am 
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I'm intrigued by Nick Metcalf's new alloy whistle that has a teflon coating to the windway to prevent clogging. He'll be making them early next year, I gather, to sell through eBay and Amazon. I'm hoping someone will buy and review one (its expensive to buy from the UK because of shipping and import duty) because it also has a tapered design, the bore being normal but the tubing thinner towards the top supposedly to even out volume between octaves. It could be an interesting low D to play.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:56 pm 
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Nick Metcalfe is pretty active on Facebook and he also has a new website. www.theirishwhistle.com. I just visited the site. He seems to be actively making and marketing whistles. He has some sort explanation for shortcomings there. Maybe visit his site and hopefully you can get some satisfaction from him. This kind of stuff could ruin his reputation and I'd imagine he would/should be very keen on keeping his customers happy and his reputation intact.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:40 pm 
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Panceltic, what's your preferred surfactant?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:34 pm 
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whistle1000 wrote:
Nick Metcalfe is pretty active on Facebook and he also has a new website. http://www.theirishwhistle.com. I just visited the site. He seems to be actively making and marketing whistles. He has some sort explanation for shortcomings there. Maybe visit his site and hopefully you can get some satisfaction from him. This kind of stuff could ruin his reputation and I'd imagine he would/should be very keen on keeping his customers happy and his reputation intact.


Thanks for the update!

I'm glad to see he's still persevering and has changed business models to something, hopefully, much more manageable for him to handle!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:00 am 
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Derek Blackwell wrote:
Panceltic, what's your preferred surfactant?


I just followed the advice from Colin Goldie that our member Mikethebook posted a while back:

"I bought a soft blowing Goldie Low D and had problems with clogging...I spoke to Colin and this is what he suggested I do:

The method uses toothpaste (not the gritty sort) and a filed down dampened wooden lollipop stick (not sure what you call them in the US - popsicle?) - and make sure it goes into the windway easily so it won't break off and get stuck - I guess you could use a thin plastic card too but the wood rends to pick up dirt in the grain. Work toothpaste into the windway and using the dampened stick "polish" the inside of the windway with it. Then, using a cotton bud with toothpaste on it, polish the bevel and also the wall of the block below it to prevent the build up on water on the bevel. Then rinse the whistle out with cold water."

Yes here in the USA the flat wooden stick is called a popsicle stick.

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Here, a lollipop stick is round, made of rolled paper.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:32 am 
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Back to the topic of Low D whistles, I'm currently playing a Goldie, switching back and forth between two headjoints.

One, the one that came with the whistle, has a very narrow windway.

The other came with a Goldie-made Overton Low C.

They're both the same ID and the same length and both play fine on the Low D body.

However the Low C head has a higher/more open windway.

I've long known that Colin makes a variety of windway heights. My understanding is that nowadays he engraves the specific height in mm on each whistle. These heads were both made before he started doing that, so I don't know what he would reckon them.

Taking a crude measurement with calipers (in inches) I get .025" for the D head and .037" for the C head.

It's remarkable how differently the D body plays with those different heads.

The narrower windway feels more enclosed/contained, gives a darker rougher tone, slightly greater efficiency, and a slightly stiffer 2nd octave.

The wider windway feels more freeblowing, gives a cleaner brighter tone, slightly less efficiency, a lighter easier 2nd octave, and a slightly more powerful Bottom D.

I can't say one is "better" than the other, they're simply different. I am spending more time on the freeblowing headjoint...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:53 am 
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To clarify Colin's system of windway heights for those who have them etched inside the bottom of their Low Ds:

1.00mm very soft/easy blower
0.97 standard soft blower
0.87 medium blower
0.80mm hard blower, only made to order.

He also makes windway heights between these number so a Low D with 0.93mm etched inside is a medium/soft blower. For a Low C the numbers shouldn't be much different.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Thanks for that information!

So, my Goldie D head measures (rough-and-ready measurement holding calipers on top of the windway opening)

.025" or .635mm (dated 2011)

while the C head measures

.037" or .94mm (dated 1999)

That makes the windway on the D head narrower than the narrowest you give.

I just set the calipers on the narrowest you give .8mm/.0315" and it's clearly narrower than that. I still get .025"/.635mm.

Maybe it has a tapered ramp?

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:42 am 
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Don't understand at all. What do mean by a tapered ramp?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:12 am 
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Richard, I don't understand how narrowness relates to height - I always think of it in regard to width, not height.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:10 am 
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It's just different ways of saying the same thing, I guess. I'm using "narrow" and "wide" to refer to the vertical plane, like in "he opened his eyes wide" and "she narrowed her eyes" (the eyelids are widening and narrowing from below and above, not from the sides).

But if "higher" and "lower" are the preferred terms I should use them. Yes I'm talking about vertical distances.

(To me "high" and "low" are about an object's position in space, not about the relative width or narrowness of an aperture, but maybe that's just me.)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:13 pm 
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Mikethebook wrote:
To clarify Colin's system of windway heights for those who have them etched inside the bottom of their Low Ds:

1.00mm very soft/easy blower
0.97 standard soft blower
0.87 medium blower
0.80mm hard blower, only made to order.

He also makes windway heights between these number so a Low D with 0.93mm etched inside is a medium/soft blower. For a Low C the numbers shouldn't be much different.


I've been looking for this info, and trying to understand, as I'm going to order one if I can get the money together... does this mean the .97 'soft blower' is his standard?... that's what most people order?... and some smaller percentage order the medium blower? I've been in rooms with them, but always busy, and I don't know anyone with one well enough to get into it with them. The only ones I see around here are passing through with musicians.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:54 am 
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I wrote standard soft blower to differentiate it from very soft blower which is not a whistle he makes regularly. Normally the 0.97mm is the softest low D he makes. But, though I'm guessing, it's probably the most popular choice too. It was my first Goldie. Despite its name I should say it is by no means a free blower and has a moderate amount of backpressure probably akin to something like the MK Pro from what others have told me. Colin's medium blower has quite a high amount of backpressure, much more than most other Low Ds.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:04 am 
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Mikethebook wrote:
Don't understand at all. What do mean by a tapered ramp?


The first Low Whistle I ever saw or heard played in person was an early Bernard Overton Low D owned by local player Chris Moran, in the late 1970s. Chris had recently returned from a period living in Ireland and he may of got the Overton there.

Chris had removed the alloy block and replaced it with a self-made one. It was some kind of black plastic.

It was a bit loose so it could be raised, lowered, and tilted a bit. Chris would sometimes fuss with it, to get a certain sweet spot he wanted.

I could be wrong but I think he had it angled a bit, wider where you blow and narrower at the window. This is what I meant by "tapered ramp".

He developed that skill of inhaling through the mouthpiece to keep the windway from clogging as he played. I don't know if the toothpastse and dish detergent tricks had been thought of back then.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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