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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:57 am 
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lassoftheisland wrote:

Buying a secondhand whistle has always seemed risky to me...


I look at it the opposite way, due to all the experiences I've had in 40 years of playing this music and acquiring instruments.

My "rate of success" in buying used instruments has been far higher than buying new. My bad experiences buying new are many, and tedious to tell, and I'm not comfortable naming names. So let's leave it at that.

That aside, buying used allows you, in effect, to rent and try as many instruments as you wish, for free.

Because there's no difference in value between a 3 year old instrument and a 3 year 2 month old instrument. There's no difference in value between a 10 year old instrument and a 12 year old instrument. That two months or two years is your free trial, your free rental.

It so happened that I started hearing good things about MK whistles when a trip to Glasgow was looming, so I tried to get hold of MK to arrange a visit while I was there. I never made contact, wasn't able to visit MK or acquire an MK whistle while in Glasgow, so when I returned to the States I realised my only way to get an MK was to get a used MK. No problem, and over a few year period I owned a half-dozen different MK Low D's and spent much time exploring their subtle differences. I ended up with a superb MK which was my go-to instrument for a few years. The others were sold for what I paid for them, in every case.

I've bought, tried, and sold maybe 20 or 30 Low D's over the last 10 years, nearly all bought used. I now have just the one, a wonderful Goldie that I play every day. It was got used from a member here.

I tried in vain to get a Low C, and ended up with an incredible-playing one, got used from a member here.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:21 am 
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I can understand both sides of the new vs. used discussion. Both of the whistles I own were bought new. But then again, I've only played inexpensive soprano D whistles up to this point. Such whistles are inexpensive enough that buying new is always a viable option. However, should I ever look into getting a high-end or a low D whistle, I would definitely consider buying a used one. Buying a used example of such a whistle could be a real money-saver.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:19 pm 
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cboody wrote:
The Ralph Sweet Onyx is the smallest finger holes I’ve encountered. The sound is quite different, conical bore among other things, but I do like it.

It's the only low D I can play most of the time even w/my carpal problem.Playability on other low Ds I have varies day to day. Note that I'm just under 6 feet and don't have tiny hands.

I bought one of those one piece very barely slightly conical Dixons. Can't play it as easy as the Onyx. Not as conical as the Onyx.Think this is what makes a difference regarding finger stretch as to ease of covering the D hole,which has a direct bearing on whether my hand will "cooperate" or not.

P.S.That's Walt Sweet that makes the Onyx.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:56 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
lassoftheisland wrote:

Buying a secondhand whistle has always seemed risky to me...


My "rate of success" in buying used instruments has been far higher than buying new.



My main hesitation when thinking of buying used was the risk of defects or problems that I wouldn't know about until I got it. But if buying used whistles is such a common practice, I suppose there would be reputable sources out there and honest people selling. What would be some good resources for looking for used?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:51 pm 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
But if buying used whistles is such a common practice, I suppose there would be reputable sources out there and honest people selling. What would be some good resources for looking for used?

The Used Instrument Exchange Forum here is a good source. Members selling to one another so you have a chance to go back and get a sense of the person from her/his past discussions or sales. Associated with that is the Sold and Old forum where the sold items go—and where items go that didn't necessarily sell. Or just posting a request in the Whistle Forum for something specific may elicit a response.

The Irish Flute Store https://www.irishflutestore.com/ has a section for whistles, both new and used with a solid return policy.

Others may have their favourite sources also.

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:35 pm 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
My main hesitation when thinking of buying used was the risk of defects or problems that I wouldn't know about until I got it.


I've had far fewer such issues buying used than buying new. But that's just one person's experience.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:29 am 
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I only have a narrow frame of reference regarding Goldie whistles, but from my experience with two different bodies - a smaller holed one versus a larger holed one that I use side by side - the smaller holed one seems to require notably less finger stretch compared to the bigger holed body as well as an MK that I previously owned. I could imagine tbeing suitable for a smaller handed player. Maybe you could find something suitable from the Goldie repertoire?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:38 am 
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I second the idea of getting a Goldie. Both the upper hand and lower hand of my Goldie Low D have a tiny bit narrower finger-spread than other Low D's I've had, without any apparent sacrifice in tone.

Even my Goldie Low C is easy to play.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:06 am 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
However, the Shearwater website isn't working for me...there's nothing on it but a Facebook button...I don't know where else to access more info on them?? :-?


It's not very obvious, but if you click the picture of the guy playing a whistle it will take you into the main part of the web-site.

In fact the web-site is generally badly laid out, not to mention very old fashioned, but the whistles sound great - at least the recordings I've heard. I've just ordered my first Low F from them, and found John Bushby to be a very helpful man - he answered my emailed queries within a day. He could have made more money off me by suggesting I buy a Low D, but said a Low F would be an easier step from a Soprano D, so respect to him for that.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:09 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
lassoftheisland wrote:
The Shearwater website isn't working for me...there's nothing on it but a Facebook button...I don't know where else to access more info on them?

I just checked it, and it worked okay for me. Here's a link to their "buy" page. Hope that link will work.


It's working now...but now that I'm looking at the Shearwaters, it looks like the holes are set specifically for right hand on bottom...and I play with my right hand on top. :( It's the way I first learned and there's no going back for me now! It's quite unfortunate, because they look like really nice whistles, for the price, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:29 pm 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
...but now that I'm looking at the Shearwaters, it looks like the holes are set specifically for right hand on bottom...and I play with my right hand on top. :( It's the way I first learned and there's no going back for me now! It's quite unfortunate, because they look like really nice whistles, for the price, too.

Don't despair too soon. If you're really interested, contact them and ask whether it's a big deal to move the bottom hole to some other location (in-line or off-set to your preference). Since these are generally hand constructed instruments (not 3D printed or stamped out of machines), it may be a simple thing to align the finger holes to your comfort zone. Plus, it's always fun to chat with whistle makers...

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:33 pm 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
I play with my right hand on top. It's the way I first learned and there's no going back for me now!

I'm the same way. I was also going to make a suggestion to you, but Steve beat me to it!

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Whistle No. 2: green Feadóg Original, soprano D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
lassoftheisland wrote:
...but now that I'm looking at the Shearwaters, it looks like the holes are set specifically for right hand on bottom...and I play with my right hand on top. :( It's the way I first learned and there's no going back for me now! It's quite unfortunate, because they look like really nice whistles, for the price, too.

Don't despair too soon. If you're really interested, contact them and ask whether it's a big deal to move the bottom hole to some other location (in-line or off-set to your preference). Since these are generally hand constructed instruments (not 3D printed or stamped out of machines), it may be a simple thing to align the finger holes to your comfort zone. Plus, it's always fun to chat with whistle makers...

Steve


Good idea. I'll have to look into that!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
lassoftheisland wrote:
I play with my right hand on top. It's the way I first learned and there's no going back for me now!

I'm the same way. I was also going to make a suggestion to you, but Steve beat me to it!


Good to know I'm not the only one! Ha!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:33 pm 
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It is perhaps worth noting that Mary Bergin is a left-handed whistler, as was one of the Chieftains (Sean Potts, if memory serves me correctly). The only real problem with playing left-handed is that, obviously, the majority of musical instruments are designed with right-handed players in mind. Should I ever decide to play the flute, I'd most likely buy a brand-new one made for a left-handed player. I am guardedly optimistic that I could play a larger whistle with standard hole spacing left-handed without using the piper's grip.

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Whistle No. 2: green Feadóg Original, soprano D


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