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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:21 am 
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he doesn't seem to have an answer or want to elaborate..


Just do not have the inclination to once again go over the (to me) obvious. If you like them, fine, enjoy them, no problem. I don't see any merit or even redeeming factors in them.

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my French keyboard doesn't have the accent


It probably does, if you know how to do it. A friend of mine moved to France and since that time his emails are peppered with unintended accents aigu. Alt 162 (for ó) will do it, Alt Gr or Ctrl Alt plus the letter will get you there on mine (Irish keyboard) as well (for á, é, ó) but may or may not work on French/AZERTY keyboards. As a last resort: use the character map. Otherwise, just be unapologetic and ignore them.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:23 am 
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Kade1301 wrote:
...I've discovered with recorders that no instrument in the world will make a beginner sound good. All that's needed is an instrument one likes to practice on.

A great reminder! And almost always true. :thumbsup: If it's fun to play something even at a beginner level, one will more likely stick with it and slowly get better. I'm not a fan of musical self torture or of anything that discourages beginners.
I'm am still such a rank beginner on whistle, but having caught the fever I have about dozen decent whistles already in my first year of playing. They are all mid range price well regarded by most. They are such huge pleasure to pick up and play whenever the mood strikes me, which it does regularly. :D
That said, there are instruments out there that are so badly made that they will strongly discourage anyone from playing. Sadly, a beginner would not have the experience to know there was any problem other than their own lack of skill. I'm thinking especially of some stringed instruments I have known (more useful as egg slicers), and I doubt Sweetones fall in this category (i've never tried one)... but I'm sure there are plenty of horrible whistles and recorders out there that are total 'joy killers' as well.

('woad'... had to look that one up, got my morning chuckle.)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
he doesn't seem to have an answer or want to elaborate..


Just do not have the inclination to once again go over the (to me) obvious. If you like them, fine, enjoy them, no problem. I don't see any merit or even redeeming factors in them.


What do you mean, "again"? All you've ever written here was that you bought one (sic!) over 20 years ago which you hated. Based on that one instrument (you don't mention any others) you claim that all Sweetones are unplayably out of tune.

The tuning of mine is spot on at concert pitch (442 Hz) - as long as I play with a lot less air than I'm used to from my recorders. Which makes the whistle amazingly quiet - but that's a distinct plus for now, I'd say.

Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
my French keyboard doesn't have the accent


It probably does, if you know how to do it. ... Alt 162 (for ó) will do it, Alt Gr or Ctrl Alt plus the letter will get you there on mine (Irish keyboard) as well (for á, é, ó) but may or may not work on French/AZERTY keyboards. ... Otherwise, just be unapologetic and ignore them.


Even if your suggestions worked (none of them does, typing here - didn't test in LibreOffice) you'd have only confirmed what I said: There is no accent aigu on its own on the (physical) French keybord. Thanks for your permission to leave it off Feadog!

Chifmunk wrote:
...
That said, there are instruments out there that are so badly made that they will strongly discourage anyone from playing. Sadly, a beginner would not have the experience to know there was any problem other than their own lack of skill. I'm thinking especially of some stringed instruments I have known (more useful as egg slicers), and I doubt Sweetones fall in this category (i've never tried one)... but I'm sure there are plenty of horrible whistles and recorders out there that are total 'joy killers' as well.
...


I found the Thomann soprano recorder horrible, and after three years of lessons and practice it was still so bad that I gave it away (not that I've ever heard any soprano recorder played by anybody as a solo instrument that I would enjoy listening to...) And the Yamaha 302B Alto is supposed to be good, but for me it was constantly clogging, so I bought an Aulos 511B instead which I was perfectly happy with for years. To find a wooden instrument that I preferred I had to spend 10x more... That's what formed my above-stated opinion...

What stringed instruments have you had bad experiences with? I'd love to know how the violin-shaped objects play and sound that are sold with bow and case for € 100... Though recently in the music shop the boss was demonstrating ukuleles and I was positively surprised by the sound of the entry-level ones at about € 60! Nothing toy-like about them... (apart from the looks ;) )


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Kade1301 wrote:
What stringed instruments have you had bad experiences with? I'd love to know how the violin-shaped objects play and sound that are sold with bow and case for € 100... Though recently in the music shop the boss was demonstrating ukuleles and I was positively surprised by the sound of the entry-level ones at about € 60! Nothing toy-like about them... (apart from the looks ;) )

Hmm... well, I had a banjo student once who bought a new Fender 5string banjo and it started falling apart within two months, tuning gears breaking and falling apart, plastic head separating from the rim, tailpiece broke. That'd be enough to discourage anyone! I believe this was after Fender was sold off to a mass producer.

Apple Creek brand mountain dulcimers (made in a Romanian factory) sell readily on Amazon and Ebay because of their very low price. They look nice in the pictures. But on my dulcimer site I have seen dozens of people over the years who are unable to play them- get them looked at by experienced dulcimer players who find the action so high that it's virtually impossible to fret the thing. Plus the frets are not properly spaced for good intonation. Any beginner would figure they just didn't have what it takes to be a player. These beginners I have seen were sometimes in tears, so discouraged. It should not be this way- dulcimers are normally easy to play! The reality is that the instrument totally BITES. lol

18 years ago I played a Kentucky entry level mandolin in a music store that had action so high as to be impossible- this is really painful on an instrument with a short scale like mandolins. Longer scales like on banjos are a little more forgiving with high action. I think Kentucky brand improved over the years after that though.

Ukes - easier to make decent ukes at a low price than violins, right? OTOH...it used to be that cheap Chinese violins were always horrible. But now there are some very nice ones out there! (according to some of my skilled fiddling friends)

I know nothing about recorders except that i love to listen to them, especially when playing Baroque, Renaissance, and medieval music. :)

On the other hand... the relatively inexpensive Deering 'Goodtime' banjo is considered middle entry level quality and price but is well built, sounds nice, and is smooth playing for even the newest beginner. Same can be said for Goldtone's cheaper model banjos. Same goes for David Lynch's and Doug Berch's 'student' model mtn dulcimers- very low price and modest materials but they play well and hold up. So, cheap does not always mean badly made, and expensive does not always mean well made I guess.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:42 am 
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Chifmunk wrote:
.... So, cheap does not always mean badly made, and expensive does not always mean well made I guess.


You are absolutely right! The difficulty is in figuring out which is which... (I have an even worse problem with power tools) By the way, have you heard of the Landfill Harmonics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJxxdQox7n0 Their instruments are literally made from trash, and they make so beautiful music on them that I'm ready to get a serious inferiority complex whenever I hear them...

I can imagine that a dulcimer with the action too high would be painful to play - those are steel strings, aren't they? Can the action be adjusted? Cheap guitars often have the same problem, but it seems to be easy enough to change (once one has identified the problem, and assembled a few tools, and a bit of knowledge. And preferably a spare guitar in case things go horribly wrong...). Though I ended up shelling out for a reputable brand after trying it out in the shop, it just sounded so much better. Despite somebody pointing out beforehand that a parlor guitar is supposed to be a cheap instrument and sound a bit "dirty", so there'd be no point in paying a lot of money for that kind of sound. Isn't that a bit the case with tin whistles as well?

As for instruments from China - I'm convinced that the Chinese produce exactly what is demanded: If they can get away with selling badly made stuff, they'll do, if buyers insist on quality, they'll produce quality. Possibly with a few hickups at the start of production - it would only be logical that their violins (and other string instruments) get better over time, with experience.

After all, the famous strongholds of violin making, Mittenwald (Germany) and Mirecourt (France) didn't start out being famous, but rather infamous by "mass"-producing string instruments. Nowadays people proudly state "trained in M..."


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:17 am 
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Chifmunk wrote:
the boss was demonstrating ukuleles and I was positively surprised by the sound of the entry-level ones at about € 60! Nothing toy-like about them...

...it used to be that cheap Chinese violins were always horrible. But now there are some very nice ones out there! (according to some of my skilled fiddling friends)

... the relatively inexpensive Deering 'Goodtime' banjo is considered middle entry level quality and price but is well built, sounds nice, and is smooth playing for even the newest beginner. Same can be said for Goldtone's cheaper model banjos. Same goes for David Lynch's and Doug Berch's 'student' model mtn dulcimers- very low price and modest materials but they play well and hold up.


What I was thinking about as I was reading this is how, for each sort of instrument, the experts in that field know of instruments like that, relatively inexpensive but good players, that they steer their students toward.

A professional clarinet player friend recommends two relatively inexpensive but great-playing synthetic clarinets, one made in Texas, one made in Canada. He plays one of the Canadian ones in preference to his expensive wooden French clarinet; he says the keywork is more ergonomic.

For many years I've recommended the ugly cheap David Daye uilleann chanters because they perform well, in fact outperform many fancy wood uilleann chanters costing thousands of dollars. And for Highland pipes the relatively inexpensive synthetic bagpipes and cocobolo bagpipes made by Dunbar of Canada, which have a big quality old-school sound.

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