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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:04 pm
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Location: Scotland
I'm always interested in attempts to improve on the basic design of the whistle. And Nick Metcalf has just brought out the interesting Overton-based Skellig Low D (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lndWFXLWyfA) a prototype of which has been around for a while now. It basically has two "improvements." First is a head that is made differently from the Overton/Goldie. According to Metcalf, it is one piece apart from the top of the windway and this has allowed him to coat the two windway surfaces with Teflon to cut down on clogging. If the video is anything to go by the results are amazing. However, the design would appear to restrict him to one windway height. The pictures suggest it is what Colin Goldie would call a soft or very soft blower and that's fine if that is what you want. I would a narrower windway.

The second innovation I find far more interesting. It appears that, without affecting the bore, he has shaved down the thickness of the tubing starting at the first hole and gradually increased the thickness again down the whistle. He suggests that this helps to better balance the volume of the high and low notes, making the high notes softer and, though he doesn't mention it, probably easier to reach. This isn't a new idea. The tapered Lochlan held to this same idea but it's nice to see it, at last, in a production aluminium Low D.

Living in the UK makes it too expensive for me to buy what with shipping and import duties. Besides which I wouldn't want a soft blower nor a Low D that didn't have the rounded holes I love on the Goldie Low Ds but I would be curious to see someone review one . . . and confirm or not whether it does what Metcalf suggests it does. Maybe he would be interested in a whistle tour for it in the USA.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
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That's an interesting idea, but from the video it seemed to have the same sound difference between low and hi registers that you get with any other whistle. It seems like it should make sense to vary the diameter of the tube, but wouldn't that also lead to rearranging the finger hole size and placement? And yes, it does--the low D hole is farther away than usual from the E and F#? Might not matter.


Teflon inside the mouthpiece seems like a brilliant idea although my wife has banned non-stick cookware from our house for alleged health reasons. I know there are other hydrophobic coating out there that shed water--great idea.

I'm a little skeptical, but I'd love to try one.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:04 pm
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Location: Scotland
Good points! I wouldn't be concerned about the Teflon since your mouth wouldn't come into contact with it and it wouldn't be heated up anyway. I'd certainly like to try one. Maybe someone on the forum will . . . and post us a review.


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