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 Post subject: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Posts: 5
Just wanted to say hello. I'm new here and wanted to introduce myself. I've had a whistle for a couple years but really started trying to learn about a year ago. My main instrument is guitar. I played clarinet for about six years, so the fingering on a whistle is rather instinctual. I started with a Cillian O'Briain improved Feadog and have moved up from there. Once I get into something I can't stop at one whistle. I'm sure some can relate. Also, I have a question and hope it's not been already beat to death. Why is there such a big mark up with a Copeland D as compared to a Sindt D. From what I've seen the price of a Copeland D is about twice the price of a Sindt D. Is it because the Copeland is a tapered bore that requires more work than a Sindt which is a straight brass tube? Thanks all and hope to contribute to the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:03 pm 
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Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of good information on here current and archived.

As for the Copeland vs. Sindt to each their own as towards preference and value. One possibility may be the slightly more availability of the Sindt. Both gents are getting older and production may have slowed a bit. Their whistles are around regularly.

Enjoy your whistling.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Thanks for the welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Welcome. I will try to answer your question. Michael Copeland makes very few whistles a year. He no longer has a list, but rather, occasionally puts whistles on eBay. Those of us who have Copelands seldom sell them. The initial prices were pretty high. I don't know how to adjust for inflation for a $200 whistle bought in the 2000s or late 90s.

Now that many of us who first got Copelands in 90s or early 2000s are hitting a certain age I have seen more used Copelands go up for sale. But I seem to remember years where there were very few listings and the few whistles that were sold were going for more than a grand... Scarcer than hen's teeth as the saying goes.

Structurally they are a nice heavy whistle with a conical bore. I would assume the conical bore would be more complex to make, but if one were to mass produce them that would bring the price down. Some conical bore whistles are not super expensive like the Shaw.

Someone who knows more about how Michael Copeland makes his whistles can chime in here, but it seems to me as if they are cast. Certainly they are not cut out of tubing. But I don't know exactly how they are made.

I mainly play flute in sessions, but often carry my Copeland. Occasionally a new friend will forget their whistle and I will hand it over to them, only to see their eyes light up with the comment, "I really like your whistle. Where can I get one."


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Thanks for the information.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:42 am 
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Location: just outside Xanadu
Michael does not cast his whistles. From my understanding, the process would be technically called extrusion. Followed by some brazing, followed again by some turning, and some 'bumping' with a hydraulic press equiped with special jigs, buffing, and finally a lot of EXPERT TLC in voicing. . .
There's a certain amount of 'Dark Art' involved in the extruding, which is similar to the process for forming brass instrument bells. I knew some 'big band' aficionados who swore the best sound production for trombones was from the classic "Olds" brand 'bones. They used used an enormous chain operated machine to 'pull' or extrude the bells, and could use vernier calibration to properly form them. Before the company went completely "south" they moved their productions facility to Mexico, abandoning the machine and its specialized jigs, converting to an all hydraulic method. Eventually the brand was 'absorbed' by another corporation.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:49 am 
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I must also hasten to add that I have been to sessions where I would never lend out my middle '80's made Copeland!
And I would feel much more comfortable if I were between whoever was trying out my Copeland and the exit :moreevil:

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:55 am 
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Cathal wrote:
I started with a Cillian O'Briain improved Feadog and have moved up from there.

I'm not so sure I'd say, "moved up," from a Cillian O'Briain. I'd rather have one of his than a Copeland or a Sindt any day.

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:58 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Welcome aboard. :)

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Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:34 am 
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For such a simple thing, whistles are all surprisingly different in terms of how they play and sound. How much are they in tune, how much air pressure do they take, what kind of basic sound do they produce? Some are more "flute like" or recorder-like, some are more breathy sounding, some have a sweeter sound, some a rougher sound. On the one hand any whistle will do, on the other if you are spending hours with a thing might as well get it the way you want.

Copeland and Sindt both have a reputation for making hand crafted whistles that are solidly "in the tradition" of irish music but are much more consistent and well made than the average plastic head generation, which can vary a lot. I didn't think Copeland was still making whistles. John Sindt is still making whistles at the slow pace of a one man shop. so prices are high. As with anything else, some people are convinced older is always better, and that layer you loved used an X whistle on his cd back in 1987, so clearly only that whistle will do.

I have one Sindt and really like it a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:34 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
Michael does not cast his whistles.
Bob


Thanks, that was a uninformed guess on my part given the weight of the whistle. Extruding does make sense. And it seems like there is a bit of magic? alchemy? involved. The skill and care in the finishing of these whistles are evident.

[quote="an seanduine"]I must also hasten to add that I have been to sessions where I would never lend out my middle '80's made Copeland!
And I would feel much more comfortable if I were between whoever was trying out my Copeland and the exit :moreevil:

Yes, and yes. It has to be a special session with a high level of trust.

As for Copelands: I know people who truly love them and some who really dislike them. There is definitely a personal taste aspect of in whistle playing.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy Here
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:19 pm 
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I definitely agree that personal taste is involved in anything hand made and a musical instrument. As far as my comment goes regarding an O'Briain improved Feadog and moving up, again it's that personal preference thing and by no means meant to disparage the improved Feadog. I like it a lot and play it regularly.


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