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 Post subject: Abell 2nd Octave D sharp
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Is it normal for the 2nd Octave D on an Abell Whistle to be sharper than the other notes?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:40 am 
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Darned if I can tell, since I *seem* to play them in tune to each other. Just hauled out my Delrin C & D set to try for you. The likelihood is that you have to learn to adjust to your whistle, rather than the other way around.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:11 am 
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Top hole vented or not? Can make a difference on some whistles but not on others. I prefer whistles where the 2nd octave D stays the same, no matter if I play oxxxxx or xxxxxx. If it's sharp when playing xxxxxx you might try playing with a vented top hole oxxxxx. This is something that can vary from maker to maker, depending on what fingering they prefer. Same with the C nat being played either oxxooo oxoooo oxxxox or oxxoxx. That also varies quite wildly from whistle to whistle, depending on wall thickness and hole size.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:50 am 
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kkrell wrote:
Darned if I can tell, since I *seem* to play them in tune to each other. Just hauled out my Delrin C & D set to try for you. The likelihood is that you have to learn to adjust to your whistle, rather than the other way around.


I would agree I'm going to have to adjust to it. Most of the time I just blow less forcefully to make it in tune or cover the top hole.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:58 am 
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Sedi wrote:
Top hole vented or not? Can make a difference on some whistles but not on others. I prefer whistles where the 2nd octave D stays the same, no matter if I play oxxxxx or xxxxxx. If it's sharp when playing xxxxxx you might try playing with a vented top hole oxxxxx. This is something that can vary from maker to maker, depending on what fingering they prefer. Same with the C nat being played either oxxooo oxoooo oxxxox or oxxoxx. That also varies quite wildly from whistle to whistle, depending on wall thickness and hole size.


It plays sharp with the normal 2nd octave D fingering of OXXXXX, but with the top hole covered XXXXXX it is indeed in tune. I worry about doing that all the time though as my fingers will get used to it and that is not the normal fingering for D haha. CNat is in tune too pretty easily with the OXXOOO fingering..

What you are telling me is the Abell is not perfect haha.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:15 am 
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I had it the other way round in my original post. When it's sharp--cover the top hole. I much prefer whistles playing that way and I would say this is really personal preference and a design-choice of the maker. So to me it would be perfect with a 2nd octave D being in tune with xxxxxx without venting the top hole.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:24 am 
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Sedi wrote:
I had it the other way round in my original post. When it's sharp--cover the top hole. I much prefer whistles playing that way and I would say this is really personal preference and a design-choice of the maker. So to me it would be perfect with a 2nd octave D being in tune with xxxxxx without venting the top hole.


Okay I'll use the XXXXXX on that D on that whistle as you suggested.

I guess I could also use OXXXXX for fast parts with that D and use XXXXXX for the longer, slower, more discernible Ds haha.

Are you saying you think Chris Abell designed it to be more in tune with the XXXXXX fingering?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:33 am 
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I almost always use xxxxxx and mostly just use oxxxxx for playing crans on the 2nd octave D. Or sometimes use oxxxox for going up the scale to oxxxxx because you just need one finger then to jump the octave. It all depends on what you are used to. When I started playing the tin whistle I had zero guidance (that was long before the advent of internet and youtube-tutorials) and nobody ever told me to vent the top hole, so I got used to xxxxxx and simply blowing harder to get to 2nd octave D (or in my case C, as I played a C whistle for decades as my only tin whistle).


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:37 am 
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Sedi wrote:
I almost always use xxxxxx and mostly just use oxxxxx for playing crans on the 2nd octave D. Or sometimes use oxxxox for going up the scale to oxxxxx because you just need one finger then to jump the octave. It all depends on what you are used to. When I started playing the tin whistle I had zero guidance (that was long before the advent of internet and youtube-tutorials) and nobody ever told me to vent the top hole, so I got used to xxxxxx and simply blowing harder to get to 2nd octave D (or in my case C, as I played a C whistle for decades as my only tin whistle).


I see. Interesting! But you think maybe Abell designed the whistle to be more in tune with XXXXXX?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:44 am 
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Yes, I am pretty certain that he did and that this is not a "faulty" whistle. That is a deliberate design choice. I (poorly) made a few whistles myself and all that stuff can be fine-tuned when making a whistle--so I am pretty certain that a professional maker would not "accidentally" make a whistle play in tune with a certain fingering.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:50 am 
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Sedi wrote:
Yes, I am pretty certain that he did and that this is not a "faulty" whistle. That is a deliberate design choice. I (poorly) made a few whistles myself and all that stuff can be fine-tuned when making a whistle--so I am pretty certain that a professional maker would not "accidentally" make a whistle play in tune with a certain fingering.


Again, interesting! I wonder why he chooses that?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:04 am 
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Personal preference? Better sound? Might be a number of reasons. I'd think you could probably have one made to your personal specifications. I have a number of whistles where it makes absolutely no difference to sound or tuning if you vent the top hole or not. That would be my ideal, since then you can simply choose the fingering you prefer. I think for faster playing xxxxxx is better. It seems to me to be a more "modern" way of tuning a whistle. Same with the oxxooo vs oxxxox. Some makers--like Gary Humphrey--call the C nat fingering oxxxox more traditional. A difference in tuning is caused in part by using thicker material for modern whistles, like aluminium. On those the oxxooo works better, while on the more traditional whistles oxxxox can be better in tune. I think that might be similar to the question of xxxxxx vs oxxxxx for the 2nd octave D. But I might be wrong.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:13 am 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
Sedi wrote:
Yes, I am pretty certain that he did and that this is not a "faulty" whistle. That is a deliberate design choice. I (poorly) made a few whistles myself and all that stuff can be fine-tuned when making a whistle--so I am pretty certain that a professional maker would not "accidentally" make a whistle play in tune with a certain fingering.


Again, interesting! I wonder why he chooses that?


I don't agree that he does. I suppose his whistles may vary, but I've owned at least 2 blackwood & then this Delrin set & found them quite consistent, even when made years apart. I'd even swapped heads around, so I guess I'm the main factor in how they played.

I almost always vent the 2nd octave D. If I could ever play fast, I might leave that finger down, but on my Abell, I'm not happy with the quality of the tone compared to the other pitches.

Added: I prefer oxx ooo for C-natural. My one objection to the Sindt.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:07 am 
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kkrell wrote:
Matthewlawson3 wrote:
Sedi wrote:
Yes, I am pretty certain that he did and that this is not a "faulty" whistle. That is a deliberate design choice. I (poorly) made a few whistles myself and all that stuff can be fine-tuned when making a whistle--so I am pretty certain that a professional maker would not "accidentally" make a whistle play in tune with a certain fingering.


Again, interesting! I wonder why he chooses that?


I don't agree that he does. I suppose his whistles may vary, but I've owned at least 2 blackwood & then this Delrin set & found them quite consistent, even when made years apart. I'd even swapped heads around, so I guess I'm the main factor in how they played.

I almost always vent the 2nd octave D. If I could ever play fast, I might leave that finger down, but on my Abell, I'm not happy with the quality of the tone compared to the other pitches.

Added: I prefer oxx ooo for C-natural. My one objection to the Sindt.



So this is not a normal possiblity that the 2nd octave D could be sharper with the OXXXXX fingering? I emailed Chris Abell about this.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:12 am 
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I emailed Chris Abell about this


That's the only correct way to go about this and find out with any certainty.

Second d' is very easy to blow sharp and that is the more likely culprit. On the other hand, you could be underblowing the other notes, it's been known to happen. Balancing the relations between notes can be a delicate thing, especially if you don't have a lot of mileage on a particular whistle.

I think it's highly unlikely the whistle is voiced to sound correctly unvented. Venting the note is about other things than than just pitch/intonation.

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