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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:05 pm 
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I found my Clark whistle from ???....It may be 20 years old? Trying to date it. No luck from searching the Clark website. Is there another thread on here that has the Clark models with a photo and or description? I seem to remember at some point they started getting fancy, painting them, etc. This one is just silver metal with the wood block. No other markings.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:51 pm 
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My Clarke is from around 1980 and it's black with gold lettering and designs.

In the old days they only were made in C. If yours is in D that might help date it.

About plain silver ones, I have no idea.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:27 pm 
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20 years is plausible. I think I first saw the plain silver ones in online stores around 2000 or a bit later.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:35 pm 
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When I started playing around 1980, Clarke whistles were only available in the key of C, with a softwood block which was prone to leaking, splintering and rotting.
That´s what they looked like: [img][IMG]https://s12.directupload.net/images/200808/temp/b6m4iqlc.jpg[/img][/img]
Note the black letters on golden shield and the golden diamonds on/around the finger holes.
Around 1990 the design was changed, the block was now made of hardwood (still leaking in most cases), now golden letters on black background for the name, and the golden diamonds between the finger holes: [img][IMG]https://s12.directupload.net/images/200808/temp/yb9up2km.jpg[/img][/img]
By the same time, whistles in the key of D were introduced, and also the pure 'silver' ones in both keys.
Also, the names "classic" and "original" came up (I could never keep in mind which was which), to be later completed with "victorian", "traditional" and, AFAIR, some more names for the same whistles...
If or if not you like them is very much a question of personal taste and preference, but it can be taken for granted that, with a bit of qualified tweaking, these whistles can perform a lot better than right out of the box (although back in the day, there was no box, they came individually wrapped in waxed paper).
But, to answer what I think was your initual question - the painted ones were there before the plain ones.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:08 pm 
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Thanks!

Yes my c1980 Clarke is like the first one you linked to. That's the only kind I remember seeing. I never owned, saw, or played a Clarke D.

Keeping in mind that I never was much of a whistle player, concentrating on flute and pipes, until around 15 years ago.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:11 am 
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Image

Here are two plain Clarkes, one, very shiny, early noughties C, the other a D, much older and the nicest playing Clarke I have yet come across. They are distinctly different in their construction. Not a great pic, sorry. The older Clarke comes off better in this older pic, with an old E of unknown origins:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:15 am 
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This old E seems to have a particularly well made windway and labium, judging from the pic!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:11 am 
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So Mr Gumby you're saying that Clarkes have long been made in a variety of keys including E and D?

Or are they whistles of unknown make that resemble Clarkes?

Because I had never seen a Clarke in anything but C, in the 1970s. And they were all painted, I'd never seen a plain one.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:45 am 
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Clarkes have been around for a long time and had various owners. While there were only Cs at some point, different keys were made during other periods and for different markets. The old plain D in the photo is clearly marked Clarke and D.


Here's a catalogue image from 1900, copied from Dannatt's book, three Ds are listed, 'English style' (painted?), brass and nickel:

Image

And there's currently one sitting on ebay, that may or may not be a Clarke but it is 40mm longer than your average Clarke C.


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This old E seems to have a particularly well made windway and labium, judging from the pic!




It is very neatly done, certainly more neatly formed than any modern Clarke I have seen. Whoever made it was well tooled up for the job. It has clean, crisp lines and square edges and good quality and well fitting cedar block. I don't know who made it, it could be an older style Clarke or anything old generic middle/eastern European.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:54 am 
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The old E Clarke (in red) looks like a considerable design improvement over the current model (as of a few years ago now). To make the "blade" on the current version, Clarke simply takes the top portion of the tube and bends down part of it in the middle that's in line with the windway, but not all. It's an irregular shape, an "M" shape, it doesn't match what any other whistle maker is doing (wood, metal or plastic). So I have to wonder what portion of the blade width is not capable of making tone, and wastes air flow, since the windway is the full width of the tube. Just guessing from how it looks, it could be that 25% to 50% of the blade's width is not involved in making a tone.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:50 am 
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Due to the "M" shape, actually only two very small points of the blade width are in the correct position for tone production - all the rest of it is indeed a waste of air flow, that's the reason why tweaking the blade improves the Clarke whistles so much.
My guess would rather be in the region of 75% waste.
On the other hand, the hissing and whooshing caused by inefficient air is what many people seem to like as "the traditional sound"... :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:12 pm 
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Interestingly enough, I have the complete line-up (at least the full metal models) from TWZ-whistles (the "pure brass", "Al Jo" and "XL", the session-model) and they have a similar simple blade design as the Clarkes and ALL of the TWZs are great players, take very little air and have a nice tone (they sound 'breathy' but are very easy to control and nimble). They rank among the best whistles I own of any maker, really. So it isn't the blade design in itself that is the "problem". I think it is rather the enormous windway (which is much smaller on the TWZ whistles) that makes the Clarkes of today such air-hogs. A 'Shaw' is closer to the original Clarke design than the current Clarkes. (It takes a lot of air, too, though but is overall higher quality, as should be expected because of the higher price.)
https://www.tinwhistle.de/tin-whistles/ ... -al-jo.php
https://daveshaw.co.uk/SHAW_Whistles/shaw_whistles.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:07 am 
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Pushing down the (lower) end of the windway to narrow it pretty much solves that problem. Getting the right alignment of windway and blade is the tricky bit. The D in the above photographs is surprisingly clear, balanced and easy to play without any undue windnoise. I haven't managed to get the C up to the same standard. Even though it takes little air it's still too hissy for my liking. Problem is even a change of a fraction of a millimetre in the position of the blade can change a nearly right playing whistle into a dead metal tube that makes no musical sound at all and then you're back to square one.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:22 pm 
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i love clarkes, as far as the wood, i soak it in oil and the block stays nice, and the windcutter, i have just minutely below the block edge rightly diving the wind flow itself ,

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:48 am 
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I have a pre-war Clarke in 'F' that is marked 'R. CLARKE' punched into the tin, no paint.


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