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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:31 am 
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I've bought a new example of a popular tunable whistle from a well known make - and I'm finding that in its lower octave it's tending to jump up an octave when I don't wish it to do so.

I'm finding it a little too difficult to control, compared with its predecessor, which was my favourite and which I've given to my wife. I don’t think it's a technique problem - I'm no great shakes in a whistle, but have played them and recorders on and off since I was a child - so nearly 60 years. Also, my other whistles - a Shaw, a Clarke's, a Harper Classic and a Thomann - don't have this tendency. (Of these only the Thomann is tunable.)

I can't work out what to do now. Is there an easy DIY fix for this sort of thing, do I ask the retailer to change it for another example, or do I just lump it and play another whistle in my collection?

Thanks, Gavin


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:26 pm 
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Talk to your maker. They may want to have a look at it. Also different whistles vary wildly in their air requirements for certain notes so: It may be your whistle, or it may be you. Talking to the maker can help you sort some of that out.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:43 pm 
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Fo God's sake, don't give any information what "well known" make this "popular tunable whistle" is - it might help people to give you advice!

Anyhow, as you said your other whistles are Shaw, Clarke and Harper (I don't know about Thomann, never tried one) I would guess you are used to giving your whistles a good bit of push (in case of Shaw and Clarke because of air ineffectiveness - plenty of air being wasted not even hitting the lip, in case of the Harper, it does needs the push, rewarding you with great volume and a strong low end).
So, if your new popular whistle from a well known make should be a Generation, Feadóg, Oak, Killarney, Walton's, Sindt, Lír, Syn or anything in that direction, my guess would be that you are just blowing too hard.
Otherwise, more information from your side would be required.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:54 am 
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I find that each of my whistles wants to be treated slightly differently, normally the cheaper ones need more air to change octaves, whilst the better ones don't need so much.

Try blowing each note, start off gently & see where it goes into the second octave, you now know how much air your new whistle requires. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:33 am 
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MichaelLoos wrote:
Fo God's sake, don't give any information what "well known" make this "popular tunable whistle" is - it might help people to give you advice!


I understand your point of view perfectly. My take was that this issue may be either all my fault as a player, or a matter that's easily fixed with a little knowledge. I did not want to undermine someone's business based on an opinion I might well come to change!

As the politicians are frequently reminded, the Internet tends not to forget.

Gavin


Last edited by gmatkin on Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:23 am 
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Quote:
normally the cheaper ones need more air to change octaves, whilst the better ones don't need so much.


Sorry to butt in but that is not my experience. The generic Generation/Feadóg/Oak type whistles are unmatched for ease of playing. Very few designer whistles have octave transitions that can match the ease of these. The Potter is very light to the touch but even the Sindt and Killarneys require more 'push', slightly so perhaps but even so..

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:33 am 
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I'll second Gumby on that.

For my High Whistles I want as much easiness in the 2nd octave, and as much nimbleness between the octaves, as possible.

From my limited experience (due to not coming close to trying every extant make of whistle) my best High D whistles in that regard have been my Feadog Mk1, a fairly early Killarney, and a Sindt.

Though those three were very close, if I ranked their 2nd octaves from easiest to stiffest it would be Killarney > Feadog > Sindt.

The Feadog had a richer tone than the others, however, and remains my favourite.

The whistles I call Boutique Whistles (many of them American-made) tend to have stiffer 2nd octaves than I want.

Yes my Feadog "tends to leap up an octave" and when people try it they tend to wildly overblow. It requires gentle and precise blowing.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:23 am 
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busterbill wrote:
Talk to your maker. They may want to have a look at it. Also different whistles vary wildly in their air requirements for certain notes so: It may be your whistle, or it may be you. Talking to the maker can help you sort some of that out.


Thanks for the thought.

I'm thinking I may do just that, perhaps on my day off tomorrow.

I wanted a tuneable whistle, but this one is a disappointment.

I bought it online from a shop and Im now kicking myself as I'm starting to think I've ended with one previous shoppers have rejected! Reading around, I've noticed people saying things like 'I tested all the whistles in the shop'.

Gavin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:56 am 
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I wrote an email to the maker in Thursday night.

No answer so far.

Gavin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:56 pm 
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Many whistle makers are notoriously bad with email-contacts or are swamped in work and have year-long waiting lists.
"Testing all the whistles in a shop" mostly applies to finding the best one in a batch of cheaper whistles with injection-molded heads. A whistle maker who makes whistles by hand should be able to make them with any characteristic desired -- easy 2nd octave, stiff 2nd octave, quiet, loud, etc.
And like Richard wrote -- some prefer a very easy 2nd octave. Myself for instance -- I prefer it a bit stiffer but not "Susato"-stiff (but there are differences -- the stiffest 2nd octave of the Susatos has my Oriole, the other models are easier to play -- so not all Susatos have a stiff 2nd octave). A whistle that doesn't flip octaves too easily, can be played a bit more expressively, IMO. You have more "leeway". But that's purely personal preference.
Some whistles take so little air, that I have to exhale through the nose while playing, to prevent the build-up of CO2 in the bloodstream which triggers the breathing reflex even faster than you would have to breath if you exhaled normally and not through a tiny tube. So on some whistles that take very little air (like a Generation, Feadog or Oak), you actually have to breath more often -- sounds paradoxical but it's true. So there is something of a "happy medium" involved.
Most of the time -- properly developed breath control can fix most "issues" with a whistle.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:14 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
...there is something of a "happy medium" involved.


That's what I'd think. I'm no whistle specialist but I've played whistles, recorders and flutes on and off for a long time, and I think I've got an awkward one.

It's a tunable polymer whistle, so it may be just a matter of changing the upper part. I've written to them to ask if I can buy another example of the mouthpiece/whistle bit. They'll probably just think 'we've got an odd one here, why don't they just send it back'...

But actually, I think there's a whistle I'll like in here somewhere!

Gavin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:43 pm 
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If they’re the same popular maker of a tunable polymer whistle that I once got a dud from, they were very accommodating and apologetic and not only made it right but sent along something extra as a thank-you when I sent the dud back. So it’s worth sending an email!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:19 am 
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I've now heard from them, and yes - happily they're promising to be helpful.

Gavin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:41 pm 
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I'm pleased to say that the makers of the tunable polymer whistle I struggled with recently have sent a replacement, and I'm happy to say that it works really well.

I'm sure many of you will have guessed, the instrument was made by Dixon. I'm most grateful for their help and service.

Gavin


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