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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:58 pm 
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avanutria wrote:
Are Generations still very variable in tone/tuning/sound?

I think they refurbished the molds for the injection molding (according to an info from Jerry Freeman). But the C model mouthpiece comes from only two different molds, unlike the D which comes from 4. From what I read, one is a bit better than the other. I bought one recently and it is excellent. But I also like the Feadog in C. However, I'd not call them very "pure" sounding. They do have a certain amount of breathiness.
From recordings on Youtube -- "Clover" whistles (from Argentina) sound rather pure. And John Bushby (Shearwater whistles) makes some pure souding whistles.
https://youtu.be/YLrFqTyicks
Nathaniel Dowell has a lot of tests up on youtube. He's also here on the form under the name "AngelicBeaver". So he might have some suggestions.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:32 am 
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One thing in talking about tone is that to some people "pure/clean" means removing noise/dirt while retaining the complexity/character of tone that comes from a greater presence of higher harmonics.

To others "pure/clean" means reducing the higher harmonics resulting in a tone with little complexity/character, in a word, bland.

When I compared C's by Burke, Generation, and Sindt all three were equally "pure" in the former sense.

In the latter sense, they could be ranked from most to least "pure" Burke > Sindt > Generation.

Or as I reckon things, all equally "pure", and ranked from most to least tonally complex Generation > Sindt > Burke.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:12 am 
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True enough. When I think about a pure sound -- I think about an ocarina. So that would be more "pure" in the latter sense -- so no harmonics and no "wind noise" or breathiness. But I'd say that a "Clover" whistle for example is still a long way from the sound of an ocarina. And not all ocarinas sound like that but for example a "Focalink" does. A "Coda" doesn't.
I wouldn't be sure how to separate "breathiness" from complexity as you call it, Richard. There are so many factors involved. If I wanted to make a whistle with a very pure sound, I'd make a short (but maybe broader) window, short blade and larger holes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:43 am 
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Another "pure" sounding options is Chuck Tilbury's C whistle. Is the one I have.
https://whistlemaker.com/product/tilbur ... le-c-copy/
The only thing to note is that the air req is super low and its really easy to overlow so it makes the low note a little weak. But for playing higher its wonderful and not shrill or too loud. It makes me sad that hes making a new model now, and only in D. I just like how this one looks more. Idk how the new ones sound.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:52 am 
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Good points - and I play ocarina too, and are familiar with the models you mention. Most ocs retain a sense of 'hollowness' in their sound that I don't get with whistles though.

I think if I were pressed to define "pure" for me, I would say an absence of the sound of rushing air concurrent with the note being played. The trait of that rushing air sound tends to get stronger at higher notes. Maybe others would define that as "breathiness" instead. I hadn't thought about harmonics. I've never played Burkes or Sindts so would not be able to compare their sound to others.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:27 pm 
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I just ordered a set of E/Eb from Gary Humphrey. I have one of his in B that I started to find use for and with help from C&F was able to identify as one of his. It is light weight and has the "pure" sound I like. I noticed he replied here and I knew that had just gone full time to whistle making again. His whistles are not very pricy. You might also want to check out Gene Miligan - I just posted my experience with a C I bought from him. A bit more $ but it is now one of my all time favorite hight wight and what I think of when I think of as pure. I would recommend the practice mouthpiece.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:17 am 
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Sedi wrote:
I wouldn't be sure how to separate "breathiness" from complexity...


For me they're completely separate qualities.

Being a longtime fluteplayer I've experienced firsthand the thing that happens when your embouchure develops and you acquire a more focused airstream: the breathiness/noise/dirt decreases while the richness/complexity of tone increases.

In other words far from being hand-in-glove these two aspects of tone are diametric opposites, on the flute.

On the flute everything comes from focus. The power of the low notes and the sweetness of the high notes both become greater, the tone becomes richer, flexibility increases, efficiency increases, noise decreases.

When I had to stop playing flute and turned to the Low Whistle as the closest available comp my feelings about whistle tone were influenced by my flute background. I immediately rejected Low Whistles that play like a beginner fluteplayer plays, with escaping wasted air creating noise, poor efficiency, recalcitrant voicing, etc.

When I picked up an MK I thought "Finally a Low Whistle that plays like a good fluteplayer plays!" with all the wonderful things that come from a highly focused airstream. Louder AND using less air, because more of the airstream was being used to create tone, and less of it was being wasted. Flexible willingness between the registers, no having to fight the voicing and force or coerce out the high notes. Very rich gravelly tone (not the "dirt" of wasted air but the harmonics of focused air).

It's as simple as that: poorly designed whistles play like beginner or poorly-developed fluteplayers play, and well designed whistles play like skilled fluteplayers play.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:55 am 
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Excellent comments that clarity this issue!
There are a great number of variables in whistle design that allow differences in tone and playability while still retaining high efficiency in converting the air stream coming out of the windway, into "tone". What I always want to avoid is inefficient processing of airstream, the useless windiness activity that uncontrollably leaves the resulting tone windy, breathy, or whatever you want to call it. Any remaining inefficiency or windiness in tone in a quality musical instrument, should have that windiness sound fully incorporated into the tone as a sense of releasing clear harmonics or some kind of desirable tonal texture.

I think that with a quality musical instrument, the tonal variations should be under the control of the player and that the instrument can respond with options, depending on the such things as the "attack" of the air pressure, the loudness or softness of playing, etc. Just because a whistle is efficient, doesn't mean it's going to sound just like all the other high efficiency whistles out there..... or like a flute being played for purest sound. The best whistles and the best flutes still provide a wide tonal palette depending on how they are played. An intermediate level Yamaha flute has tonal quality significantly different than that of an intermediate level Jupiter flute because they have significant design differences affecting tone, yet both are great musical instruments in general, but different players prefer different things. Bravo and thanks to the many whistle and flute reviewers on YouTube, who use quality microphones and reveal this, so we can understand and compare!


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