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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:51 am 
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Hi All

Looking for advice, please. A friend has just emailed me to ask if I'd any experience of James Dominic Music's UPVC low whistles. Personally, I've never heard of them. A quick search here doesn't throw anything up. There's a website, but there's only so much you can learn from a website. My friend is looking for a low whistle that doesn't break the bank. These seem to be around £50.

Has anyone tried one/owned one, can anyone recommend them (or not!)? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks
m.d.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:10 am 
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There is a review on Youtube by a well known whistle lady called "CutiePie".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TsIcxh ... l=CutiePie

Greetings from Germany,
Rainer


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:37 am 
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Thanks for the link, which in the way of YouTube led to another review as well.

It's impossible to know how a whistle plays from hearing somebody else play it, but it's apparent that the whistle is a decent player, which is amazing given the price-point.

There's long been a need for a very low-cost entry-level Low D and perhaps this is it.

BTW the construction of the head is uncannily similar to the early Susatos, which were machined out of PVC stock, and had a wooden block.

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c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:41 am 
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I have a Becker Low D that is pretty good at only $25.

http://www.beckerwhistles.com/low-d-whistle.html


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:54 am 
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The holes on that Becker Low D look small.

Thing about good-playing Low Ds, you can line up several makers and they'll all have nearly identical hole layout.

So when a maker deviates from that tried-and-true layout I wonder why.

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c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:10 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
The holes on that Becker Low D look small.

Thing about good-playing Low Ds, you can line up several makers and they'll all have nearly identical hole layout.

So when a maker deviates from that tried-and-true layout I wonder why.

I feel like Becker didnt really deviate from the norm, it just looks like the entire hole layout is moved slightly closer to the mouthpiece, making them all smaller. But the hole spacing looks very similar to the norm.

I fully agree that makers need to stick to the proven math's. I've made a few whistles with the 'low tech' whistle hole distances from the windway, but shifted equally to one way (mostly because my tube sizes are different making the needed length different. So I try to shift the holes to counter it, otherwise my holes are all too small or too big). And they still play well, and can oxx ooo well. But my original whistles I made I tried less hard to stick to the measurements, and oxx ooo just doesnt work.

Heres a link to my old vs new whistle bodies
https://imgur.com/a/adX2M2j (not posting image because the resolution is crazy lol. Idk how to make it size well on the forums)

Here I have 2 A's and 2 G's. The second of each pair is the new good one. The good A is a smaller inner diameter (its thicker wall), so the holes ended up shifted and are all super small. But it still plays well and oxx ooo works well. The left of each pair doesnt oxx ooo. It just doesnt work. to me visually they look pretty close and shouldnt be that bad but I guess theres some more whistle science behind it. so I just follow the numbers on the low tech whistle haha.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:28 pm 
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Rule of thumb is -- the bigger the better but larger holes will also produce tuning issues. Especially with C natural cross-fingerings. So it is always a compromise. Bigger holes improve tuning of the 2nd octave, have more volume and cleaner sound -- because some of the "breathiness" (or whatever you wanna call it) does derive from the holes and not the mouthpiece-construction. Another reason for maybe making the holes a bit smaller on a plastic whistle -- plastic does not drill as cleanly as aluminium -- one reason I went from using PVC to using aluminium. The nicest holes you will get from brass or even stainless steel but it's also hardest to drill. But the holes will be almost perfect with no rough edges. The softer the material, the more problems with drills ripping through the material or the holes not being the shape you want them to be.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:47 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Rule of thumb is -- the bigger the better but larger holes will also produce tuning issues. Especially with C natural cross-fingerings. So it is always a compromise. Bigger holes improve tuning of the 2nd octave, have more volume and cleaner sound -- because some of the "breathiness" (or whatever you wanna call it) does derive from the holes and not the mouthpiece-construction. Another reason for maybe making the holes a bit smaller on a plastic whistle -- plastic does not drill as cleanly as aluminium -- one reason I went from using PVC to using aluminium. The nicest holes you will get from brass or even stainless steel but it's also hardest to drill. But the holes will be almost perfect with no rough edges. The softer the material, the more problems with drills ripping through the material or the holes not being the shape you want them to be.

When I made my newer F the holes came out tiny and it sounded really bad so I used the tuning slide to pull it out and cut the end off and enlarged the holes. So when they are too small they do sound really bad. It didnt click though that they effect tone after they aren't 'too' small. I've felt like my bigger A sounds better than my new one, but I thought it was the 17mm vs 15mm bore. I wonder if it would sound better if I did the same thing that I did to my F and make the holes larger. And now that I think of it my G in the image above sounds slightly better than the F, which still has slightly smaller holes. So I guess I have more experimenting to do. My holes could be a lot nicer if I could find a nicer way to enlarge the holes for fine tuning. I have a kit of step drill bits but when I get it just a bit flat of the note I want I try to file or twist titanium scissors in the hole to slightly enlarge it to perfect tuning. This looks ugly though haha.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:05 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
. The nicest holes you will get from brass or even stainless steel but it's also hardest to drill. But the holes will be almost perfect with no rough edges. The softer the material, the more problems with drills ripping through the material or the holes not being the shape you want them to be.


That’s a very inaccurate statement. The correct tools and use of proper techniques will result in cleanly cut round holes in any material.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:16 pm 
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Well after making instruments for 5 years, I think I know what I am talking about. PVC is annoying to drill. Might be easier with some kind of press. But aluminium, brass and steel will be drilled with a coated high-tech drill-bit. So -- no, my statements are very accurate. The harder the material, the cleaner the holes but more wear on the drill. Or what do you use to make holes in aluminium, brass and steel? Unfortunately I cannot afford a CNC machine and I am pretty sure most hobby instrument makers won't buy one either.
Oh, and one more thing -- drilling holes in a tube will never result in a round hole, no matter what. That would only work when drilling into a flat surface. Then maybe rolling it into a tube, like on a Sweetone or Clarkes.
So, when using a press to make the holes in PVC then they'd be round, true. At least when pressing the material flat.
Also a high-speed milling machine might be better to make holes in PVC than a drill. That would also be used for carbon. I once made a flute from carbon tube but using a normal drill was a very bad idea. I was able to save it but it didn't look too nice since the drill cannot get the necessary speed to cut cleanly into carbon tubes.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:32 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Well after making instruments for 5 years, I think I know what I am talking about.


Yes, clearly you do.......think you know what you’re talking about that is. No where really to go from there it would seem. Carry on then.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:42 pm 
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Apologies to m.d., I shouldn’t be driving this thread OT, I’ll cease.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:45 pm 
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Okay -- then please explain when I say using a drill is easier on aluminum than PVC how that statement is inaccurate? I was not talking about other tools. And most hobby instrument makers will most probably use a drill.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:50 pm 
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Loren wrote:
Sedi wrote:
Well after making instruments for 5 years, I think I know what I am talking about.


Yes, clearly you do.......think you know what you’re talking about that is. No where really to go from there it would seem. Carry on then.

What's with all the insults? Did I insult you? I don't think so. Also -- no answers to my honest questions which tools you would use. Really helpful :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:45 am 
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Hey guys

"Oh great, loads of useful answers to my question" I thought, but it turned into a heated debate about drilling holes! :D

Oh internet, don't ever change. It's all part of life's rich pageant...
m.d.


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