Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

The Ultimate On-Line Whistle Community. If you find one more ultimater, let us know.
User avatar
pancelticpiper
Posts: 5016
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Playing Scottish and Irish music in California for 45 years.
These days many discussions are migrating to Facebook but I prefer the online chat forum format.
Location: WV to the OC

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by pancelticpiper »

Narzog wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:59 am I don't even think these makers know they are copying Sindt, they are trying to copy Killarney.
Ha! You're probably right.

Reminds me of when I was playing Highland pipes at a wedding reception, alternating with a folkish band playing Irish trad. Every tune they played was off late 1960s to early 1970s Chieftains albums, as if they had these as their only source, and set out to learn every set on every album. When I mentioned this to them, they didn't know what I was talking about, seeming only vaguely aware of the Chieftains.

In any case the basic Sindt design is similar to the Susato, which in turn is based on recorders. The innovation is making the head out of solid brass, and refining the tone and performance. Here's an original Susato, machined from PVC stock with a cedar block.

Image

I used to have Sindts in D, C, B, Bb, and A and they are superb whistles. The Bb in particular was terrific. They have a dark sophisticated tone and butter-smooth voicing. However I found the 2nd octave to have a Generation-like slight flatness, and when I got a Killarney D with bang-on octaves I kept that, and my modified Generations in those several keys, selling off the Sindts.
Richard Cook
c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle
Narzog
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:21 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Can play several instruments at an unimpressive level. Currently most interested in whistling with a side of flute.

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Narzog »

pancelticpiper wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:23 am
In any case the basic Sindt design is similar to the Susato, which in turn is based on recorders. The innovation is making the head out of solid brass, and refining the tone and performance. Here's an original Susato, machined from PVC stock with a cedar block.

Image
I miss the brown Susatos's, they looked nice. I think another key Sindt innovation is that he uses a tube over a tube over a tube (where the head is 2 tubes, over the body tube). Susato and many others inspired by them are just a tube over a tube (tube 2 being the inner mouthpiece and body, which would then need a seperate outer or inner tube for a tuning slide). Which is why the Sindt clones look so obviously copied (along with that they also use the same materials).
User avatar
Gary90
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:35 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I don't know what you wan't to know. Other than I am not a spammer who is has to write a minimum of 100 characters.
Location: Belfast

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Gary90 »

I never really looked at the whole copying Sindt, as a way of offering a similar looking whistle for alot cheaper, for those who didn't have the patience to wait on him making theirs.
I never looked at it that way. If that was the case then fair play to Killarney.

I looked at it as the manufacturer thinking "Right lets under cut the John Sindt fella, hes making a fortune, sure who's going to know the difference."

Maybe im wrong but thats what i take from it
User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 5888
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: the Back of Beyond

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Gary90 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:53 am I never really looked at the whole copying Sindt, as a way of offering a similar looking whistle for alot cheaper, for those who didn't have the patience to wait on him making theirs.
I can't speak to the motivation of the Buckleys during the various stages of how their business developed but originally they started making these whistles for pupils of their music school in Killarney. There was a certain pressure or expectation that whistler's entering Comhaltas competitions did so using an expensive whistle and Sindts were looked on favourably at some point. I would think that all played into it. It wouldn't surprise me if things took off more than they originally expected.

But the competition thing will have played into the optics, and it was all about optics. A student of mine entered a county fleadh with a Gary Humphrey whistle I had at the time and was told she would need to get a better whistle. Which left me to find a second hand Sindt for her before the provincials. Which I did, though the forum. But my point was that the whistle she played initially was fine, it just looked too much like your run of the mill whistle with its plain black top: optics. I think the Sindt took her to the All Irelands.
My brain hurts

Image
User avatar
Sedi
Posts: 944
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Practice, practice, practice. You're never too old to learn.
Keep on fluting.
---u---o-o-o--o-o-o--
-----------------------

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Sedi »

Mr.Gumby wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:40 pm A student of mine entered a county fleadh with a Gary Humphrey whistle I had at the time and was told she would need to get a better whistle.
I wonder if one should be sad or mad over that. Makes me think those people don't really know their stuff. I wonder what they'd have said to Mary Bergin showing up with a Generation?
User avatar
Gary90
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:35 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I don't know what you wan't to know. Other than I am not a spammer who is has to write a minimum of 100 characters.
Location: Belfast

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Gary90 »

Mr.Gumby wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:40 pm
Gary90 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:53 am I never really looked at the whole copying Sindt, as a way of offering a similar looking whistle for alot cheaper, for those who didn't have the patience to wait on him making theirs.
I can't speak to the motivation of the Buckleys during the various stages of how their business developed but originally they started making these whistles for pupils of their music school in Killarney. There was a certain pressure or expectation that whistler's entering Comhaltas competitions did so using an expensive whistle and Sindts were looked on favourably at some point. I would think that all played into it. It wouldn't surprise me if things took off more than they originally expected.

But the competition thing will have played into the optics, and it was all about optics. A student of mine entered a county fleadh with a Gary Humphrey whistle I had at the time and was told she would need to get a better whistle. Which left me to find a second hand Sindt for her before the provincials. Which I did, though the forum. But my point was that the whistle she played initially was fine, it just looked too much like your run of the mill whistle with its plain black top: optics. I think the Sindt took her to the All Irelands.
So was it aesthetics they were judging also, thats bad craic.
Im glad the student got there in the end though.
It goes to show with anything, that theres a mob that insist you have to have gucci equipment or instruments (im not saying humphrey isn't good).
User avatar
Peter Duggan
Posts: 3186
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:39 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I'm not registering, I'm trying to edit my profile! The field “Tell us something.” is too short, a minimum of 100 characters is required.
Location: Kinlochleven
Contact:

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Peter Duggan »

Gary90 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:13 pm It goes to show with anything, that theres a mob that insist you have to have gucci equipment or instruments (im not saying humphrey isn't good).
I think the point was not just judging by equipment, but not recognising Humphrey as Humphrey.
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

Why I taught... and where
Master of nine?
User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 5888
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: the Back of Beyond

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Peter Duggan wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:42 am
I tlhink the point was not just judging by equipment, but not recognising Humphrey as Humphrey.
There is an added bit of irony, perhaps, in the fact I have seen and photographed the adjudicator in question (a lovely and wellknown fluteplayer and resesrcher) playing a Generation whistle at a public engagement.
My brain hurts

Image
User avatar
pancelticpiper
Posts: 5016
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Playing Scottish and Irish music in California for 45 years.
These days many discussions are migrating to Facebook but I prefer the online chat forum format.
Location: WV to the OC

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by pancelticpiper »

Mr.Gumby wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:40 pm There was a certain pressure or expectation that whistlers entering Comhaltas competitions did so using an expensive whistle, and Sindts were looked on favourably...

The competition thing was all about optics...a student of mine was told she would need to get a better whistle...the Sindt took her to the All Irelands.
I've heard about the Comhaltas Sindt thing. It's absurd but not unexpected. As they say "competition breeds conformity".

A dancer wearing the sort of costume popular a decade ago wouldn't have a chance.

I've told the story of a friend who, when he reached the highest level of solo Highland piping competition, was dismayed to finish last in every contest regardless of how the various contestants played. After several such contests a judge wrote on his scoresheet "buy a Naill".

Indeed he was the only piper not playing a Naill chanter, which was all the go at that time. He did what must be done, and bought a Naill.

At the next contest, and those which followed, he finished in the middle of the pack.

In the Pipe Band world optics are huge. I've said, and proven it, that experienced Highland pipers can accurately guess a band's playing level at sight. The judges pretty much know what a band will sound like, and what music they will play, the moment they lay eyes on the band.
Richard Cook
c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle
Explorer
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:25 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I'm a longtime folk-wind player. I recently ordered a few Dolce-Duos from Susato with four holes on the lower body, instead of the normal three, to get the thirds intervals like the double flageolet. I was doing reaearch, found the forum, and have decided to join.

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Explorer »

A little late to the discussion, but IIRC even Sindt himself has acknowledged that the cross-fingered C natural OXXOOO is sharp, and recommends half-holing instead. The Killarney is fine with the cross-fingering.

Myself, I've consistently used mostly Susatos, but like keeping up with developments.
Tyler DelGregg
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:10 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Whistles are fun, whistles are charming, whistles sound nice, whistles are affordable, whistles make us smile, whistles make dogs bark, and whistles upset some neighbors.
Location: Middle of Virginia

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Tyler DelGregg »

Blindfold the judges and see what happens.
kenny
Posts: 1533
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:50 am
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by kenny »

"Blindfold the judges and see what happens." - I believe the near-equivalent of that happens in Scottish accordion competitions, where competitors play behind a screen separated from the adjudicator. I'm not even sure that the competitors' names are announced. Can't remember where I heard that, and I do admit, I've never been to one of those competitions. I can see the merits of it.
I went to put some business the way of our local traditional music supplier - "Celtic Chords" in Stonehaven [ check the website ]. Peter has recently bought in some of the Glenluce whistles, and asked me to try one. I thought the sound was good across the 2 octaves, quite loud, but a bit thick-set and definitely comparitively heavy compared to any other whistle I've ever played, even a Burke. The soprano D is selling at £55, which is cheaper than the other Sindt clones I'm aware of.
These are observations, not recommendations.
If anyone is able to support Peter's business in any way, I'd be delighted.
"There's fast music and there's lively music. People don't always know the difference"
bigsciota
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:15 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by bigsciota »

In accordion competitions they should give the judges earplugs!

Your account is interesting and fairly encouraging about the quality of these clones, Kenny. A few markets (ukuleles, for example), have some really stellar low-cost options now thanks to some of the same processes. Plenty of dreck and crap as well, but some nice instruments for not that much.

I’m also not surprised that it’s a loud whistle. I’ve always figured that a louder/“session” Sindt clone would sell well, given the popularity of other “session” whistles. Not sure how I’d feel personally; volume is IMO overrated in a whistle and the loud ones tend to be stiff. But I’d bet that a louder version of the Sindt design would be a hit.
User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 5888
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: the Back of Beyond

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I’m also not surprised that it’s a loud whistle. I’ve always figured that a louder/“session” Sindt clone would sell well, given the popularity of other “session” whistles. Not sure how I’d feel personally; volume is IMO overrated in a whistle and the loud ones tend to be stiff. But I’d bet that a louder version of the Sindt design would be a hit.
It's a bit of an arms race isn't it?

I think volume is overrated. If things are too loud to hear yourself think, I usually feel I shouldn't be there.

With regards to the volume of the Sindt: I think it's well loud enough for most situations I want to be in. Some fifteen years ago I was playing in Friel's with the regulars. It seemed noisy between the drinkers and the load of musicians in a small room. At some point Marion McCarthy, who was sitting opposite commented I was playing a lovely sounding whistle. She had a go and surprised me how well the whistle carried through the din. I certainly heard it much better across the room than I heard myself playing. Which made me realise it's very easy to underestimate how well you can be heard. A louder whistle in that setting would have been like shouting over everybody else.
My brain hurts

Image
User avatar
BigDavy
Posts: 4766
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:50 am
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Larkhall Scotland

Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by BigDavy »

Hi Kenny

The cheapest Sindt clones are the Mullan whistles from Erne Music Supplies. The D is £35 plus postage. (they are currently out of stock of the D but not the C and Bb).

David
Payday, Piping, Percussion and Poetry- the 4 best Ps
Post Reply