Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

The D is £35 plus postage.
It sounds very attractive, as long as you are buying from within the UK. Unfortunately once vat and extortionate postage are added it's no longer cheap buying outside the UK (with the Bb landing at £89 in total when buying through ebay, from Ireland. At the current rate that is slightly more than a Killarney Bb).

My son was in Enniskillen a while ago, I asked him to have a look, and perhaps get me a Bb, but it happened to be the day of the centenary of NI and the different sectarian flag displays somehow put him off lingering in the town for long. Which was probably just as well as I really don't need a Bb. Or any other whistle, for that matter.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by kenny »

Hi Davy - hope all is well with you in the "Wild West". Hadn't come across Mullan whistles before. I think the last session I was in with you was at Girvan, around 10 years ago now, which was so noisy I gave up on the flute and played a Tony Dixon plastic "D" whistle, which was certainly heard. I agree absolutely with Mr. Gumby about volume. The Sindt whistles I've had for a good few years now are as loud as I would ever need for most sessions.
Unfortunately, in my own experience, the players who play the loudest whistles are usually the players you wouldn't want to hear in the first place [ as I think on that, that tends to be applicable to any instrument ].
A friend of mine once remarked to such a whistle player, asking him to tone it down a bit as the volume was melting the wax in his ears :). [ Apologies if that image disgusts anyone - Scottish humour ].
As a PS - Peter did also have these Glenluce whistles in the keys of Bb and A, but I didn't want him to have to put his whole stock in quarantine for the duration, so didn't try them.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by CPA »

Gary90 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:50 am Was looking online and have found another new whistle being released that would put you in mind of a Sindt.

I don't own a Sindt but i know people go mad for them.

But what is the deal with that type of whistle, seems alot of whistle makers are making in that style now.

Obviously the craftsmanship of the whistle wouldn't be the same as a Sindt. The whistle is a Glenluce Wexford
Have patience: Sindt and Killarney are practically identical, but my ear hears them very different.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by rykirk »

I'm playing a 'Wild" clone from McNeela and I really enjoy it. My experience has been that an affordable clone gets you a much greater improvement-per-dollar over a $10 injection molded job than a high end whistle does over the affordable clone. It's a bit like guitars, everyone can immediately tell the difference between a $200 starter instrument and a solid $700-$1000 workhorse. Far fewer people will be able to identify the difference in sound or feel between that workhorse and an exorbitant $2500 guitar. The higher end you go, you start to find diminishing returns for your buck. For everyone but the most professional musicians, a middle of the road utilitarian instrument is usually as much as they will ever need.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Steve Bliven »

rykirk wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:49 am ... The higher end you go, you start to find diminishing returns for your buck. For everyone but the most professional musicians, a middle of the road utilitarian instrument is usually as much as they will ever need.

I'd posit that, for a high level player, those "diminishing returns" are the subtleties that may make a vast difference. And, as you say, for the amateur who plays simply for fun the "middle of the road" instrument is, indeed, all he/she will ever need. However, it may not be all he/she will ever want.

In my case, I've lucked into a couple of flutes that I can only aspire to playing to their fullest capacity—but I definitely won't trade down to something I'm more worthy of. :)

Best wishes.

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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I fully agree with you Steve, nuance and range of expression. However, am still not convinced this fully applies to whistles. The finest whistle music I have heard was played on those cheap mass produced instruments and although there's a greater variety of instruments around these days, the cheap ones are still used by the finest players alongside more expensive instruments.
FWIW, while they give me a different tone I don't feel my Sindts or Killarneys give me greater playability over my Generations and my go to whistles still are Ciliian O Briain's improved ones and I would happily play any of the above in any context.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Narzog »

While I agree with Rykirk's guitar analogy for guitars and most other instruments, whistles have a few weird grey areas that make it work much less. Being manufacturing process, and that whistles have a fixed setup.

A 6 string guitar is a 6 string guitar. Some have better sounding materials, electronics, betting tuning pegs, look better, etc. You can then set up the guitar to play how you want, with different strings, tunings, string height, etc. A mid tier guitar is noticeably nicer than a super cheap amazon one that tries to fit in everything, but all low quality. Top end ones may have better materials but its in places that matter less, more electronics, etc.

Whistles its a lot more complicated. Injection molding a mouthpiece costs a few cents in plastic (after spending possibly thousands to make the mold). And a well designed molded mouthpiece isn't any worse than a hand made one. But a hand made whistle made in someone's workshop costs significantly more from labor time. So its hard to compare a $10 whistle as only $10 vs a hand made makers $300. Because the way the $10 was made is so much more efficient.

And on whistle setup, how a person wants a whistle to play varies heavily, and a maker cant make a whistle everyone will like. This hurts the ability to say the top makers are truly 'the best whistles' because someone still might not like how it plays or sounds vs another. For my tastes, the top makers definitely manage to do the things I like (primarily for low whistles), making them worth my money over cheaper. But if I wanted the sound of a Gen that wouldn't be the case.

The main thing hand made makers have is build quality, and consistency. While Nightingale and Thunderbird are fine, the build quality is worse than my more costly ones, you can tell they are more mass produced. The finger holes are noticeably sharper. I've heard people complain about chieftains having inconsistent tuning, tuning slides being too tight, etc. You wont get this on a reputable hand made one (I'm not saying these brands arent reputable, I more mean that the hand maker needs to be reputable, so that it doesnt include someone making a crap one haha).

Not always, but the top makers recipes generally earn their price tag. My Burke F just plays in tune easier than my thunderbird, and is much easier to play well. My thunderbird isnt not in tune. But the lowest 2 notes are really easy to blow sharp, and the top 3 notes break really flat and need a big push to be in tune. Reyburn and Burke just play in tune effortlessly.

My main beef with the cheepie whistles is theres no consistency. Theres been countless times that people on this forum have said to a new player 'go to your local store and try all the generations and pick the best one'. This means the quality is not up to par. And I just cant say an instrument that can vary heavily in quality is as good as a maker who always sends out top quality tested instruments. My feadog tuning is horrific. My gen Bb tuning is ok. My sweet tone tuning is good. This variation isnt good. I cant confidently recommend these to a new player if I dont know what they are going to end up with. But a good one or a tweaked one, compete fine with more expensive ones.

What I would love is if they were to make a new model of generations and feadogs, with new mouthpiece models to come how people tweak them, and to up quality control to make sure the tuning and stuff is good. $30 a pop. Would effortlessly compete with top makers.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

What I would love is if they were to make a new model of generations and feadogs, with new mouthpiece models to come how people tweak them, and to up quality control to make sure the tuning and stuff is good. $30 a pop. Would effortlessly compete with top makers.
Dream on. Injection moulding is a process that is to an extend flawed, no matter how good your design is. It will never yield the preciscion needed consistently. And that is fine, you can go into a shop, try a few and come out with a fine whistle for €8 although Covid is wreaking havoc on the selection process. Based on experience I would be reluctant to buy a whistle sight unseen.

Let's clear up the misconception, again, that you have to try all Generations in a shop before you get a good one. You try them to get one that suits best, Most of them will be perfectly serviceable, if perhaps average, a few very nice and a few not so much. Last time I went into a shop (Custy's) and tried the lot I found each one I tried fine.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by pancelticpiper »

Narzog wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:40 pm My main beef with the cheepie whistles is there's no consistency...

What I would love is if they were to make a new model of Generation and Feadog...to up quality control to make sure the tuning and stuff is good. $30 a pop. Would effortlessly compete with top makers.
After playing a large number of expensive modern whistles (some a thousand dollars) I still feel that the finest whistles are the very best Generations.

As I've said many times over the years, I had a crack at an unopened box straight from the factory of 24 Generation D's.

There were two which played at the very highest level, easily on par with a Sindt or anything else you name.

And then a few that played well. And a broad mediocre middle. And a couple which were utterly unplayable, having no 2nd octave whatsoever, making only squeaking noises when you tried to overblow the low octave.

There seemed to be no quality control at all.

It made me wonder:

1) What if Generation ONLY sold those top two whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $100 each, and gain a reputation as one of the world's finest whistle makers.

2) What if Generation ONLY sold the top ten whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $40 each, and gain a reputation of a solid reliable whistle maker.

But no, Generation sends everything out the door, the superb and the unplayable alike, for a few dollars each, and has the reputation they deserve.

A perhaps fitting coda is when, shortly afterwards, a new student showed up with no whistle. I told him the music shop down the street sold Generations, and he zipped over there and bought a D. He didn't try it, just grabbed one at random. It was superb. (I visited that shop fairly regularly and always played over the Generations they had to hand...in ten years I'd never found a good one there, in any key.)
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Steve Bliven »

One of the variables I was trying to suggest in an earlier comment it that the skill of the player enters into this discussion. I've heard folks say things like "Matt Malloy could play a garden hose and it would sound good and be in tune." That doesn't apply to the beginner. For someone starting out and has a problem, it's often difficult for him/her to sort out whether it's the whistle or the player. PanCelt's student clearly lucked out in finding a gem in the bin. For others, I've always suggested a tweaked whistle (e.g.,Freeman or O'Briain, so, if there's a problem, it's not the whistle.

A skilled whistler can overcome, or at least "play around" problems with a cheaper whistle off the shelf. A beginner, perhaps not.

Best wishes.

Steve
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Peter Duggan »

pancelticpiper wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 5:30 am It made me wonder:

1) What if Generation ONLY sold those top two whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $100 each, and gain a reputation as one of the world's finest whistle makers.

2) What if Generation ONLY sold the top ten whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $40 each, and gain a reputation of a solid reliable whistle maker.
To do either, they'd need to be paying someone with the skills and experience to test the lot and make the decisions.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Narzog »

pancelticpiper wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 5:30 am
And then a few that played well. And a broad mediocre middle. And a couple which were utterly unplayable, having no 2nd octave whatsoever, making only squeaking noises when you tried to overblow the low octave.

There seemed to be no quality control at all.

It made me wonder:

1) What if Generation ONLY sold those top two whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $100 each, and gain a reputation as one of the world's finest whistle makers.

2) What if Generation ONLY sold the top ten whistles, and binned the rest? They could probably sell them for $40 each, and gain a reputation of a solid reliable whistle maker.
Yes this would also work very well, and I'd like them as a brand much more. Same with Feadog. They could even test them all, and then put them in tiers. Mediocre ones could be $10 (and dont sell the garbage), good ones $30, and the few amazing ones could be $50+. they could call the good ones the 'pro' version, when they were actually the same model haha. Because all I want is consistency. When someone says the best whistle they ever played was a feadog pro, or a gen, I want to be able to buy one and get the same experience. And not end up with my Feadog pro, which I'm considering making a new tube for and tweaking the head haha.
Peter Duggan wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:13 am To do either, they'd need to be paying someone with the skills and experience to test the lot and make the decisions.
This is true but if they are able to sell them for much more I think it could work out. If they were able to find a good player whos current job doesnt pay well they would only need to pay a bit more to have them want to test whistles instead.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Mr.Gumby »

It would also do away with the notion of the whistle as an easy cheap instrument that is accessible to all. Putting a price tag of 100 euro on it will take it out of reach of the thousands upon thousands of schoolchildren who get their start in music on the whistle.
my Feadog pro, which I'm considering making a new tube for and tweaking the head haha.
There is nothing wrong with feadog tubes, they are extremely consistent and the exact same measurements and hole pattern are successfully used by several other whistles. I am using a pro body with another head after throwing out the original and it is fine, nice black finish too.
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by bigsciota »

kenny wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:35 am Unfortunately, in my own experience, the players who play the loudest whistles are usually the players you wouldn't want to hear in the first place [ as I think on that, that tends to be applicable to any instrument ].
There is a certain whistle maker who is very popular here in the US, and who makes a fairly loud model of whistle. I don't think I'm being uncharitable when I say that 9 times out of 10, if I see someone with that whistle at a session they will not be very good at all. I always chalk it up to trying to buy your way to a better sound, since it's an oft-cited "premium whistle" maker.

What's funny is that I actually also have that whistle; it's lovely but yes, loud! I generally play it busking. I guess I have to hope I'm the 1 out of 10...
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Re: Whats the deal with Sindt like whistles

Post by Narzog »

Mr.Gumby wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:37 am There is nothing wrong with feadog tubes, they are extremely consistent and the exact same measurements and hole pattern are successfully used by several other whistles. I am using a pro body with another head after throwing out the original and it is fine, nice black finish too.
Ok upon further inspection its tuning is fine. I had to Teflon tape the head so I can pull it out more so it wouldn't be extremely sharp (pulling it out more made it loose). Not ideal but now that its in an intelligent position its fine. Which is good because I'd like to think of anything that should be consistent its a machine drilling holes in a tube haha.

And yes the finish on feadog's is fantastic. Nickel and black coatings look awesome. I play low whistles 99% of the time and havent touched this thing in a while but I'll give it another shot later. My issue with my first whistles is the memory of them is always tainted because new players suck lol.
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