Narzog wrote: ↑Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:55 pm
[...] On my Burke A, the cross finger is horribly out of tune, and to me is very obvious. The thumb hole note on the other hand is perfect and sounds like every other note. Michael Burke doesnt try to make a good cross finger on his whistles because they have a thumb hole option, or you can tape the hole (which is what I did on my low F). Many other makers just make a good cross fingering because most of us don't want to use the thumb hole.
Sorry for jumping in late on this discussion! Does Michael offer thumb holes because the cross-fingered Cnat (using D whistle nomenclature) is not working so well? I do not know. But Burke whistles are tuned in the harsh tuning system of ET, equal temperament. Which means (among other things) that the C# is too sharp for playing sweetly (correct for ET), and a standard cross-fingered Cnat, using OXXOOO, is too sharp. Cnat with OXXXOO fingering works somewhat, but it seriously shades the note. So, yes, a thumb hole for Cnat is a solution on these ET tuned whistles.
But even on more sweetly, not ET, tuned whistles, where a cross-fingered OXXOOO Cnat works, a thumb hole may be of use, especially on low whistles, since it offers a less shaded, more powerful option for playing Cnat. It can also offer an extra option for playing C#: it can raise the C# pitch slightly, which may be otherwise slightly too low, by design, to allow for a good cross-fingered Cnat (a whistle maker needs to make a compromise tuning C# and cross-fingered Cnat, it cannot be avoided).
I agree that Cnat thumb holes have not catched on much in the whistle community, because it requires extra effort to learn, it locks the thumb into a particular position, and it can cause problems with water condensation dripping out while playing, making it uncomfortable. But a strong Cnat (as strong as the other notes) can be really desirable. That note seems to be much more used than the C#, and deserves to be as good as it can get.
For any Burke whistle I would recommend the thumb hole, because of the nature of ET tuning all Burke whistles got, as far as I know.