Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

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Sedi
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Sedi »

Just played my Howard low D (the older version before they re-designed the mouthpiece) today because of your thread. Mine doesn't overblow easier than any other low D I compared it to -- I compared it to the Thunderbird and V4 from kerrywhistles. Need to find my MK "Kelpie" so I can compare it to that one too.
But so far, what I noticed was -- I can't stand the metal taste in my mouth anymore from the aluminium low Ds. Never was a problem but it is now -- strange, I must be getting older. The Howard plays fine. In fact I think it is harder to overblow because of the huge bore -- the bore is larger than on most other low Ds. I think the Howard low D does in fact look like a low C with a shorter tube. I didn't find anything "touchy" about its overblowing capacity. I have no idea how the new one plays though. Always wanted to order the new "reedy" mouthpiece but never did it.
Okay -- found the MK Kelpie -- almost no difference for me in overblowing the low D into 2nd octave D. One thing I noticed -- the sound of the Howard stays more "focused" when pushed. The MK gets rather breathy just before it reaches the 2nd octave. The break between 1st and 2nd octave sounds cleaner on the Howard and diaphragm vibrato sounds more expressive, too -- on the MK it sounds rather mushy and not as clean, which might be my bad technique or the fact that I haven't played low D in ages (I stick mostly to the flute nowadays). YMMV however. So take this with a grain of salt as I have the older version which is no longer available. And many think the Howard has a strange, organ-pipe sound. I quite like it however.
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TxWhistler
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by TxWhistler »

Sedi wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:18 am Just played my Howard low D (the older version before they re-designed the mouthpiece) today because of your thread. Mine doesn't overblow easier than any other low D I compared it to -- I compared it to the Thunderbird and V4 from kerrywhistles. .................. The Howard plays fine. In fact I think it is harder to overblow because of the huge bore -- the bore is larger than on most other low Ds. I think the Howard low D does in fact look like a low C with a shorter tube. I didn't find anything "touchy" about its overblowing capacity. I have no idea how the new one plays though. Always wanted to order the new "reedy" mouthpiece but never did it.
............... YMMV however. So take this with a grain of salt as I have the older version which is no longer available. And many think the Howard has a strange, organ-pipe sound. I quite like it however.
Sedi,

I agree with you that the Howard D is not easy to over blow. I bought a brand new Howard D last year from him. Mine (the newer model mouth piece) was not easy to over blow either. It had a very good strong low end and you had to push it a bit to get the upper 2nd octave. It definitely had the characteristics of a large bore whistle. I too like the sound of the Howard. I sold mine just a few months ago and immediately regretted it. When I found a used Howard Low C for sale I gladly bought it. It seems to be the same bore diameter as my former Howard D whistle (about 25mm). I don't have the D any longer to compare it lengthwise to the C but comparing it to my MK low D the Howard C is about 2.25 inches (approx 57mm) longer than the MK D. That extra length on the C may cause it to act more like a narrow bore whistle and thus be easier to overblow.

I too am thinking of trying out the new "reedy" mouthpiece on my C (if he will confirm that it will fit the C) but by the time I add postage to the cost of the new mouthpiece it will cost me just over $100 and that's about 30% more than I paid for the used C whistle. :o
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Huh, I'm getting a lot of mixed information. I'd think if the D was hard to overblow the C wouldn't be super easy, it would just be less hard. But its sounded sofar like the C is definitely on the easier side?

And I think its quieter, especially in the low end, vs MK and others? I usually put hard to overblow and strong (louder) low end together but I guess it could be hard to overblow but still not loud?

Because so far I've heard that its quieter and softer blowing than an MK, and that its just as strong as an MK.

In other news. I got a Reyburn Aluminum low D with an extra low C# body, came in yesterday. Only took a couple weeks to come in from date of ordering. My excuse was I've wanted a low C# because some of my favorite songs are in C#. The thing has such a strong fat low end. Its like a Burke thats air efficient and chiffy. Definitely stronger low end than the MK. Also harder to overblow than the MK. For some reason I thought that MK were maybe on the harder to overblow side but I'm thinking that MK are actually in the middle. Which would make it less surprising if Howard and others overblow similarly to a MK. They Reyburn could probobly have a low C body and still overblow as hard or the same as an MK. So I'm adding that to my list of options. But getting a little variety in my whistle stash wont kill me. And my bank account will be happy if I dont buy another Reyburn haha. So I'm still considering other, hopefully cheaper options.
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Sedi
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Sedi »

:D mixed info indeed. I think some of that might be because of variation in the design and different personal playing styles. For example - embouchure, even though more relevant for flute, does have an influence on the sound of a whistle and how easy or hard it is to overblow. Rule of thumb is, a more relaxed embouchure with less tension in the lips and especially the cheeks produces a stronger low end and more breathy sound. Tony Hinnigan is a master of that technique. Even Phil Hardy himself said that he is amazed at how breathy the V5 sounds when Tony plays it.
Concerning the MK (and mind you, I only own the cheaper Kelpie) - I think it actually easy to overblow. The hardest to overblow low D with the strongest sound I have ever played is the Qwistle. Unfortunately no longer made. What a beast it is.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Sedi wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:39 am :D mixed info indeed. I think some of that might be because of variation in the design and different personal playing styles. For example - embouchure, even though more relevant for flute, does have an influence on the sound of a whistle and how easy or hard it is to overblow. Rule of thumb is, a more relaxed embouchure with less tension in the lips and especially the cheeks produces a stronger low end and more breathy sound. Tony Hinnigan is a master of that technique. Even Phil Hardy himself said that he is amazed at how breathy the V5 sounds when Tony plays it.
Concerning the MK (and mind you, I only own the cheaper Kelpie) - I think it actually easy to overblow. The hardest to overblow low D with the strongest sound I have ever played is the Qwistle. Unfortunately no longer made. What a beast it is.
Yes this is exactly how I have to play my Reyburn. Trying to hit the top of second octave just by blowing hard with a fat stream of air would be really rough haha. More new players need to know how this works. I probably didnt know how to do this for at least a year of playing. This could also be why a lot of newer players tend to go for easier blowing whistles.
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