Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

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Narzog
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Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Hey guys. I've wanted to get a low C for a while. But theres not a ton of options. I've thought of getting a Howard but I'm worried it wont be my style. I dont like whistles that overblow too easily, I like the low end to be able to be pushed a little. But I haven't been able to find any info on it. I know its the D headpiece on a C body, so its chance of overblowing too easily is pretty high. I dont NEED it to be able to take a big push. but I also dont want it to overblow super easily. There's kind of a line where it overblows easily but not too easily, that I can deal with.

I understand that most people probobly haven't played the C. But if you've played the D and have also played MK and others to compare to, I'd like to hear your thoughts on how it compared. I can then try and guess how the C would be haha. I've maybe heard that the D is already on the touchy side. In which case the C is a full no go. But I'm not sure.

Thanks for any info.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by TxWhistler »

Hi Narzog,

I just recently purchased a used Howard Low C that was made several years ago (I'm not sure exactly when it was made but most likely not recently). I love it but I'm thinking it's probably not your style of whistle based on your prior posts and the few pm's we've exchanged.

Mine has the classic Howard 'sound" that I like. It however takes very little breath and can very, very easily be overblown on the low end. Mine is not a very loud whistle either, in fact it is fairly quiet, which works very nicely for my needs.

But based on how easy mine is to overblow the low C note I'm thinking unless he's changed his design, you will not care for it.

I love mine but to each his own.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by macuaig »

I have the Howard Low D and the MK Low C. MK is breathier and the low end is quieter and easier to overblow than the Howard, as I’m assuming most low C’s are, not a booming bass by any means. But it’s a nice sound and pretty easy in the second octave. It’s taking some time to get used to the stretch, but coming along. (My middle finger is 3”, for comparison.) The MK is almost twice the price of the Howard Low C, so there’s that.

My assumption based on the D is the Howard will have a cleaner tone and stronger bass, but tougher in the upper register. I may try one out in February when they’re available again, so says their website.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

TxWhistler wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:28 pm But based on how easy mine is to overblow the low C note I'm thinking unless he's changed his design, you will not care for it.
Hey thanks for the info! You are most likely correct in that it overblows too easily for me. Good to know. whats funny, is if you just got that low C recently then its the one I thought of buying haha. I'm not sure how much of the mouthpiece has changed over time. I know he made more mouthpieces. But I'm not sure if the normal one changed or not.
macuaig wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:50 pm I have the Howard Low D and the MK Low C. MK is breathier and the low end is quieter and easier to overblow than the Howard, as I’m assuming most low C’s are, not a booming bass by any means. But it’s a nice sound and pretty easy in the second octave. It’s taking some time to get used to the stretch, but coming along. (My middle finger is 3”, for comparison.) The MK is almost twice the price of the Howard Low C, so there’s that.

My assumption based on the D is the Howard will have a cleaner tone and stronger bass, but tougher in the upper register. I may try one out in February when they’re available again, so says their website.
Thanks, this is super interesting. My MK low D has such a strong low end, I was thinking their Bass C would aswell, I think its a bigger tube than the C. But this is also a low C vs low D. Do you find the Howard low D overblows easily and the MK C is even easier (similar to what TxWhistler described, weak and quiet low end)? Or do you find the Howard D to have a really strong low end and the MK is is just less strong but not too weak. If only we all had the same whistles it would be easier to compare haha. One of us has a Howard C, one an MK D, and one an MK C lol.

Because you have an MK C, whats the distance between the ring and pointer finger holes, on the right hand? I've always wondered what a low C would be. On my D its 2 31/32 inches.

And yes the Howard C is much less. I have a tendency to shell out top dollar for what I think I want but if I could spend half and get what I want I'd gladly do that instead haha. I think it just went out of stock because I thought it was in stock like a week or 2 ago when I looked.
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macuaig
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by macuaig »

Lower holes, pointer-to-ring finger, center-to-center is 3 3/8” on the MK Low C. I find I have to roll my fingers up slightly to get a good seal, of course with a pipers grip. (I’m very new to it, improving nicely.) The MK C is noticeably softer, breathier, and overblown easier than the Howard D.

For less stretch, you might look up “chimney” style holes. Can’t remember who or where.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

macuaig wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:35 pm Lower holes, pointer-to-ring finger, center-to-center is 3 3/8” on the MK Low C. I find I have to roll my fingers up slightly to get a good seal, of course with a pipers grip. (I’m very new to it, improving nicely.) The MK C is noticeably softer, breathier, and overblown easier than the Howard D.

For less stretch, you might look up “chimney” style holes. Can’t remember who or where.
Thanks, good to know. 3 3/8 is a bit bigger but thats expected. Luckily for my my hands are massive. But anything bigger than low D is still less comfortable than a low D. Also good to know about the MK C. I would have been really sad if I shelled out to buy one and was expecting my low D but bigger.

The angled chimneys is Carbony. Cool design. Costs a ton though. Carbony is also on my list of possible low C's. May have the same issue for me though, not sure.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by TxWhistler »

Narzog,

C&F member Angelic Beaver (Nathaniel Dowell on Youtube) has reviewed several Carbony whistles on his youtube channel. If I remember correctly on the low D carbony the low end was weak and he strengthened it by putting a putty wall around the mouthpiece exit hole (can't remember the real name for that part). I don't recall him ever reviewing a carbony C but he may have. See if you can contact him, he's very helpful.

Since you said you sometimes will spend the money for what you want, have you thought about a goldie low C? They aren't as much as a carbony C if I remember things correctly. I have no experience with goldies, just going off reputation.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

TxWhistler wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:12 am Narzog,

C&F member Angelic Beaver (Nathaniel Dowell on Youtube) has reviewed several Carbony whistles on his youtube channel. If I remember correctly on the low D carbony the low end was weak and he strengthened it by putting a putty wall around the mouthpiece exit hole (can't remember the real name for that part). I don't recall him ever reviewing a carbony C but he may have. See if you can contact him, he's very helpful.

Since you said you sometimes will spend the money for what you want, have you thought about a goldie low C? They aren't as much as a carbony C if I remember things correctly. I have no experience with goldies, just going off reputation.
Ya I think I've heard a few times of Carbony not having the strongest low end. I've watched a decent amount of Nathaniel's videos. He's actually the one I bought my first Burke from. Yes I cant forget about Goldies. I actually had someone PM me a while back and offer to sell me a goldie low C, but he asked for the price of a new one, so I declined hoping for a actual used deal. I heard a rumor that Collin isn't selling low C and down anymore. But I'm not sure if that's actually true, and if it includes the low C with the D body. My issue with getting a Goldie C new is thats a LOT of money for a key thats really not that important. But it is at least a good excuse to get a Goldie on my set. Because I'm running out of open slots for keys I need haha. Which doesnt mean I cant get more but it does give me less of an excuse to get them.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Byll »

With our band, I play low Ds from Mike Burke (Viper), MK, and Howard (using the Reed mouthpiece). For the most solid sound and an absolutely honking low end, the Viper wins the contest. You will not overblow the Viper. However, there is a price to pay. And that price is the air required to play the instrument. The Viper's diameter is larger than some low Ds. I find it difficult to finish musical phrases, quite often. I love the instrument, but it a challenge for me.

The MK has a nice solid low end, and is easy to hold and play, working well with a simple piper's grip. The sound to me is OK, but not exciting in any way.

My Howard Black Silk is less expensive than either the Burke or the MK. While the low end is not as loud as either of the above, it is balanced very well, overall. I love the sound, especially using that Reed mouthpiece. While it definitely sounds like a low whistle, there is a ...uh... reedy quality to the sound that is very nice. It is the first of the 3 mentioned low Ds that elicited positive comments from band members. The big thing for me, is that it uses air very sparingly, allowing much more musicality in one's playing.

Again, I am describing the low D whistles, not low C. I owned a Goldie low C for a long while, but I am truly not a large human being, and playing it in public was always risky, even with piper's grip.

Good luck in your hunt.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Byll wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:37 pm With our band, I play low Ds from Mike Burke (Viper), MK, and Howard (using the Reed mouthpiece). For the most solid sound and an absolutely honking low end, the Viper wins the contest. You will not overblow the Viper. However, there is a price to pay. And that price is the air required to play the instrument. The Viper's diameter is larger than some low Ds. I find it difficult to finish musical phrases, quite often. I love the instrument, but it a challenge for me.

The MK has a nice solid low end, and is easy to hold and play, working well with a simple piper's grip. The sound to me is OK, but not exciting in any way.

My Howard Black Silk is less expensive than either the Burke or the MK. While the low end is not as loud as either of the above, it is balanced very well, overall. I love the sound, especially using that Reed mouthpiece. While it definitely sounds like a low whistle, there is a ...uh... reedy quality to the sound that is very nice. It is the first of the 3 mentioned low Ds that elicited positive comments from band members. The big thing for me, is that it uses air very sparingly, allowing much more musicality in one's playing.

Again, I am describing the low D whistles, not low C. I owned a Goldie low C for a long while, but I am truly not a large human being, and playing it in public was always risky, even with piper's grip.

Good luck in your hunt.
Thanks for the input Byll! I have a love hate relationship with my Burke F. The low end is so big. The air requirement a little questionable. I wish there was a whistle with the low end of a Burke but not the air use. But I'm going to safely assume they are connected. I've been slowly falling more in love with air efficiency, so I see how thats a good benefit for the Howard. Which is why I've been pushing away from Burkes. I'm trying to find a good middle ground like MK or Reyburn that are air efficient and still have a strong low end, even if its a little less strong.

How did the Goldie C compare in the low end department VS your low D's? Because I should definitely consider Goldie as one of the better options for what I'm looking for. And was it the small or Bass bore, and soft/med/hard blower?
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Byll »

My Goldie low C was small bore, medium blower. The low C Goldie whistle I received from Colin was a wonderful instrument, and played very much the same as his Overton low D. The only reason I no longer play my dark blue anodized Overton in public, is that in concerts on hot days, it is slippery for my hands. As I have said, my hands are not large. The C was truly too much whistle for me to handle.

I find the Howard finish on either the Black or Black silk - plus the lighter weight of the instrument - make handling the Howard low D to be much easier than with some other low D whistles.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Tremendouz »

Regarding the Carbony whistles, I've tried the low D with the old mouthpiece and the new mouthpiece with the integrated "air dam". The new mouthpiece makes the low end of the D a lot stronger so I wasn't constantly overblowing it but it's still a quiet whistle (quieter than Dixon polymer low D but more balanced between the octaves). Also I feel like I slightly preferred the sound with the old mouthpiece.

I returned the low D in exchange of the low C (new mouthpiece with air dam) and I like it a lot. The bore is so narrow and the holes so small and close together than it feels like I'm playing a much smaller whistle, however the tone of the low C is a bit muffled and very airy. The 2nd octave has an almost shakuhachi-like sound
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Thanks for the info guys. So Goldie C is on the table. Carbony sounds like I wouldn't like it, so its off the table haha.
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Tremendouz »

I just remembered that Goldfinch also makes a low C which is seemingly very nice (I have the low D and it definitely doesn't jump the octave unless I tell it to). I'm still debating it myself but I might just order one cause I like the sound of the low D a lot and feel like the low C would complement my Carbony with its pure tone.

Here's comparing it to an Alba low C https://youtu.be/BW-w1cdX9d0?t=344
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Re: Anyone play Howard low C? (Or D)

Post by Narzog »

Goldfinsh do seem really good, especially for the money, and its probobly similar to what I want. What puts me off is just the PVC look.
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