MK Chameleon

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PB+J
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MK Chameleon

Post by PB+J »

MK whistles has announced a new low D whistle with either two or four keys.

The two key version has two thumbholes, the four key version has two top keys and two thumb operated keys

https://mkwhistles.com/products/chameleon

It's almost $1400. Comes in a very fancy machined metal box.

Looks to be well made and clever. Personally I find the MK Pro whistle to be almost unplayable, too hard to hold, and this would probably be worse. IMHO a clarinet style thumbrest would be a great addition. But it's a really nice piece of design otherwise.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by PB+J »

Image

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Narzog
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Narzog »

Woah, thats a price tag. Are the keys that hard to make? Because thats an insane price jump from the normal Pro. It could be useful, but so many songs/tunes need specific note ranges. So having keys wont magically mean someone doesnt need to change whistles. I'd rather just buy several whistles for the same price.
PB+J wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:37 am Personally I find the MK Pro whistle to be almost unplayable, too hard to hold, and this would probably be worse.
Huh, I feel like my MK is super easy to hold. Did you only ever play the polished finish? Mine is the textured finish. I've always felt like the textured finish is bad for mouth gunk buildup but it feels great to hold. But this is also compared to my Reyburn which is bigger and heavier than the MK.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by PB+J »

Yes it's very pricey but it's not outlandish compared to, say, a flute.

I have the matte finish version. There have been threads about this before--everybody's hand geometry is different. I have large hands --can palm a basketball--and maybe it's just not a good fit for me. Many people swear bu them, not saying they are wrong.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by macuaig »

I have two MK Pros and love them (F & Low C), but a conscious attraction to my getting into whistles in the first place was their simplicity. I have a pile of baroque recorders I’ve left idle, and having a fully chromatic instrument of any kind is attractive. But for me & whistles, that misses the point. But good luck to them, and anybody ready to plonk down €999. It’s an elegant design.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Nanohedron »

PB+J wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:40 am Yes it's very pricey but it's not outlandish compared to, say, a flute.
Interesting. As a fluteplayer, and in terms of whistles in general, my thought was that it's the Chameleon's pricing that is "outlandish", if we want to bandy about such terms. It's all about perspective, isn't it. You want to talk about breaking the bank, start getting into high-end modern orchestral flutes: the simple system kinds we Trad fluters play don't even come close in terms of cost. They seem like steals in comparison, when you measure $2-to-6,000 against $14,000 or more.

The photos of the Chameleon are intriguing, but I'm confused by the two pics of the back side. The thumbholes speak for themselves, but what are we looking at in the second view?
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by PB+J »

Those are thumb-operated keys
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Nanohedron »

PB+J wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:19 pm Those are thumb-operated keys
Thanks. It wasn't immediately obvious to me, although in retrospect the copper tabs might have clued me in.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by PB+J »

Supposedly they are magnetic, rather than sprung, although the keys are said to be made of 3d printed stainless steel, and stainless steel is often non-magnetic or only weakly magnetic.

I think it's an interesting idea
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Narzog »

3d Printing metal services cost an arm and a leg. So that would probobly be part of why the cost is so high. They need to find a better option. 3d printing metal shouldn't really be used for anything besides 1 offs and prototypes. It costs way too much to be effective for making goods. I used to dabble with trying to make whistle mouthpieces in cad software and getting them professionally printed. Plastic cost like 10$ a pop pre shipping, and could go down with more order volume. I don't remember how much metal was but it was high enough that I never even considered it. These are smaller but also there's several per whistle. If they find a cheaper option they could make these whistles much more affordable, I'd think.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by macuaig »

Nanohedron wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 12:34 pm
PB+J wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:40 am Yes it's very pricey but it's not outlandish compared to, say, a flute.
The photos of the Chameleon are intriguing, but I'm confused by the two pics of the back side. The thumbholes speak for themselves, but what are we looking at in the second view?
Those are two different versions. You can get the plain thumb holes, or thumb levers.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Nanohedron »

Narzog wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:27 pmIf they find a cheaper option they could make these whistles much more affordable, I'd think.
If it has to be 3D printing, why not make keys out of a strong resin rather than metal? They'd sure be lighter, and from what I gather, significantly cheaper, too.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Narzog »

Nanohedron wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:29 pm
Narzog wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:27 pmIf they find a cheaper option they could make these whistles much more affordable, I'd think.
If it has to be 3D printing, why not make keys out of a strong resin rather than metal? They'd sure be lighter, and from what I gather, significantly cheaper, too.
Yes, I feel like this would be much better overall. If someone breaks their plastic keys they are using the instrument wrong haha.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by Viking of Kiev »

Hello to everyone, it's been a time since I posted here. Been lurking for a while.

At a first glance this is not a new idea - there are 10-holes chromatic fipple flutes. They are quite widely present here in my part of the world (Russia & Ukraine).
What I immediately thought on seeing the MK Chameleone - is how Cnat and Bb is considered to be fingered.
On standard modern 10-hole ukrainian sopilka the upper back hole is designed to produce in-tune Cnat and, it is drilled right across the L1 center and,
you usually would take it like this
XOOOOO
o o

while Bb is the only fork-fingering in this system, it is considered to be taken this way
XOXXXO
x x

If you wherever see a ten-hole chromatic fipple flute most likely these notes will be taken like I wrote above.

Here on Chameleon I see they decided to use slightly different layout - the upper back hole is designed to take a Bb. It means that this hole should be drilled a bit lower than that for Cnat. So that covering it with your thumb may be a bit challenging (thus the key).
This all leads to another question - what 's the way to take a Cnat there? Standard OXXOOO and the likes? Anyway no way to avoid forks.

I own an Mk Pro D - great lowwhistle in terms of playability though the tone may not be thу one I am used to.
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Re: MK Chameleon

Post by fatmac »

The keys stick out so far that they are likely to get broken, & are unnecessary with cross fingering anyway, surely; & at that price, certainly won't be on my wish list. :D
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