Tweaks: The Thread

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Katharine
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Katharine »

Welllllll.... Katharine did a dumb, dumb thing. (I posted here because it's slightly tweak-related, though I'll start a new thread if you think I need to.)

I've got a Walton I love and was my first whistle and has been my primary no matter what I've played since. Early on I stuffed the head with blu-tack and it worked great for stabilizing the second octave.

Well, I lived in Thailand and its humidity for a while, the blu-tack got sort of gross, and now I'm finally getting around to replacing it. I pried the old stuff out, tried a music rehearsal without it and found the first octave weak (which actually seems odd to me as I doubt the whistle was like that when I got it, so I may have other things going on in there too that I can't see), so knew that yep, I was putting in new blu-tack.

Which I just tried to do. It was going swimmingly... until. I put a dowel down the head to make sure the blu-tack was well-packed. I don't feel like I even pushed that hard, but... crack. That narrow wall at the back of the windway (that makes up the front part of the void I just filled with blu-tack) appears to have cracked away. Of course it's hard to tell for certain, since it's hard to see in there, but I assume that's what happened. I slid something through there to remove the pieces.

The whistle still plays a bit, sort of. I assume the blu-tack is, to an extent, making up that space that the plastic created (but of course not doing a very good job, being blu-tack and not hard plastic). Again, the playing is very weak and breathy. But I don't think there's anything I can do to fix it (unless one of you who is wiser in the ways of whistles and windways knows something I don't), right?

*sigh* I'm really broken up about this. I love this whistle. (I know, it's cheap and I can get a new one. Still. I'm fond of *this* whistle, and I'm angry at myself that I've ruined a whole whistle over a tiny bit of plastic, and a stupid repair, and not realizing that little pressure would have catastrophic consequences. Also, I am supposed to play whistle at church tomorrow. I can play my Impempe instead, but I can't hit the third-octave D on that whistle which means I'll need to change what I was going to do for one of the tunes we're playing, and this annoys me. Naturally a few months ago I gave away my other two high D whistles to a friend who's learning to play. And of course, now is not really the time to have to order a new whistle, either as I assume stock may be limited and shipping will be slow...)
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Sedi »

Damn that sucks! Have you tried oxxooo for 3rd octave D on the Impempe? On some whistles that works better than oxxxxx. Just as an emergency solution.
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by benhall.1 »

Katharine wrote:I can play my Impempe instead, but I can't hit the third-octave D on that whistle
Just a thought: what fingering are you using for third octave D? Have you tried OXX OOO ?
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Katharine »

Sedi wrote:Damn that sucks! Have you tried oxxooo for 3rd octave D on the Impempe? On some whistles that works better than oxxxxx. Just as an emergency solution.
Unfortunately I've found on either whistle that oxxooo just sounds like I'm trying to do a strangled C natural, lol. I figured it out, but I have to overblow quite a bit and make sure the stream of air is super-narrow (I've always had a harder time with the upper octaves on this whistle). Not super-happy with the result, but over the rest of our instruments it will probably sound okay.

If the Walton is truly dead, I guess it becomes a "quiet practice" whistle. Then I need to decide what to replace it with. Another Walton would be welcome, if it has the same sound. I wish I could try out a few other brands to decide just for the hell of it as there are a few I've always wanted to play with. (And it would be a good excuse to get a Freeman Bluebird, which I rather enjoy the sound of-- at least in other people's hands-- only-- this is not the time since Jerry isn't selling whistles right now.)
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Electwhistle »

Are drones whistles added to the (main) whistle counted as 'tweaks', or would that be a completely different topic? I've played twin-bore, so to speak for over 20 years, and its a really great sound, albeit much more suitable for some genres of music than others. There's rather an art to making it work though; I'm happy to share :)
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by niallt »

Recommendations for tape to partially cover the holes of a retuned whistle?

I've had a non-tunable aluminium low whistle retuned by a professional. He used sellotape, more as an indicator of what he had done, than as a permanent solution. What type of tape do people use as a more permanent solution to partially cover the tone holes?
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by thomasaasen »

Katharine wrote:
Sedi wrote:Damn that sucks! Have you tried oxxooo for 3rd octave D on the Impempe? On some whistles that works better than oxxxxx. Just as an emergency solution.
Unfortunately I've found on either whistle that oxxooo just sounds like I'm trying to do a strangled C natural, lol. I figured it out, but I have to overblow quite a bit and make sure the stream of air is super-narrow (I've always had a harder time with the upper octaves on this whistle). Not super-happy with the result, but over the rest of our instruments it will probably sound okay.

If the Walton is truly dead, I guess it becomes a "quiet practice" whistle. Then I need to decide what to replace it with. Another Walton would be welcome, if it has the same sound. I wish I could try out a few other brands to decide just for the hell of it as there are a few I've always wanted to play with. (And it would be a good excuse to get a Freeman Bluebird, which I rather enjoy the sound of-- at least in other people's hands-- only-- this is not the time since Jerry isn't selling whistles right now.)
Dear Katharina. I will give you my best advice and I'm sure you will be happy following up on it. There's a fantastic great guy, Tommy Dion, who is on this forum. Think you even find him on this thread. He tweaks Walton Whistles High D for free. You just have to pay for whistle and shipping. And I love his tweaked Walton. I have Burke, Sindt, Oz and more, but his tweaked Waltons is amazing. If you truly love Walton whistles, I urge you to contact him. I'm sure after playing his whistle for awhile, you will end up with a BIG smile. He also tweaks other whistles.
Most sincerely
Thomas Aasen, Norway
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Kevnm »

I’ve started playing again after 15 years or so and one of the old whistles I dug out was an O’Briain Improved. Does that mean it’s been tweaked? Does anyone know how? Didn’t see too much on their FB page...
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by vigaglum »

Kevnm wrote:I’ve started playing again after 15 years or so and one of the old whistles I dug out was an O’Briain Improved. Does that mean it’s been tweaked? Does anyone know how? Didn’t see too much on their FB page...
I've got one of those myself. I believe it's tweaked in the usual ways, filling the cavity in the fipple, changing the blade and so on.
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by thomasaasen »

Kevnm wrote:I’ve started playing again after 15 years or so and one of the old whistles I dug out was an O’Briain Improved. Does that mean it’s been tweaked? Does anyone know how? Didn’t see too much on their FB page...
It's a very well tweaked Feadog whistle, one of the best I would say. But I must add that Tommy Dion not only tweaks Waltons whistles. I sent him a Feadog as well, and it's as good or even better than the O'Briain's. I'm just so surprised that he makes those whistles so fantastic well played. I wonder how a Generation Brass or Aluminum (Red and Blue cap) would sound after tweaked by him.
Best regards from a true fan of Tommy Dion's tweaked whistles.
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I believe it's tweaked in the usual ways
At this point of the discussion it's probably worth remembering Cillian O'Briain was the one who came up with the whole concept of 'improving' stock whistles. Everybody after that just used his idea.
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by thomasaasen »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
I believe it's tweaked in the usual ways
At this point of the discussion it's probably worth remembering Cillian O'Briain was the one who came up with the whole concept of 'improving' stock whistles. Everybody after that just used his idea.
Thankyou for that big information. We owe him a lot for starting this, making cheaper whistles into professionals or at least much better.
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Kevnm »

I have a beautiful old Copeland that I’m finding needs a lot more breath than my go-to whistle, an equally old O’Briain improved. Would it be crazy to tweak a nice whistle like that? I find myself not playing it...
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by Katharine »

I was pretty happy with my Walton once I got blu-tack stuffed into the head (you know, the first time, before I broke it)...

I just did the same to the new Generation C I got... I wasn't happy with it, but the blu-tack solved most of its most-painful ills (haven't had too much of a chance to play it since the tweak, just for a few notes, but wow it's much better).
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Re: Tweaks: The Thread

Post by an seanduine »

Kevnm wrote:I have a beautiful old Copeland that I’m finding needs a lot more breath than my go-to whistle, an equally old O’Briain improved. Would it be crazy to tweak a nice whistle like that? I find myself not playing it...
Might I suggest you reach out to Michael to have him look at it? He has, in the past been more than happy to repair/tweak his whistles, at no cost. He isn´t that active as I understand it, but it is well worth looking into.

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