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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:35 am 
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That's not to say that some more expensive whistles don't sound lovely, or don't fit someone's personal preferences better, or aren't worth buying. It's just that the sound of the whistle has a lot more to do with who's playing it than a lot of people believe.


True, a nice whistle makes you feel better about your playing............& as in my own case, once I'd got the hang of whistle playing, my cheap whistles began to sound much better. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
You do have to wonder, and weigh, who are giving the reviews and if they can play at all.

That's precisely the reason I don't endeavor to write detailed reviews. I know I'm far from being a decent player. Should I write anything that seems like a review, take it with a few grains of salt...a full shaker or grinder is probably better.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:44 pm 
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Asa novice who recently upgraded to an expensive whistle from cheap I have a few thoughts.

The cheap whistle usually isnt the problem but it does go a long way knowing your whistle isnt the problem. Then you can learn proper technique knowing you arent trying to compensate for an out of tune whistle. Where a lot of features are just preference, high end whistles do just seem to have better tuning. Obviously some more than others.

And in my case the general playability does just feel straight better. But some of that could just be preference.

I will say that my 100$ whistle (tilbury) is definitely not 10x better than a $10 is generation or other good budget one. But at least in my experience more expensive does feel better, even if just minimally for the fine details that one can easily live without. But obviously if someone doesnt like the things like the low air requirement for them it wont be better so the players wants are still a big factor.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Yes, I know, opening a can of worms... anyone have a favorite cheap high-C? I do like my Clarke Original C, but wouldn't mind something that takes a bit less air, has a bit more volume, and frankly there are a couple notes on the Clarke that I'm always having to blow into tune and it would be nice not to have to do that.

I used to have a Freeman Mellow Dog C, but gave it to a friend since I favored the Clarke.

How is the Generation C considered? I assume as hit-or-miss as the Ds are? Obviously this is not exactly a time when I could try several to try to find a good one (not that it was ever really a possibility-- unlikely a shop would have a boxful {if they had any in stock at all rather than having to order it in}, and unlikely they'd want to let me put my mouth over a bunch of whistles I was not going to buy).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:44 pm 
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Katharine wrote:
How is the Generation C considered?

I liked mine, FWIW. It was a brass red-top. It got the usual Blu-Tac tweak, and this one needed a bit of electrical tape to flatten the E hole (the F# hole on a D whistle), plus the neck cracked when I loosened the head to make it tuneable, but I fixed that with waxless dental floss binding, and cyanoacrylic to hold it all in place. It was fated from the beginning to be a gnarly-looking SOB, but after tweaks and repair the tone and intonation were great throughout; I never had any misgivings about it, and performed on it plenty.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:39 pm 
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You can reduce the air requirement of your Clarke original quite a bit by flattening the tin plane above the windway, and making it parallel to the windway.


Katharine wrote:
How is the Generation C considered?


I've been very happy with mine; happy enough that I've never found another better.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:27 am 
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Generation (brass & nickel) & Dixon (aluminium) high C are good whistles, I find the Clarkes OK tone wise, but not so keen on the taper & rear seam.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:44 pm 
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An Draighean wrote:
You can reduce the air requirement of your Clarke original quite a bit by flattening the tin plane above the windway, and making it parallel to the windway.

I've heard that's a pretty fiddly tweak... I wouldn't be confident to try it!


fatmac wrote:
Generation (brass & nickel) & Dixon (aluminium) high C are good whistles, I find the Clarkes OK tone wise, but not so keen on the taper & rear seam.

Yeah, I'm not big on the tapered bore (or tiny holes). But it does have a pretty sound.

I'll maybe go for the Generation, then. I've got a Gen B-flat (actually two as I inherited my mom's and can't decide which one I like better) and an E-flat that I think I "rescued" from a junk shop or something for cheap, and I think I've only had occasion to use it once, not even enough to know how well I like it...

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:32 am 
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Narzog wrote:
As a novice who recently upgraded to an expensive whistle from cheap I have a few thoughts.

Where a lot of features are just preference, high end whistles do just seem to have better tuning.

And in my case the general playability does just feel straight better.


For sure one thing that high-end whistles tend to have over the Generations is better tuning.

For myself, every other aspect is superior in good Generations than it is with expensive whistles.

These aspects include tone quality, response, nimbleness of action, air efficiency, and volume balance between the octaves.

The trick is finding a Generation with good octaves. Usually Generations have a flat 2nd octave, but not always.

Once you have a good-playing Generation with good octave tuning yes the scale can be a tad off. Generally G will be a hair sharp and/or F# will be a hair flat. You'll see people playing Generations with a bit of tape over the top edge of Hole 4, to bring the pitch of G down a bit. And/or the owner might have carved the upper edge of Hole 5 a bit to bring up the pitch of F#.

These fixes take a couple minutes, and what you then have is a whistle that, possibly, no whistle at any price will equal.

I certainly haven't played all the whistle makes out there! New makers appear every day. Of the ones I've tried, a large number of makers over the last 40+ years, no high whistle has equaled my old Generation C.

If an expensive whistle has a low octave as nice, the high octave will be stiff and/or harsh. If an expensive whistle has a 2nd octave as nice, the low octave will be weaker. The one exception I know of is a friend's old Copeland High D. It has even better octave balance, even sweeter easier high notes, even fatter low notes. But the very best of the old Copelands are hard to come by.

You can end up with a pack of mongrels like this. They're not gleaming and pretty. But no A, Bb, or C whistles I've ever played at any price have been as good as the A, Bb, and C you see here.

Image

They sound like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8&t=29s

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:49 am 
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Katharine wrote:
An Draighean wrote:
You can reduce the air requirement of your Clarke original quite a bit by flattening the tin plane above the windway, and making it parallel to the windway.

I've heard that's a pretty fiddly tweak... I wouldn't be confident to try it!


I'm not big on whistle tweaks myself, but flattening the windway on a Clarke original is very easy and not very fiddly in my opinion. It's right out there in the open on the top of the whistle so it's easy to see and easy to work on.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:34 pm 
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Katharine wrote:
An Draighean wrote:
You can reduce the air requirement of your Clarke original quite a bit by flattening the tin plane above the windway, and making it parallel to the windway.

I've heard that's a pretty fiddly tweak... I wouldn't be confident to try it! ..


I agree. It's not to be altered without the right tools and instructions to guide you.

Unfortunately, I bought one. I'm looking at it right now, closely. The windway is created by simply wrapping the single sheet of metal over the top and all the way around, to make an arched top wind channel. The instrument is just a single wrapping of sheet metal. The very absorbent wood fipple (did NERF buy Clarke? LOL) fits loosely in that imprecise area and is glued into place. There is clearly air space open above, below, and on one side of the wood fipple, so it's a very poor air seal for a windway. I was thinking that maybe if I glued a couple Volkswagons in there, the windway could be reduced on the sides about 15%.

The problem you'll have is that as soon as you try to flatten the top piece of metal, the sides will change position (it's all one piece of metal) and without the proper vise, metal working equipment and technique, that will immediately alter the structure of the entire area, the wood fipple will get loose and less air-sealing, it may crack apart, and where the metal is supposed to give or fold over, I'm not sure, as you try to press it downwards to narrow the windway. The whistle will be easily destroyed if you don't know exactly what you're doing. If you do alter it, how do you do it with tiny gradual adjustments to test it out and find the ideal position/design?

Why go through this absurd adventure in counter-productive financial entropy if you can simply buy a whistle from another whistle maker that works in the first place? A company with Quality Control and the intent to provide quality musical instruments! Considering what I paid for this Clarke Original, the unit price should be dropped 75% and it should be relabeled as a lawn sprinkler attachment. Right out of the box, my impression was "OMG what a lousy whistle". I've tried to sell it online, but no takers after a year.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:01 pm 
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RoberTunes wrote:
The problem you'll have is that as soon as you try to flatten the top piece of metal, the sides will change position (it's all one piece of metal) and without the proper vise, metal working equipment and technique, that will immediately alter the structure of the entire area, the wood fipple will get loose and less air-sealing, it may crack apart, and where the metal is supposed to give or fold over, I'm not sure, as you try to press it downwards to narrow the windway. The whistle will be easily destroyed if you don't know exactly what you're doing. If you do alter it, how do you do it with tiny gradual adjustments to test it out and find the ideal position/design?


That was the problem I had read about with flattening the metal, yes. I did read one article where the player then tacked the fipple block in place with a tiny nail on each side, but that kind of extended problem-solving is way more involved than I want to get. I will leave the whistle as-is, and use it for some things but not for others.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:55 am 
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About the Clarke modifications, I did them on mine with simple hand tools like pliers and such.

It did take a while! As I've said I had the loan of an amazing Clarke a friend owned, he had modified it himself. It was invaluable to have a great whistle to study and compare/contrast with. I got mine around 90% as good as his, that last 10% was impossible to get no matter what I tried.

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