I am no L.E. (See http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php?t=20772
which was a response to The Best Whistle Review Ever - http://www.chiffandfipple.com/cf-July2004/
A few weeks ago, after an initial introduction on the message board that went a little crazy - having nothing to do with David (see http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php?t=19609
) - David asked if I would like to check out one of his whistles for review. I said sure, so he sent it and I received it yesterday.
I guess David had read that I don't like the taste or smell of brass or copper, so he sent me a nickel-plated copper d whistle - good move!
The outside is nickel-colored and the inside is copper...so you can see red coming through the holes. Very cool.
This one doesn't have a lucite fipple plug, but rather, a copper one (nickel-plated on the outside).
The outermost tube of the mouthpiece is soldered onto the inner one, and the tuning slide is also soldered on. It is a hefty whistle with a wide bore. He has engraved his name, the number of the whistle, and its key.
The curved windway, made of two consecutively-sized tubes with a piece cut out, looks normal, but the blade isn't a blade at all. It is an almost-flat end of a tube that is about 1.5mm in thickness!
The window is also huge. When I saw it, I thought the whistle would be unbelievably breathy. I said this to my husband, Dan. I told him I was going to hate it.
Then I played it. This whistle, for me, defies physics. It should be totally breathy. It should lack tonal character. But it isn't and it doesn't. It has a sweet and focused, strong but not excessively loud (but loud enough, due to the bore thickness), round and very pleasing tone and it is unbelievably comfortable to play! The bell note is resonant and strong, without breath noise, as is the rest of the first octave. The second octave has very slightly more air sound, but still not more than my favorite Abell. In fact, this whistle, shockingly, plays very similarly to my favorite Abell, which is still my favorite whistle of all time. I am seriously impressed and pleased with this whistle and I think, for the price David charges (something like $50), this is a wonderful mid-range choice (assuming other whistles of his are similar to the one I received). I have to say, honestly, that I think this whistle is what Serpent tried, but failed, to produce. (See http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php?t=7639
) Bear in mind here that these are handmade and I am sure they vary somewhat.
Something else I have to mention is that Dan, a musician though not a whistle player, can usually pick up a whistle and get basically the same tone out of it that I do (though not a whole tune), which gives me confidence that my reviews will mean something to others, but he could not, after ten minutes of trying, play this whistle without breath noise. I really don't understand why, but my guess was that it was due to the shape of the mouthpiece (which is fine for me) and that he wasn't covering it properly. I suggested that and he tried to cover it more tightly and still couldn't get a tone without air. I suggested he blow harder and softer, and each time it sounded breathy. He agreed wth me that it didn't sound breathy when I played it. It isn't difficult for me to play it. So...maybe some people can get to the heart of the tone of this whistle and some can't. I once heard someone refer to a Sindt whistle as breathy! I have to conclude that it was the player and not the instrument, as Sindts are, in my experience, extremely consistent.
But this whistle, with its weird physics, might work for some more than for others. I adore it and will be ordering them in more keys.
David can be reached at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org