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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:04 am 
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Location: Lokeren, Belgium
Hi everyone.

First of all, I'm aware there are several similar topics already, but since everyone is looking for something else, I couldn't really find a statisfying answer.

Here's the deal: I've been playing a Clarke Sweetone for more a bit more than a year now, and I've been very pleased with it. I like the soft, bit breathy sweet sound, and most of all the fact that it needs very little air and allows you to put a lot of 'emotion' in it, and allows you to also play quietly.
But, it is terribly out of tune. I don't mind that when I'm playing alone as my sense for relative pitch isn't super and I have no absolute pitch at all so I generally don't notice it. But when I'm playing in a session it's annoying for the others. And now I'd like to play in a little band, but it sounds rather ugly >.< So I really need to 'upgrade'.

What I want is a whistle that's IN TUNE for sure, that's tunable, but that sounds and blows more or less the same as a sweetone, or a generation for all I care (I have one of those too but that's even more out of tune - even though it's tunable the notes are relatively out of tune -_- ).
I DON'T want something like an overton or other of those heavy metal whistles that sounds rediculously loud and need as much air as a brass instrument. I don't like the sound of them at all, and don't have enough breath to play them.

In fact, I wonder why the hell they can't just make these cheap whistles but IN TUNE !! Isn't that just as difficult / easy as making them out of tune ? :/

But anyway, I'm willing to spend some money on it (€ 100-150 ?) - relative to my newly bought button box of € 830, that's pretty cheap anyway. So if there is a whistle that sounds & plays like the cheap ones, but is in tune - I want it :)

Thanks all !


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:10 am 
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Location: forever in the old hills of Arkansas
Oak sounds like a good bet to me. It takes some air control but intonation is good and it has a lovely tone.

--James


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:21 am 
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That's surprising. My SweeTones have always been pretty much in
tune. I boil the glue off of the heads so they can be made flatter, in
case that's needed, then sand a little so that the head moves freely.
I think that Jerry Freeman grinds down the head-end of the tube as
well, when he tweaks them, so that they can be made sharper as
well...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:32 am 
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hmm :/
'pretty much in tune' is quite vague :p

I've bought two of em (first one got worn out ^^ ) and they're both as off-tune... but perhaps I'm unlucky ? Is it possible that some of them are in tune and some aren't ?

Anyway, making it tunable by removing the head wouldn't help it as it's not in tune with itself - some notes are in tune (e.g. when measured with a guitar tuner) but others aren't, and there's a difference between the octaves, etc.

Btw: please do include where I can buy the whistle (or even listen to a sample) you'd advice ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:51 am 
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You might try a tweaked Little Black Whistle by Avery LeVine.

I ordered two of them recently. He improves the intonation and tweaks the head so that it has a sweet and traditional whistle tone (with plenty of breathiness). The cost is around $20 US plus shipping.

Here is a sound sample from my second choice of the two I ordered: http://www.sweetums.net/oreo/AveryLeVine2.mpg

Avery is often "unseen" on the board here. His e-mail is avery122 at optonline puctuation net.

If you want an even sweeter sound, try a Mack Hoover whitecap or blackcap.

Oreo Phil


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:08 am 
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BlackDeath wrote:
'pretty much in tune' is quite vague

It's all pretty subjective if you're tuning to the concertina!

BlackDeath wrote:
Anyway, making it tunable by removing the head wouldn't help it as it's not in tune with itself - some notes are in tune (e.g. when measured with a guitar tuner) but others aren't, and there's a difference between the octaves, etc.

I thought you said it was your Generation that was out of tune w/ itself...
Anyway, the octave thing is sort of the nature of the tinwhistle. You
have to control it with your breath pressure (blow it in tune), which is
more effective on some whistles (Feadog Pro?) than others...

I have a Burke, which is very accurate, though I think the sound is too
pure to really be recognized in large sessions. You can find them here:
http://www.burkewhistles.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:12 am 
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Well, when you like the Sweetone, your best way to go should be getting a Freeman-tweaked Sweetone.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:29 am 
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I took some guitar lessons last fall, and when the topic of electric tuners came up the intructor mentioned that you need to be aware that they are not perfect. Much can depend on the model of tuner, but also the volume of what you are checking, and the distance between the tuner and the instrument. I am not an expert on this topic, but perhaps it would be good to check other posts relating to how people check whether their whistles are in tune.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:36 am 
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If the reason you don't like expensive whistles is their weight and sound (rather than their price), I'd say you couldn't go wrong with a Humphrey. Or, as several people have suggested already, anything Jerry Freeman has touched.

Quote:
In fact, I wonder why the hell they can't just make these cheap whistles but IN TUNE !!


That's essentially what Mr. Humprey and Mr. Freeman do. Here's some links:

Humphrey
The Irish Flute Store's selection of Freemans

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:38 am 
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Gabriel wrote:
Well, when you like the Sweetone, your best way to go should be getting a Freeman-tweaked Sweetone.

I'll second this!

Check out The Whistle Stop for Freeman Tweaked whistles, or you can contact Jerry directly at j3rry@tc3n3t.n3t (replace the 3's in the address with e's)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:04 pm 
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I know what you are speaking of. I've been hunting for a Mezzo Sop C that I really, really like. Found some nice whistles, but none is dialed in perfectly to my preference. I got to hear a perfect old Generation C that is just fantastic - lush and haunting with an echo of Native American Flute in the voice, and ornamentations just popped. Ok, I'll never find any magic accident like that Gen, but I'm looking for something close.

Your preferences differ from mine, and there's been some good suggestions already. But here's my recommendations based on my understanding of your preference, from low to high price:

1. Freeman Tweaked Sweetone or Generation -
Nice whistles, and the intonation is improved yet not perfect. They require good lungs, but not bellows.

2. Black Diamond -
Great whistle that is similar to Generation but tunable, very well intoned, a little brighter than a Gen, and require much less breath. I'll be selling a nice Black Diamond C primarily because I like to move more wind through the whistle than this one requires.

3. Reyburn -
Awesome whistle (underrated on this board in my opinion). Talk to Ronaldo about perhaps a thin wall brass instead of thick wall. Tell him you want a trad voice like a Sweetone or Gen, and low breath requirement. He does great work. No, really great work!

An afterthought, an old style Session Burke in Brass might do. These are terrific whistles, but it might be too pure and powerful for your taste, and need more breath than you like to use.

Best of luck.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:56 pm 
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Oreo wrote:
You might try a tweaked Little Black Whistle by Avery LeVine.

I ordered two of them recently. He improves the intonation and tweaks the head so that it has a sweet and traditional whistle tone (with plenty of breathiness). The cost is around $20 US plus shipping.

Here is a sound sample from my second choice of the two I ordered: http://www.sweetums.net/oreo/AveryLeVine2.mpg

Avery is often "unseen" on the board here. His e-mail is avery122 at optonline puctuation net.



Thanks Phil.

If you want you can just click the "email" button at the bottom of my post and send me an email.

I would higly reccommend a Black Diamond if you want a more expensive Whistle. It is my favorite High D.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 3:46 am 
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Hmm, fist of all, thanks all for the reactions !

Still, however, I'm not convinced (sorry >.<). My primary concern remains: will the whistles be in tune. I've browsed through the whistle shop page, for instance, and the 'tweaked' whistles improve the sound of the whistle, the amount of air required, the 'stability' of the tone, sometimes even the shape of the fipple... but it doesn't say anywhere that the instrument gets tuned correctly (which seems impossible anyway - isn't that a matter of where the finger holes are placed on the instrument and how big / small they are ?).

It also concerns me that neither for the sweetone, nor for the generation whistles, the site mentions anything about the instruments being off tune. Which is clearly a large problem. Or either I'm just unlucky that all 4 of my whistles (the 2 sweetones, a generation D and C) are / were out of tune ? Also the other sweetone D and generation Bb that I've heard being played by a friend were similarly out of tune.

Unfortunately, the only 'expensive' whistle I have experience with (session-wise) is the Overton - which is of course in tune, but whose sound (character,... even look :p ) I don't like.

Oh dear, I just don't know what to do :/ What would be ideal, is a shop where they have all of those inexpensive whistles, and where you can try them first before buying them - then I'd just have to bring someone with good sense of pitch and a correctly tuned instrument (e.g. my box :p ) and then I'd just buy the whistle that has the same correct tuning... but such a shop doens't exist in Belgium - if it even exists anywhere in the world :/

I'm sorry if I seem disrespectful towards all the advice you give, I really don't mean to, I really do appreciate your help !

I guess what I'll do, is buy a whole load of whistles from that site and just play the 'best' one of them all then...

Btw: the Humphrey looks nice too though. But I don't like the part about 'the best flattened 7th is achieved by using OXXXOX rather than OXXOOO' :p

Btw2: i'll record the whistles over the box so you can judge the off-tune-ness yourself :x

Edit: Here it is.
First one are just scales, one with C# and one with Cnat (I think the Cnat is most off)
Second one is the tune 'Out on the Ocean'. Bear with me what the accordion concerns - only playing for a month or two and don't have a teacher :( (hidden request: any box player who wants to 'coach' me online ? ^^ )

oh - that's the sweetone. the generation is much worse :x


Last edited by BlackDeath on Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:33 am 
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I may be totally wrong but...aren't whistles transposing instruments based on the key of "D" and most tuners are based on "C"? Therefore a "D" on a "D" whistle sounds as a "D" whereas the "D" fingering on a "A" whistle does not sound as an "D". Just a theory as to why ALL the whistles seem out of tune.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:05 am 
Complaining your C's are out of tune on the whistle is a bit like a beginning fiddleplayer complaining his notes are off when he puts down his fingers.
This is not a fixed pitch instrument, it's, for a good part at least, your job to play in tune.


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