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 Post subject: Review - Mack Hoover Brass Soprano D - narrow bore
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:09 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: US.CA.Tustin
Material: Brass
Bore: Narrow
Key: D
Price: US$55.00 including shipping in the U.S.
URL: http://home.bresnan.net/~mackhoover/
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The epitome of Mack Hoover's "quiet" signature sound. I asked him for his quietest whistle and he answered "The quietest one is the narrow bore brass. It has no back pressure and takes very gentle breath with careful control."

Disclaimers first:
1. I'm a beginner so listen to the sound samples for a taste of the voice, and imagine what a good player could do.
2. My review is based on my limited knowledge and experience (1 year playing, owning less than 10 whistles).
3. I'm usually easy to please.
5. Nobody knows who I am, so I don't get free whistles to review - I bought it. :)
Having said that - let's get on with it.

Visual Aesthetics:
A beautiful whistle - about the diameter of one of the fat pencils from primary school, the brass alloy is an attractive gold color, very nice polish, nicely finished small holes, attractive fipple plug material, and the attention to detail is great all around.

Mechanics:
A well made whistle - clean joints, good fit at the tuning slide, smooth slide operation, the score at the slide is right on D, the weight is comfortable, and the balance is right. It's obvious Mack takes pride in his craftsmanship.

Playability:
A nice whistle to play, with a bit of challenge - it feels good in the hands (again, comfortable and balanced), the fipple is comfortable on the lips, and it plays easily with a light touch. The challenge is in breath control, it feels like disciplined exhaling (not blowing) to play well. I imagine it's the trade off for the quiet voice. Mack told me and I expected it, so this is by no means a complaint.

Tuning:
It's all good baby - with the tuning slide at the score it's right on D, it's in tune with itself, a clean bell note and C natural (OXXOOO) are both achievable with breath control (I'm working on it).

Voice:
Suh....weeeet! - really quiet in the low notes and even at the top end of the second octave, a surprising richness of tone for the volume, very pure notes, and almost zero chiff wind noise (as would be expected).

Subjective Summary:
I opened the package and my first impression was "How Beautiful!". Mack included a jazzy case for flat toothpicks to clean the windway which was well appreciated. Sure it's a bit of a challenge for me now. But I remember first playing my Burke Aluminum Narrow Bore and thinking that was a challenge - now the Burke DAN is one of my favorites. I'm confident with a little practice this brass narrow bore will be another of my favorites.

I wouldn't recommend it as a first whistle for a beginner (try a Sweetone), but it's perfect for someone with a little experience who wants to practice in the wee hours of the morning. Right now I don't have the quality of breath control to keep the bell note and C natural clean, but that will come. I can feel it's capable of much more expression than I can wring out of it at my experience level - I will become a better player using it.

This is the whistle Legolas would play to woo a wood nymph. Handled gently it's beautiful, pure, expressive, and sweetly rich - I mean the whistle, though perhaps the wood nymph....
... but that's a subject for a different forum. :oops:

I hope to write more reviews, so your comments and criticisms are welcomed.

Sound Samples (see disclaimer): :D
http://www.tofutaco.com/Whistle/2005051 ... 35-NBD.mp3
http://www.tofutaco.com/Whistle/2005051 ... 35-NBD.mp3
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Daniel

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 5:32 am 
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 4:00 pm
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Location: Aurora, Ohio
Yeah, it's a nice little whistle. I keep mine in the car so I don't blast my ears out while Im waiting for the teenager (and I'm always waiting for the teenager).

I found the OXXOOO Cnat to be sharp. I have to use OXXOXXO to get a good Cnat.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 7:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:09 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: US.CA.Tustin
I felt it was sharp too with OXXOOO - but with less breath it works out.

I like the tip for OXXOXX - just tried it and it works. :thumbsup:

With my brain's limited capacity it will probably be easier for me to adjust my breath control than to play the C natural with different fingering on just one whistle. :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 8:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 4:00 pm
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Location: Eugene, OR
Hey I recognise that toothpick case, it's made of an arrow. I used to have a whistle made out of the same stuff. :D Mack's awesome, he can make anything into an instrument.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 10:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 4:00 pm
Posts: 15580
Location: somewhere, over the rainbow, and Ergoville, USA
Mack Hoover's whistles are some of my favorite whistles, and the Narrow Bore Soprano D is one of my favorite kinds of Hoovers.

I love its smallness and quietness, no other whistle I've ever played has been as quiet. It's a little bit difficult to control at first, because one has to practice very precise breath control, but I think it's worth it, especially late at night or when a person doesn't want to be heard playing.

The white cap is really stellar, too.

Go Mack! :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:38 am
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Nice photos. Keep up the good work!


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