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 Post subject: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:06 am 
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Long time lurker here....I noticed some interest in the Union Carbony whistles some time back. I ordered a soprano D on Amazon a few months back and here's my review and experience with the company.

The whistle is unbelievably light, if you're used to a metal whistle it almost seems like it's not there-I liked that. The whistle I got from Amazon was also really easy to play and especially in the 2d octave. The lower octave was a little chiffy in the DEF notes, not so much above that. It was also really LOUD. If you're looking for a session whistle, this might be the one for you.

However, the natural rubber mouthpiece had a sulfur smell that was quite unpleasant and actually left a taste on my mouth that I didn't like. I contacted the owner of Union Carbony, Rob Gandara (sp?) and he told me to wash the mouthpiece a few times in warm soapy water, which I did. The smell gradually faded, but I just didn't like the mouthpiece. Rob then offered to make me a new mouthpiece out of plastic, which he did; he let me keep the first whistle while I waited for the second one with the new mouthpiece.

The second one was better than the first, with a redesigned mouthpiece that played even better than the first. Here's the review of the second whistle:

-Again, LOUD. Someone on another site said that the Union Carbony low whistles were too soft; that's not the case here! If you want to make a lot of noise, this is your whistle. This isn't a practice whistle unless you've got really tough eardrums!
-Easy to play; slips really effortlessly into the second octave, but no trouble hitting the bell note like some whistles easy to play in the second octave.
-Fast; this may be the fastest whistle I've played, the response is quick and there's no sqeaking or squealing, ever.
-No condensation, even though part of the whistle head is metal.
-Tunable
-Tone; the tone is a little difficult to describe. It's really clear and pure. This may be my only complaint with this whistle, if you like chiff, you won't like it; if you like pure, you will.

I emailed Rob, who, by the way, is exceptionally easy to work with and helpful, and asked him if he had ever thought of using other materials besides carbon-fiber for the whistle's tube. I like conical whistles but with the Copeland's gone there are no really quality ones available. The whistle head on the Carbony whistles is really beautifully made, and I think he would have a winner if he made some whistle tubes out of brass or aluminum; I'm not sure how many people want to spring for his prices for carbon-fiber, but maybe I'm wrong. I also think a thicker carbon-fiber tube would sound "woodier" and might be popular also. I sometimes slip a Sweetone tube into the Carbony head when I want to play around the house. Finally, since the whistle is so easy to play and so light I told him I thought a softer-toned "practice" whistle might be popular.

In summary, great whistle, good company to work with. I don't play mine around the house because it's so loud, but I'm keeping it for times when I want a loud whistle. The company makes a whole range of whistles and I'd like to try the low whistles sometime, if they're as easy to play as the high D I have, they would be fun and your hands wouldn't get as tired as they do with a big low D.

Don't order the whistles on Amazon, they're the old model, order directly from the company. If you have questions, email Rob, he answers right away.

This is my first post, and I've never responded to questions before, so give me some time to figure it out! And I can't post sound samples, sorry...


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:02 pm
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Location: Raleigh, NC / Cape Cod, MA
Thanks, Randall. I've been curious about those whistles.

BTW, here's a link to the website: http://www.carbony.com/Products.htm

_________________
Charlie Gravel

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”
― Oscar Wilde


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 4:00 pm
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Nice review. I'm interested in how the intonation is on this whistle. Particularly 1st octave cross-fingered G# (XXOXXX). Some of us here at C&F have been wondering if the conical bore has an effect on the intonation of cross-fingered notes. I've never played a conical bore whistle.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:32 pm 
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I have two carbony whistles now. I sprang for the low D after borrowing from the maker twice. My whistles don't have any odd smells... though I've had mine for awhile now.

In comparison to my other whistles (I have a parks, a sweetheart and tyrone head whistle) - the carbony whistle is on the whole 'cleaner' sounding. There is no squeaking. The high B is clean and easy to sound. For some reason, I have a hard time hitting that note on all of my whistles except the carbony.

It doesn't take much air, and it is LOUD. Rob, the maker, is really helpful and tells me that the whistles have a lifetime warranty - if you break it, he'll fix or replace it. Course, since its carbon fiber, its probably really really hard to break.

-s


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:17 am 
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R Small wrote:
Nice review. I'm interested in how the intonation is on this whistle. Particularly 1st octave cross-fingered G# (XXOXXX). Some of us here at C&F have been wondering if the conical bore has an effect on the intonation of cross-fingered notes. I've never played a conical bore whistle.



I don't read music well and play mostly by ear, but I don't notice any difference in a conical whistle with this fingering. If anything, the G# is a bit more distinct, to my ear, on the Carbony whistle than on my narrow-bore Burke.


Sherriev, was the low D loud, or was it the soprano D? I thought the low D's were quieter..... Randall


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:02 pm 
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The low D is quiet in comparison to the high D. Its a nice whistle - I've not had a lot of experience in low whistles, so I can't really tell you how it compares. I will tell you I like the sound a lot- its nice and full in the low registers and airier in the high registers. It does two registers easily.

It has a nice rubber fipple of the same style as the high D, and tapers smoothly. Rob was nice enough to let me mark where I wanted my holes on his loaner. My whistle has VERY offset lower finger holes and slightly offset upper holes. It made it much easier to play for me with a pipers grip.

The nicest thing about it is the weight. I have some nerve damage in my right hand and holding heavy things can make all my fingers go to sleep. I have no problems with my low D.

I wish I was better at playing it - but I'm getting there.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:04 pm 
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I should make another point here - Most tapered whistles have a seam in them from where the cone is joined together. These whistles have no seam - they are created as one piece of material.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:06 pm 
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I just tried that cross fingered G# - and I can't tell a difference in the tone at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:22 pm 
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
What I'm curious about is not the tone of G# but the pitch (intonation), and whether or not the conical bore has an effect on the pitch of this note. Or more specifically, does the conical bore produce a flatter (better in tune) cross-fingered G# (XXOXXX) than does a cylandrical bore. I think most whistles players use the half-hole G# (XXDOOO) but there are a few of us that prefer the cross-figered note or at least like to use it in certain situations.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:08 pm 
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"R"

To my ear the G# pitch on the Carbony's conical bore sounds like a perfect G#, and perhaps more in pitch, flatter and better in tune, as you say, than a non-conical whistle.

Randall


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Thanks, Randall. I'm considering adding a conical bore whistle to my stable and a good cross-finger G# is a strong selling point. I've narrowed my choices down to the Carbony and the WD Sweet.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:08 pm 
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"R"

Yes, it would be nice if someone could compare the Carbony whistle with the WD Sweet; as I said, the Carbony soprano D is loud, BUT, I've discovered the past few days it does respond well to a less aggressive playing style..... I don't play much in a public setting where I need that kind of volume, but I'm sure other people would like that. I think it's a really good whistle, but I'd like to see it compared with the Sweet.

I think at some point I'm going to see if I can't get a loaner low D; if it's got a more mellow tone but the same quickness and lightness of the soprano D it'd be a great whistle.

Randall


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
One difference between the Carbony and the Sweet is the Sweet is tunable. Does Carbony offer a tunable model? On the pictures on their website the whistles appear to be non-tunable as I don't see a joint for a tuning slide.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:19 am
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'R'



The Carbony whistle is tunable, the head slides on the tube, like a Sweetheart whistle if you loosen the head. Seems to have a pretty decent tuning range as well.

Randall


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 Post subject: Re: Union Carbony soprano D whistle
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 4:00 pm
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
That's good to know. I prefer a whistle to be tunable.


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