The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73198   Message #1326959
Posted By: Bob Bolton
14-Nov-04 - 11:16 PM
Thread Name: Shaw tin whistles
Subject: RE: Shaw tin whistles
G'day Shanghaiceltic,

I have not had any hands-on experience of the Shaw Whistles ... but they certainly look like original pattern Clarke Whistles 'writ large'! Over the 40-odd years that I have played (and made) a variety of different whistles I have always accepted that Clarkes needed a bit of external adjustment - the blade (~ labium) to modify the upper or lower range ... and (particularly with the post-Clarke Family production) the wind channels to reduce the inefficient shaping that lost most of the wind into "breathy" sounds.

I remember a player with a bundle of Clarkes playing at the local Folk Club ... commenting that she loved that breathy sound ... but was nearly hyper-ventilating. I asked if I could modify one (promising that it could be easily reversed) ... and I straightened the arched tinplate over the wind channel. Immediately, the breath needed was reduced by more than half ... while keeping the characteristic 'breathy' sound.

I would expect Shaws to present with better accuracy that those Clarkes ... but they should be amenable to adjustments in the same style to achieve the many of the same improvements.

I really should grab a low D Shaw when I'm around someone that stocks them ... the tapered design has a much more manageable span for the right hand than cylindrical ... especially my low D Overton. I've been a bit too obsessed with cylindrical designs - mostly because I don't have the tooling / skill (/ inclination) to make my own tapered tubes!