Sindt Whistles: website?

Sindt Whistles: website?

Is there a website where information about purchasing Sindt whistles can be found? I don’t need a sound sample or video review or paragraphs of discussion on the whistles themselves—found hundreds online. What I can’t find is:
1. Which modules are still available to purchase from Sindt himself? Brass, nickle, A, Bb, C, D, etc?
2 Where do I go to find prices?
3. How do I purchase?

Cheers

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

In my own search for a tweaked whistle I found it quite a treasure hunt trying to find these guy’s contact information.

Just loads of reports online on how great the whistles are. I suppose the makers don’t need to advertise themselves as they are already backed up with orders, ie demand is much higher than supply so they don’t wanna make themselves even more easy to get a hold of.

Iirc sindt is the worst case of this with like a several year waiting list?

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Never played one myself but I don’t undestand the hype on a whistle that doesn’t even have the cross fingered c nat oxx ooo.

"In my own search for a tweaked whistle I found it quite a treasure hunt trying to find these guy’s contact information."

Well, if you’re looking for a £20-25 whistle, keep walking. Sindt are something like £160.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Well played Kenny, lovely set! So how do you play your c nats on it?

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

John Sindt is a notoriously bad communicator which is not uncommon with flute and whistle makers who are often one-person operations and focused more on craftsmanship than the internet.

Getting a whistle from him is somewhat hit and miss. It took almost 2 and a half years to get mine, but probably because his list is so disorganized. Another player in one of our Asheville sessions got one last summer. I asked how long he waited and he said it took about a week. I wrote John and got one in about two weeks.

Are they worth the wait and the cost? Yes, but not for everyone. It’s a quiet whistle that was not good when I was leading the sessions at our noisy pub. However in our weekly practices with a quiet mandolin player, it works great.

His whistles are the closest to the old Generations in sound, but far more accurately tuned. It’s a beautiful solo instrument which also plays well in a small combo or miked.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

3 Scottish pipe tunes there, Damien, so "c nat" doesn’t come into it in that particular example. John Sindt has been quoted that the "C nat" note on his whistles is best achieved using the "half-holing" technique rather than "cross-fingering", but I will happily use either, depending on the note sequence in any given tune. "Cross fingering" C-nat on his whistles may not be perfect if you hold a long note compared to an electronic tuner, but it has never been so far out of tune that it has offended my ears. Others may have different opinions, or indeed, experience, on this.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Ok, that’s good to know. I’d like to try one once. See how close it is to my Löfgren whistles. I heard people saying they had a similar tone.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

What cross-fingering do you use, Kenny? 2/3 finger or forked?

By the way, do you remember what gig that was? I am sure I was there as that video is ringing very loud bells but I can’t think what/where it was.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Usually OXXOOO.
The concert was in the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen in 2001. We held a flute weekend, which attracted 45 players. I was asked as a local musician to play a short set at the farewell tutor’s concert, but was very nervous of playing a flute set, so asked to do a whistle set for a bit of variety. That’s RonP on guitar there.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Well, I certainly spent enough time in the Lemon Tree (I lived in Aberdeen 99-03). Flutes, yes, that sounds right. I don’t really remember the concert at all but I’m sure I remember that set!

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

I owned Sindts in D and C, and a one-head three-body set for B, Bb, and A.

I thought the C naturals were fine, I use
oxx ooo
or
oxx oox
because I tend to leave that lowest finger on the whistle for the upper-hand notes anyway.

I do prefer the C naturals to be in tune at the same pressure I usually use for the surrounding notes.

For me a "perfectly in tune whistle" is one where I can go "over the break" /B c d e/ at an even pressure
xoo oox
oxx oox
oxx xxx
xxx xxo
and it’s needle straight up for every note.

But there are many whistles and flutes, the Sindt is one, where if you do that /c/ is a hair sharp.

I’m used to backing off on the pressure a hair for /c/ without having to think about it, so it doesn’t bother me.

Also, coming from uilleann pipes I’m used to shading that top hole with the finger, "uncurling" the top finger as Pat Mitchell words it in The Dance Music Of Willie Clancy.

So I might have picked up Sindts and never realised that the /c/ was a hair sharp with oxx oox.

I did this short video a while back on a Sindt D showing cuts, pats, and rolls. If you jump to 1:52 you can hear the /c/ on the Sindt. It sounds fine to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfu_fDUyNHs


When I first played a Sindt I was blown away, because it was the first time I had experienced a modern maker who wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel, or who was trying to make whistles that sounded like recorders or NAFs, but a maker who embraced the sound and performance of the very best vintage Generation whistles.

After getting all those Sindts, and playing them extensively, switching off between the Sindts and my vintage Generations, I ended up concluding that the old Generations played a hair better, and I sold all the Sindts.

About wait times for the Sindts, I never had any, because I picked them up used, on C&F.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

About playing Highland pipe tunes on the whistle, I’ve mentioned before that as a Highland piper I’m used to C# as being a note that gets ornamented a lot, so on a D whistle with that open c# I feel awkward and limited.

In GHB music they use "GDE triplets" to produce groups of three notes of the same pitch in sequence, having the same function in tunes as the Irish "roll".

GDE triplets are played on G, A, B, and C# (all low-octave notes on the Irish whistle.)

So on whistle I would want to be able to roll all those notes.

The way to do it, as I see it, is to use an E whistle so that

xxx ooo

is A, and

xoo ooo

is C#.

G# would have to be moved down to G natural of course.

Or instead of using an E whistle make a new top hole on a D whistle and move all your fingers up one hole, which does the same thing.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

John is a wonderful and very approachable fellow. I hate to see him mischaracterized as a bad communicator. Before COVID, I would sit next to him most Monday’s (that I was in NYC) at the Landmark Tavern in Manhattan. I bought a D whistle from him by emailing him at sindtwhistle@aol.com. It was super easy- barely an inconvenience!

They really are excellent whistles. I play the C natural both ways mentioned on this thread with no issues.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

I bought a whistle off John earlier this year, no problem at all. I emailed him at the address mentioned above and got a quick response. Wait time for whistle was about 2 months.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Hmmm. What is the origin of the term "cross-fingered" C, and why do you say it is OXX OOO ? I’m remembering recorder cross fingering for F-natural and other accidentals, but I don’t see anything cross in OXX OOO.

I only have used OXO XXX, which I think of as cross-fingered, but I’m not sure what is correct. On my killarney, old generation, and Freeman tweaked, that fingering works fine. Also, on my flutes, well most of them, and it is the preferred high C-natural.

In any case, OXO XXX allows you to roll the C natural, and while we’re at it, OOO XXX allows you to roll the C#.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Why oxx ooo ?

Because most whistles/flutes are designed to play c natural that way.

Because it is very effective for playing fast tunes. Cnat cross is even easier to play than C#.
Not sure I could play the Gravel Walk at a decent speed with oxo xxx. But I suppose everything can be achieved with enough practice.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Hmm, I find I have to back off pretty hard on oxoxxx to flatten it down to pitch on most instruments I have handy. I usually use oxxooo or oxxxoo at speed but if I’m holding that note for any length of time I’ll use the piper’s fingering, oxxxox.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

"In any case, OXO XXX allows you to roll the C natural, and while we’re at it, OOO XXX allows you to roll the C#".
What are the fingerings for those rolls, please ? Even better if you could demonstrate. Thanks.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

My experience with my dealings with John were laid back and VERY positive…I could not have been happier, however that was close to the beginning of his whistle building and since then, his whistles have become very popular due to his fine craftsmanship and quality whistles. Because he does everything himself this popularity has put huge demands on his time but the quality of his whistles has not suffered. I would suggest being patient, you won’t be disappointed.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

On most Irish flutes I’ve tried (19th century ones and modern ones)

oxx ooo

works very well for C natural in the low octave while

oxo xxx

is C natural in the 2nd octave. Your flute would have to have a pretty flat C# for oxo xxx to give an in-tune C natural in the low octave, it does happen.

About C# rolls, I think I demo them in that video I posted above. Here’s how I do them

ooo xxx /c#/
oxx xxx /d/ (cut)
ooo xxx /c#/
xoo xxx /B/ (pat)
ooo xxx /c#/

I rarely use them, I’ve not practiced them enough to get really good at them.

What I do instead, and this is really getting away from trad Irish technique, is to play a Highland pipe Leumluath on /c#/. In a reel up to speed it’s easier for me to play and sounds pretty much like a roll.

ooo xxx /c#/
oxx xxx /d/
oxx oxx /c/
oxx xxx /d/
ooo xxx /c#/

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

C-nat roll using OXO XXX:

oxo xxx /c/
oxx xxx /d/ (cut)
oxo xxx /c/
xxo xxx /A-ish/ (pat)
oxo xxx /c/

You have to pop your fingers pretty fast, which is easier on a whistle or small-holed flute.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

So you’d use that in something like the second part of Bunker Hill? Must give it a try.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

The great tune, "Twelve Pins", likes to have rolled C’s, and there are lots of them to offer practice opportunities.

My index finger is not the most agile on flute because the base of the finger is supporting the flute. On whistle my fingers are pretty straight which makes it easier.

OXO XXX has worked well on many/most of my instruments including my Kilarney whistle, the Lesouef flute I started with, my antique Firth, Pond & Co (medium-ish holed Rudall), and my Gallagher repro of a large-holed Rudall. The Gallagher does have a flat C# which responds to Richard’s point about a flat C#. I have to lip up a bit, and venting the C-nat key only helps a little. Talk about re-learning your fingering.

The OXX OOO C natural on some of my flutes is more veiled than the OXO XXX. Also, my C# is a little veiled unless I play it like: OOO XXX.

As Damien mentioned, "anything" can be learned with practice. I learned OXO XXX for C-natural a while back, and it did come up to speed with practice - my fingers learned to operate like metal linkages on one of those Boehm flutes.

My original question was not answered: What makes OXX OOO "cross" fingered? To my mind, OXO XXX is cross-fingered, and the standard C-nat is just standard-fingered. Is there another C-nat fingering that is not cross-fingered?

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

"Is there another C-nat fingering that is not cross-fingered?"
Yes there are actually two. The one involving a key and the one involving half holing.

Cross fingerings are all those that are needed to play outside of the key of the instrument without involving keys or half holing.

I use those 5 quite often:
Cnat oxx ooo
G# xxo xxx
Bb xox xxx
high Cnat oxo xxx
high E xxo xxo

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Yes Bunker Hill, there are all those C natural rolls that the fiddlers play, I do the Leumluaths on C natural because I find them easier to do than rolls. Up to speed my whistle Leumluath sounds acceptably like a roll.

My C natural Leumluath. The upper hand is staying on the C natural fingering while the lower hand executes a Highland pipe Leumluath.

oxx oox /c/
oxx xxx /d/
oxx oxx /c/
oxx xxx /d/
oxx oox /c/

The Leumluath pattern ornament on the Highland pipes is closing the chanter for a low gracenote, then splitting it in two with a gracenote played with the lower-hand index finger. Highland pipers get so used to doing this that I can do it on whistle without having to think about it.

Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

"OXXOOO" to me is "cross-fingered" because it is not the natural "holes covered" above "holes open" to give any note. Take it or leave it.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

Kenny’s description is closest to the meaning that the musical acoustics people use. A woodwind is a vibrating column of air, the length of which is governed by the point at which the column meets the open air, which has too much mass to be vibrated back and forth, so the wave bounces off it and back up the air column, governing the wavelength and thus frequency.

When a hole is just too small for the air column to fully connect with the outside air, it carries on down the length of the instrument until it reaches an equilibrium a little further down, which is why cross-fingerings usually flatten by around a semitone. So when you play C# on a whistle, it’s the top two holes working together that give you the C#. Take away that second hole and you get a big drop in pitch.

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Re: Sindt Whistles: website?

A tip to get a Sindt whistle:

I had contacted him about a whistle and assumed I was on a waiting list for a couple of years. A friend told me the way to get the whistle was to send him the money. I did that, and he sent the whistles right away.