The Abell Whistle
The Abell Whistle is based on the traditional Celtic tin whistle and is manufactured from tropical hardwoods and precious metals. Our whistle is designed in two parts (mouthpiece and body) allowing for both fine tuning and for interchangeable bodies to be used on the same mouthpiece in certain key combinations. The Abell Whistle is offered in many different keys with the Standard D being the most popular.
Price List (January 2023)
|African Blackwood (Grenadilla) with Sterling Silver:|
|Standard (Key of D)||$600|
|Keys of Low G, A♭||$800|
|~ Extra interchangeable bodies (each)||$350|
|Keys of A, B♭ or B||$700|
|~ Extra interchangeable bodies (each)||$300|
|Keys of C, D♭, D or E♭||$600|
|~ Extra interchangeable bodies (each)||$250|
|Keys of E, F, F♯ or G||$500|
|~ Extra interchangeable bodies (each)||$250|
|Extra headjoint for any of the above whistles||$400|
|Single case for any of the above whistles||$60|
The above whistles are ascending in pitch with the Low G as the lowest and the High G as the highest. The D whistle is comparable in pitch to the standard D tin whistle.
Cases by Daniele O. are soft and are made from nylon waterproof pack-cloth, padded, and lined with burgundy velvet.
Other woods are available upon request.
Current delivery on new orders is between 3-4 months, depending on the specifications required.
Please note that the prices listed above are for the manufacturing only and do not include any additional VAT and/or Customs duties when the instrument is shipped outside the US.
To place an order, please contact the Abell Flute Co. directly from the information provided below.
The Abell Flute Co. can also provide any necessary documentation regarding your instrument (date of production, materials used, appraisal, etc.) at no charge. Please contact us using the contact information provided below.
Note: As of January 2, 2017, all products manufactured from any of the Rosewood species (Dalbergia) are now regulated for commercial trade under the new CITES regulations (www.cites.org). African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon), Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), Kingwood (Dalbergia cearensis), Tulipwood (Dalbergia decipularis), for example, are in the Rosewood family and are currently included on this list for regulation. However, there are no problems with exporting or importing instruments made with these woods aside from their being regulated by the countries involved. The Abell Flute Co. has all the required permits and documentation necessary for exporting and importing under these new CITES regulations. There may be delays on deliveries as well as additional costs for documentation required to ship Rosewood instruments internationally. Also, there may be documentation required to import Rosewood instruments into countries outside the US. Please contact The Abell Flute Co. for additional information.
Update: As of December 2, 2019, CITES removed the Rosewood family from its list of regulated items when used for musical instruments and parts. The above required documentations are no longer necessary.
Almost all cultures in the world have an instrument related to the whistle; i.e., an end blown “flute” with a simple fingering system. The Abell Whistle is descended from the traditional tin whistle popular in the Celtic and Gaelic musical traditions from Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany. However, the Abell Whistle has been designed with a few improvements over the traditional metal whistles: one, it is able to produce a strong, centered, rich tone easily through two octaves; two, it is tunable in either direction from concert pitch without compromising intonation or tone quality; and three, it is manufactured simply and with an elegance worthy of the music for which it is intended. The combination of African Blackwood (and other tropical hardwoods) and Sterling silver fulfills our requirements of beauty, durability, and tonal quality.
The African Blackwood is a very stable wood providing a warm, reedy tone while maintaining structural durability; and the Sterling silver, while elegant in its own right, offers the ability to build the whistle with a tuning slide without sacrificing simplicity or beauty. The silver tuning slide provides two important functions: one, it allows for each whistle to be tunable in both directions from concert pitch and it also allows for manufacturing interchangeable bodies in different keys that will fit to the same mouthpiece.
The Abell Whistle is manufactured from carefully seasoned, instrument-grade hardwoods from the equatorial regions of Africa, the Caribbean, and occasionally from Australia. The individual pieces are carefully inspected and handpicked from the stock received from the suppliers and stacked to air dry for a minimum of two years from the time they arrive at the shop. At each stage of the manufacturing process, each piece of wood is allowed to rest for a period of time, insuring that the integrity of the wood is stable before moving on to the next stage of production. The wood is also treated at each stage with a light coating of almond oil. The care taken to handle and inspect each piece of wood throughout the various stages of production helps to insure that the finished whistle will play for many years with relatively low maintenance.
The Abell Whistle is designed and manufactured to be played comfortably under a wide variety of conditions as soon as it arrives from the shop; there is no need to “break in” the whistle or to limit playing time.
Care and Maintenance
The Abell Whistle will give many years of reliable and enjoyable service by following these maintenance recommendations: swabbing or shaking the excess moisture from the whistle after each playing session, occasional oiling the wooden body and mouthpiece both inside and out using almond oil, occasional swabbing of the windway, and occasional cleaning of the silver bands.
An occasional light coating of almond oil on the outside of the whistle will keep it looking nice; however it is important to keep the metal slide pieces joining the mouthpiece to the body clean and dry. No oil or lubricant should be used on the slide pieces as these substances will collect dust and grit that might cause the slide to become sticky and bind.
It is also recommended that the windway be swabbed out periodically with a soft cotton pipe-cleaner (cleaning with a little warm, soapy water and drying out the windway with a dry pipe-cleaner will be effective on particularly dirty windways). The Sterling silver bands on the outside of the whistle can be kept clean by wiping them gently with a clean cotton or micro-fiber cloth.