The Hoover Whitecaps
The Hoover Whitecap is a line of replacement fipples handmade by Mack Hoover, which sell for about $25 each. They're available in "quiet" and "regular" varieties. Pictured at right are both variations. The "regular" model, mounted on the whistle in the photo, has a somewhat larger window than the "quiet" model.
The Blu-Tac™ Tweak
For this tweak, make a small ball of "Blue-Tac"/poster putty and put it in the window of the whistle. The further you put it towards your mouth, the more it quiets the whistle, and the airier the sound.
The Tape Tweak
For this tweak cover part of the window with tape as illustrated. I usually use clear tape, but it didn't show in the photos very well so I've used blue painting tape in the photo at right for illustrative purposes. The more you cover the window, the more it quiets the whistle, and the airier the sound.
The "Joanie Madden" technique
Joanie described a technique on the Chiff and Fipple message board where you place the mouthpiece against your chin, below your mouth, and blow down into the fipple window (almost as if it were a flute). This is very quiet indeed, but I'm not including it in this comparison as it's a different animal altogether; try it and you'll see why.
(All measurements in dbSPL, A weighted.)
|Whistle||Low D||Low G||High D||High G||High B||Comments|
|Un-tweaked Feadóg Mark III||74||81||93||93||94|
|Un-tweaked Clarke Sweetone||70||78||90||90||93|
|"Standard" Hoover Whitecap||70||78||80||90||90||Best-sounding fipple.|
|Feadóg with Tape Muffler||68||76||86||86||87||Very airy sound. Fiddly.|
|"Quiet" Hoover Whitecap||61||69||82||84||88||Sounds better than un-tweaked whistle. Very low air requirements; harder to play low D and E.|
|Feadóg with "poster putty" tweak||66||68||79||81||84||Airy, mellower than un-tweaked whistle.|
Although the Blu-Tac tweak produces the quietest results, it comes with a considerable cost in terms of tone quality. The "quiet" Hoover Whitecap produces the best tone quality of anything other than a non-quiet Hoover, but has different playing characteristics (much lower air requirements, especially on the low notes) than the other tweaks. Finally, none of the tweaks cuts the volume by a huge amount; 84 dBSPL, while quieter than the un-tweaked whistle, is considerably louder than normal conversation.