Didg-shopping at a distance
What are the criteria and ways of selection?
Without looking at the instrument we can say the following:
1. The price for an authentic tube hollowed out by termites can range from 100-200 to 5 000 y.e. Drilled Indonesian eucalyptus tubes are not taken into consideration.
2. Criteria of price formation are: quality of sounding (not only sound itself but acoustic possibilities of an instrument) and appearance. It is obvious that the tube which sounds well but looks unpresentable may be cheaper than that one which sounds middling but is enchased with diamonds. Perhaps the quality of sounding together with other consumer characteristics will overshadow diamonds. Nobody knows.
3. It is necessary to understand that a seller is not a simpleton and wont sell a perfectly-sounding instrument cheaper than it really costs.
4. Brand is also important. The price for similar instruments of an unknown Australian native and e.g. David Blanasi will be different..
Can we evaluate this or that instrument at a distance seeing only its photo (while buying via Internet)?
There is no audio gain in the model which has code name Almost Uniform (Internal) Diameter. There is not a bell. It is not a fact that there is an internal resonator. As a result performing possibilities of such instruments may be limited. Though if there is a bell, it means that sound of the instrument is stronger and may be somehow unstable in tone. So the situation is ambiguous in this case.
Generally speaking didgeridoo is the combination of different, sometimes contradicting parameters.
If the instrument has a fixed diameter, low tone can be established within a minimum length of the instrument. In other words we have one advantage - compactness. But the disadvantage is poor sound. If we want to intensify sound and make it richer, we need a bell and to make the internal channel wider. But it means that tone will be higher within the same length. That is why the instrument that has low tone and rich sound will be rather long.
Datura helped me to buy my first eucalyptus didg without seeing it. Several instruments (five or six) at the price of 200-300 euros were selected by Datura in the shop. After that he recorded their sound and sent me. After listening to the recording I chose the two of them. The final choice was made with tossing a coin.
To sum up Id like to say the following: buying without seeing an instrument is just buying an authentic instrument. The rest of it is like a lottery. But what is raffled off? These are characteristics which influence sound of an instrument. Perhaps they are not important to consumers yet. When I did not know about these characteristics, all didges were the same for me: if it could drone, it was all right. But Datura was always searching out something. I asked him what he was looking for? And he explained me the drawbacks of this or that instrument. Of course I didnt understand and considered him a queer fellow. But after listening to and playing a quantity of instruments you start realizing what characteristics you like most of all and what you want. As a result you start painstakingly selecting instruments. So I am a queer fellow too now.. :-)
And the last thought is:
It is evident that while learning it is much better to play the good guitar than a plank with strings. Sound and response of a good instrument inspire a pupil. Stimulus is very important. But when playing turns out to be a struggle with an instrument, you waste your time and strength which could be spent to improve your performing skills.