How can I choose didgeridoo (tone, bell, length and sort of wood)?
Obviously, the choice of didgeridoo is very crucial but it may be less difficult if you dont know anything about this instrument or on the contrary you have detailed information about all necessary characteristics of didgeridoo. But in case you heard something somewhere or saw but didnt understand how it could influence the choice of the instrument, your choice might be painful.
Id like to express my view to this point in order to make your choice easier.
Why do instruments made of various sorts of wood sound differently?
Firstly, there are two reasons why didges can sound differently. (quality of woodworking is regarded to be excellent)
1. The first reason is that two instruments have different internal acoustic structure (arrangement)
2. The second one is that two instruments having the same acoustic configurations are made of various sorts of wood.
After you clearly realize these two reasons, the second question emerges: why didges made of various sorts of wood sound differently?
Id like to emphasize again that the shape of acoustic channel can easily make sound of wood worse. So lets consider that there are no complaints against acoustic characteristics of the instrument.
To make sure I want to say again that I was very surprised at the difference in sounding of the instrument in which internal acoustics was built correctly. By the way a sort of wood was not taken into account.
For example lets take wood that is not very suitable to manufacture a musical instrument (birch) and make a didg of correct shape. You will be astonished when understand that all sorts of cheap gnarled eucalyptus, bamboo and particularly reed didges are not up to the mark. And it also applies to the instruments cut out by those who have no experience of working with wood because the following things are crucial in this case:
- how thickness of wood is observed if thickness is the same within the whole instrument, the sound will be amplified(intensified);
- how wood has been processed and impregnated;
- how fast the instrument has been made in order to avoid asymmetrical curvatures of a half-finished product after it was cut up;
- how accurate grooves or tracks of termites have been cut out.
So you have a correct didg.
At first you are so fascinated with sound of this instrument that it doesnt really matter for you what sort of wood (birch, maple or something else) it is made of.
But as soon as you get used to sound, you start going into details and so the question emerges: how each sort of wood sounds? To tell the truth I havent answered the question yet. I have never had two instrument that had the same shape but were made of different sorts of wood.
I suppose that instruments N7 and N8 were similar. Both of them were nearly F. They were being produced according to the same scheme. But one was made of alder and the other was made of maple. Frankly speaking I didnt find out any difference between them then and hesitated for a long time which of them I should choose for my collection.
After the lapse of time I can sum up. Maple is better than alder but alder is better than birch to some extent. For example, you especially feel resonance characteristics of the instrument made of maple when you start overloading it. In this case it starts working and growling. The advantage of alder is that it is a lightweight tree. Didgeridoo made of alder gives the feeling of lightness.
But it doesnt mean that birch is not suitable. Nothing of the kind. Birch absorbs impregnation very well. It gives the feeling of playing something solid.
As a result I would not evaluate sorts of wood, for example, in descending order of preferences. It would be silly and not professional.
The final slogan is that a correct didg (made of any sort of wood) is better than whichever one made of the best sort of wood. :-)