absolutely no offense taken - maybe I should have given a bit of the background story as well.
As you realise, this is quite obviously not a product for everyone, and I am fully aware of this. This whistle is neither designed nor manufactured to meet a certain price, only to achieve maximum quality for those who enjoy this sort of product as much as I do myself, and I don't intend to sell thousands of it.
To be honest, if I could have bought this whistle, I'd gladly have done that without thinking twice - except no one made one like this, and as I really wanted one myself, I decided to go the long way and make it.
As to the price tag: Make any of the dirt cheap whistles without an insert, but with the internal reed made from the same piece as the body, and you increase the price multiple times due to the cost of the involved tricky machining processes and special machines. Use titanium, add the according increase in material cost. And because titanium is much (!!) more demanding regarding tool wear and machining time than aluminum or brass, that increases the price significantly again. Even though this is something that most people are not used to thinking about anymore, paying people a fair salary also adds to the price of a product. Etc. etc. So basically if you take a whistle for a few dollars and add the cost of all the things in which mine differs from that one, you will see that you indeed do arrive at a price tag that is more or less what mine will cost.
To give you a different perspective on the pricing: Other makers of very high quality items have successfully introduced and sold whistles before which were priced much higher than this one. Anyone who is interested in whistles will know the guys I am talking of - they dared to make truly exceptional whistles which sold out a long time ago and are now very sought after and only occasionally available second hand at up to twice the original retail price. Why? Because their owners love them and rarely part with them.
You might not be aware of the maths and financial realities of manufacturing products, particularly high quality products. The thing is that, including the prototyping during development - to achieve things like high loudness output in a small package etc. - for just a little bit more than the cost of making a one-off, I can make several. If I make a small handfull, they become even cheaper per piece; and if I make a few dozen or more, cheaper again. This is the reason why I am looking for like minded people who may want one as well - it would make sense for everyone, and it somehow doesn't make sense to do all this development and then only make one or two.
Now whether the features that my concept and design offers above other available models are worth this price is completely up to you to decide for yourself, of course. There are people like me who enjoy these extras every day they carry and use the whistle so much that for them, this question is as easy to answer as it may be for you - you may find it unthinkable for yourself, and that's fine; they get so much enjoyment out of it for a very long time that it's a far better deal for them than a ticket to the movies. Now I'm not judging either opinion; I'm just trying to find those people who would enjoy it as much as I do. I have found quite a few already, and for a while longer I'll be looking around some more before I give the green light to make the whistles.
You are right, this is my first post in this forum. This idea was first born in talking with some friends, and then grew in discussion with some people over at edcforums.com where I have been active for quite some time. Most people who have signed up so far come from there. I am hoping to find some more like minded people in other places on the internet as well, and I am trying to do so before the Early Bird deadline is up which has been extended due to demand, but can't be delayed much further because everyone on the list is eagerly awaiting their whistles. I can't see the crime in that.
All respect, but calling my offer a "ploy" is a bit far fetched. Just because something is done well does not mean it's a commercial exploit of other people. I happen to be an engineer, I have decided to do this myself because it's not available anywhere, and I take pride in doing it right. Of course I am "making money" by selling a few of these whistles in the end, but if you would know the hours that I have put into this and do the maths, you would quickly see that if my aim was earning money, I'd be better off taking about most other jobs that I can possibly think of.
I hope I have explained a bit more of the background of this project. I'm not "pointing a gun at your head demanding money". Not everything that is not for you is automatically a bad thing. People are different, that's just how it is...