Really cool wind chimes for a gift?
October 26, 2015 8:41 AM   Subscribe

My wife loves wind chimes and her birthday is coming I'd like to find something special for the back yard. Does anyone have some wind chimes/bells that are unique or that they really love?

We have some neighbors across a fence - not particularly close and we can't hear their normal conversation or anything like that - but I want to make sure to get something that will be particularly sonorous and non-annoying, to us either. I'm thinking bong-bong and not tinkle-tinkle. Quiet is fine, this would be for us to enjoy while we're on the back terrace with a fire going. Added difficulty: needed by Wednesday. Thank you!
posted by ftm to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know where you live, but in my medium-sized city, we have a bird food store that sells very large wind chimes. They make a sound that puts me mindful of Phillip Glass. Perhaps you could start by checking with a place like that?
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 8:49 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

If your profile is to be believed, Wild Birds Unlimited is not far from you and they carry tons and tons of unique chimes. Pop over and take a listen!!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:52 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

A Cape Cod buoy bell is exactly what you are looking for. Here's a link to one. I'll try and find a authentic Cape Cod manufacturer for you later today.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:55 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could also try your local garden centre(s) they quite often have wind chimes, but because sound is such a personalized thing, you might want to make a creative IOU for her birthday then let her pick something out.
posted by redindiaink at 9:04 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a set of Corinthian Bells I received as a gift. I think they're beautiful and love the sound. They're also covered in bird poop, but hey, what're ya gonna do?
posted by Pacrand at 9:10 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mr Otter Handler bought me a lovely wind chime from Woodstock. Highly recommended - theirs are musically tuned! Link is being stupid, but visit
posted by Otter_Handler at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

PS, the one I have is called the "Heroic Windbell" - it has a very deep satisfying tone.
posted by Otter_Handler at 9:25 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Woodstock Chimes (.com) has several Bong Bong chimes. Don't know about delivery by Wed.
posted by donaken at 9:36 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Otter_Handler, that one sounds great and is Prime-able; I noticed some of the reviews say it takes a ton of wind to sound. Can I ask you to chime rimshot in on that? I'd like something we can hear when there's a breeze and I trust the least trustworthy MeFi poster more than I trust the most trustworthy Amazon reviewer.
posted by ftm at 9:48 AM on October 26, 2015

Woodstock Chimes won me over after seeing this video. Coincidentally, we were given a set from them a few years prior, and they are lovely.
posted by goggie at 10:54 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I have the gregorian chimes from Woodstock and they don't take a ton of wind. The tones are made by a relatively light clapper that hangs in the center of the chimes. When the wind is strong enough for the chimes to hit one another, the tone isn't is nice.
posted by janey47 at 10:55 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Chiming in to recommend Woodstock as well. They don't take that much wind, and make a lovely sound. They are indeed tuned; this here musician-eared person very much enjoys them.

The only time I've had the chimes hit one another has been when a storm is rolling in, so they're also unexpectedly practical that way.
posted by fraula at 11:02 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sorry to keep sitting - are these guys (i.e., the gregorian) okay to be hung in the elements? This won't be under an eave or overhang.
posted by ftm at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2015

This will probably be cut, but, have you considered asking your neighbors what kind they would like?
If you were my neighbor I would be starting legal proceedings.
posted by H21 at 11:30 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

This will probably be cut, but, have you considered asking your neighbors what kind they would like?
No, if I judge that the neighbors will be able to hear them from day to day, I will not hang them. We take a lot of garden produce and baked goods back and forth because they're such lovely people, and so I'll have ample opportunity to make said judgement.

If you were my neighbor I would be starting legal proceedings.
posted by ftm at 11:54 AM on October 26, 2015

Thanks y'all, I'm going to try the Heroic. The Gregorian look nice... too nice! The backyard is unsecured and I think something so shiny and nice would be more likely to waltz off than the Heroic in a subtle finish. Thanks for the woodstock suggestions and all the others as well!
posted by ftm at 11:58 AM on October 26, 2015

I have this guy: Sound sample is included. I have it hanging on out front porch under an eave, but the striker picks up breezes readily and if you are not hanging it in an enclosed area, shouldn't be a problem to get plenty of sound.
posted by Otter_Handler at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I hung mine under an eave -- remember that they have to hang on something, but they're not protected. I replaced mine last year after my first set deteriorated after more than a decade. I'm not handy or I might have been able to fix the problem -- which was simply that tie to which is affixed the "clapper" for lack of a better word had finally had enough exhaust etc so that it shredded. They are about as exposed to the elements as you can get, actually.

I'm on the third floor of an apartment building in a residential section of San Francisco. My chimes are audible at least 75% of the time and people seem to like them because the tone is really pretty, deep, not "tinkly".
posted by janey47 at 12:10 PM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Late to this, but just in case and for anyone's future reference: They travel to several renaissance fairs around the country. Their chimes come in different sizes and tunings, such as a Pentatonic scale. I got a set for my Mom several years ago and she loves them.
posted by dnash at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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