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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:06 am 
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I expect that there has been at least one other of these threads, giving reviews of the Killarney brass bodied whistle. Can't remember; too lazy to look. :wink:

But I promised to give some feedback when my brass body Killarney arrived; in particular, feedback on the differences, if any, between the brass body and the nickel body Killarney whistle.

So here goes ...


Ordering was as painless as last time. I ordered my new whistle online directly from the Killarney whistles website on Sunday 3rd April 2016. I received a confirmation of my order the next morning with a statement that “You can expect delivery in approx 2 weeks.” I received the whistle on Thursday 14th so just 10 days and that’s coming from Ireland to the UK. As usual for Killarney, exceeding expectations.

The whistle is gorgeous. (Pics to follow.) I ordered a pouch with it as well for an extra €5. It’s a solidly made pouch and will protect the thing. A completely unnecessary luxury in my opinion, but nice anyway and hardly expensive.

I was already raving about my nickel body Killarney whistles. But this one is, at least for me, even better. It’s easier to play, in that the nickel body one requires so little breath that it can tend to break into the second octave, whereas that doesn’t happen with this brass one, which requires just slightly more breath. It’s got a lovely, old-fashioned tone in the bottom octave, rounded – almost plummy, if that makes sense. It transitions smoothly to the second octave where the tone is clear, bright and … well, just lovely. It’s actually hard to tell the brass body whistle and nickel body whistle apart in the second octave. Both have a pure sound in the second octave, but, as with the lower octave, this new brass bodied whistle is just a tad louder.

There’s not all that much of what I call “chiff” with this whistle; but there is enough to punctuate the beginnings of notes nicely and give flow to the tune when you play it. (There’s slightly more chiff to the sound of the nickel body.) It’s very responsive – both the brass and nickel are – so rolls and other ornaments flow well (or at least they would if I were any good).

There are very slight differences in the hole size and spacing, and also in the ramp, which is just slightly deeper in this newer, brass body whistle. I wonder if that’s because, good though they have been from the start, they’re actually getting even better. Because, overall, I do prefer this brass body whistle. To me it feels and looks nicer too. (I’m not getting rid of the older one though! :-)

It occurred to me that a lot of the differences between the two whistles may be because of the head, which is just slightly different (as you’ll see when I put pics up). So, of course, in good C&F tradition, I swapped the heads. A lot of the differences were lessened when I did that, but not all. The old head played pretty well on the brass bodied whistle and I slightly preferred the sound to the old head on the nickel bodied whistle; the new head (from the brass bodied whistle) improved the nickel bodied whistle; but the best combination was definitely the new head on the brass bodied whistle.

I think maybe I’ll use the nickel whistle for when I want to play a tiny bit quieter, and the brass bodied whistle the rest of the time. Having said which, the difference in volume is not huge, just a very small difference.

I thought I’d just whip out my old Gen D which has long been my benchmark whistle. Funnily enough, the nickel bodied whistle plays and sounds closer to it. Both Killarneys are very close to the old Gen sound though. The scale’s better though! (I.E. the Killarneys are very in tune across their range, whilst there are some awkward notes with the Gen.)

Overall, both are great whistles and congratulations to Killarney for making these, and such great prices too.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:14 am 
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I wholeheartedly agree with all your sentiments. Plus, on mine, the pin in the head is no longer flush...it's back to protruding a bit (my first protruded a lot, my second had the pin flush) which I really like because it does keep it from rolling off the table at session.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:44 am 
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Jayhawk wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree with all your sentiments. Plus, on mine, the pin in the head is no longer flush...it's back to protruding a bit (my first protruded a lot, my second had the pin flush) which I really like because it does keep it from rolling off the table at session.

... and I agree with that too. I haven't tried the brass one at a session yet - I've road-tested the nickel bodied one. Both have protruding pins and I really like it, for the reason you say, plus it seems aesthetic to me. The nickel one performs well at sessions - totally in tune and plenty loud enough without being a shouter. I'm expecting the brass to perform at least equally as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:47 am 
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Mine works well at session, and I do think it's a tad louder and the lower octave tone....was it jammier you said...but I agree. They are definitely improving as they go, and the brass body is lovely. I have received a lot more compliments on the brass one than the nickel based on looks alone.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:08 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:54 am 
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And now for your delectation and delight ...

... recordings (on phone voice recorder thingie) of all three of the above whistles, not necessarily in the above order. It's perfectly obvious to me which is which. :wink:

(BTW apologies, of course, for the rubbish whistling from me. I'm overtired and ludicrously out of practice. :sniffle: :puppyeyes: )

Whistle A
Whistle B
Whistle C

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:00 am 
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I'll chime in to say my brass Killarney arrived yesterday (ahead of schedule), and it's fabulous in every way! My (current model) Feadog D, which isn't an objectionable whistle and has been serving me well enough the past several months, sounds like an asthmatic buzz-saw by comparison. (OK, that's hyperbolic, but let's just say I won't be switching back and forth.) There are a number of good whistles out there--cheap to more expensive--and I would put this among the best, and at a price that's very reasonable.

I concur with Ben's tonal description; it has a really classic tin whistle sound--full round low notes, nice chirp, and sweet high notes. Air requirements are excellent, too--it doesn't take extra push for the high notes, but the bottom notes aren't shrinking violets. I'm looking forward to playing it at a session tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:52 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
... recordings (on phone voice recorder thingie) of all three of the above whistles, not necessarily in the above order. It's perfectly obvious to me which is which. :wink:

A is the new Killarney, B the Gen, and C the old Killarney.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:21 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
... recordings (on phone voice recorder thingie) of all three of the above whistles, not necessarily in the above order. It's perfectly obvious to me which is which. :wink:

A is the new Killarney, B the Gen, and C the old Killarney.

Interesting. Not quite right. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Got the Killarneys the wrong way round, then? (Please don't tell me you like B best!)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Got the Killarneys the wrong way round, then? (Please don't tell me you like B best!)

Ok. Yes, you've got it. The last one is the brass. The Gen is the most difficult to play - if I was more in practice with it, I'm not sure that it wouldn't be the best. But the Killarneys are such a joy to play. They're easy (relative to the Gen) and the same basic sort of sound.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:05 am 
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Quote:
The Gen is the most difficult to play


I was struck by this observation and couldn't help thinking about how subjective this sort of observation is : to my mind all whistles from the same group (of D whistles), be they Sindt, Killarney, Feadóg, Generation, Oak, Blackbird and perhaps the Potter, seem to fall within the same area of playability without a demand for conscious adjusting. I would note that the Sindt and Killarney require perhaps a bit more (physical) effort while the Potter perhaps wants some holding back but I wouldn't think of any of them as more or less difficult to play.

If anything, I would like to single out the Killarney Eflat. It is exceptionally lovely to play and has speaks with an effortless clarity. It has just that bit more sparkle than the D. But YMMV.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:40 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
The Gen is the most difficult to play


I was struck by this observation and couldn't help thinking about how subjective this sort of observation is

Fair enough. It definitely is subjective. Perhaps it would help if I refined my comment a bit. The scale on the Gen is not perfect; therefore there is a greater requirement for adjustment between different notes (note that this may be just this one particular Gen, as with my other comments here). The Gen does have more of a tendency to squeak, or break into the upper octave, if you're not precise with breath control. Because of these things, since I'm not playing that whistle all of the time, it can be a bit wild. The Killarneys are very smooth (even breath requirement) across their range and their tuning is better than that of the Gen so there is less need for adjustment.

Does that make sense? And, again, we're talking about individual whistles here rather than me generalising about all Gens, or all Killarneys for that matter.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:45 am 
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My comment wasn't meant as a criticism, I merely reflected on subjectivity and how strongly perceptions can differ from on person to the next. Perhaps it's the monday morning.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:58 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
My comment wasn't meant as a criticism, I merely reflected on subjectivity and how strongly perceptions can differ from on person to the next. Perhaps it's the monday morning.

I didn't take your post as a criticism. I was interested in the point you raised. I agree that it's subjective. And perceptions do vary a lot, of course.

The whole thing's fascinating to me. How can one ever review something and make it meaningful to others? Because you're right, Mr G, you could pick up those three whistles and have a completely different view from mine. That's partly why I posted clips of me playing those whistles - so that people can gauge what sort of player I am (style as well as standard) and make adjustments accordingly. I guess it might be better still to get a couple of others to play them and see what results they get. If I can find anybody around me who can play whistle, I'll give that a go.

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