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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 3:02 am 
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Hi, once again insight sought for future purchase.

I have a nice non-tunable Mk Kelpie low D and wouldn't give it up for the world, but now I need a tunable low D with a different touch. I have an Alba tunable bass Bb and I like it very much, too, and for this reason am rather convinced that the Alba low D would suit me just as much. It's maybe a tad easier to blow in tune, as well, compared to the Kelpie. Would be nice to have a whistle from a different maker for the sake of variation, though.

I've come to understand that Goldie's whistles are very good (and understandably just a tiny bit pricey), but don't know much about the playing qualities, and know nearly nothing about Kerry whistles. My current MK Kelpie low D and the Alba bass Bb are very different in playability, the first needing a lot more air pressure whereas the latter being more "airy". I like that certain amount of "airiness" especially with slow airs and laments, but the higher backpressure gives a sturdier feel in faster music. Would the Kerry or the Goldie be somewhere in between, which is, put simply, what I'm after? Also, if the whistle plays a more in-tune C-natural with OXX OOO -fingering instead of OXX XOX, it's a bonus but not a must.

If you have any opinions or first-hand experience to share, or other suggestions regarding whistles that might fit the description, feel free to shout them out!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:44 am 
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I play a Goldie Low D every day, and have played MK Low Ds for years too.

Colin Goldie makes a variety of designs (I think the main thing is windway height) which all play differently. My Goldie is an older model called "medium blower". Now his models indicate the specific windway height.

Anyhow my MK and Goldie Low Ds are similar in having great air-efficiency and being all-around great players. The main differences are:

1) the MK has a slightly sharp 2nd octave requiring that you strongly blow the low octave and be careful not to overblow the 2nd octave.

2) the Goldie has a stronger Bottom D.

3) the MK has a more complex tone, more gravelly yet more centered.

4) the MK has a lighter/easier 2nd octave, in comparison my Goldie has a stiffer 2nd octave.

5) the Goldie is precisely in tune from Bottom D up to High B. All the MK Low Ds I've owned have had a tuning quirk with either Bottom D being a bit flat, or Middle D being a bit sharp.

I don't have an Alba Low D, and it's difficult to infer how an Alba Low D might play from my Alba Low C and Low E, though they bracket the Low D. This is because the Low C has an unusually wide bore for its size and the Low E has an unusually narrow bore for its size. Odd, that. My Alba Bass A plays much better than either the Low C or the Low E.

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Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 7:48 am 
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A softer blowing Goldie might suit you but the best things to do is phone Colin and explain to him your needs and wishes. He's very approachable and helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Thanks for the input, fellas.
So far you've given me what I was secretly hoping for all along: a reason to get a Goldie.
I guess I'll save up my money and buy one. As my next whistle, at least. We'll see what comes after it. As you know, the need to get new whistles is infinite. :P And yes, making contact to explain my needs and preferences makes sense.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Hooleh wrote:
As you know, the need to get new whistles is infinite.

On the contrary, I'd say it's very small (perhaps infinitesimal) once you've found the right ones!

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And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.


Some old stuff, written and played by me


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Hooleh wrote:
As you know, the need to get new whistles is infinite.

On the contrary, I'd say it's very small (perhaps infinitesimal) once you've found the right ones!


Yes, that will hold true. For a regular person. Someone put it nicely about themselves somewhere a while back - maybe even this forum, I don't remember - that they have a serious case of IAS (Instrument Acquiring Syndrome), which I can totally sympathise with. :lol:

But on a more serious note, it's absolutely true that one doesn't need to have tons of whistles if they have the right one(s). It just happens to be so that whistles are instruments just in the right price range in a way that acquiring a new one will rarely get you bankrupt, but there are still very notable differences between different whistles so it is not money down the drain to have a repertoar.
What I mean is that when it comes to whistles, the threshold to purchase a new instrument (without selling the previous one away) is so much lower than, say, with uilleann pipes, piano, drums etc.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:20 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
I'd say it's very small (perhaps infinitesimal) once you've found the right ones!


I beg to differ on two grounds

1) if you do "legit" gigs you really need high and low whistles to cover every chromatic key, so from the get-go you need a dozen or so whistles. (A piece has 6 sharps, and you grab a whistle that does it... then the composer says "I need that an octave lower" and you'd better have that whistle.) Of course it's different if somebody is a pure ITM session player, where you really only need one whistle. (For sure I've shown up at sessions with a D only.)

2) (and this is the main thing) the perfect whistle has never, and can never, be made. Each whistle is a balance of compromises, and each whistle balances those compromises in a unique way.

Yes your current "right one" is the best balance of the whistles you've been able to try, but that doesn't mean that there aren't whistles that do it better (perhaps yet to be made, perhaps by makers who haven't started making yet).

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Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:44 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I beg to differ on two grounds

You might well, but you're actually misinterpreting me because I agree with everything you say below...

Quote:
1) if you do "legit" gigs you really need high and low whistles to cover every chromatic key, so from the get-go you need a dozen or so whistles. (A piece has 6 sharps, and you grab a whistle that does it... then the composer says "I need that an octave lower" and you'd better have that whistle.)

Yes, I have a complete chromatic set from high E to low D (well, pending imminent alto F# and G# bodies) from one maker. In my case, Hans Bracker. They cover perhaps 80 to 90% of my needs.

Quote:
2) (and this is the main thing) the perfect whistle has never, and can never, be made. Each whistle is a balance of compromises, and each whistle balances those compromises in a unique way.

And I also have multiple options for some 'core' sizes including (but not limited to) the obvious high D, where my most-played alternatives are Killarney, two solid-brass Dixons, Bracker narrow bore and Susato Dublin (?), but I have more (at least Feadog MkI, Dixon Trad, Mellow Dog, Susato Oriole, Eagle two-piece) and had yet more now sold (at least classic Generation, Shaw, Impempe, Alba, Chieftain).

Quote:
Yes your current "right one" is the best balance of the whistles you've been able to try, but that doesn't mean that there aren't whistles that do it better (perhaps yet to be made, perhaps by makers who haven't started making yet).

Not disputing that either, but what I am dismissing is the almost mythical 'WHOAD' so beloved of this board and the notion that we all just have to keep buying whistles for the sake of having more or (quite possibly in some cases) not being able to play the ones we've got. I have little need for new whistles because I'm happy with what I've got, not because I've restricted myself to one of each pitch. So there's no infinite need. That's all.

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Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.


Some old stuff, written and played by me


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:02 am 
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Whoa, I guess it's nice that my little remark stirred this much conversation. As I intended to let you understand above, I meant it as a joke rather than an actual need for new whistles all the time. Personally I like to have many whistles to achieve different kinds of touches and nuances in playing, and also to play non-trad music with other instruments, although certain whistles are bound to become the favourite and the most used. But despite I do "suffer" from the "IAS", I'm quite careful not to get more whistles than I will actually play at least somewhat actively.

But yes, I agree that there are reasons to get more whistles, both just for the fun of it and for the sake of having a professional and as versatile a collection as possible. But on the other hand, I believe there are feasible justifications for not having a huge collection, as well, so I'm not saying that having tons of whistles is any kind of a requrement whatsoever.

But still, as per the actual topic, if you have any whistle maker suggestions yet to share, please do!


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:25 am 
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My initial WHOAD was cured quite some time ago. For high D I'm covering basically all I need with a Bluebird and an Impempe. (I guess if I ever wanted to play in the 3rd octave I could find a use for the Meg..). I have one whistle for each of a few more keys. It's enough. I recently got a low-priced low D (Becker - I made a typo in another thread where I wrote 'Decker', but I can't edit it), which I will be using until I either figure I would like something else (as I'm new to low D), or it's sufficient. But I don't feel the urge for getting new whistles anymore.
(Well, I still haven't found a high C I'm happy with. The Impempe C I bought is, unfortunately, nothing like the Impempe D. I have a couple of other, cheap C whistles that I don't like either. But I don't need C that much anyway. If I come across one I like I'll buy it, but I won't be ordering new ones again and again just in the hope of getting a good one.)


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