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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Hello All! It's been a while. :o

I've come seeking the collective smarts of the whistle community. For the longest time I have been using a Susato medium bore A for my A whistle needs, but want to upgrade. I'm looking for something with nicer tone and tuning as well as better control between octaves.

Long a fan of Burkes, I got a Brass A. Lovely and does what I expect as mentioned above, but it is too soft to play at session. Just no presence at all. I may end up doing some recordings with it, but likely not.

I have recently been impressed with McManus C/D set and I see that Misha is making an MK- A these days. The videos all sound good but I need something that is going to have some presence to it. "Susato loud" but without the warts.

What are all of you using for a nice sounding loud and in control A Whistle these days.

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Scott McCallister

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:01 am 
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I have a Colin Goldie Overton A that I like a lot. Mine is non tunable, but it's right on the mark. I used it for several years in an Irish band with no tuning problems.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:39 pm 
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Alba A vs MK A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkL_owJ5r0s


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 pm 
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You might want to consider a Reyburn whistle.

Very pleased with the three keys I have and all are on the loud side compared to other brands I have played. While I don't have an A, I strongly suspect that his A whistle will follow the trend.

Ronaldo Reyburn was very quick to respond to all my questions and you can post questions directly to his website.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Yes there's something about the tone about Susatos I just don't like. It's not just the tone, it's something more that I can't put my finger on, something about the voicing maybe. I do feel that Susatos get better as they get bigger, and the Low D and Low C are very nice.

I used to have two different Susato A's, one was an early one, the sort machined out of ABS stock, with a wooden block. It was a wonderful player, much nicer than the current Susatos. Its bore and the balance between strength in the low octave and ease in the 2nd octave was just right. It was rather loud.

The other Susato A was their more recent style with injection-moulded head. It had a very narrow bore, like their High D's. Its tuning and voicing were spot-on and it was a very sweet player, on the quiet side.

I had a Burke A, aluminium, which was very nice. Great tuning and voicing, with a strong loud low octave but a reasonably civilised 2nd octave. Like all the Burkes I've had the responsiveness of the 2nd octave was a bit stiff and it took a large quantity of air. Like all Burkes it was a high quality professional instrument.

If the MK A plays anything like the several MK D's I've owned, it will have a unique dusky tone, be rather loud, have an easy light responsive 2nd octave, and be extremely air-efficient.

I've owned Albas in three different keys (not A) and each was voiced rather differently, one having an exceptionally wide bore for its pitch, another having an exceptionally narrow bore for its pitch, and one being just right (like the three little bears).

Hopefully somebody will chime in who has experience with A's from Susato, Burke, MK, and Alba and give some insight into how they all compare.

As to what I use, I got a Sindt A/Bb/B set that was supberb. The A far outplayed my Susatos and Burke and I got rid of those.

Slightly better than that Sindt, in my opinion, was my home-made A body on a Freeman Tweaked Generation Bb head. It's the best A I've played, and that's what I use now. It's not very loud, though. I chose quality over volume.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:02 am 
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Several months ago I changed the bore of the tweaked A Generations. They are now a standard bore, which should improve the volume. The earlier version had a larger bore tube than the Bb, so the one you converted from a Bb would have been even narrower bore than my old, narrow-bore A's. Richard, I'll be happy to send you a current model if you'll PM your mailing address. I believe I owe you some whistles from an old transaction, so I won't charge for it.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:57 pm 
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I have both Burke Brass and MK whistles in "A". I love both of them. I have heard that the Carbony whistles are loud. You might take a look at them as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:04 am 
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Jerry Freeman wrote:
Several months ago I changed the bore of the tweaked A Generations. They are now a standard bore, which should improve the volume. The earlier version had a larger bore tube than the Bb, so the one you converted from a Bb would have been even narrower bore than my old, narrow-bore A's. Richard, I'll be happy to send you a current model if you'll PM your mailing address. I believe I owe you some whistles from an old transaction, so I won't charge for it.


Thanks for the offer! PM will be sent.

I made my "A" body from hobby tubing which is slightly larger ID than the Generation Bb tubing. I soldered the two together to get a nice fit to the head. It has a very sweet 2nd octave and full round low octave, which as I said I liked a tiny bit better than the Sindt "A" I had.

Here, on the left

Image

I wonder what bore for an "A" would be considered standard. I've seen Susato A's with four different bores (three on the new model and one on the old) and the Sindt's was much narrower than the Burke's, and on it goes. Probably if you got those four Susatos, the Sindt, Burke, and MK together they would have seven different bores, it wouldn't surprise me.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:11 am 
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Greg Connor wrote:
I have both Burke Brass and MK whistles in "A". I love both of them.


I would love to hear about your impressions, comparing those two.

I had a Burke "A" and it was loud but with the slightly stiff 2nd octave and huge air appetite which characterises Burkes.

I would expect the MK to have an easier, more nimble 2nd octave and be more air-efficient as well as having a more complex tone, by analogy with my comparison between the MK and Burke Low Ds. But such analogies are often false, I've found.

Is that your impression of your two A's?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Not to hijack the thread, but I've seen an A whistle by "Shearwater" with a pinky hole for low G natural, which seems pretty handy for Scottish music especially. Does anyone have any experience with either that make or other whistles with that feature?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:04 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Greg Connor wrote:
I have both Burke Brass and MK whistles in "A". I love both of them.


I would love to hear about your impressions, comparing those two.

I had a Burke "A" and it was loud but with the slightly stiff 2nd octave and huge air appetite which characterises Burkes.


I know what you are talking about with Burke Whistles and Air. My Burke Low D puts me to the test every time I play it. Neither of the Mezzo A whistles are like that. They both seem stable in both octaves. The Burke and MK have distinctively different tone, especially since my Burke is brass. I like them both!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:25 pm 
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5/8 inch inside diameter is about right for a standard bore A whistle. I use 21/32 outside diameter brass tubing with a .014 wall thickness. That makes the inside diameter 5/8 inch plus about three thousandths.

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Joanie Madden's Freeman whistle soundclips

You can purchase my whistles:
on eBay http://stores.ebay.com/freemanwhistles
directly from me: email jerry ("at") freemanwhistles ("dot") com,
from one of the vendors who carry Freeman whistles.


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