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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:33 am 
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Hello!

I'm pretty new to whistling and have been playing a Clarke Sweetone soprano D whistle for a little while and have really fallen in love with the sound and the music.

Anyway, I live in a wet tropical climate and notice that even with my best attempts to dry the whistle after playing, there is fairly substantial rust forming within the interior (after just a few months...). I was wondering if anyone here had any recommendations for a new whistle that fits the following constraints:

- under $50 US or so
- an all-metal body and mouthpiece (or at least not a plastic mouthpiece...)
- and non-steel (...are there all brass, copper, or nickel whistles out there in this price range and is there a general consensus on how these non-steel materials tend to sound?)

Finally, I really enjoy playing in the second and third octaves. With the points above in mind, are there any whistles that sound sweet in the higher realms? My Clarke does sound great playing most notes, but the high D in the second or third octave is painful to hear! This could certainly be my amateur technique, but I wondered if a lowered-keyed whistle would sound better in the high notes??

Thank you all for your time and recommendations and for your patience with my beginner questions! I'm so happy to have found this beautiful world of music! I'm learning to play Inisheer now and feel alive every time I practice...

Rich
Hilo, Hawaii


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:04 am 
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It may not be what you want, but I'll just mention it because i really like them myself...
The Susato brand "Kildare S series" of all-polymer whistles, in either the key of high D or one step lower in C (if you want just a tad easier on the ears). They're $49.99 but without counting shipping.
http://www.susato.com/konakart/Pennywhistles/Kildare/1_144_-1_73.do
I find the C whistle to be very nimble moving between octaves (though I never play in the 3rd octave myself) and has strong volume and clear notes. Of course being all polymer it won't rust. Polymer whistles have their own kind of mellow warmth to the tone, which is different from the tone you get from metal whistles. You might like it- maybe you can find some youtube clips of people playing the higher Susato polymer whistles.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:02 am 
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Location: Middle of Virginia
If you want an all-metal whistle (aluminum, brass, copper), including a metal whistle head under $50, it is going to be very difficult unless you go to the used market. Killarney comes close, but it retails for around $90/95 in the US. But, as Chifmunk said, there are very nice polymer whistles that are in your price range. In addition, the Dixons come in aluminum, nickel, brass, and polymer. They all use polymer heads and fit your price range. I happen to really like the Dixon high D, especially the aluminum model and the all-polymer model. Similar in price to the Killarney is the Tilbury,which is made in Texas. Tilburys are all aluminum, and are priced around the same range as the Killarney.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:38 am 
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See Hermit Hill Folk Instruments economy model for $45.00.

http://www.hhfi.biz/products.html

You just need to know where to look. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:45 am 
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Location: Bitter-cold Michigan
Clarkes, if I recall correctly, are made of tin plate. Tin in its pure form is not a ferrous metal, and while it is subject to tarnish and/or corrosion, anything made of tin will not rust. For rust to form, an iron-based material must be present. Perhaps another member can confirm or deny if a Clarke is made of pure tin or an alloy.

All metal will tarnish and/or corrode if it is left in its as-refined state and exposed to the elements...those processes are the metal attempting to return to its natural state. To hinder or prevent this process, the metal must have a coating applied; polish, plating, and paint are the most common.

Please note that I am aware that Hawaii's climate is not friendly to metal, and I am not saying there is no way your whistle is not suffering as a result of that climate. That said, if the sound of the instrument is not affected, I see no reason to toss it. I will run a paper towel through my whistles if they clog badly enough, and that may be worth doing to help stave off corrosion, too. If you're having a big problem with metal tubes being adversely affected by your climate, a PVC whistle is probably one of your better options.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:46 am 
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Chifmunk wrote:
The Susato brand "Kildare S series" of all-polymer whistles

Are not what I'd recommend to 'sound sweet in the higher realms'. I like them too, but not for that.

Quote:
Polymer whistles have their own kind of mellow warmth to the tone, which is different from the tone you get from metal whistles.

And I'm sorry I can't agree here either. The material probably has negligible effect on the tone.

moonlitnarwhal wrote:
is there a general consensus on how these non-steel materials tend to sound?

Whistles are whistles and sound like whistles. Things like bore, voicing etc. account for far greater differences than material.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:42 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
See Hermit Hill Folk Instruments economy model for $45.00.

http://www.hhfi.biz/products.html

You just need to know where to look. :)


I just checked out the Hermit Hill link. The economy model really is attractively priced. I wish he had sound samples for the economy model high D. I'm going to do a little searching on youtube.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Chifmunk wrote:
The Susato brand "Kildare S series" of all-polymer whistles

Are not what I'd recommend to 'sound sweet in the higher realms'. I like them too, but not for that.

Quote:
Polymer whistles have their own kind of mellow warmth to the tone, which is different from the tone you get from metal whistles.

And I'm sorry I can't agree here either. The material probably has negligible effect on the tone.

moonlitnarwhal wrote:
is there a general consensus on how these non-steel materials tend to sound?

Whistles are whistles and sound like whistles. Things like bore, voicing etc. account for far greater differences than material.


However, when I play my polymer Dixon high D, it really does sound warmer and mellower than its aluminum sibling. For one, the polymer is more quiet. Perhaps, that is what makes it sound mellow and warm to my ears.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:43 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
If you're having a big problem with metal tubes being adversely affected by your climate, a PVC whistle is probably one of your better options.


I would absolutely agree. I actually prefer my susatos to my pure-drop metal instruments. And I certainly don't mind not having to bother with temperature or moisture :lol:

If you want more suggestions, try www.tinwhistler.com and clicking on whistle reviews. Gregg Mahan a.k.a. The Wandering Whistler reviews several whistles with a variety of materials and prices. He also is a frequent poster on C&F.
Cheers!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:41 pm 
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Tyler DelGregg wrote:
However, when I play my polymer Dixon high D, it really does sound warmer and mellower than its aluminum sibling. For one, the polymer is more quiet. Perhaps, that is what makes it sound mellow and warm to my ears.

I find the same when comparing my Dixon brass whistles with my Dixon polymer whistles. The polymer Dixons sound a bit quieter, mellower and warmer. Less chiffy and that pretty metal 'hollow ring' flavor that the brass ones have is not there. There are of course inherent differences in construction with such different materials, but comparisons of the same make and key are about as close as we can practically get?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:43 pm 
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For your climate and salt air, a plastic/PVC whistle might be ideal, and they can sound as nice as any whistle.
I'm not sure the S Series Susato is the way to go here--that's a pretty strident whistle. I'd recommend the V series which is a bit quieter and sweeter. (Check this listing in the UIE for a great deal from a great guy: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=106075.)
Another good (PVC) option could be a Parks whistle, just above your price range: http://parkswhistles.com
And the Dixon PVC is a soft, sweet-sounding whistle.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:46 pm 
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Can't have plastic, can't rust, has to play well in the 3rd octave? And all of that for $50? I'm afraid that is not realistic. Something like that is a custom job, and will probably cost a few hundred dollars from a good maker.

Sweetones are poor whistles, IMO. I strongly recommend NOT basing your opinions about other whistles and their materials on that model. Lots of whistles not named Sweetone have good tone, no rust etc. Most of them have plastic mouthpieces, and they play just fine.

I'd recommend refocusing your requirements to include brass and plastic and then contacting Mack Hoover. (Brass tarnishes to a darkish patina, but it doesn't rust like iron). Not sure of all his prices, but he likes to make quiet whistles. Quiet whistles tend to play better in the upper octaves.

And, yes, all metals corrode. It's just the way mother nature works. Some are more obvious about it than others. Something like aluminum will create a loose layer of dust; most people never notice it. Copper and brass will gain a patina. Some of the harder metals like nickel are more resistant to corrosion, and are often used on woodwind and similar fittings for that reason. I think some of the shinier whistles available are coated in nickel or a nickel alloy. But there are pluses and minuses to every single material, without exception. In the 'bargain' price range that you are asking about, your choices are severely limited. Personally, i like the look of brass patina, and I like the texture of brass in my hands. But I don't live in a salty environment, so take my advice with a grain of, ermm, salt.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:59 pm 
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One other thought: since you like the 3rd octave, you might look into fifes. They aren't incredibly traditional for Irish music, but neither is the 3rd octave. There are some to be had in your price range(in various keys) if you do a search, but I have no experience with the intonation or quality of construction.

There are some links on the web where some good solid trad playing is done on fife. Can't find it right now; maybe somebody here can help.

Oh, and get yourself a pair of earplugs. High notes like that can wreck your hearing.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:13 pm 
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awildman wrote:
Personally, i like the look of brass patina, and I like the texture of brass in my hands. But I don't live in a salty environment, so take my advice with a grain of, ermm, salt.


:lol:

Perhaps a susato oriole might be a good option. The oriole is not as loud nor as piercing as the kildare at least in my experience. I actually prefer my oriole to my kildare, but it's still a close thing. Otherwise, what about a Shaw whistle? They're about the right price and are made of nickel with a wooden plug. Would the nickel shaft be more resistant to corrosion? They do, however, require a lot of breath. This can be adjusted by crimping the windway to reduce the air requirements, but this depends on how mechanically inclined you are :) .
Cheers!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:20 pm 
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BigBpiper wrote:
Perhaps a susato oriole might be a good option.

In a C or Bb, perhaps (I've got the full set), but not in a D for a sweet top. It's bore and simple physics.

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