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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:48 pm 
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It's tempting to want a "better" whistle, but you need to figure out what you are really looking for.

Do you know where you are with respect to these two decisions?:
- Session whistle with more volume vs smaller bore with sweeter second octave
- Woody, Recorder-like sound quality vs metallic/crisp, chiffy sound quality

For my taste:
- I prefer a sweet second octave with light breath, and I'm willing to give up volume.
- I also prefer a crisp sound with a bit of chiff

That leads me to vastly prefer the Killarney.

But, your taste may differ.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:19 am 
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I really don't want to start one of the old fashioned 'this whistle is reliable and the awful cheap ones are not' barney. However, in my experience very few whistles makes are particularly consistent, you want to pick the right one, regardless of price and type. I don't have a lot of experience with Dixons. I had a Trad that I didn't like, it played but I didn't like the way it handled and the tone was at best in different. I remember going into Custy's many years ago and trying all Dixons they had at the time, each and every one I tried (perhaps a dozen) had a raspy unpleasant octave. I never bothered with them again.

Nearly all whistles have a 'sweet spot', it's the spot where you position the head, tuning slide or whatever means they have of tuning. Once you position your whistlehead in that sweet spot, I don't see why your average Generation or Feadóg should be more out of tune than any other whistle, except for driver error.

I made the point before and I will make it again: I do most of my playing, and arguably my best, on those horrible cheap whistles, I love how they handle, their responsiveness and their sweetness, I also play Sindts, Killarneys and in between the Cillian O'Briain is favourite with the Potter handy for sweetness. But it's the old cheap ones I always go back to.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:56 am 
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Mr Gumby, I'm interested as well to buy a D high whistle.

As far as I'm concerned, I have considered a Jerry Freeman's Mellow Dog D/C set or a Blackbird (I've often read there was good value for money), but now, I will think about an O'Briain or a Potter as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:25 am 
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Don't take my word for it. Consider what it is exactly that you want from a whistle, what type of music you want to play and perhaps what sort of style. The whistles I mentioned suit me, but you know, different strokes and all that.

The Potter I have is not a loud whistle, by some peoples' standards, and I wouldn't want it that way. It handles very easily and responsively, is very well balanced but sometimes I think it is perhaps like some 'tweaked' whistles I have seen that were tweaked within an inch of their life. I like playing it but after a while I sometimes feel it was maybe designed to be played in a church or something like that, it's very prim and proper, very well behaved and civilised. That's fine on some days but on other days I want perhaps a bit more edge. But it's well designed and well made at a reasonable enough price although postage cost outside the US can be prohibitive.

The O'Briain has a more lively, fuller tone with a bit more edge to it. But these things are fairly subjective and you really have to pick them to please yourself. But these fit in nicely with the overall, Generation, Feadóg, Oak, Sindt, Killarney et al style of whistle (I'll avoid the 'T' word) , if that's your thing, each a little different but broadly fitting the same aesthetic and style.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:40 am 
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I think the Dixon is already pretty "high-end" in itself. A Clarke "Sweetone" is much cheaper (just bought one today for 6,90 €). I also bought the (in)famous "Thomann" 5-€-Susato-knock-off and it's pretty awesome for the price but the highest notes can be a bit tricky. I have a few "cheap" whistles (pennywhistles were invented to be cheap, so IMO nothing wrong with a cheap whistle) -- Feadog, a few Clarkes and Generations. They're all good but have their own character and in the end it boils down to personal preference. I have to say however that some of the really "high-end" whistles sound sometimes too "clean", too much like a recorder (especially some high-end wood whistles I heard on youtube). IMO a tinwhistle needs a certain "chiffiness" and a slightly "breathy" sound. I don't think there is any need to upgrade. But some people (like me) simply have the "collector's gene" and will always be on the look-out for something "better" or simply different from the whistles they already have.
One of the biggest differences between different models (and this has nothing to do with the price) for me is the playability of certain fingerings. On the Thomann-Susato-knock-off I can play a perfect G# like this XXOXXX and it's the only one of my whistles that can do this -- the Generation C almost can do it, too. That has however nothing to do with price or quality and you'd have to try a whistle in order to find out about these fingerings. To me they make some songs much easier to play. Another note is the C (on a whistle in D) which on some whistles can be played like this OXXOOO. And some whistles can reach a few notes above the second octave with cross-fingerings. To me personally that is an important aspect since I like to play many songs that are not typically played on a thinwhistle.
Just some thoughts -- I'll stop now before getting too OT :D .


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:36 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
I also bought the (in)famous "Thomann" 5-€-Susato-knock-off and it's pretty awesome for the price but the highest notes can be a bit tricky.

I have to say however that some of the really "high-end" whistles sound sometimes too "clean", too much like a recorder (especially some high-end wood whistles I heard on youtube). IMO a tinwhistle needs a certain "chiffiness" and a slightly "breathy" sound.


Duh duh duuhh. How dare you insult my lovely wooden whistles :lol: ! On a more serious note, my Milligan doesn't sound at all like a recorder (at least to my ears) and has a really nice amount of chiff. Granted, mine is in dymondwood so I can't really compare it to the ones in blackwood, rosewood, etc.

I had a woodnote whistle in C a while back (very similar if not identical to the Thomann you mentioned) and it had the same issues with the second octave. One thing that I did to improve it was to take a tiny amount of plumber's putty (maybe a teardrop amount) and smooth it underneath the labium. It played much easier in the second octave after that and became a sweet little whistle. Maybe this might help you with yours :)
Cheers!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Ops, sorry :thumbsup: . Like I wrote -- it's just a few that sounded a bit recorder-y to me (or is it "recorder-ish" :D ). I'm certain there's many, many superb sounding high-end-whistles out there.

The "problems" of the "Thomann" can be managed but thanks for the tip -- for the price I might as well try to mod it. I decided to get a proper Susato anyway sooner or later. Not much of a fan of Chinese knock-offs but I thought "why not, for 5 bucks?". Wanted to try if I like a plastic whistle at all (so far I only have some that I made myself from PVC-tubing -- the ones I bought were all metal however, except for a Tony Dixon low D flute). It does have its advantages...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:28 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
I decided to get a proper Susato anyway sooner or later.


Yeah, that's what I ended up doing as well. Susatos are superb instruments with a little bit of practice. I know many whistlers had issues controlling the second octave (at least in the S series), but honestly, once you get used to them there really nice. And they play much more smoothly than the knock-offs.


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