It is currently Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:18 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Wyoming
The thread about when people got started playing the whistle got me thinking about the various whistles I've owned over the 20-odd years I've been playing. Here's my list--what's yours?

My very first whistle was given to me in high school--a chintzy Cooperman from Colonial Williamsburg. A drop dinged the head, and I never got it to sound right again. My first real whistle--a Feadog--came back from Ireland with a college friend who had been studying abroad. Chiff & Fipple (the witty email newsletter and website) was starting up around that time, so I become emboldened by stories of tweaking, eventually rendering the Feadog unplayable. Little did I know that a virulent strain of WhOA was incubating in me...

A couple of years later, a great concert reignited my enthusiasm for the whistle/Irish music, so I bought another Feadog...followed by assorted Clarkes (Originals and Sweetones and a Whistle Shop Tweaked Original), Generations, Waltons, Oaks, Clares, and Susatos. I made the jump to 'expensive' whistles with a Burke AlPro. Then came a Reyburn D/C set, followed by a couple of Sindts (in D and A). I briefly had an Overton but then decided to spare my long-suffering neighbors (it was pretty loud). A narrow-bore Hoover resolved that, and I also had one of his white-caps. As I recall, there was always an unabated flow of various cheapies and at least one Dixon Trad, as well as another Burke (narrow-bore brass this time). Then I had some of Jerry Freeman's creations: a Mellow-Dog and a Bluebird. Also in the mix was an old Mark I or II Feadog. All of these whistles were high--the lowest was a Sindt A. So then it was time for a Lunasa-inspired low F: a Humphrey. In recent years, I also spent some time with an Alba low D, and curiosity about wooden whistles landed me a Milligan. I also had a Killarney for a while. And I think that's the whole list...

I'm one of those people who doesn't keep unused instruments around, so at one point or another, all of these were sold, traded, or given away. In retrospect, there are a few I regret passing on: an unpainted Sweetone that really lived up to the name, the Sindt D (if only to sell at the remarkably inflated prices--I was ahead of the bubble), and perhaps the Reyburn.

But funnily enough, I'm back at almost square one, just playing a good ol' Clarke Original. After a lot of years and a bunch of whistles, I've come to the conclusion that Clarkes are my favorite for tone and playability. Sometimes the long road leads right back home...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:40 pm
Posts: 65
I got my first whistle in first or second grade. It was a brass feadog mk II, I believe. I played it ALL the time. I recall being super frustrated with the second octave, but with strict practice I eventually felt more confortable. Looking back, I'm suprised I had that much patience :lol: . That was my only whistle throughout much of my middle school years. After a while, however, I tried out a clarke original. I didn't particularly like the sound of it, so I moved back to my feadog.

This might be slightly irrelevant, but buring middle school, I aquired and obsessed over a military fife, most likely due to its similarities to the whistle. I don't even remember the brand, but it remains a pleasant memory. Around this time I also started playing the GHP.

While still in middle schooI and into high school, I was given a plastic woodnote whistle in C. It played alright, but I didn't particularly like the "edge" in its second octave. I tweaked it to sound better, and then it was a really sweet little whistle. I also aquired a "good" generation, which I also enjoyed playing. After this, I invested my allowance on a few susatos. These were my primary instruments as I progressed and played at a more professional level.

As a few years went by, I aquired more generations, clarkes, and feadogs while tramping around festival grounds, when I was dared by a vendor (ironically selling carbony whistles) to check out Gene Milligan's work. I accepted the dare gladly and ordered one in dymondwood. Upon its arrival I quickly saw his point, and that he was right: it was fantastic. Now it serves as my primary instrument and I feel as though it was customized specifically for me :)

I'll probably have to update this post soon :lol:
Cheers!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
Posts: 743
Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
My list is short: two Clarke originals, a handful of Generations, and one Hohner. All bought new before 1976.

_________________
Deartháir don phaidir an port.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:33 am
Posts: 138
Location: Out On The Western Plain
I first started with an industrial Generation D whistle, then all the keys, including hi G. Then I started with Low whistles, I bought an Howard Low D, then my first Overton by Colin Goldie (it was still Overton at that time), a non-tunable low D which was my main low-whistle for gigs, sessions and recordings.

Then, I bought some other keys to Colin and sold some since when I stopped playing whistes: I sold Goldie's Overton Low F, Low E, Low A, Low C#, high D.

I bought, played and finally sold other great Low Whistles: Copeland brass Low D and Low F, MK Pro Low D and Low F, O'Riordan Traveller G, Hamilton D/C/Eb set, Reyburn low D/E.

With no regrets: those low whistles were great, but not adapted to my playiong or tastes. I remember my Copelands were probably the most beautiful low whistles I ever own, but too soft for me, and the taste of brass in the mouth was pretty difficult for me.

MK pro were great too, Misha is a great maker, but I've never been fond of those MK Pro actually, and I'm really not able to tell why. Maybe I should played some again.

The Traveller G O'Riordan I had was beautiful, but lacks backpressure for me. But I was even on the waiting list for a Low D but Pat ends making whistles before making mine.

I only kept my good old Goldie's Overton non-tunable Low D, Low Eb, Low C and Low Bb and an excellent Kerry Pro Low F I bought to the superb musician Fraser Fifield. I've got a Freeman's A and a tweaked Gen Bb as well.

I think about buying buy a wooden Grinter low D and/or F, but cost make me think twice... I'd like very much to try the recent Goldie's low whistles to compare with those he made me 15 years ago.

I haven't got high whistles at the moment, but I consider to buy a D and C, but not too much expensive ones, maybe Freeman or Killarney (or the ones Mr Gumby evoked in an other thread).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:29 pm
Posts: 232
Location: San Antonio, Texas
I also started with a whistle from Colonial Williamsburg in 2002 (a Walton's D with a book) after being fascinated by the fife music I was hearing. I messed about with it a bit during the rest of the trip, but didn't continue with it until mid-2010, when I picked it up off my garage floor, recalled where the book was, and was inspired to make an attempt to play it.

After a while of working on my own, I ended up getting a black Feadog D, which I liked much better than the Walton's, which tends to have a roughness in the second octave for some reason. With my discovery and joining of Chiff and Fipple, I found recommendations for all sorts of cheap whistles, which I enthusiastically purchased. I got a Walton's Mellow D, Little Black Whistle, Freeman Tweaked Generation, Freeman Mellow Dog D/C, a two part brass Clare D, Feadog Pro, and Dixon Trad. I also picked up a Generation Bb and Freeman Tweaked Generation Bb, as well as an Freeman alto A and G. In 2012, I found out about low whistles on YouTube, so I abandoned my search for the perfect Soprano whistle and moved to the low whistles.

My first low D was a Nick Metcalf Emerald low D (Green painted PVC with a black, molded whistle head that smelled funny). It was very quiet on the low end, and I remember having the worst time figuring out how to cover all the holes. I played that one for my wife as she was in labor with our first child, as it helped keep her mind off the pain (that's the only time she's ever asked me to play for her). I think I eventually returned the whistle because of some recurring issue, and bought a Chieftain V3, which I told my wife would be the last whistle I would need (ha).

I purchased a Shearwater F, followed by a low D and C. Then I bit the bullet and contacted Colin Goldie for a Low D and F, which were amazing. Those largely ended my search for a perfect whistle, and everything after that was just for curiosity or variety's sake.

-----Other whistles------

I purchased an MK Pro low D in satin Green, which I eventually returned due to the loudness at the top end (and the fact that the green wasn't the green I'd hoped for). I gave my Chieftain V3 to my sister to play. I missed both these whistles, and found relatively inexpensive second-hand replacements for them (black satin MK Pro and a 2007 Chieftain V3, which I like better than my 2011 model).

I purchased hard blowing alto A Goldie from Colin so I could sound like Brian Finnegan, and found a Goldie Soprano D on eBay (which was so loud that I eventually sold it). I also picked up a used Goldie low G, which I liked, but eventually sold as it didn't get much use with the low F. It's the whistle sale I regret the most.

I purchased a used Ralph Sweet Onyx whistle, but didn't like how easily it broke on some of the notes, so I sold it on shortly after.

I happened across a "Woodstock by Clarke" Soprano D whistle while vacationing near the US/Canadian border in Maine in 2013. It became my favorite Soprano D whistle due to the sweetness in the upper octave, while retaining a chiffy rasp that I enjoyed. No other Clarke Sweetone has ever equaled it, although several are so close that it could just be in my mind.

I managed to acquire a Carbony in low E, which is one of my favorite whistles. Responsive, with a unique soft tone.

I also found an MK alto A on the used board.

A year ago, I placed an order with Mr. Tillbury for a D/C/Bb set. I like the C a lot. The D just doesn't suit me, and the Bb is nice, but I prefer my Generation.

I've also purchased whistles by Chris Wall (Soprano D, C, alto A), which are very interesting.

My last order was a Reviol set that I placed after trying a low Eb in Ireland, but that just arrived early this year (a small and large head with eight bodies - A,G,F,E and Eb,D,Db,C). These alone are enough to keep me busy for quite a while, as each one plays differently due to their sharing of the bore size.

Currently, I've been playing a Chris Wall tuneable Soprano D, which is very sweet and birdlike, with almost no fluff in the tone, my MK pro at sessions, and the various Reviol whistles (G and Eb, at the moment). Since my regrettable sale of my Goldie G, I haven't sold any whistle that I liked. I just keep them all, and I play most of the nicer ones at various times. I like the variety.

Oh, and a Becker low G ($15!!) and a Chieftain V5 low D (I like my '07 V3 better because of the fuller tone, but the V5 is okay, and takes a bit less air), and a Hermit Hill Low D (very interesting tone, but it's got some tuning issues)


In order of Key, these are my go-to whistles:

Soprano D: Woodstock by Clarke, Chris Wall D
Soprano C: Tillbury C
Bb: Generation Bb
A: Goldie A or Reviol A, sometimes the MK (Each of these has a different sound and feel)
G: Reviol G
F: Goldie F, followed by Reviol F
E: Carbony E
Eb: Reviol Eb
D: MK, Chieftain V3, and Goldie all get played, in that order
Db: Reviol
C: Reviol

I've also got a few flutes.

_________________
Nathaniel James Dowell

I wrote and illustrated a book!!!
http://www.nathanieldowell.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3900
Location: WV to the OC
I wouldn't be able to remember all the whistles I've had over the last 40 years.

I know by 1980 I had two of the whistles I still regularly play, a Feadog Mk1 D and a Generation C.

I also had the old-school Sustato machined PVC with wooden block whistles in "mezzo" G and A.

Throughout the 1980s I was playing in a band but mostly uilleann pipes and flute, not much whistle.

In the 1990s I ended up with Susatos in just about every low pitch, Low C, Low D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, and A, and I modified or made bodies for Generations in A, B, and C#. I was doing loads of studio gigs at that time and needed every key.

In the mid-2000's I gave up flute and began a Low D buying spree, going through two or three dozen different Low D's. I also bought Burkes in Low D, Low Eb, F, G, A, and high D. I sold off all my Susatos.

Recently I've got some great Low whistles, a Goldie Low D and Low C and an Alba Bass A. Burkes for the mezzo keys, Generations for the high keys.

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


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 96
I started with a Clarke Original C. Had been fond of the sound of the whistle for a long time back then and thought to give it a shot. Liked it very much and little by little I became more interested in Irish trad music. Then I realised that the "default" key to play a whistle is in D, and bought a corresponding Clarke Original in D.
When I got used to the instrument a little I bought a Dixon high D. Might've bought a blue-top Generation D in between, but then already, as I do now, thought it was terrible and squeaky. I never use it. Then I got a green Clarke Sweetone D, a nice "spare whistle" nowadays to take with me when I know I won't be sober enough to take care of my more expensive whistles. :lol:

I found out about low whistles, and was surprised how much more of an investment they are compared to high whistles. I did my long-ish research and bought a new black MK Kelpie. I used it regularly for a long time.
Something might've slipped from my memory, I've sold many whistles, some of them I've given away to "feed the apetite" of new interested people etc.

On this day my "main" whistles are:
High D: McManus tunable & Killarney
High C: pre-80's blue top Generation
Bb: Dixon brass
Alto G: Freeman tweaked red-top Generation
Low D: tunable Goldie with a larger-holed spare body
Low (bass) Bb: tunable Alba.

At the moment I feel that I'm quite well set with the current repertoire, especially now that I've begun to give more gravity to learning uilleann piping recently. This set serves perfectly my needs of session playing, occasional recording and small-scale performing.

PS. Suddenly remembered that I used to own a Burke low D for some time, but sold it to someone whom it hopefully suited better.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3900
Location: WV to the OC
I realised that I've photographed my whistles from time to time, literally snapshots of what I happened to own at a particular point.

Here's the most recent, the roll I take to gigs, L-R:
1) Alba Bass A (doesn't fit in roll!)
2) Goldie Low C
3) Goldie Low D
4) Burke Eb
5) Alba E
6) Burke F
7) Burke G
8) Generation Bb body
9) home-made A body with Freeman Generation Bb head
10) home-made B body with Generation head
11) Generation C
12) home-made C# body
13) Killarney D
14) Feadog MK1 D
15) Generation Eb body with Feadog MK1 head

Image

Generation lineup (L-R A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, F)

Image

Burke lineup (so shiny! so pretty!)

Top to bottom:
1) high D Session Bore
2) A
3) G
4) F
5) Low Eb
6) Low D

Image

From a couple years ago, some Low D's I was trying out (none have survived)

Image

A few years ago, my gamut of keys at that time

Image

I made reference above to the early Susatos which were machined out of PVC tubing (brown or off-white) and had wooden blocks.

One piece, non-tunable, except for the Low D.

Remember those?

I had them in high D and mezzo A and G. A friend still has his Low D. I only still own the G, here it is:

Image

Image

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


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Wyoming
Great pics! I assume the pencil to the right of your Eb whistle is in F? Or perhaps G? :wink:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 809
Location: Southwestern Ontario
tin tin wrote:
Great pics! I assume the pencil to the right of your Eb whistle is in F? Or perhaps G? :wink:
Looks like key of HB to me.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:38 am
Posts: 493
Location: East TN
I started playing in 2006, and was intrigued by the tonal quality of Pat O'Riordan's whistle from the beginning, so they became a goal. I've been in the pipe organ business since the 70s, and there was something different in the tone that I was curious about.

My first whistle was a Jerry Freeman Mello Dog "D", an easy clean player that's still around somewhere. I then ventured into Burkes with a low D "Viper", F and high D. Nice consistent work it all was.

There were Grinters - an F and high D. Stunning pieces of craftsmanship that I should have held on to, but kept trading around. Fine players.

A Bleazey or three, O'Brien or two, another Burke here and there, one being a high D pre-black tip that I'll keep. A handful of Boisvert/Greenwood D's. Beautiful work in all kinds of woods from black to pink, all good players - some better than others. Built completely of wood, but as close to O'Riordan physically and tonally I think that you could get. One of purple gidgee I recall that was exceptional. Should have kept that one, too.

A few Glenn Schultz whistles - several water weasels, some of those were exceptional, I thought. Some 'Thin Weasels'; an A in some kind of rosewood and D in a very light wood, boxwood I think - both very nice.

Several Hoovers - I like Mack and he's great to deal with. Everyone should own one of his tiny brass D whistles.

A few Copelands Sindts over the years.

All the 'high-end' whistles moved on except for a collection of O'Riordans from low D to a high d/eflat set with sterling tubes allegedly by Sindt. Some are Travellers, a blackwood 'Concert D' set, a few oddities like the 'Tin of Whistles' and a couple of unusual 'Wilderness' models. There is a very early 3-body (bflat, C, D) set with 2 head joints and a flute head joint with fairly thick lighter wooden bodies. Wonderful whistles to own and play, and my dealings with Pat over the years have all been exceptional, he's a wonderful person who did good work.

_________________
"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3900
Location: WV to the OC
Tunborough wrote:
tin tin wrote:
Great pics! I assume the pencil to the right of your Eb whistle is in F? Or perhaps G? :wink:
Looks like key of HB to me.


exactly so :)

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


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.436s | 12 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)