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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:38 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I'm an experienced musician and build my own guitars
You can do the same with whistles, you know. Indeed, whistles can be a lot faster to make than guitars. You may not come out of it with a top-of-the-line whistle, but you'll have a better appreciation of what you want in a whistle, and may get one or two that do what you want them to do.

For myself, I've found that, tone aside, I prefer how a thicker-walled plastic or wooden whistle handles under my beginner's fingers to a thin-walled metal whistle.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:27 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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I'm just hoping a better whistle will have less to fight against


You don't seem to want to take my point about cheap whistles not putting up a fight. Which is fine, had the argument enough times to not fancy another round of kicking it about. But why ask if you have already made up your mind?

Like the previous poster I think at this point it is perhaps important you decide what you want from a whistle, the whistles in the OP are wildly different ones. Between, say, a Killarney and a Goldie there's a world of difference and each is fine in its own right and they have their own uses but they're hardly interchangeable choices. Decide what you want to play, what sort of style, type of music and all that, pick an instrument to suit that rather than chase the elusive but completely non specific 'something better'.

There is also a lot to be said for sticking with what you have, put in the hours and decide what you may want or need once you can play the things a bit.


[fixed typo]



If you look at my original post you'll see that I already took your point. It's a fine point. Lots of great music is made on inexpensive instruments. My observation is that the cheap whistles are fun and can sound great but are inconsistent and each have some deficiencies that I'm pretty sure are physical, inherent to the whistle, rather than artifacts of playing technique. I might be wrong about that of course. I'm an experienced musician but not an experienced whistle player.

But I'm also closing in on 60 years old, and the end of the line is much closer than I might like, so I could spend my time arguing with the ten dollar oak whistle or I could try something made with more attention to detail that might make that time more pleasant? I went and ordered a tweaked Freeman mellow dog AND a killarney.

It's a lot easier on the wallet than buying guitars, that's for sure!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:29 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
PB+J wrote:
I'm an experienced musician and build my own guitars
You can do the same with whistles, you know. Indeed, whistles can be a lot faster to make than guitars. You may not come out of it with a top-of-the-line whistle, but you'll have a better appreciation of what you want in a whistle, and may get one or two that do what you want them to do.

For myself, I've found that, tone aside, I prefer how a thicker-walled plastic or wooden whistle handles under my beginner's fingers to a thin-walled metal whistle.



Yes I hear this. I've made a bout two dozen guitars or basses from scratch and I've learned a tn and it's very rewarding. I have Bingamon's self-published Low Whistle makers anthology and and thinking about it. Not crazy about the idea of PVC in the mouth though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:29 am 
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PB+J wrote:
I went and ordered a tweaked Freeman mellow dog AND a killarney.


Oh you love both those whistles! You definitely are all set to put your best foot forward. As for your original post, I would agree. I think the inconsistency of many inexpensive whistles (particularly the Generation) have been scaring people off rather than the actual sound. That has definitely been the case for many whistlers I know. However, as tstermitz said, Mary Bergin preferred her generations for her recordings, and she made them sound amazing. Don't get me wrong, I love the trad sound of a pure-drop whistle, but I just happened to find whistles that I like more than any generation I have played, good or bad. But in any case, I think you'll really enjoy both of those whistles you purchased.
Cheers!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:54 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Not crazy about the idea of PVC in the mouth though.

Should be ok unless you light it before playing.

In which case just be Bill Clinton and don't inhale!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:30 pm 
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In a coincidence the MK Whistles Low D I ordered arrived this morning, and it's pretty much as I hoped. I have a Dixon low D and A Howard, and it's much better than either of them--just easier to play all around; more even in the two octaves, louder.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Like the previous poster I think at this point it is perhaps important you decide what you want from a whistle, the whistles in the OP are wildly different ones. Between, say, a Killarney and a Goldie there's a world of difference and each is fine in its own right and they have their own uses but they're hardly interchangeable choices. Decide what you want to play, what sort of style, type of music and all that, pick an instrument to suit that rather than chase the elusive but completely non specific 'something better'.


I think this is an important point. For some, the feel and sound of a Generation makes it THE whistle for them. Others find the same satisfaction in Burkes, Dixons, custom built wooden ones, etc. I've taken a liking to my Killarney D, which is the only whistle I really play much at all (I have some Generations in the usual keys for backing singers now and again).

Some people never find that one and keep looking. Others just stick with what they have. It's not a question of "better" or "worse" for the most part, it's "different." I'll note that I've seen plenty of quite frankly godawful players at sessions tootling away on Burkes, Sindts, et al. And plenty of great players on those same instruments. So I don't think there's any kind of satisfactory answer other than "find what you like and stick with it."


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:41 am 
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I'm in the expensive whistle camp and am also a guitar player (expensive guitars too). Pay a little more and they seem much more stable to me. I'm more inclined to play them when performing with guitar.

There are exceptional cheap whistles so you might get lucky and find one but I think I would opt to spend a little more.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:41 am 
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I'm in the expensive whistle camp and am also a guitar player (expensive guitars too). Pay a little more and they seem much more stable to me. I'm more inclined to play them when performing with guitar.

There are exceptional cheap whistles so you might get lucky and find one but I think I would opt to spend a little more.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:43 am 
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Woodiness: http://www.westonwhistles.co.uk/
Metally: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Freeman-Twea ... 2352683048

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Well the brass Killarney just came this morning and it's pretty remarkable. It's much much easier to play--more consistent, more predictable, more controllable. I have much more confidence that the problem I'm hearing is me and not the whistle. If I sit down with the Killarney and one of my other whistles it's remarkable how much easier the Killarney is to deal with--parts are easier to play cleanly, and the air requirement hits the sweet spot between too much and too little.

It's beautifully finished and feels substantial and precise. The head moves easily for tuning

The tone is much more pure and focused, with less air in it. But it still sounds like a whistle. Its a little top heavy. Really impressed with it though.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:32 am 
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I think everyone here hit all the high points, except maybe for one - playing an instrument is very much an emotional experience. Some of the better instruments really just look and feel better in your hands. That can make using them more fun, whether they improve your technique and sound or not.

That said, better does not always mean more expensive. If you like the feel of the Generation or Oak bodies, try one of Jerry Freeman's tweaked whistles. He really does perform magic on otherwise mediocre machines.

I have a bunch of really nice whistles for sale right now, on the used instrument board. Maybe one of them would work for you - all available immediately.

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