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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm 
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I have always loved the sound of low whistle, and I use it in a lot of different musical genres spanning from tradtional Celtic and Scandinavian music, over medieval, baroque and even contemporary classical music. I am also a dedicated fan and user of Michael Copeland’s low D’s, but hearing so much good about the new Chieftain V5 series I decided to try and see if I could get yet another Low-D-sound to work with.
After a pleassant email correspodence with Phil Hardy (the maker of Kerry V5) I received an instrument (Kerry Low D Tunable) in less than a week (UK to Denmark). And what I got was in many ways a real stunner.
The first feeling of the instrument in your hands is as if it is a much smaller whistle than a low D. The finger holes are extremely well placed and shaped. Your are ready to go at once, so to speak.
Soundwise this whistle immideately produces a very warm and pleasant tone from the bottom notes to the very highest. It is extremely even in its soundproduction throughout its entire range and you nearly don’t have to work for it. This whistle might not have the same complexity and flexibility as my Copeland low D’s, but on the other hand, I simply can’t imagine what you could possibly do to make a Kerry V5 low D sound bad.
The tuning of this whistle is nothing less than comepletely amazing. It is “spot on” and there is very, very little compensation you have to do to make it play perfectly in tune both in warm and cold conditions over it’s entire range. I don’t know how, but Phil Hardy has managed to overcome all the most common difficulties that you find in nearly all whistles in this price range - and some times above. The octaves are perfectly balanced. The middle C-sharp is not too low and you can still obtain a perfect C-natura with “oxxooo” fingering. The E’s are not too high. Second octave F-sharp is not too low. You can even obtain a good first octave B-flat with the fingering xoxxxx. And at last: the big 5th hole (right hand middle finger) makes it possible to produce reasonable loud F-naturals even in the low octave. This, to some degree, even applies to the E- and A-flats.
Articulation: This instrument speaks very easily. You can do singel, double, tripple tonguing as much as you like, and the whistle responds immideately. Again, you might not be able to vary/distort the sound as much with small variations in articulation as on the Copelands, but you can play around with the fastest articulations all day without a squeak in sight. Even on the lowest notes.
The volume of the V5 Low D Tunable I would describe as moderate. The warmth of sound and the easiness of articulation might come with a small cost of volume, but compared to the advantages of these other parameters this is not a crucial piont, unless you have to rely on a perfect balance in a not amplified concert situation with you as a soloist.
The range of the instrument goes with out any problems from the bottom D’ to E’’’ and you can go all the way to G’’’ (for F-natural in the third octave you need to cover the end of the whistle against your kne ot thigh).
The well balanced back pressure allows you to explore this entire range without getting completely out of breath on you way up. This perfect back pressure is of course also what provides you the easy articulation of both low and high notes on this instrument.
Clogging is always a problem with any fipple flute instruments and of course a V5 will also clogs in cold conditions, but on this instrument it doesn’t mean you will loose all control, and well warmed up, it should not give you any problems. And if so, you can always apply a dissolution of washing-up liquid in the wind way.
Overall I would at any time recommed this instrument to anyone who would like to add a low whistle to their soundscape. For the price of 139,- GBP you will simply not get a better deal. Basta!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:35 am
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Thanks so much Hoxbro! really helpful. Been toying with the idea of purchase Phil's V5. i have a MK pro, love the sound, its an easy whistle, once one uses the piper grip. its brilliant in sessions. bangs out the tunes in sessions.
Am looking for something a little more "husky" if such a thing exists. but love the whispery or maybe husky sound of what i hear on Phil's videos. have you any experience of MK pro Vs Phil's chieftan V5. I've emailed Phil, via his website email address, but no response/reply. :party:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:44 am
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Location: YORKSHIRE UK
Sounds nice enough but they are horribly overpriced for a mass produced/factory made whistle and there is no way I'd put aluminium near my mouth.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
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Thank you for that detailed review. I have a Kerry low D that I like but I’ve wondered about the chieftain


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
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Location: WV to the OC
Thanks for the detailed review!

Like many of us, I'm on a constant (lifelong) quest to find the Perfect Low D, and I'd love to try the V5.

Glad you discussed the tuning, because to me perfect tuning is the sine qua non of any whistle I'm going to use at gigs.

After tuning, for me it's having power in the low range (especially Bottom D) and relative sweetness in the high range, an easy nimble 2nd octave, and air-efficiency.

It's quite a few things to balance, and so far it's my Goldie that does it best for me.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
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The Chieftain/Kerry line is really confusing. They have the "Optima" line with plastic mouthpieces. I have one of those and like it but not as well as the MK whistle. It has many good points and does indeed play a lot like a high D whistle

But then there's the Chieftain line and the thunderbird and different versions of the thunderbird, and Chieftains that aren't thunderbirds? It's also not clear where they're made.

I'm thinking about a low F, but the low F only comes in "V4" and I'm kinda assuming V5 is better than V4, which might be wrong but is not an unreasonable assumption given the way numbering sequences tend to work. So do I hold off for V5?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:35 am
Posts: 21
Location: Nantes, France
Those considering a Chieftain Aluminium whistle should have a read of this thread. TL:DR - make sure you clean it out - some owners (me included) found lots of metal filings on the inside of their Chieftain whistle.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=57558

I wouldn't put one in my mouth. Maybe it was a temporary issue and it's now been resolved, but I wouldn't trust a maker who allowed this to happen in the first place.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:00 am 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 am
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@PB+J
Interestingly enough - there was an alto F V5 on the homepage for some time. It's gone now. Maybe they didn't sell. The V5 is not necessarily better. I got the V4 and V5 low D. The V5 has an increased back pressure and is slightly reduced in volume. IMO they both play great.


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