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 Post subject: Difference in Whistles.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:54 am 
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On my way back home from shopping today I stopped by the park, with my Clarke Sweetone D and my Feadog D. I'd not really had chance to give the Feadog a good session. I'd just been using the Feadog for quiet playing so I thought while I was out I'd play them both at proper volume instead of the quiet playing at home.

I didn't take any music with me, just did the tunes I can remember. All simple ones....Rattlin Bog, Kerry Polka, The Water is Wide, another that I don't know what it's called, and every player's fallback Mull of Kintyre.

The half hole for C worked really well, and Im so grateful someone on here told me about that. High D was really good and clear on the Sweetone.

To my amateur ears, the Sweetone is easier to play. The notes are clear and true, but the whistle is more 'forgiving' if something is slightly not just perfect. I found it very easy to 'screech' the Feadog where the Sweetone would've moved along nicely, such as with the high D and the half hole C.

I'd seen good reports of the Feadog, and Im not sorry I bought it, but I do think as I get surer with finger placements, and breathing that suits the Feadog more it will sound better.

I think of the two I'd recommend the Sweetone as a starter whistle for anyone wanting to learn :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:26 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I have both a brass & several nickel Generations, a Feadog brass, & a Tony Dixon ABS plastic.

The ABS is a good one for the quieter playing, of those that I presently have.

I've just ordered a Waltons Black aluminium to try out, along with a couple of other brass (Generation C & Bb/Feadog C), but I have yet to try a Clarkes - no doubt it won't be long. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:48 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Just remembered about this post, about quietening a whistle....

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=106968

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:16 am 
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I've amassed a good few whistles, and of them all the Sweetone is my favourite D. It's in tune and sounds good no matter what I throw at it. I've taken to *not* practising on it because it does everything I want too easily! It takes more work to get my Feadog or Oak or Clare to sound as good, and I figure I need to get better at that kind of work at my relatively early stage of whistlerhood.

This seems consistent with the reviews I've read: Feadogs take some skill to make work well, Oaks and Clares and Generations (if you don't have a bad one) are all right in inexperienced hands and can sound great if played well. I've also lucked out on a very nice Acorn; my understanding is that getting a decent one is (like with Generations) a roll of the dice. But Sweetones just *work*, and Clarke's QC is sufficiently good that you'll rarely if ever encounter a lemon.

Meanwhile, I have three Waltons D whistles: an Irish D, an aluminum Little Black, and a brass Little Black. I've not read any really negative reviews about them, but they're easily the three worst whistles in my collection. None can manage anything over a 2nd-octave F# without sounding like they're unhappy about the experience; the G is possible to play but only if I prepare myself mentally to nail it before playing it. And everything in the 2nd octave -- even middle D, even played OXX XXX -- on all of them -- will get shrieky if I'm not focussing enough. So, of course, the Waltonses are the ones I practise on! But I doubt I'll ever play a session on them: if I want to sound good and I'm confident, any of the other Ds will do, and if I want to sound good, period, it's the Sweetone.

That said, my Waltons C is amazing. Not my best C, but very far from my worst. Then again, while its head is mostly scaled up from the D, there are some subtle differences (among other things, the 'bustle' behind the labium is a bit bigger), and I'd imagine those count. I suspect that Waltons' 'Mellow D' has a C head on the C-sized tube tuned to D, and if that's so, it should be a really good whistle (assuming my C is typical). I'm sure I'll find out before too much longer....

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:21 am 
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Two quick addenda --

Besides my Sweetone D, I've also got one in C. This is a perfectly decent whistle, but not in the same league as the D: it's nicely in tune, but it doesn't play as easily as the D in the very high register, and its low C and D are very quiet. I haven't played any other Sweetones, so I can't say whether this is a matter of the design or that the QC is more variable than I'd heard. Then again, if you just play ITM, you probably won't need a C anyway.

More relevantly (to ITM anyway), I also have a Clarke Meg, which has not impressed me at all. Lots of people seem to like them, but QC is also supposed to be much less consistent, so probably I got a lemon. Oddly, it's the opposite of my Waltons Ds: the Meg plays pretty well in the upper register, but G and below in the 1st octave are very sensitive to overblowing, and are hard to play without sounding raspy or buzzy. This is probably tweakable, but I suspect it's better in general to get a Sweetone and just not need to worry about it.

In short, for those contemplating one or another of Clarke's plastic-topped offerings, I'd definitely recommend the Sweetone over the Meg, but of course YMMV.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:31 am 
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I'm still too new at this to want to share my reviews of individual whistles, since my own opinion of each changes as my skills advance. But I nonetheless want to concur with the above post: My Walton's Little Black D in Aluminum is the only whistle I regret purchasing, as for me, too, the second octave is horrible to play. But my Walton's C is among my very favorites. Very well behaved, with a nice tone and good intonation.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:40 am 
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Watching videos online the tone etc of different whistles certainly varies. I am happy that my first whistle was the Sweetone :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:50 pm 
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JackJ wrote:
My Walton's Little Black D in Aluminum is the only whistle I regret purchasing, as for me, too, the second octave is horrible to play.


I don't regret purchasing mine, actually. I mean it when I say that I prefer to practise on poor whistles: if I can get that high G to work on the LBW, it'll sing on my Clare or Oak. Playing the Sweetone, I wouldn't have a clue that I needed work.

JackJ wrote:
But my Walton's C is among my very favorites. Very well behaved, with a nice tone and good intonation.


Indeed. I haven't encountered any other makes of whistles for which the difference between C and D was so profound. I tested all of my whistles for intonation, and the Waltons was easily the best of all of my Cs. Careful breath control could push most of the others into tune, but the Waltons was just spot-on without any perceptible change in wind.

So, does anyone have experience with the Waltons Mellow D? Is it (as I speculated above) a Waltons C with a D-scale body? If so, I should get myself one post haste...!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:56 am 
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Location: France
afl2277 wrote:
....

To my amateur ears, the Sweetone is easier to play. The notes are clear and true, but the whistle is more 'forgiving' if something is slightly not just perfect. I found it very easy to 'screech' the Feadog where the Sweetone would've moved along nicely, such as with the high D and the half hole C.

I'd seen good reports of the Feadog, and Im not sorry I bought it, but I do think as I get surer with finger placements, and breathing that suits the Feadog more it will sound better.

I think of the two I'd recommend the Sweetone as a starter whistle for anyone wanting to learn :thumbsup:


That corresponds exactly to my experience and opinion. The Sweetone was my first whistle and it's still the one I play most often. The problem with (my) Feadog is the head - when I put the Killarney's head on it it's immediately easier to play.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:01 am 
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Kade1301 wrote:
afl2277 wrote:
....

To my amateur ears, the Sweetone is easier to play. The notes are clear and true, but the whistle is more 'forgiving' if something is slightly not just perfect. I found it very easy to 'screech' the Feadog where the Sweetone would've moved along nicely, such as with the high D and the half hole C.

I'd seen good reports of the Feadog, and Im not sorry I bought it, but I do think as I get surer with finger placements, and breathing that suits the Feadog more it will sound better.

I think of the two I'd recommend the Sweetone as a starter whistle for anyone wanting to learn :thumbsup:


That corresponds exactly to my experience and opinion. The Sweetone was my first whistle and it's still the one I play most often. The problem with (my) Feadog is the head - when I put the Killarney's head on it it's immediately easier to play.


I toyed with the idea of taking the Feadog head off, just to do the whole tweek thing. But I haven't been brave enough yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:12 pm 
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afl2277 wrote:
I toyed with the idea of taking the Feadog head off, just to do the whole tweek thing. But I haven't been brave enough yet.


Go for it. It's not glued on. If it feels like it is, just use a towel to increase your grip. And getting the head back on isn't tough either, just be careful that you line it up properly and don't push too hard if it doesn't feel like it's moving.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:45 am 
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Opisthokont wrote:
afl2277 wrote:
I toyed with the idea of taking the Feadog head off, just to do the whole tweek thing. But I haven't been brave enough yet.


Go for it. It's not glued on. If it feels like it is, just use a towel to increase your grip. And getting the head back on isn't tough either, just be careful that you line it up properly and don't push too hard if it doesn't feel like it's moving.


I didn't know they aren't glued. I might give it a try :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:50 am 
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If the feadog head doesn't come off easily try running a little hot water on the tube where it enters the mouthpiece.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:28 am 
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PB+J wrote:
If the feadog head doesn't come off easily try running a little hot water on the tube where it enters the mouthpiece.


Thanks :thumbsup: I haven't tried it yet...but I will do.


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