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 Post subject: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:08 am 
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I go back and forth on which whistle is my favorite, with my brass Killarney D often holding the top spot. Some of that probably has to do with the fact that I spent much more on it than any other, and it's the most pleasing visually. But I also really like the tone and nimbleness, and particularly the playing characteristics at the top of the second octave.

But I took it to a lesson yesterday where my teacher noticed my intonation was quite flat in the second octave. He was able to play it pretty well in tune with increased airspeed, but it took more work than he thought it should, and I couldn't replicate his results.

The intonation never struck me as off when playing solo (my ear isn't that good, I guess). But when we played a tune in unison, it was horrendous. Which is to say just fine in the first octave when we'd tuned up together, but really bad up in the second octave. This is not a problem I've had on other whistles I've brought to lessons.

I've seen Richard Cook's comments on the Killarney's intonation here, and note that he replaced the tube with a Generation. I was hoping that would work for me, as I have an unplated brass Generation D that I don't care for much. But the tube on mine is slightly too wide to slide into the Killarney mouthpiece. I'll break out my calipers tonight to check the width difference, but I don't think that's going to work with what I've currently got. (Both my Killarney and Generation were purchased new within the last year.)

I'm wondering: Anyone else have problems with the Killarney D intonation? Anyone addressed this with any modifications or other substitutions?

I'm kinda wondering about sending it back to the maker to see if they'd be willing to tune it up further, for which I'd be happy to pay a reasonable amount, given that I've had it for a while. But Killarney hasn't answered emails I've sent to them on other topics, so not sure how responsive they'd be. Is there anyone else out there I can consider for a tune up? Not sure I want to try and do it myself, since it's not a cheapie, and I've got no relevant experience.

Thanks for any insights.


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Well I want to say if two people are playing it's not instantly clear who is out of tune unless some external references is used....he could be out of tune.

I just checked my nickel plated Killarney D against a Peterson strobe app on my phone. It's really pretty good. The low and second octave D are dead on. The Bs take a bit of breath to pull into line. The cross fingered C nat is basically a request for forgiveness unless I pay a lot of attention to it. I can't really fault the intonation at all


Last edited by PB+J on Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:57 pm 
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We did use a tuner to verify what he was hearing--he was on a Copeland, and we traded whistles which confirmed we both had the same intonation issue with just the Killarney. Since my original post I've read some other reviews where the Killarney intonation was praised, so I don't have any reason to think it's a problem with every D whistle they make, especially now that you've checked yours. But at least on this day, mine was problematic for both of us. And apparently Richard Cook's had issues for him.

I'll give it a thorough cleaning and spend some more time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:32 pm 
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I just checked my brass killarney (i have a brass and a nickel) and the intonation is not as good as the nickel one, the second octave is notably sharper. Oddly, the C nat is perfect. If I was playing with people I'd probably try to compromise the two octave so both were slightly out


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:32 am 
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Location: WV to the OC
JackJ wrote:
I've seen Richard Cook's comments on the Killarney's intonation here, and note that he replaced the tube with a Generation. I have an unplated brass Generation D...the tube on mine is slightly too wide to slide into the Killarney mouthpiece.


I went back and looked at my posts from 2014, and I see that several of my old Generation and Feadog tubes were too wide, but one Generation tube fit.

The plated tube that came with that Killarney I bought in 2014 had two problems, the crossfingered C natural was too sharp and the D's (Bottom D and Middle D) were sharp too. The odd thing was that I could see that the bottom of the tube had been chopped after it had been plated. Why on earth?

The old Generation tube made the Killarney give a perfect scale, improved the tone, and helped the octaves, which are near-perfect now. It's a nickel-plated Generation tube on which I've carved out some of the holes. The whistle overall has great intonation and a beautiful sweet tone which BTW sounds great when mic'd. I've used it for concerts and church gigs.

I just now bought a second Killarney D, this one with the brass tube, and they've corrected the things I didn't like about the old plated tube. The intonation is really about as good as a High D whistle can be, including crossfingered C natural.

EDIT: The more I play this new Killarney, the more I'm aware that the 2nd octave is indeed too flat for my liking. I was playing alone, and it felt a bit flat, and for sure when I checked it against a tuner, it was flat.

F# and B are a tiny bit flat which many trad players prefer, and I suppose you could consider the 2nd octave a tiny bit flat. It's better than most high D whistles.

If you want the 2nd octave a bit sharper, Burkes have perfect octaves IMHO. A narrow-bore Burke High D in brass is a fine player with great intonation. The tradeoff is the stiffer high notes, that all Burkes seem to have.

Or get a Copeland! If you can find a great one for sale, and are willing to pay the price they now command.

A friend is a professional fulltime whistle player (he's a "classical" musician, not a "trad" one) and he uses a vintage Copeland, which he feels is the best High D whistle available. Specifically he feels that the Copeland combines overall good volume, sweet high notes, and great intonation. He liked the sweet high notes of the Sindt and Killarney but felt volume lacking, liked the volume of the Burke but felt the facility of the high notes lacking. We tend to observe exactly the same things, when we try whistles, despite our different musical backgrounds.

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


Last edited by pancelticpiper on Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:54 am 
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Thanks for the updates! Glad to know what I experienced the other day isn't the norm for Killarney's. I really like this whistle a lot, as well as a brass C I just recently acquired from them. I haven't had a chance to spend time looking at the intonation issue since my post, but hoping it was maybe just some weird clinging condensation or other temporary anomaly. I hadn't noticed it previously playing on my own. But then I still wasn't noticing it when it was pointed out to me. My ear forgives a lot of what comes out of my whistles (lucky for me).

I'm fortunate enough to be taking lessons with Grey Larsen, and his Copeland's are amazing. I'd love to own one, and contemplate selling a guitar which could leave lots of change leftover. But Grey is also very keen on the Carbony's, and I've got one of those on the way, which I'm really looking forward to trying.


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:40 pm 
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JackJ wrote:
Glad to know what I experienced the other day isn't the norm for Killarneys.


Or maybe it is the norm! My new Killarney has a much flatter 2nd octave than the Killarney I got in 2014, which is pretty much bang-on (with the Generation tube).

BTW the ID of the socket of the new Killarney is a bit smaller than that of the 2014 one. I can put the new tube in either head, but the old Generation tube that fits in the old Killarney head won't fit in the new Killarney head.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:03 pm 
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JackJ wrote:
But Grey is also very keen on the Carbony's, and I've got one of those on the way, which I'm really looking forward to trying.

I bought their high D "quiet" model (not so quiet at all, about as loud as a Killarney, maybe just a little bit quieter) and it is the most perfectly tuned whistle (it is tunable but I mean the tuning between octaves of course and the cross-fingered C nat) I own. I notice it especially when playing with my wife who plays accordion. It's just spot on. But I wasn't blown away instantly, I had to spend some time with it. The first day I got it I was underwhelmed but after playing around with it for some days I now like it quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Killarney intonation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
I bought their high D "quiet" model (not so quiet at all, about as loud as a Killarney, maybe just a little bit quieter) and it is the most perfectly tuned whistle (it is tunable but I mean the tuning between octaves of course and the cross-fingered C nat) I own. I notice it especially when playing with my wife who plays accordion. It's just spot on. But I wasn't blown away instantly, I had to spend some time with it. The first day I got it I was underwhelmed but after playing around with it for some days I now like it quite a bit.


I appreciate this feedback--while not in the Copeland price range, this an expensive whistle, so I hope to be impressed. I've tried their low G and liked that a lot, though the sound was quite a bit different from the Copeland A I'd tried just beforehand.

I went with the regular high D (not the session nor the quiet) model, but chose the leading tone option. Should hopefully be here right after the holiday so I can spend significant time with it during an upcoming vacation. I'll be sure to give it some time before forming any concrete opinions.


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