Chiff and Fipple Forums

advice on purchasing a low F
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Author:  mrblister [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:55 am ]
Post subject:  advice on purchasing a low F


The lowest whistles I have are Bflats and a Dixon altoG. I'd like to go on step further and get a low F.

I'm.looking at a MK Kelpie which looks amazing and is in my price range. Has anyone got any strong opinions either way on the Kelpie? And what are the other options for low F whistles out there? I can't seem to find any/many


Author:  fatmac [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I recently bought a low F, it's a great key, easier than a low D, because the holes are closer together, but still has a lovely low tone.

I'm in the UK, & I bought mine from Shearwater Whistles, it's an aluminium whistle, with a wooden fipple plug, & it has become my favourite, recommended. :)

Author:  kkrell [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I've had an MK Kelpie low D and would be interested in trying an F.

A slightly lower cost possibility for F might be a Kerry Optima low F ... -alto-f-2/

Here's Orlaith McAuliffe playing an Optima low Eb - might also give you an idea of playability & sound.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

My only experience with F's has been a couple Susatos in different bore-sizes and my current one, a Burke.

The Burke F plays like all the Burkes: solid clean voicing, good tuning, very strong bellnote, somewhat bland tone, and a bit more air consumption than I would like.

I've played several MK Low D's but not their F. If the F plays anything like the D it would have great tuning, unique complex sound, and exceptionally good air efficiency.

I'd love to try an MK F and also a Goldie F. My current Low D is a Goldie and it's superb.

Author:  Sedi [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I got a Shearwater F but it is a little too "clean"-sounding for my taste. Not a lot of breathiness. My favorite at the moment is a combination of a Kerry Optima F body with the "pro" Qwistle low D head -- works great and sounds awesome. I got the Kelpie low D and it's great -- only thing I don't like is the plastic insert in the windway (honestly -- if it had been mentioned on the homepage that there is plastic involved in a whistle that looks like a solid all-metal construction, I wouldn't have bought it). On the other hand -- I got more than enough whistles with plastic heads and had no problem with most of them. Except for the Kerry Optima (that's why it has the Qwistle head now). I ordered the "smokey grey" head and it cracked just from lying on the window sill where it got just the slightest bit of afternoon sun. But that was obviously enough to crack the plastic -- I think it was the plastic block which has air inside and expanded because it got heated up through the transparent plastic. It cracked the head from the inside out so I replaced it with the "pro" head from my Qwistle.
So long story short -- if you get a Kerry Optima F -- don't get the transparent smokey grey head. If you buy a Kelpie, be aware of the plastic insert in the windway. A Kerry Thunderbird in F might also be a nice option. I never tried one so far however but I do like my Thunderbird low D.

Author:  mrblister [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F


Thanks for all the great advice and suggestions so far. I will look into them.

Author:  bruce.b [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I love F whistles.
The Optima F was my favorite whistle in any key. Sounds great and plays effortlessly. I just got an MK Pro F. I like it even more. It has an incredibly beautiful tone and is just a little better in every way. Both are excellent.

Author:  jimhanks [ Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

If you want to go off the beaten path and don't mind waiting a while, I really like my pear wood whistle from Marek Bzowski:

Author:  bruce.b [ Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

Just a quick followup on my last post. F whistles are my favorites. They are clearly low whistles, have an incredibly rich, full tone, and are as easy, for me, to play fast as high whistles are. They are the best of low and high. I play low D and low F about equally as much, but once I get better at low D, I’ll play my F’s more. I like high Bb and high D also, but not as much as the lows. I play both my Optima and MK F’s and love them both. While I like the MK slightly more, it’s not a great difference. I’d happily play either one as my only F. BTW, I haven’t checked the tuning on them. They both sound good when I’m playing them.

Author:  jiminos [ Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I lean towards the clean, crisp, clear sound. I have, and love, the Susato. Beautiful sound. Beautiful tuning/intonation.

Same goes for my Susato low D, Eb, E, Bb, high C, and high D.

Author:  psoutowood [ Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

I'll second the usefulness of the low F whistle. To me the low F, and my mezzo A, are like the Golilocks whistles--just right where you want them. My Kerry Optima F was my favorite whistle until I got a Goldie mezzo A. Now it depends on where you are playing, since the low F can get a bit lost in a crowded pub for live performances, but with a microphone it is fantastic. I have an Overton low D and it is marvelous--next on my wishlist is a Goldie F, which I suspect would top the Optima for clarity and back pressure. The Optima does take a fair bit of air.


Author:  fatmac [ Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: advice on purchasing a low F

Suggest you take a look at Shearwater Whistles, my aluminium low F is great, doesn't take a lot of air to play, easy second octave, has a reasonably loud voice, & sounds really good to my ear.

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