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 Post subject: Which soprano C whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:10 pm 
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Hello to you all,

recently I made a collaboration with a harp player and it turned out that there is a certain need for a C whistle (isn't there always a need for a new whistle?).

I thought of giving the Killarney a go, now that they do them in C as well. Before doing so, I'd like to ask if anyone here maybe experienced one of these. I would like to avoid sending it back in case I don't like it. Of course nobody can give a guarantee that it suits me. But maybe it helps to tell what my preferences are.

My favourite d whistle is a Freeman Blackbird. I like my Parks alto Bb very much as well, though I'm not a big fan of the Susatos. So you see I prefer the more pure tone over the very complex, chiffy one. I play a Goldie low d which has plenty to offer for players who tend to the more complex sound. But this is an exceptional instrument in every way.

When I was in England this year I tried a Nightingale soprano C at Hobgoblin, which was very nice and well balanced over both octaves. Rich and warm tone. But the shop was about to be closed in a minute and Nightingale was completely new to me. I leaned that they come from Russia. Another option I was thinking of are Bracker whistles. But I didn't play one yet, just heard the soundfiles on website.

I would be lucky to hear any suggestions :-)

Cheers


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:44 pm 
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I just ordered a Killarney C and it arrived a week ago. I love it. Then again, I already had three Killarney whistles - a D and an Eb in nickel silver and a D in brass. The C that I have just received is brass. For me, the tone is just a little warmer and more 'complex'. I wouldn't particularly describe it as a 'pure' tone. then again, I wouldn't be much interested in it if it were. I bought a Freeman Blackbird some years ago, and I think I played it once. It just doesn't appeal to me, so, obviously, it's horses for courses, you pays yer money and you takes yer choice ... and whatever other idiom along those lines ...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:02 pm 
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I too like a pure sound in my high whistles.

I've been playing the same Generation C for nearly 40 years and I've not played its equal.

Here's what it sounds like, at 2:00 (I forgot to say what key it is!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8&t=25s

When I first listened to this video what struck me was how much alike my high whistles in various keys sound like, whether they're off-the-shelf or have been modified (by myself or by Jerry Freeman).

I suppose it's been a 40-year process of selection and weeding out.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:38 pm 
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If you like the Freedman Tweaked Blackbird in D, why not try his C? You can't beat the price. If you decide to get the Killarney play it for a while before you make a decision. I have a Killarney C that I like. I loaned to a friend though and he played it for one tune and handed it back. I think it takes more than one tune to do the micro adjustments to our breath control each different whistle requires. I have a number of amazing whistles I have collected over the years. So I will put one away and focus on another. Then a year or more later I will pull out my (insert name of whistle here) and be totally dissatisfied with it. I think, Geez this is a collector's item now. I should sell it. But after playing it for a few hours my body readjusts and I remember why I loved it in the first place.

In some ways it is a matter of budget too. If you like your Goldie and can afford the Goldie C I'd give that a go. I would imagine it would have quite a different personality than the low D. I'd think you couldn't go wrong there.

So many choices. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:27 am 
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I have Generation in brass & nickel, Clarkes Meg & Sweetone, a couple of plastic tunables, & a Tony Dixon aluminium tunable.

The Tony Dixon aluminium tunable is the best & is a great whistle, & I think worthy of your consideration.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:45 am 
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I have so many sop C whistles - a wide bore brass Dixon, an aluminium Dixon with a tapered mouthpiece, a Freeman Blackbird (which was a huge disappointment) a Gen or two, a Sweetone or two and probably some others. Unfortunately, none are as good as the Dixon trad D whistle I play regularly, so I'm also interested to see what people recommend.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:58 am 
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I have a Roy McManus C in wood and that I love, but the expense may be hindering for some folks.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:34 pm 
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@pancelticpiper: thank you for linking your video clip here, which was nice to see and listen to. I would go straight ahead for a Burke, which I love whenever I hear one, but they reach deadlock at the customs when you order one from germany I suppose and you have to pay duty what adds to the comparatively high price of the whistle itself.

Quote:
If you like the Freedman Tweaked Blackbird in D, why not try his C?
Yes, this would be the obvoius choice. Sorry I didn't mention it before, but I like to play whistles with a different character. I love the little differences in sound and that each one has it's own sound.

Quote:
If you like your Goldie and can afford the Goldie C I'd give that a go.
My Goldie low d is an outstanding whistle but it keeps me busy. You can't pick it up for a quick tune, just having fun and put it away then. This is what I love the Blackbird for. It's nearly riddiculous how easy it is to play. But don't get me wrong, I do not blame the Goldie for being challenging. If you take the time, you'll be amply rewarded.

Quote:
Unfortunately, none are as good as the Dixon trad D whistle I play regularly
I played the Dixon Trad D many years. It was my first whistle. But untill today I didn't got warm with it because of the harsh sounding notes at the upper end. But maybe it's my fault.

ytliek wrote:
I have a Roy McManus C in wood and that I love, but the expense may be hindering for some folks.
I was in contact with Roy a few years ago. I told him what I like and he gave me the advice to try a Blackbird instead. Now you mention the McManus whistles again, I thought maybe it's time to try one now. Particularly I was always interested in wood whistles but don't own one. But the expence would be about 300 pounds I guess? A lot more than a Killarney anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:14 pm 
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I was going to try the quote thing on this one, but editing it seemed daunting. I think that most low Ds will be more challenging than high whistles. At least that is my experience. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:38 pm 
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Freckle Girl wrote:
@pancelticpiper: thank you for linking your video clip here, which was nice to see and listen to. I would go straight ahead for a Burke, which I love whenever I hear one, but they reach deadlock at the customs when you order one from germany


Thanks!

I don't quite understand, do you mean ordering a Burke from Germany? Or do you mean that you're in Germany?

If you're in Germany

1) it might be good to investigate Colin Goldie

2) would your name be Sommersprossenmadel?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:41 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
the expense (of a wooden whistle) may be hindering for some folks.


In my case I'm hindered by the fact that I've never played a wooden Irish whistle that I liked.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:12 pm 
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I think she means, she is in Germany. One of the reasons why I don't have a Burke so far. 250$ for the whistle, 50$ shipping (which is insane--I don't know if the "cheaper" option of 25$ is available for Germany) and then add 19% taxes. That's around 360$, around 330€. That makes a Goldie high D look like a real bargain at 243€ plus 8€ shipping. And so far I haven't found a European re-seller for Burkes. I think there is one in Switzerland but since it is not in the EU I'd have to add 19% there, too, which makes it as expensive as importing it from the US directly.
One option would be used but they rarely pop up. It's a shame really, because I think a Burke would suit my playing preferences quite nicely.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 am 
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There is a reason why certain instruments don't show up used so often - nobody is willing to let them go once they got them... if they do show up after all, it usually means that someone has left this world...
It is indeed very expensive to order a Burke whistle from Germany.
I love my Killarney D and Eb, but the C beats them both - definitely one of the best I've ever played!
I also have an Impempe C which I like very much - totally different from the Killarney, needs a bit more pressure, but you can "lean into it" more if that's what you want, and you're rewarded with a wonderful round and complex tone and more dynamic possibilities. I'm not sure if these are still being made, the website is down - you might try to contact Ian Turnbull on facebook.
I had the chance to try a McManus whistle earlier this year and it was a really outstanding instrument - I'm not so sure though if I'd call it an Irish whistle or rather a six-hole fipple flute.

@pancelticpiper: "Sommersprossenmädel" is indeed a very good translation for "Freckle Girl"! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:13 am 
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I also have an Impempe C, but I don't like it that much. It's very different from the Impempe D. The windway of the C is about 50% wider than on the D, which probably causes the huge difference. Compared to the D the C sounds like you're blowing air through a pipe.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:31 am 
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MichaelLoos wrote:
There is a reason why certain instruments don't show up used so often - nobody is willing to let them go once they got them...

That was my guess, too ;). One day I will probably just cave in and get one anyway. Let's hope Mr Burke will keep making them for quite a while or they will probably see a price increase similar to Copelands.


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