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Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality
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Author:  Molotok [ Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

About 3 years ago, my wife gave me a Feadog D for Christmas, and now I have a small collection of Clarke and Generation whistles. It's amazing how quickly they multiply in number! Last year I purchased an MK Pro low-d, and have been having fun with that - but I'd really like to try a higher-quality soprano d whistle, preferably one that is tune-able. Does anyone have any recommendations for a nicer whistle in the $50-$200 range? I've tweaked my generation whistles, and I love the mellow sound of my Clarke original, but I'm ready to invest in something a little nicer and would like to hear your thoughts.

Author:  Krasnojarsk [ Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

The Killarney is a great whistle, well worth its (comparatively) low price. At around 50 dollars more than your budget, Burke whistles are amazing. But I really don't think you could go wrong with a Killarney.

For background, my first fancy whistle was a Goldie, followed 10 years later by a Killarney, and then a John Sindt. I had (and still have) so much fun with the Killarney. It's not super loud for sessions etc, but it's got a lovely pure sound, and nice 2nd octave.

Author:  jiminos [ Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

Rather than a specific recommendation, this thought came to mind...

There are so many whistles within the price range you’ve indicated. If it were me, I’d make a list of whistles in that range, then seek out recordings (or better... listen to them live if you know folks with whistles on the list). Listen to them. Then, I’d focus on the ones that my ears like. Of those, I’d listen again to shorten the list. Then I’d do my heavy research on the finalists.

The problem with a question such as this is that we are all different and we like different things/qualities in the whistles that we play. The whistles that I think fits the definition you’ve provided might sound fabulous to me, but horrible to you because we each attach different meanings to the descriptive terms you’ve used.

Good luck in your search.

Author:  Mr.Gumby [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

The so often cited 'nicer' is such a nebulous concept. The 'nicest' whistles I have are Cillian O'Briain improve Feadógs. I like my SIndts and Killarneys but they get played rarely at home, the weight of the all metal heads and perhaps an edge or coldness to their tone that doesn't completely sit well, they have their uses though.

You have to be practical in these things sound and playability are paramount, every other consideration comes after that. Like the above post, decide what your 'nicer' requirements are and take it from there.

Author:  fatmac [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

I like my Tony Dixon aluminium tunable high D, might be worth your while taking a look/listen to it online. :thumbsup:

(I also have one in high C.)

Author:  plunk111 [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

I remember that Doc Jones did a comparison video a while back - it’s probably still out there somewhere...

Pat

Author:  Sedi [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

One of my favourites is a cheap red-top Generation which sounds and plays just lovely (but they vary quite a bit. The last few I bought were much better than maybe 2 yrs ago). I'd also recommend a whistle from Chuck Tilbury. Great quality and flawless tuning. Or if you wanna spend more--Carbony is a great brand. I have two--the "session" model and the "quiet" model. The quiet model is probably the best whistle I have. But it does require some amount of breath control which should be no problem for somebody who played on a Feadóg for a long time.
I'd also love to get one from Simon Styles (wheston whistles)--his alloy model looks really nice. Or drop the cash and just get a Goldie and you will probably never need another whistle.
Other good brands:
Alba, Humphrey, TWZ (only the models they make themselves are interesting however because they do offer other brands on their homepage), O'Brien (Canada), Shearwater (the high D standard bore is a great performer).
http://web.blomand.net/~ghumphrey/
http://www.albawhistles.com/
http://www.shearwaterwhistles.com/
https://www.tinwhistle.de/tin-whistles/ ... -al-jo.php

Author:  COTW [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

Of the three “expensive” whistles I have, my Carbony is my favorite though I also really enjoy my O’Brien Rover and a recently acquired used Milligan Dymondwood. I also really like my Killarney and agree it’s great value for the money.

Author:  Thomaston [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

FWIW, I have been whistling for 15 years now, and have been through several dozen over the years, from $7 to $400 in range. Some of these were owned by friends and I sampled them them, some I owned myself.
What do I play now, after all that research? A $30 Jerry Freeman Mellow Dog. It simply fits almost all my needs. I’ve just let a friend that needed a whistle have my Freeman Blackbird, so I’ll be replacing it eventually, just because I do prefer to use a quieter whistle when the session is small or the pub is having a slow night. Maybe I’ll try one of those O’Briain tweaked Feadogs instead, though. That’s one I’ve always wanted to try but never did.
I do have a Gene Milligan cocobolo whistle I plan to post FS soon, if that interests you. To me, it plays remarkably similar to the Mellow Dog. I’d keep it just for the “bling” factor, but I’m trying to raise funds for an electric mandolin.

Author:  Molotok [ Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and recommendations! I live in a fairly small town, and there aren't any sessions, groups, or players nearby - and with 5 small kids, I don't get out much anyway. I'm extra grateful to have found this forum. Reading through past posts and topics has really helped me to find more resources to learn from, and it's amazing to see what a friendly community of musicians is here.

I was able to bargain with my wife to order a Killarney, and since they ship for free it will only cost me the price of the whistle (and a new set of banjo strings for her).

Thank you again so much!

Author:  Tyler DelGregg [ Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

Thomaston wrote:
FWIW, I have been whistling for 15 years now, and have been through several dozen over the years, from $7 to $400 in range. Some of these were owned by friends and I sampled them them, some I owned myself.
What do I play now, after all that research? A $30 Jerry Freeman Mellow Dog. It simply fits almost all my needs. I’ve just let a friend that needed a whistle have my Freeman Blackbird, so I’ll be replacing it eventually, just because I do prefer to use a quieter whistle when the session is small or the pub is having a slow night. Maybe I’ll try one of those O’Briain tweaked Feadogs instead, though. That’s one I’ve always wanted to try but never did.
I do have a Gene Milligan cocobolo whistle I plan to post FS soon, if that interests you. To me, it plays remarkably similar to the Mellow Dog. I’d keep it just for the “bling” factor, but I’m trying to raise funds for an electric mandolin.


I also play mostly the Freeman Mellow Dog for various reasons. When I want something rather quiet, the Timothy Potter is ace.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

Molotok wrote:
my wife gave me a Feadog D for Christmas... I'd really like to try a higher-quality soprano D whistle...


I bought a Feadog D around 1980, and in spite of trying every D whistle I came across, cheap whistles and expensive wood whistles and even more expensive Sterling Silver whistles, Killarneys and Sindts and Copelands and Abells and all, I've yet to find a higher-quality soprano D whistle.

Were the $300 exotic wood D whistles and the $900 Sterling Silver whistles "nicer" than my 1980 Feadog? They certainly looked fancier, no-one could dispute that. But none of them played as well as my Feadog, and so my Feadog has soldiered on, in sessions and on tour and on TV and film soundtracks and church gigs and everything a player might need a whistle for.

Thing is, I don't care what an instrument looks like, not really. It's a tool to do a job, that's all.

Author:  COTW [ Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommendations for 'stepping up' in whistle quality

The Killarney should be plenty of whistle. Enjoy it.

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