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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:24 pm 
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arthury wrote:
I have been reading quite a bit in this forum and all over other websites and the more I read, the more confused I get. :)
Money aside, what is the best sounding high D whistle in the world.
Give me the top three (in case, I have to eat back my words about "money aside").

By best sounding, I meant I want it to carry the richest tones across both octaves. I don't need it to be the loudest (I already have the Chieftain high D).
By richest tones, I meant tones that are
  • deliciously mellow in 1st octave
  • no fraying in second octave (solid)
  • 2nd octave needs to have crisp endings in the higher frequency notes (not roundish) - high clarity
  • loudness: medium to large bore


My (vintage) Generation does all that for me, but probably the length of time I've been playing it has a bearing on it also.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:58 pm 
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The best whistle in the world is made of fairy gold and kept deep, deep in the wicklow mountains, in an ancient rath. It appears only on nights of the full moon. You may play it, but if you play poorly you'll be struck dead on the spot. There are rumors of recordings, done by bold men from a distance of fifty yards, as the best musician of their number plays "the king of the fairies." But in the morning, the recordings are all erased. Those who touch the best whistle in the world and live rarely speak of it. The Irish Folklore center in Dublin keeps their stories in a vault..


Me I like whistles to play more or less in tune and not sound like flutes, which means I like them "airy" and not too loud. Some of the cheap ones are prone to sqwauk and crack and are too inconsistent from not eot note. Some of the cheap ones sound great. I like the Killarney whistles a lot


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:32 am 
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They are TOTALLY different -


The Killarney and Harper are really opposite ends of the spectrum. I had a Harper at one point and I have rarely hated a whistle as much. It was very very loud and the second octave was unbearably earsplitting loud. It was also stiff and just unpleasant to play, the only instrument ever to give me headaches.

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It also came highly recommended here. Which only brought home the point you can only go by your own opinion and experience and not take recommendations from people on the internet who's playing you don't know and get lured into buying a whistle you haven't tried first yourself.

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The Killarney D is fine, a workhorse. I love the Eb though, clear, nimble and easy going, a little showpony. The C was a bit of a disappointment, it's functional but I don't love it. FWIW, made a public appearance with it on Tuesday and it did fine with a concertina and harmonica. Still, if anyone feels like buying it, make me a decent offer and you may have it before christmas.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:58 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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They are TOTALLY different -

[...]
It also came highly recommended here. Which only brought home the point you can only go by your own opinion and experience and not take recommendations from people on the internet who's playing you don't know and get lured into buying a whistle you haven't tried first yourself.
[...]


After going walking down different rabbit holes myself, I think what you proposed will cut down on the number of paths. Problem is that many people shop on the Internet these days, including whistles and even cars as long as they are commodities. I guess, it's best to test these in my local shops and buy it from them instead but at a higher price (on most cases). I feel it's unconscionable to test it at a local shop and buy it from online shops.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:01 am 
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You really want to try and play the whistle you're going to buy. Very few makers are so consistent you can trust one whistle to be the same as the next, even though there are a few that are solid but they are few and far between though.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:33 am 
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Or find an on-line retailer or maker that allows for returns. (e.g. The Irish Flute Store) or ask when making an order what the return policy, if any, may be.

Best wishes.

Steve

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Last edited by Steve Bliven on Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:36 am 
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Yes there's that too. The right to return is a given under EU Consumer Rights legislation covering online purchases.

Anyone in the UK wishing to retain these rights, go vote today and vote tactically.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:48 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:

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The Killarney D is fine, a workhorse. I love the Eb though, clear, nimble and easy going, a little showpony. The C was a bit of a disappointment, it's functional but I don't love it. FWIW, made a public appearance with it on Tuesday and it did fine with a concertina and harmonica. Still, if anyone feels like buying it, make me a decent offer and you may have it before christmas.



That is exactly my feeling about Killarneys--the D is solid, the Eb is great, and the C is just so so.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:31 pm 
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My feeling is different (again...) - D is lovely, Eb is lovelier, but to me, the C is by far the best.
Then again, Killarneys are not completely identical - I've tried Killarney D whistles which I didn't like that much...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Quote:
Killarneys are not completely identical


Well, that's the thing. And neither are different people's playing preferences.

Perhaps key to finding a satisfying whistle is sticking with a type of instrument you like and not try playing wildly different types of whistle, certainly not while you are learning. Stick with the one thing,get to know the instrument and master it as well as you can.

When I hear people complaining second octave notes break, squeak or are uneven for them I can't help thinking that's not the instrument that is to blame, more often than not it's lack of control.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:38 pm 
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What irks me most is everyone saying how simple and easy the whistle is compared to everything else while expecting to play really well miraculously. Everyone's learning curve varies, granted, however, if you're a rank beginner, then its going to take time to learn to play well. Invest in the time and the results will show. For some individuals the whistle is just a kids toy, easy to learn and play, while for other individuals the whistle is a tool for playing beautiful music. PPP... practice... practice... practice! That's the best sounding whistle.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:51 pm 
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Six holes. How hard can it be?

Best wishes.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:54 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Six holes. How hard can it be?

Best wishes.

Steve


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:D

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:28 pm 
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I love posts like this because it brings out the oldest of chestnuts: any whistle can be world class if the player is world class. Well, it simply isn't true. Some whistles are just garbage and a world-class player can make them, at best, workable. I've found that most of the five dollar whistles sound like five dollar whistles: screechy, wildly imbalanced in air requirements, and usually so out of tune to put anyone off listening to them. In the $50-100 range some are mediocre, some are good, and some are terrible. Up to $300 you are getting more bespoke instruments which vary widely in their playing characteristics--airy, chiffy, bright, muted, loud, quiet--but they tend to be more balanced in volume across the octaves, more responsive, and more in tune. If they sound bad it's probably operator error.

Now we get to personal taste. Some like quiet responsive little whistles like the Killarney and some like loud power blowers like the Chieftan. Does that mean one is better? Is a truck better than a sports car? Different whistles for different uses. But if you hear someone telling you that you get what you pay for, it is often the case.

If you want a decent high D whistle, expect to pay at least $50 to get something that will be able to respond as your skills grow. Don't cobble yourself with a really cheap bad whistle as you try to learn technique and tunes. Once you're great, go back to the five buck whistle and you may find that yes, you can make it perform but...do you really want to? Once you learn how to drive a Ferrari it's tough to go back to a Chevette.

-Peter


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:08 am 
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It's the same analogy that if you are a really great photographer, you can make a masterpiece with a pin-hole camera. Yes, you can and I believe only 1 or 2 persons in the world can do that and you are not one of them. Trust me, if you're planning to make a living in photography, you need a large sensor digital camera. You don't even need a pin-hole camera to make starvation knock at your door, just try film.

Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man! But I assure you, my music is not.” ― Mozart

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