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Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?
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Author:  qnaza [ Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

Hi all, new to the forum after deciding to get back into low whistle playing having sold my 2001 Chieftan low D five years ago due to it just not being played. I do guitar more, but want to get back into playing low D again.

Based on max budget and knowing Phil Hardy's whistles, I'm looking at either a V5 or the newer Custom Low D. Does anyone have experience of both?

Cheers for your experiences and thoughts.

Author:  Sedi [ Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

Hi and welcome,
I have the V5 and tested the Custom in a store. I much preferred the V5. The backpressure of the Custom was too high for my taste. It felt "stuffy" when playing it. Like blowing through a straw. But that's personal preference of course. I also don't like the newer hole distances. It's more asymmetrical now and the hole size has been slightly reduced. That's fine for small hands and slim fingers but I never had problems with the larger holes.

Author:  qnaza [ Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

Thanks Sedi

I'm going to try both and see how it goes. As you say, personal preference is key.

Author:  qnaza [ Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

Thought - I'm way out of practice, and want to be able to compare the two whistles as well as possible. Any tips for things to do to check the parameters of the whistles? What sort of things am I looking for or trying on them, apart from general feel and personal impressions?

I'm sure most of it is common-sense, but if anyone could give me some tips from their years of experience, I'm all ears!

Author:  Dreday [ Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

I own both, but my v5 is non tunable. I love my v5 a little more even though it’s a fixed version. The back pressure may be a little higher on my custom, but it’s a real subtle difference in my opinion. Also my custom has more of a buzzy tone. I like them both but my favorite and go to, (I play alone with it right now), is my V5.

Author:  qnaza [ Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comeback low whistle player: Kerry V5 or Custom Low D?

Thanks

As it happens, I tried both the Custom and V5, and decided on the V5. The Custom is very nice, and as you say, they are very very similar. I prefer the more open blow on the V5, and the feel of the blow in the second octave - it needs more air than the custom, true, but the custom felt a little forced in the second octave. I also like how the V5 allows a little more playing around with air pressure from the mouth to get different timbres. It's difficult to articulate what I like about the V5 without getting subjective and waffly, I just like that the sound is a little clearer (simpler, I guess one might say, which is something someone else might not be aiming for, thus leading to them opting for the Custom?), and the playing feel of the V5 was more open, which I liked.

Oh yes, also, the holes on the V5 fit my long fingers better. My fingers on the left hand actually felt a little cramped on the Custom (big hands and long fingers, great for playing piano, I remember a piano teacher telling me when I was a kid...) and I like the slightly larger holes on the V5 as well as the fact that they're slightly less rounded on the edges. I found the V5 had more tactile feedback for my fingers and I could just find the holes better. All of his could be because my previous whistle was a Chieftan from the early 2000s, probably something like a Thunderbird, but I can't recall now, and the V5 felt closer to that, perhaps it's just my muscle memory that liked the feel of the V5 as much as my ears liked the V5 too.

Both are very well-made, and ideally, I'd have one of each model, but having to choose just one, I've gone for the V5 and am happy. If I find myself playing in a session, I might get a Thunderbird, but that's a long way down the road.

Now all I have to do is play the right notes in the right order and rhythm. Can't be that hard... :wink:

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