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Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?
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Author:  moonlitnarwhal [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?


I'm in the market for a new high D whistle and am seeking one with the clearest tone and least `chiff` possible. Ideally, it would be nickel (or aluminum or...) and not brass or plastic, and be under $100, but I'd be grateful for any first-hand experiences or recommendations for clear-toned high D's at any price level and of any construction, as I've haven't had the opportunity to play a wide variety of whistles yet and would be curious to hear which whistles have sounded least `chiffy` to you all. Lastly, with time and practice, I've found that I prefer slightly quieter whistles (or at least not exceedingly loud ones), though I've read here that chiff may contribute to a whistle sounding quieter here, so clear tone would still be the priority for me....

Thank you all for your recommendations! At the moment, I own a Killarney D and Eb (which are both excellent to my ears and taste, with perhaps a hint of chiff?), and a Clarke Sweetone which is my primary practice whistle (the second I've bought), however it's already succumbing to excessive interior rusting (like the first Sweetone I owned) in our tropical climate here, so I'm hoping to find a reasonably-priced alternative to use as my `take everywhere` practice whistle....

Thank you!

Author:  Wanderer [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

I find the Dixon DX-Trad whistle to be fairly clear and pure sounding. Plastic head with nickel body. I've posted a review on C&F but I can't be bothered to hunt for it, so if you'd like you can look here: which has my complete review, some video, and a sound recording.

This is the whistle I keep in the glove box for practicing on when I'm out and about.

Author:  trill [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

The quietest whistle I have is also the sweetest (i.e. least chiff).

It also needs the least amount of air (both low pressure + low liters) of any whistle I’ve played.

It’s a Hoover Whitecap mounted on a Clarke D barrel.


Author:  ytliek [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

I think you already have the ideal whistle, Killarney, for what you're asking, but, o k you want to upgrade or try another brand with clear crisp notes and not too loud over all then try the Timothy Potter whistle. Yes, its brass but a good "take everywhere" / practice whistle and very reasonably priced so I recommend you try the high D. You might be surprised and purchase another Potter just for a tropical backup. :D

Tony Dixon aluminum high D is another suggestion that meets your criteria.

I don't miss the humidity there. :)

Author:  RoberTunes [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

I like the clear, lowest-chiff whistles too. I like the Tony Dixon aluminum high D, DX006. I was searching for clear, crisp rich tone in both octaves and after seeing it played in a few videos online, it jumped out in comparisons as having a particularly sharp crisp tone with no breathiness evident, the chiff level is extremely low. I haven't played every whistle made, and doing so isn't on my bucket list, but I've listened to at least 100 different whistle models online and owned about 12 different models, so I know well what chiff is. It may have it's place in some music applications, but generally I aim to have at least one whistle that's very low in chiff, so the DX006 suits the description.

Here's an example, among many online. Notice how it's razor sharp and the chiff level low. Any technical chiff seems to have been reduced and merged into a rich tone. It's the third of the four whistles played in this short demonstration by a talented player:

I thought the Killarney D, which you say you have, is already one of the lower chiff whistles. It's very efficient in air demand and known as good for session players needing long phrases and long hours of playing.

Looking forward to learning from this thread........

Author:  vigaglum [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

I have a Mack Hoover phenolic resin D, it's quiet and has little chiff. He also does a brass version, and either one should be in your price range.

Author:  fatmac [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

Although I'm not a great player myself, I too would suggest the Tony Dixon tunable aluminium high 'D'. :thumbsup:

(I have a whistle & a duo of it in my collection.)

Also their ABS high 'D' is a nice whistle to have around.

Author:  Sedi [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

The least chiff has my Qwistle v2.0 but Donald WG Lindsay, who makes them, is currently on a sabbatical. Another one with little chiff is my Carbony lead tone model, basically a Carbony session model.

Author:  Maddie [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

Here's another vote for the Dixon alloy DX006D. Although I don't have a lot of experience, I've been happy with the tone. Another nice feature is the oxx ooo fingering for C-natural, which is in tune.

Author:  Sedi [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

I have the DX204 which is the brass version of the DX006. And while I think it is excellent, it has considerable chiff IMO. Not really less chiffy than a Killarney. Maybe the DX001 with the slightly different blade/ramp design. That one has a slightly sweeter sound. I was thinking about "reconstructing" the old Dixon "trad" design which had basically a cut off mouthpiece of a DX001 on a brass tube. And it had less chiff AFAIK as the current design of the trad model in nickel, which has the same head as the DX006/204.
Here is a nice video that shows the sound pretty good since it is obviously unaltered (no echo or any effects).

Here is a video of a Qwistle v1.0. I have the V2.0 but the sound is pretty much identical -- it is definitely the least chiffy whistle that I have played so far but it's plastic -- however, not any type of plastic if you order it directly from the homepage, which is unfortunately not possible at the moment. Donald Lindsay told me the nylon printing that is used, is also used for historical reconstructions of baroque instruments and slightly porous like wood. It also has a very nice texture. The only quirk I found is that the C natural is best in tune with this fingering oxo ooo. So it throws me off when I play it, since I am used to oxx ooo or oxx xox for the C natural. ... ed-whistle

Author:  Wanderer [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

ytliek wrote:
I think you already have the ideal whistle, Killarney, for what you're asking,

I agree here...and was gonna say the same thing. But then I re-read the post and figured he wanted the Killarney for his 'good' whistle, and wanted something to knockabout with.

Author:  moonlitnarwhal [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

Thank you all for your responses - this forum is truly exceptional and I really appreciate feeling connected with so many other whistlers!

After reading all the replies I had my 'finger on the trigger' to buy a DX006 from Amaxon this morning (specifically because Amazon offers a separate 4-year insurance policy which is invaluable to me, particularly for a 'knockabout' practice whistle that would hopefully see much sand, salt, and adventure over years...).

Anyway, I hesitated at the last moment because I wanted to ask you all how the Dixon Trad Nickel compares - in chiffiness and tone, but also in any other respects you wish to share. I'm finding that I prefer light blowing whistles, sweet and clear in tone, and lighter weight while still feeling solid, with perhaps a narrower bore.... the DX006 looked like it might have a pretty wide bore, and I wondered if that would possibly translate into a louder whistle that uses more air? However, I know there are many other factors involved, and I'm not doubting the first-hand reviews of the DX006, only wondering if it would feel a little larger than the Killarney D (which feels a quite solid in the hand to me already), and I wondered if the Trad version would have a similar sound with a narrower bore? In any case, I'd be excited to try the DX006 just from the many satisfied whistlers here!

To clarify my original post, I absolutely love the Killarneys and don't fault them in any way - the tone of both the D and Eb are each excellent to my tastes, and the playing characteristics are perfect for me as well - lesser air consumption, lighter blowing, etc... After they each arrived so shiny in the mail, I've come to recognize just how much I care for my 'finer things' (which are admittedly few...), and I would sometimes catch myself polishing them up more than necessary just to enjoy that shine.... After dropping the brass Eb on the new lava flow recently and denting the tube very slightly, I felt even more protective over these beautiful instruments and tend to keep them inside... It's felt good to have a lesser expensive whistle like to Sweetone to have in the truck to play with dirty hands or leave in the heat, but the whistler in me is always wondering what other sweet-sounding toys are out there!

With that in mind, to broaden my initial question - when price is taken out of the equation, what is the clearest-tone, least chiffy whistle you've played that would be light blowing, narrow bored, and fit my other preferences?? I would just like to avoid brass, as the tarnishing here is far beyond a fine patina and just looks rough in this wet climate....

Thank you again for the excellent advice and feedback, please shoot me an email if you're passing through the Big Island of Hawaii and perhaps we can share a tune! I'm the only whistler I know of out here (so far), and I'd love to play with and learn from a like-minded musician one day!

Author:  Sedi [ Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

The DX204 (the brass version but with the same dimensions as the 006) sounds very similar to the nickel trad I have (it's really nickel and not nickel plated btw, which makes it rather hard and lightweight). The trad is a bit louder and a bit more chiffy. It seems the thicker tube maybe "swallows" some of the chiff. But I think the bore is not that much different between the two. I'd have to check though.

Author:  tstermitz [ Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

"You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

chiff (plural chiffs): (music) The characteristic sound made as part of the attack of certain notes on the organ.

Chiff doesn't mean clear or pure, does it? I don't know what chiff is on a whistle.

Some whistles have a little bit of scratchiness like the traditional Generation. Other whistles have a cleaner, more resonant voice like a recorder.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Least Chiffy D Whistle Recommendations?

tstermitz wrote:
"You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

Ha, I've been thinking this through the whole topic, but hesitated to jump in...

Yes, chiff is an onomatopoeic word describing attack rather than timbre, but widely (and IMHO mistakenly) associated here with the latter. So discussion of the least chiffy whistle is bound to be influenced by participants' understanding of the term because they may be (and here probably are) discussing two different things.

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