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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:54 pm 
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Can I get some input from you guys and gals on the forum? I am just wondering from any of you that have played the Kerry Optima Low D if it is very breathy as a few people I have read stated. It seems to sound fine when Phil plays it but face it he is an awesome player. What do you think? I am highly considering ordering one. I am having a hard time deciding whether to order the Optima or the V5. I think the air requirements should not be much in difference. Thanks for any input.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:01 am 
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Scottie,

In May 2014 a Kerry Optima went on tour. Many members here posted their reviews. 4 pages worth.

Here it is:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=95717

Good luck !

trill


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:08 am 
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I have an optima low D and like it. I'm not playing whistle much anymore as I've switched to flute, but when I do pick up the low D whistle it's the Optima rather than my M&E.

The optima to me has two advantages.

First, it sounds more like a whistle, less like a flute or recorder. More "air" in the tone, less "smooth."
Second, it's very light and for me easy to hold

You might prefer the "rounder' tone of other whistles, and might not have trouble with the ergonomics of low whistles. I find the M&E low whistle very difficult and unpleasant to hold and play--I think it would only work for me if it had a clarinet style thumbrest. Not everyone has this problem. The Optima, being extremely light, is pretty easy to deal with.

The holes on the Optima are huge. My daughter, who is 15 and five feet tall, simply can't play it, because even with the piper's grip she finds it impossible to cover the holes.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:59 am 
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Yes I was one of the people who tried and reviewed the tour Optima six years ago.

They might have changed the design since then, it wouldn't surprise me.

That tour Optima Low D had a sharp 2nd octave, presumably they've fixed that.

Other than that it was a sweet player.

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Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:32 pm 
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I love my Optima low D. I play it more than any other of my low D’s. It did take me a while to get used to the hole spacing, but once I did it was easy to play. It’s well in tune, has a great tone, and is responsive, with low air requirements. It’s also very lightweight and looks nice. If I had to pick something to criticize, perhaps the low D note could be louder, but lots of low D’s share that problem. It’s an excellent bargain at the price it sells for. It’s my all around favorite whistle. I haven’t played a Goldie low D though. I would say it’s not an airy sounding whistle. I love how it sounds, and I don’t like whistles with a lot of air noise in the tone. I had both the V5 and the Optima. I sold the V5 because I liked the tone of the Optima more, primarily because I thought it was more focused, and with less air in the tone.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:45 am 
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have played the Optima and the MK Kelpie quite a bit. For me the Kelpie is a considerably better whistle. You can probably pick up a used one for about $100.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:40 pm 
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I've played the Optima, fun whistle, but it is the low end Kerry line whistle. Reviol, Goldie, Reyburn, MK and Burke are a step above, in my humble opinion. Although, you do pay for the higher quality characteristics and opinions do vary. I have found the Kerry Thunderbird to be a solid whistle.

There are quite a few reviews on YouTube and here on C&F of all these whistles. In the end, lots of great options, even more opinions--find one and spend time getting to know it well.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:17 pm 
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BKWeid wrote:
I've played the Optima, fun whistle...Reviol, Goldie, Reyburn, MK and Burke are a step above...


+1 :thumbsup:

(The caveat being if there have been improvements to the Optima since I tried the tour one.)

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 3:33 am 
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I own a MK Pro, Dixon and Kerry Optima in low D. Of these the Optima is my favourite and gets played the most by quite a margin.

Things I like about it are:

- Easy second octave
- Very low breath requirements
- Relatively quiet and plays really nicely when muted (with tack)
- Lightweight
- Shiny!

Things I don't like about it:

- Plastic fipple
- Tuning joint is quite simply made

There are some caveats to my opinion though, since its all a matter of taste. I feel like the whistle has a bit of a less traditional flutey sound (as in Boehm), which doesn't bother me as I play a wide variety of things, both trad and non-trad. It has huge toneholes as others have pointed out - I like this because I am 6'5" with huge hands and it makes it easier for me to play chromatically. I'm not a fan of the maker, based on some of his youtube videos I've seen comparing to the MK, but I really love this whistle!


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 6:56 am 
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speaktree wrote:
I own a MK Pro, Dixon and Kerry Optima in low D. Of these the Optima is my favourite and gets played the most by quite a margin.

Things I like about it are:

- Easy second octave
- Very low breath requirements
- Relatively quiet and plays really nicely when muted (with tack)
- Lightweight
- Shiny!

Things I don't like about it:

- Plastic fipple
- Tuning joint is quite simply made

There are some caveats to my opinion though, since its all a matter of taste. I feel like the whistle has a bit of a less traditional flutey sound (as in Boehm), which doesn't bother me as I play a wide variety of things, both trad and non-trad. It has huge toneholes as others have pointed out - I like this because I am 6'5" with huge hands and it makes it easier for me to play chromatically. I'm not a fan of the maker, based on some of his youtube videos I've seen comparing to the MK, but I really love this whistle!




Interesting. I don’t feel it’s tone is flutey. To me it has a trad whistle tone, a low D version of it. I love the plastic headpiece, very comfortable, sleek and nice looking. Mine is the non tunable version. 49GBP for it is a steal, IMO. As I wrote above, the MK is a subtlety better whistle, but I play the Optima the most. It’s such an effortless low D to play. If I decide to keep just one low D it would probably be the Optima. I disagree that it’s not a professional whistle. I can’t find anything that it’s lacking. The turquoise head looks great, IMO.


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