Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

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Sedi
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by Sedi »

I remembered that I recorded a tune with my O'Brien "narrow brass" once. And I just played it for some time this evening. I think it is a lovely whistle. Has a slightly higher backpressure than a Generation or Feadóg and therefore can be "pushed" a bit more. But the octaves are very nicely balanced and it still has that nimble action and is highly responsive. It never gets shrill and there is no breaking of notes, which can happen even on the best Generations that I own. I think mine is an older version and the mouthpiece has since been slightly updated. The mouthpiece is definitely top-notch. It looks like it's one piece even though it isn't. But the pieces are fit together seamlessly. I like it quite a lot. Here is how it sounds (excuse my mediocre playing).
https://youtu.be/ZeUe4asK2ZI
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deenyo
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by deenyo »

pancelticpiper wrote:I will second the recommendation of Jon Sindt whistles!
Do you happen to know where you can actually look at them? Does he have a website? For all the googling I can't seem to find anything selling directly from him.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by O'Brien »

I thought I would mention, because of a previous post in this thread, that the rosewood I offer is not subject to the CITES ban. It is not a true "Dalbergia" rosewood, like African blackwood (grenadilla). It is also called morado. I'm running quite low on it, though, so if you're interested, act now!
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by O'Brien »

It's me again, with another clarification. I think the whistle he got second hand is not my original narrow bore brass, which was made from thick-walled tubing. The way he described it sounds like a D/C set that I made a few of, in the two-piece style of a Clare whistle. I couldn't think of a catchy name, so it never made it onto my website. So if anyone is interested, I'll sell a set to the first suggester of a name I like, at half price. (C$80)
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Sedi
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by Sedi »

Yes, it is indeed the C/D-set in a nice cloth bag. Lovely whistle(s).
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by pancelticpiper »

deenyo wrote: Do you happen to know where you can actually look at them? Does he have a website? For all the googling I can't seem to find anything selling directly from him.
I found out about Sindt whistles from a fellow musician who has them in quite a few different keys. I was very impressed, and on the Used Instrument Exchange here on C&F I picked up Sindts in D, C, B, Bb, and A.

I've never dealt directly with Jon.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Do you happen to know where you can actually look at them? Does he have a website? For all the googling I can't seem to find anything selling directly from him
You send him an email (at sindtwhistle@aol.com) to order and at some point your whistle will arrive with an invoice. I don't think he needs any advertising or marketing effort.

FWIW, there's a Busman on offer on the used instrument forum.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by Narzog »

My 2c as a wind instrument novice lol.

Theres a line. If your instrument is too cheap it might just not be worth playing. And good ones can be easier to play. But otherwise cheap instruments are fine for learning on. My first wind instrument was a flute from serenity flues, low F. $30 shipped, hand made. To this day I still cant get it to play in second octave even close to well lol. This is your too fishy to learn on one. Next I got a clark sweet tone. Not a big fan of high d's, when your playing it feels so much higher and louder than it does on mixed recordings. But it plays fine otherwise, was like $10 on amazon. then I got a generation Bb. Plays very nice. My last whistle has been a Feadog C, the one I play the most. Something about it feels like it has more soul than the generation, breath effects the notes more. Maybe this helps cover up my bad playing.

For flutes I also have a Cecilio western flute and a Dixon 1 piece. The Cecilio plays much easier than the Dixon. I'd like to play a Seery or M&E to see how much nicer they are but where I live theres no way to go try them.

My playing has improved over time. The important thing to note is that when I started I blamed my instruments, got another, repeat. But now that my playing is less bad I can play any of them and not think they are that bad, minus the bamboo one. Which is a very questionable instrument. So as long as you get something that isnt supposed to suck, its probably not the problem. Just try to stick with it and you will probobly end up making it work out. That being said if you know you are interested theres no shame in skipping budget things and getting something nice.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by COTW »

O'Brien wrote:It's me again, with another clarification. I think the whistle he got second hand is not my original narrow bore brass, which was made from thick-walled tubing. The way he described it sounds like a D/C set that I made a few of, in the two-piece style of a Clare whistle. I couldn't think of a catchy name, so it never made it onto my website. So if anyone is interested, I'll sell a set to the first suggester of a name I like, at half price. (C$80)
Since the whistle I have, and love, of yours is a rover, and you also list a rambler, maybe go with a Gypsy/Rover inspired name. Call the double-set the Vardo, the name for the traditional Gypsy wagon or the Sulky after the cart version.

-Nathan
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by fiddlerwill »

I look at if like this, a top quality instrument can cost 1500-15000$ Or more, so id recommend buying a few top quality whistles Spend 1000 bucks and sell the ones you are not so fond of.
Personally i play a C whistle mostly.
I prefer olivier bouchards brass and boxwood whistles. And Burke. OB i have Eb,d, c b and A , burke d and low G
Different keys are a valuable addition for any professional musician.
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Heres a few tunes round a table, first three sets;

http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/werty
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs-willie
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by pancelticpiper »

Yes two things about trying various makes of whistles

1) whistles are incredibly inexpensive compared to most instruments.

2) if you buy an instrument used you can try it as long as you like, and if you decide you don't want it you can sell it for the same about you bought it for.

Since there's no difference in value between, say, a 5 year old instrument and a 6 year old instrument, you get a year free rental.

Sometimes the value of instruments actually go up a bit, perhaps due to the maker getting a long wait list or retiring from making.

When I really got into Low Whistles several years ago I probably bought 40 or so Low D Whistles. I have one now.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by deenyo »

Hello all,

A big thanks to everyone who gave me advice and their own experience, it was invaluable. This forum is really excellent!

It has been a good while now, because pandemic time really isn't like normal time, but to update I ended up purchasing a C/D set in Rosewood from David O'Brien and am absolutely in love with them! They really made a big difference for me as a learner who was becoming frustrated with difficult to play beginner whistles. These ones are gorgeous and well made, and for me are motivation to play. I also lucked out being in Canada that he's so close by so they arrived quickly.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by pancelticpiper »

deenyo wrote: I am a musician, I have a degree in music on clarinet/bass clarinet and low clarinets. I am recently rediscovering Irish music as an adult and am feeling quite drawn to the whistle.
Welcome!

I've found over the years, in playing and chatting with people from "legit" backgrounds, professional musicians on Sax, Clarinet, etc, that they tend to prefer Burke whistles.

These players are accustomed to having a bit more resistance and having a clear break between the registers, which Burkes provide.

They also like the exceptionally strong low octave and bell note, precise tuning, clear pure tone, and butter-smooth voicing that Burkes are known for.

Coming from a trad background as I do, I prefer the "narrow bore" Burke high D in brass. You might find the "session bore" Burke high D in either brass or aluminium more to your liking. In truth the difference between the narrow and session bores is subtle. The session bore will give a bit stronger tone overall.

I feel the brass is a tad warmer, the aluminium a tad brighter, so it's just a matter of tonal preference.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by RoberTunes »

You can look at ElfSong whistles, a Canadian brand, west coast, I think. They have a few interesting design variations.

https://www.sandyjasper.ca/

Fairly inexpensive but consistently well-reviewed whistles for playability and tone, and definitely a cut above the standard cheapo models found in boxes at your typical music instrument store:
Walton Mellow D (ultra cheap and plays well, has wider bore)
Tony Dixon Trad Brass (or nickel)
Goldfinch (Europe)
Feadog Pro (various; buy from an online supplier?)
Oak (various; buy from an online supplier?)
Shearwater (UK)
Chris Wall (USA)
Timothy Potter (USA)

A wee bit more:
Tilbury (USA)
Killarney (UK)
Chieftain Optima line (many keys)
Hermit Hill

Good, but not recommended as "the first" starter whistle:
Walton "Guinness" model, or may be known as the "Little Black" model. It can play quite well, but not a great option to start off on.
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Re: Questions about intro vs pro and how to choose.

Post by PB+J »

I started on whistle and switched to flute. I had extensive experience as a working musician but not on wind instruments.

I found very clearly that spending more on a whistle got me a better sounding, more consistent playing whistle and resolved what you describe, the beginner's problem of being unable to tell what was my fault and what was the whistle's fault. In my case I especially loved the Killarney whistles, which were soo much better and more fun to play the the various old Generations and Walton's that happened to be lying around the house .

As I got better at the whistle those other whistles got easier to play, but I still prefer the Killarney by a long margin
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