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 Post subject: Goldie or Thunderbird?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:02 pm 
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Hi,

Need some advice :) Would like to purchase a good sounding Low F, my primary options are Goldie or Kerry Whistles' Thunderbird. Another two maybe would be Optima F or Shearwaters. Now, I am a hobby'ist payer, and maybe do not need such fancy whistle, but I am too poor to buy bad things :D. I was very impressed by Davy Spillane and Michael McGoldrick/ John McCusker, this is what I expect of whistle, that sweet expressiveness. But don't want overspend, if other whistles get close to them.
Please recommend :)

Many thanks.

Jonas


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:42 pm 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I have 2x low 'F' whistles, a Shearwater & an MK Kelpie, the MK is definitely a great whistle, & I'm glad I got it, but the Shearwater is very good for its price as well.

Check them out online if you can.

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Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:41 pm 
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I haven't owned or tried a Thunderbird or Shearwater in any key.

The mezzo/alto F whistles I've owned are the Burke, Goldie, Alba, and Susato and for me the Goldie is clearly on a higher level than the others. In short, my Goldie F is perfect.

The key/size I've tried and/or owned the most different makes of is Low D, probably at least two dozen different makes, and there too the Goldie is my favourite.

Though I'm sure there are a number of great whistle makes that I've not had the chance to try yet.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:29 pm 
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Location: North America. Way north.
I don't have either a Goldie or Thunderbird (and in what range; soprano, alto, low?), but have seen dozens of YouTube and manufacturer videos of them being played and reviewed. They're both premium instruments so it boils down to what you need.

Goldie has long earned a premium professional reputation for playability, reliability, tone and availability. When I first started learning about whistles I naturally wanted to find the full range from worst to best (I'd already found the worst, and barely escaped whistle futility), and Goldie, Burke and a few other builders were at the top of the quality list.

Then I found the Chieftain Thunderbird and what for me might be one of the ideals. As a flute player and wind instrument player for decades, I wanted instruments that have a range of expression and that are responsive, controllable and have a solid tonal centre. No toys or "beginner" level impediments to progress, I'm just sick of that kind of thing. I can supply loads of air. The Thunderbird is a larger-bore, more full range, lively and expressive option. If it takes or accommodates more air, that tells me it isn't fragile and that it generates a range of output from what's given (air pressures, attacks, sustain, clarity, breathiness, response in the third octave, everything). The soprano/high D options in the Thunderbird style, now offered as the Busker, continue the larger bore full-range option that stays controllable and musical in a wide range of playing approaches.

What do you want for yourself? What tone options are important to you? Playability? Are you advancing in your ability and want an instrument that will be there to advance in and facilitate performance options with you, and that stays "better" than you, and inspires progress? Does one whistle cover many needs?

Myself I think for a high D and alto range, I want at least 6 whistles (evidence of Whoad, and definitely fewer options for low whistles), to cover the range of tones and playability >
1) A whistle like the Walton's, Feadog Pro, Oak, Chris Wall, Tony Dixon Trad Brass or Reyburn take care of the basic tin whistle design and tone.
2) High quality tone out of plastics; consider the Goldfinch, Tony Dixon DX001, etc.
3) great tone out of aluminum means (a favorite high D I've played) look at models like the Tony Dixon aluminum DX006, Tony Dixon aluminum alto A, and look for ALBA, Burke, Shearwater, Tilbury, as well as the Goldie and Kerry/Chieftain Optima and other product lines,
4) the high quality wood and thick wall brass models for richer, deeper tone, with probably higher prices but ultimate reliability, like with Milligan, McManus and quite a few other small-production size makers, and
5) the powerful full-throated and high range of expression in large bore designs like the Thunderbird/Busker, and other players can chime in on what whistles also fit this type.
6) Bamboo, fifes, flageolets, novelty materials and designs. Bamboo is an excellent material for whistles and flutes, but the marketplace has a deceptive range of quality of product for sale, from highly faulty to "so-so", to excellent material and skilled crafting. Explore carefully.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:26 am 
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Both can be heard side by side in this video btw.
https://youtu.be/PbUM8mn0_Hk
I myself play an Optima F body with the head of a Qwistle, which is an astonishing combination but plays quite differently from a Thunderbird (which I own in high D, C and low D).
Edit: I had a Shearwater F but sold it. It was a nice whistle but a little too pure in timbre for me. I want a little more breathiness.
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:45 am 
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RoberTunes wrote:
I don't have either a Goldie or Thunderbird (and in what range; soprano, alto, low?), but have seen dozens of YouTube and manufacturer videos of them being played and reviewed. They're both premium instruments so it boils down to what you need.

Goldie has long earned a premium professional reputation for playability, reliability, tone and availability. When I first started learning about whistles I naturally wanted to find the full range from worst to best (I'd already found the worst, and barely escaped whistle futility), and Goldie, Burke and a few other builders were at the top of the quality list.

Then I found the Chieftain Thunderbird and what for me might be one of the ideals. As a flute player and wind instrument player for decades, I wanted instruments that have a range of expression and that are responsive, controllable and have a solid tonal centre. No toys or "beginner" level impediments to progress, I'm just sick of that kind of thing. I can supply loads of air. The Thunderbird is a larger-bore, more full range, lively and expressive option. If it takes or accommodates more air, that tells me it isn't fragile and that it generates a range of output from what's given (air pressures, attacks, sustain, clarity, breathiness, response in the third octave, everything). The soprano/high D options in the Thunderbird style, now offered as the Busker, continue the larger bore full-range option that stays controllable and musical in a wide range of playing approaches.....


Hi, sorry for taking time to reply and thank you very much for in-depth reply, I really appreciate it. I my self am interested in many ethnic wind instruments, including bamboo bansuris, Egyptian nays, Armenian duduks, so I kind of know what I want from a whistle :) Definitely aluminum, and sounding like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUM8mn ... rt_radio=1 or like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA8zjXpvAVw&t=7s. This is what I am looking for. I have Chieftain low D (V5), absolutely love it, but would like to purchase F with slightly more expressiveness and loudness, that just captures lovely emotions, like in these videos ( I hope you understand..). Basically I wanted to know how close Thunderbird F gets close to Goldie F. There is 150 eur/gbp difference, don't want to overpay, as music is not my bread earner :) But like you, I want also to buy top quality (as much as possible) and rather have satisfaction than regret. What would be your recommendation between these two? :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:48 am 
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Sedi wrote:
Both can be heard side by side in this video btw.
https://youtu.be/PbUM8mn0_Hk
I myself play an Optima F body with the head of a Qwistle, which is an astonishing combination but plays quite differently from a Thunderbird (which I own in high D, C and low D).
Edit: I had a Shearwater F but sold it. It was a nice whistle but a little too pure in timbre for me. I want a little more breathiness.
Image


Hi, thank you for reply :) Thats an amazing video :) One I know is Goldien, but are you sure, that one on the left is Thunderbird F?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:16 pm 
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I played a Thunderbird low F exclusively for a few years. It is a solid, in tune, and good sounding whistle. A very good Reviol replaced the Thunderbird. (edit to say I missed that Thunderbird the moment it parted.)

I would agree with Richard, based only on his experience and what I see, read, and hear, that the Goldie is on another level as a low F.

I hope to find one soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Jonas_P wrote:

Hi, thank you for reply :) Thats an amazing video :) One I know is Goldien, but are you sure, that one on the left is Thunderbird F?

Yes, you can tell by the design of the tuning slide. And I think Phil Hardy also mentioned it once on his youtube channel.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:37 pm 
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I own neither. Have heard amazing things about both. You cant really go wrong with either. Thunderbird F seems very nice, so its not like its a bad instrument. So it just comes down to if you want to pay a lot more for a slight increase in how good the whistle is.

Personally I'd base this off how much you plan to play the low F. You said you like other wind instruments. So if you are going to be playing those a lot of the time, and or want to save money to get others, theres no reason to spend top dollar on a Goldie, when the thunderbird is still excellent. But if you plan to play a lot of low F then you can easily justify getting the best of the best.

Just my 2 cents. Neither decision is really the wrong one, either one has plenty of upsides.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:58 am 
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I have a Shearwater Low F and a Goldie Low D MS blower. From my own experience I can say the following:
-Goldie: great sound in tone and power, requires more technique or push to reach 2nd octave notes. Consumes by far less amount of air. Perfect tuning almost with no effort.
-Shearwater: more pure sound but quite windy, it's easier to reach 2nd octave but the last notes you need to push them a bit for perfect tuning otherwise they are slightly flat. Consumes quite a lot of air as air channel in mouthpiece is quite big.

Never tried the optima, but it's definately in my list. I tried the MK also and they are fantastic but they have a more velvet sound typical from MK.


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