High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

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High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by TxWhistler »

I've been looking at getting one of these two fine whistles and would like to hear your opinions of them and which one do you suggest getting and why or why not?

I would be using it to play at home only and its volume is not a consideration unless it's over the top too loud.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Mr.Gumby »

As always, it depends on what you are looking for and what you want from your whistle.

I bought the Killarrney C when it was first new, having high expectations. It's a fine and functional whistle but it didn't stand out as anything special so I was really a bit disappointed when it arrived and I hav been happy to let it go ever since. My Generation Cs are still the go to whistles when I want that key. The Killarney sits in the whistle roll with the other Killarneys and the Sindt B and hasn't been out since I played it at a public appearance a year ago. Whatever that means.

It's fine but setting the use against the cost, I probably would/should have left it.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Sedi »

The new Generation C that I bought a few months ago is very nice. I also have the Thunderbird C which might be a bit similar to the Cobre (but I think the Cobre has a slightly narrower bore). The Thunderbird C is not as ear-splittingly loud as the "session killer" Thunderbird D. It's much more balanced but still loud. Never tried the Killarney C.
I'd be very interested in a "Busker" C whistle but so far they only come in D and A.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by pancelticpiper »

I know it doesn't answer your question but if forced to purchase one of the two whistles you mention I would buy the least expensive of the two, toss it in a drawer, and continue playing my Generation C.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by benhall.1 »

Mr.Gumby wrote:As always, it depends on what you are looking for and what you want from your whistle.

I bought the Killarrney C when it was first new, having high expectations. It's a fine and functional whistle but it didn't stand out as anything special so I was really a bit disappointed when it arrived and I hav been happy to let it go ever since. My Generation Cs are still the go to whistles when I want that key. The Killarney sits in the whistle roll with the other Killarneys and the Sindt B and hasn't been out since I played it at a public appearance a year ago. Whatever that means.

It's fine but setting the use against the cost, I probably would/should have left it.
The Killarney C I have is very nice. I suppose it might depend on a combination of variations in individual instruments and possibly that I didn't get mine when they were first out. They may have improved. Or, of course, I may just like mine more than you like yours.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Or, of course, I may just like mine more than you like yours.
It isn't a bad whistle, as I said it;s fine. But at €80 or 90 |I really would have preferred something I love and I don't. It's fine. Perhaps my expectations were too high.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by TxWhistler »

Sedi wrote:I'd be very interested in a "Busker" C whistle but so far they only come in D and A.
FYI Sedi, I just received an email from Phil Hardy saying production is advancing and the Busker Mezzo C would be available soon (whatever soon means). You may want to check his website for more info.

Added link: https://www.kerrywhistles.com/post/the- ... -c-whistle


And thanks to all who are leaving comments, I'm enjoying reading them. Please keep going.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Flexismart »

I have the Cobre D and C. I've had a Killarney D, but not the C. I also have a Chieftain C from 2005, and two OZ Cs (Vambrace and Visor)...and many more sidelined whistles, of course. (How much they cost - $, $$, $$$)

If you're concerned about too much volume I'd avoid the Busker whistles (they're called that for a reason - they're very loud) $$

The Killarney D I had was unremarkable, and had a tendency to squeak under pressure. I sold it. $ (To be honest, I had this same problem with an early Copeland D, so maybe the problem is my chiffery/puffery).

My Chieftain C 2005 is a wide bore tunable that has a beautiful range and tone. It's a pleasure to play, and is very expressive. $$

The Cobre C is a narrower bore (copper) with a plastic fipple and tapered collar. The volume is medium. The character of the tone is brighter than my Chieftain C, but still stable and strong. I think it is Phil's closest nod to the Generation tradition, and the body feels much like a Gen C, but overall the whistle is heavier, but not as heavy as his wide bore whistles. His only other attempt to meet this market was with his discontinued "Songbird" from 2007-ish, another fine whistle that has a similar bore to the Cobre, but was made of alloy. $$

My favorite sound produced by any of my collection is from the OZ whistles. Be it in Blackwood, or Delrin, both C whistles have a consistent and unique bird like quality. They are narrow bore with average pressure, and when you're playing them you feel in total control - no dodging this or that note, no dark notes, no squeaks or squawks. It's the kind of experience where, as a player, you can forget about the whistle, and simply play with abandon, knowing whatever you're hearing in your head is what others are hearing with their ears. $$$
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by MichaelLoos »

I have happily played a Generation C for more than three decades, in that time trying a few other ones (Waltons, Oak, Feadóg, Susato, Chieftain) but found none of them really satisfying.
Then I got my Killarney C and never played any of the other ones again - for my personal taste this one is just perfect!
Only if I want a special type of sound I grab a very old (and heavily tweaked) Clarke.
As has been said before, it all depends on personal taste, what you expect from your whistle, which type of sound you prefer and what sort of playing behaviour you want.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by RoberTunes »

Flexismart wrote:(To be honest, I had this same problem with an early Copeland D, so maybe the problem is my chiffery/puffery). $$$
Refreshing > 2020 will end with another addition to the Whistlers Lexicon, of "chiffery/puffery". It may be listed somewhere before "fiff and chipps" or closer to "Whoad", depending on if spelled "chiffery/puffery", or it's variant in music therapy clinics of "puffery/chiffery".

By the way, HAPPY NEW YEARS, EVERYONE! Have a safe and jolly start to 2021. I think it's a year that will feature progressively more hope and good news as each new month arrives. More jobs, more health, more socializing (after June, anyway), less stress, less doubt, more music, better whistles, more creativity, more FUN!
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by TxWhistler »

I see that many of you are Generation C fans and I can understand why. I've got several of them, both current and vintage (1980 or before) and I do enjoy playing them. I'll have to say that at this time I have a current production Feadog C that I have put my favorite tweak in it. A small piece of plastic under the wind ramp which helps out the upper octave notes making them more solid and gives them a more concentrated tone. That Feadog C is my favorite to play at the moment.

I also see that some of you like Kilarney's and some don't (which is to be expected with just about any whistle brand).

Thanks Flexismart for describing how your Cobre C plays. That's interesting that you believe it is Phil's attempt to come close to the Generation sound. Since I've only heard them on videos it's hard to know how they really sound. i appreciate your thoughts.

I think my situation is like what I see here in my local area. The horses and cows have acres and acres of beautiful grass to graze on but what grass do they want? The grass that's on the other side of the fence. I've got plenty of whistles but there's just something alluring about that one I don't yet have.......... :lol:

I second what RoberTunes said, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!

May it be much better than 2020!!!!!!!

And please keep the comments coming I've really appreciated hearing from you all.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Mr.Gumby »

As has been said before, it all depends on personal taste, what you expect from your whistle, which type of sound you prefer and what sort of playing behaviour you want.
That sumes it up. Mostly.

I played the Killarney and Generations side by side last night and I stick to my original assesment: the Killarney is fine but I prefer the playability of the Generations but if you prefer the tone of the Killarney that would obviously be the way to go for you. The weight and balance of the Killarney puts it at a minor disadvantage as well, as far as I am concerned. That and the price of it (compared to what I already had).

I must say I procured a Sindt C on the forum some years ago that went to Bríd O Donohue (her husband asked me to get one as a present). I loved that one, the few days I had it, and I have tried to get one for myself but was never succesful, not at a reasonable price anyway. I did email John Sindt perhaps a year ago about one but when he didn't get back to me I decided to leave it, deciding I had enough stuff already.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by fatmac »

High 'C' whistles that I have are Clarkes, Generation, & Tony Dixon Aluminium Duo (comes with a flute head as well as whistle).

The ones I play the most are the Tony Dixon & Generation.

Whilst the Clarkes are OK sounding, I'm not keen on the seam or the tiny size at the bottom of its tapered body.
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by TxWhistler »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
As has been said before, it all depends on personal taste, what you expect from your whistle, which type of sound you prefer and what sort of playing behaviour you want.
That sumes it up. Mostly.
I agree Mr. Gumby and thank you for all of your input!

In my opinion this is what keeps the various whistle makers in business. I am still developing my personal tastes in what to expect from whistles and my preference of playing behavior. I am still very new to whistling and due to where I live I cannot go out and listen to others play without driving 2+ hours to Dallas or 4+ hours to Houston. So the only whistles I have heard in real life and not on an mp3 file or video file are the whistles I have personally played. By this exercise I am honing my likes and dislikes in whistle but alas my whistle funds are not unlimited. Even though a $400 or $500 dollar whistle is nothing compared to the cost of guitars, trumpets, saxophones and etc. I cannot purchase all the whistles I would like to try. (I know that no one here as suggested such!)
Mr.Gumby wrote:
if you prefer the tone of the Killarney that would obviously be the way to go for you.
Herein lies my conundrum and the reason I come to the forum for input from you all. When listening to whistles on sound files or video files I cannot know what condensing and filtering may have been done on the files. Thus I don't know if that's what the whistle really sounds like or not and one certainly cannot know how the whistle plays without playing it yourself.

The attempts to describe the sound of a whistle in words also presents problems for there is no good or consistent way of doing so where all or most readers will understand the meaning as intended; however, it can be a tool used to filter out some whistles under consideration if you can see a pattern of an undesirable trait from many responders. Yet at best it is still imperfect but it's all I have without buying and trying them personally.

I appreciate very much the time taken by all to try to convey what they like and dislike about their whistles.

Due to the several suggestions of people to just play Generation and having had an experience lately where I purchased a well know makers whistle only to find out I really like my mass produced one a little bit better, I may delay my purchase of either of the whistles I asked about. (But then that urge to find out about the unknown may take control and I end up purchasing one or both. :D )
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Re: High C - Optima Cobre or Killarney? Your Thouhgts

Post by Oisincooke »

TxWhistler wrote: I appreciate very much the time taken by all to try to convey what they like and dislike about their whistles.

Due to the several suggestions of people to just play Generation and having had an experience lately where I purchased a well know makers whistle only to find out I really like my mass produced one a little bit better, I may delay my purchase of either of the whistles I asked about. (But then that urge to find out about the unknown may take control and I end up purchasing one or both. :D )
It's so subjective, and there's so much to it that the answer really is going to be different for everyone. I have whistles that I love the sound of, but I don't really care for how they behave (or, their playing characteristics, if you will). I have whistles that I love the sound of, and how they behave, but then feel that they don't really suit the way that I play. On the flip side, I have found whistles that I very much enjoy the playing characteristics of, but don't really like the sound of.

Personally, both the Cobre and the Killarney are a little too 'pure' sounding for me. I prefer a bit more chiff and bite and 'complexity' of tone. Of the two, the Cobre probably behaves in a way that better suits my playing style, but that's just me. As someone else has already said here, my own favourite C whistle is hands down my Oz , but YMMV.
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