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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:55 pm 
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The more things change, the more they stay the same. :)

I have several Gens that are wonderful...and some that aren't so wonderful, and some that are just unplayable. I have some Oaks that are very good. I have a Clare that is outstanding on its own but not very useful in a session because it has a narrow octave.

I have a couple of Burkes that are wonderful. I have a brass narrow bore O'Brien that I think is one of the best whistles that has ever been made. I have a Colin Goldie Overton which is simply the best whistle I have ever played. Once I got the Overton I stopped buying whistles. I guess that says it all.

Seriously, one appeal of whistles to some players (not all) is that they are collectible. Even expensive whistles are very inexpensive compared to almost all other wind instruments. You can build a collection without sinking major funds into it.

Whistle players didn't invent this whole exercise of collecting instruments. Ever hear of the Dayton Miller Flute Collection? One man's obsession during his lifetime has become after his death an important resource for students of both music and history.

I'm not saying that any of our whistle collections are ever likely to have that kind of importance. But surely there are worse hobbies to have. After all, collecting whistles is legal. It doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't take anyone's jobs away (rather the contrary, it helps keep whistle makers in business!) Compared to other things that people collect, it is fairly inexpensive. Whistles can't be used to harm anyone.

I just don't see it as much of a problem.

Your perspective, of course, may vary.


--James

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:49 pm 
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For me, I love my cheap and expensive whistles.

I like to push and overblow a lot on both my whistles (it's a style I've gained from listening to Willie Clancy and Packie Dwyer), so I love the cheerful and chirpy sounds from my Generation which compliment my playing style, and though my style dirties my brass Burke tone quite a bit, that's exactly what I love. I get a bit of chirp from the overblowing which compliments the melodious sound I get from the consistency, smoothness and creaminess of the Burke tone. I also love its higher backpressure and slightly higher air consumption. I also have a Susato C and its air consumption is just right for me and there's an edge in the tone which I really like. Also, I've never complained that my Generations are out of tune (they aren't), and when I got my Burke I've never once said it was better than Generations (but I had to do otherwise to make my parents happy) and it never fully replaced my cheap whistle's role. I merely bought my Burke whistle for my interest in an expensive whistle's quality and consistency, as an investment (debatable, but that's my personal reason) and for its sound. Also, I just was itching to own something that feels like it was made with care (lol).

However to me, above all it's not about the whistles. I love all my whistles, but I love the music more.


P.S. I also own a Goldie Low D but I prefer playing the flute.

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:17 pm 
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I really only play one whistle..... My cocus Oz whistle in D. It completes me. That's what I think it really comes down to. You find an instrument that suits you, and you stick with it. You may find that the cheapies (on the wallet guys, not the tone!) do it for you. Great my friends, wish I could say the same. I personally had a bad run in with feadogs, gens, and oaks. I loved the music, and stuck with it until I could try something different. I found a Boisvert D, and it was amazing, but a bit to easy on the breath for me (great for some of the really slow airs though). I'll never get rid of it because of its tone, and the fact that my father bought it on a whim (the world may have come to an end right there...jury is still out on that decision) at a reenactment show. But I got to try a blackwood Oz whistle and something clicked. It was like the first time I picked up a violin. Just perfect. Just sayin I do believe that it is a personal decision. Like my shoes. You may not like my tattered old red and yellow plaid slip-ons or my ostrich skin cowboy boots, but to me they are just right.

And also, I love my Gen Bb. I'll never stray from that whistle. But in conclusion, the Oz does it all for me. I fall in love all over again every time I look at her, and she sounds beautiful by myself or in a session. We work perfect together.

Just one more voice in the crowd.

Sean

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:56 am 
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It all depends on what you’re after in a whistle if it's just something to get a tune out of and your happy with the compromises then a cheap whistle is fine.

I used cheaper whistles for years and was dead against High end whistles i thought why spend the extra money for what is a simple instrument. That said I am now a convert i finally took the plunge after doing lots or research and got myself a Burke High D its fantastic and I believe it has improved my whistle playing. I have recently got myself an Ellis Pro session also in D this is another Fantastic whistle handmade as well. When you buy an expensive whistle its nice not only to have the better sound but also a better made instrument. I still play my cheaper whistles form time to time but soon go back to my Burke and Ellis whistles.

There isn’t a definitive answer to this its all about preference, you can get lucky with a cheaper whistle and get a great sound, I’m strictly an amateur whistler so I guess I need all the help I can get. :)

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:38 pm 
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funkwhistle wrote:
It all depends on what you’re after in a whistle if it's just something to get a tune out of and your happy with the compromises then a cheap whistle is fine.


I just want to address this attitude once more: For me, it isn't something that I just want to get a tune out of. Of all the high end whistles I've played, and I've played a ton, all of the popular makes (Sindt, Burke, O'Riordan, etc), none have been better (significantly) than the Feadog and Generation, and often they were quite a bit worse, in playability, tone and tuning. Of the ones that were better (and I can only think of one offhand that I actually thought better), they were not much better, and often other whistles by the same maker were not.

It does depend on what you're after in a whistle. I think many players want something that is "consistent" and easy to play with the same tone / tuning. I find those sorts of whistles bland and uninteresting. Each to his or her own! But make no mistake, I do not chose a cheap whistle because I don't care to have the best instrument for the job.


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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Regardless of the whistle...I'm happy to just get a tune out. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:18 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
I assume that Walden is struggling with a legitimate issue and not simply trolling = "getting them going". But I'll wait for an answer to my questions. :wink:

Since Walden has logged in as recently as this morning, and still no reply, I'm beginning to think I was mistaken. :really:

In any case, I'm still waiting ...

MTGuru wrote:
A fair sentiment. How come?
MTGuru wrote:
I guess my more basic question is: How does the cost of a whistle (or lack thereof) correlate with what you like or don't like in a predictable way? Or is it simply the cost itself that's the negative?

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:25 pm 
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Walden wrote:
The whole idea of expensive pennywhistles doesn't appeal to me.


I agree. They should all be low cost, that way I could afford a whole set of Burkes and Goldies.


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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Of cheap whistles I only have a Walton and a range of Gens (for the car and bush walks).
I don't have any "high end" whistles.
things more expensive than above are my Sweetheart maple D which is what I try to play ITM on. I got this in 1993.
I got a range of Syns (C#, C, B and Bb) for my non ITM work and Susato E and Eb for same reason.

My late dad played wonderful indic folk with cheap whistles (mostly Bb).

I am not wealthy enough to collect expensive whistles for the sake of it.

Sometimes I wish I could accompany all the the different musics in different keys with just the Sweetheart D and the Syn C
(my favourite two)
with some sort of computer gizmo that could convert whatever I am playing into the desired key.

Is there such a thing?

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Artist
Tools
Medium
Audience

They do mix in strange and wonderous ways.

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Sometimes you find the whistle that really fits you. After my wife have me my Colin Goldie Overton high D, I haven't bought a single whistle.

I've played many kinds of whistles at many price points, some quite wonderful, but no other whistle will sing for me like this one does.

I am content.


--James

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 12:39 am 
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talasiga wrote:
I don't have any "high end" whistles.

Any "low end" whistle can be easily converted into a "high end" whistle by adopting the "Australian Position".

talasiga wrote:
Sometimes I wish I could accompany all the the different musics in different keys with just the Sweetheart D and the Syn C
(my favourite two) with some sort of computer gizmo that could convert whatever I am playing into the desired key.
Is there such a thing?

Yeah. It's called a synth. Just sample one note, then you can replace all that blowing with pressing keys. I don't think you want to do that though.

The other option would be to use the Doppler effect. Travelling very fast whilst playing a whistle in D will make it sound like you're in Eb to a stationary listener. Someone please do the maths for me to work out just how fast. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:10 am 
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Interesting image evoked of talasiga red shifting and losing his rag as he accelerates to escape velocity... :-o :-D

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:52 am 
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hoopy mike wrote:
The other option would be to use the Doppler effect. Travelling very fast whilst playing a whistle in D will make it sound like you're in Eb to a stationary listener. Someone please do the maths for me to work out just how fast. ;-)

I think we did this once before, involving whistles and motorcycles. :-)

The Doppler effect with a stationary observer is: f' = (v/(v + v')) * f

where f is the actual frequency, f' is the perceived frequency, v' is the velocity away from the observer, and v is the speed of sound in air.

Solving for v' gives v' = v * (f/f' - 1)

By definition, an ET half-step is a frequency ratio of 1.059, and the speed of sound in air is 343 m/s. Plugging in the numbers gives

v' = 343 * (1/1.059 - 1) = -19.1095 m/s = 69 kph = 43 mph (toward the listener).

So it's not very fast. Even a Vespa scooter would do nicely. Of course, the observer has to agree not to listen until you accelerate to a constant speed. You also have to drive directly at the listener, and finish playing the tune just before you kill them.

What's needed is a whistle transposition track, with speed detection for automatic earplug removal, and a listener's pre-impact ejection seat at the end. Simple.

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 Post subject: Re: High-end whistles
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:56 am 
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I find myself wondering why none of the whistle makers on the board haven't chimed in with "The whole idea of INexpensive pennywhistles doesn't appeal to me." :devil:

Best wishes.

Steve

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