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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:42 am 
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Hello guys!

I'm looking for a good high D whistle that will be well-heard at some louder sessions.

I know there are opinions that typical soprano whistles can be heard fine, especially by the audience. Maybe, but I don't hear myself playing with banjos, fiddles and these goddamn accordions. I wear earplugs so I don't bother it being intrusive in the second octave. I would rather avoid wooden whistles, despite they tend to be louder and sound great. Here are my types:

1. The newest Chieftain Busker D (it will be powerful, but I'm afraid of the intonation, like in any CF and the crazy, mezzo bore which can make the top register flat).
2. Goldie high D (afraid of clogging and some ridiculous backpressure)
3. Susato Oriole (I hate Kildares, but don't like the look and the mouthpiece of Orioles as well)
4. Setanta (my first choice as it's fantastic, but the C tuning on OXXOOO isn't the best)
5. Maybe Paul Busman delrin?
6. Oz Visor D (don't know about their availability)


Do you have any other suggestions?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:15 am 
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The mouthpiece of the Oriole might look ugly but I think it it's actually very comfy to play. I can check the tuning of my Thunderbird mezzo later on. But so far all my whistles from Phil Hardy had excellent tuning. I am also very tempted when he comes out with the "Busker".


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:01 am 
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Have you played a Burke Session model?

They have good volume, good tuning, and nice voicing. Mine was in aluminum. which is slightly brighter in tone than the brass.

A Susato would be louder, probably, and I did use a Susato when I had to do some outdoor playing in a noisy environment, but personally I prefer the way the Burke plays.

Of course if C natural oxx ooo is a bit sharp you can
1) blow a hair softer on that note
2) use oxx xox (more of a piping style)
3) put a tiny bit of tape on the upper edge of the hole.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:01 pm 
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Just gave my Kerry Thunderbird "mezzo D" a little blast. And if you give it the air it needs, the 2nd octave will not be flat. But the whistle definitely needs a firm hand. If you blow timidly, the 1st octave C# will be flat and the upper half of the 2nd octave, too. Still, I was once again amazed what a nice whistle it actually is. But not really good for indoor playing without ear-protection. I think even in a loud session it might be overkill.
I have once played my standard Shearwater together with my wife on accordion and two (amplified over a PA) singers. Worked pretty well I think -- I first tried the Thunderbird but it was too loud. It was in a small concert hall for maybe 30 people and the Shearwater was loud enough. John Bushby also makes a "session" bore model but his standard version has plenty of volume already.
Still thinking about getting that "Busker" though :D . The quality of the Thunderbirds is just top notch. Built for eternity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:10 pm 
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You're tempting, Sedi... I'm thinking of getting that too.

Richard, yes, I had both aluminium and brass SB Burkes, they were still too quiet for sessions in Wroclaw, Poland. The brass had much better tone IMO, but it's C was terrible (I know about OXXXOX fingering, usually works, but it's more difficult to play some greater intervals, for a non-piper). The aluminium was ok, but sounded very thin, like a dog whistle. Maybe it was just my piece.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:37 pm 
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Chieftain/Kerry mezzo whistles are probably the loudest there are and have a thick tone as well as loud. The Chieftain Custom high D is similar. Also very powerful but a little woodier tone.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:12 am 
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Geebawn wrote:

Richard, yes, I had both aluminium and brass SB Burkes, they were still too quiet for sessions in Wroclaw, Poland.


What do you have there, ten accordions and ten banjos? Yikes. I've never seen a session that loud, even up at Lark Camp where there might be 30 people...but only a couple boxes and banjos.

I used to have the World's Loudest High D Whistle which I would have broken out if faced with that loud a group. I know once there were three or four boxes at a session and that whistle cut through them like cake. I've told the story of it, it was a Susato wide-bore High D that came tuned to 415 (so-called Baroque pitch). It was a non-tunable whistle so I chopped the bottom and carved out all the holes and what I ended up with was a big-bore huge-hole plastic High D that would cut through anything. BTW it didn't have the thin plasticy tone I associate with Susatos, but a nice round tone. After not playing it for ages, I gave it to a busker who said he could never find a High D loud enough.

Geebawn wrote:
The aluminium was ok, but sounded very thin...


Yes I know exactly what you mean, "loud" doesn't necessarily mean "presence".

I really liked MK Low Ds and they have a wonderful unique dirty tone but when I played them in sessions they sounded thin somehow.

Then I played a Reyburn Low D and though on its own it seemed to have a foggy NAF-like tone, in the session it had a beefy fatness to the tone that held its own very well.

It might not be on your radar but you might try a Reyburn. One thing for sure, I've played dozens of Reyburns from high to low and every one has been exactly in tune, the most consistently in-tune whistles from any maker I've ever experienced.

His whistles also consistently have a unique NAF-like something to their sound. As I said it might not seem loud but somehow it has presence.

His older designs were a bit stiff in the 2nd octave for me (as are Burkes) but the latest whistle of his I've tried, a High C, has a nice sweet easy 2nd octave.

Also I see Phil Hardy has bought back out his old High D design. I played a couple of the originals back years ago, I didn't care for them, however there's no denying that they were very, very loud. They might be ideal for your high-volume session.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:32 pm 
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Thank you Richard! Maybe the sessions here are not THAT loud, but they are usually in very loud places, dozens of people screaming, laughing and singing. Nothing wrong with that, people don't know about some session etiquette here, they just come to have fun and enjoy live music in the background.

I would love to try Reyburn, though they are quite pricey - if I add VAT and customs fee, I'll get a high D for 1/3 of my salary :o


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:14 am 
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What about a Colin Goldie High D? He's right there in the EU, a neighbor in fact.

That style of all-alloy High D usually are bright and loud, no?

You can order whatever backpressure you want from Colin.

About clogging, I'm a bad whistle-clogger, but the dish detergent and toothpaste treatment did wonders for my Goldies.

I only have to do the treatment once every year or two.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:29 am 
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The Overton soprano "D" I have is as loud, if not louder, than any other whistle I've ever come across. So loud, in fact, that I've hardly ever played it much. All depends on how much you want to be heard in a session. If a session was so noisy that I needed the Overton to be heard, I probably wouldn't see the point in being there in the first place.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:20 pm 
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Susato is probably the loudest one and is great for sessions. I also have a Goldie high D which is decently loud too. A couple of days ago, I ordered AK Nightingale Brass D (still waiting to arrive), as I thought it should be loud and I liked the sound a lot (heard some YouTube clips). I saw that Gary Humphrey offers "session" models but cannot confirm how loud they are. Generally, as far as I know, the wider the bore the louder the whistle (mostly).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:02 am 
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My Susato Oriole has never failed me when looking for extra volume. I can still be heard (by others and myself) even in mega-sessions with a number of louder instruments. Seems to play all night without clogging as well!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:54 am 
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I suggest you put on a hat while whistling to amplify your playing. Just like Paddy Keenan does. Just think of the poor listeners if you add a shrieking whistle to the banjocordion cacophony. In my usual sessions, there are whistlers who play honking Goldie High Ds. Tbh, they make me cringe, even for the fact that they get played competently. Maybe you should look for other sessions?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:17 am 
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ChristianRo wrote:
I suggest you put on a hat while whistling to amplify your playing.


Image

I know a sax player who is often in outdoor group situations with no monitors and he has trouble hearing himself.

What he has is a square of clear plastic clipped onto the front edge of the bell of his sax. It deflects sound back at him.

I don't know how practical that would be for whistle.

It's called a "deflector"

Image

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


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:34 pm 
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Oh what a funny thread!! I have a design for a “Session Friend” which is essentially a hearing trumpet attached to one of those single ear telemarketer’s headsets. It’s pretty low-profile and really helps hear one’s own instrument. I originally made it as a joke (and a pointed commentary on some people’s playing volume) but I might put the STL up on my website.


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