It's quite a while ago now that I received a Feadóg Pro from Paul McCarron over at the Feadóg company. I have been remiss in writing up my impressions, but not in enjoying this fantastic little whistle.
The Feadóg Pro is relatively new, having been introduced last year. It sports a thick nickel tube and a black Mk III type head. I don't know if it is the wall thickness or some special sauce, but the whistle is a delight to play. Its sound is rich and satisfying. A picture says more than a thousand words but I wouldn't want to bore you with more than a thousand words, so I've prepared a PowerPoint presentation, which, as everyone knows, will say a lot less than a thousand words.
A few more words on how this whistle plays: It has a solid, beautiful timbre in the lower range, with a resonance suprising in a cheapie. There is a good amout of chiff. And as a Feadóg, the Feadóg Pro has quite a bit of chirp, meaning that each note has an edge to it. That makes this a whistle that wants some breath control, and it does not play sluggishly and dully like so many cherished high-enders. Rather the Feadóg Pro is very responsive (think Generation Eb) and even a bit touchy, both in attack and in intonation. Your breath will affect how this whistle sounds and it is a great way to train yourself the subtleties of breath pulses and octave changes. Perhaps the whistle's name is well-chosen: You don't have to be a pro to enjoy this whistle, but as a rank beginner you might not be able to unlock its sweetness consistently.
Here are two clips, which I hope will give you an idea what I am talking about. The first clip, the air to an old Planxty song, will demonstrate the Feadóg Pro's rich tone, Bloomfield's incompetence, and the degree to which you can control pitch. (The Feadóg is nicely in tune, but it is a whistle to entertain the electronic-tuner crowd for hours.) The second clip, a reel, will demonstrate the responsiveness of the Feadóg Pro, I hope, as well as Bloomfield's incompetence, and the Feadóg's chirp. Listen to the crisp response on the rolls and the changes between octaves (which I tongue at times, and slur at times).
As I Roved Out
The Dublin Reel
Overall a great whistle. Strong enough for a session (you might even reach for something a bit mellower in a small session). If you find yourself unused to the chirp and edge of the tone, you can easily dull the blade a bit (with extra-fine sandpaper and only little by little) and fill the cavity under the windway, which stabilizes the Feadógs a bit. I haven't and I probably won't. I like the immediacy of this strong, clear whistle.
Interestingly, I am not alone in liking the new Feadóg Pro. As I hear from Paul, Karen Ennis, of the Canadian band The Ennis Sisters
sees shoulder to shoulder with me on this, liking the Feadóg Pro very well. "I really love the Feadóg Pro Nickel D," Karen says, "and think it is as good if not better than any whistle I've played." She is very impressed with the Feadóg and will continue to spread the good word about the Feadóg. And in that Karen and I stand eye to eye. The next cheap whistle I'll buy will be another Feadóg Pro.
Oh, and I almost forgot: