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 Post subject: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Hello! I am new here, and I am looking at getting my first whistle. O:) I have played the silver flute for many years and am branching off to play flutes from around the world. I am looking for a whistle that has a sweet, clear, bright, strong tone. But I am unfamiliar with what brands are good and what ones are junk. I understand that the material used to make the instrument determines the sound quality? What do you like best? Any suggestions :?:
Thank you! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:58 am 
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Hi, welcome to the board.

I hope you're ready for a flood of information because you've asked a question that has a ton of different answers. :laughing:

I'm afraid I won't be much help but there are many here who are quite discerning of the nuances of different whistles, and are happy to share and answer questions.

:wave:
Kitty

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:59 am 
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Location: Germantown, MD
I will start. All brands are good. :shock: However they are all different. It is the playing of a whistle that determines the sound quality not the material it is made from. From a theoretical standpoint the material has no effect on the sound. Many people will tell you though that brass is brighter than aluminum (aluminium) and wood is warmer, very subjective terms. Many people like a complex (many harmonics) sound in a whistle for the traditional sound others prefer a pure (lower amplitude harmonics) sounding whistle. I play Burke brass whistles; Joanie Madden plays aluminum Burke whisles in addition to O'Riordans. I asked her why she played the aluminum. her answer was, "I just prefer them". That is why some of us own upwards of 50 whistles. What do I play most of the time? All of them. It depends on what is close by or what I feel like today. It may be an expensive Burke or an inexpensive Feadog. One of my Feadog Ds is always on my computer desk. Next to my recliner is a Burke D and a Humphreys D. I don't think I helped you much but it is not an easy question to answer. Some people love the Clarke original. I do not like it at all. However sometimes I play one. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:37 am 
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Location: Sparta. NC USA
My favorite "concert" whistles are the Clarke original design D and the Parks Whistle Every Whistle in D.

My favorite "solo" whistles are my Generation Bb brass tube with the Hoover Blacktop and Mack Hoover's own pvc whitecap B whistle.

That's only 4 of about 25 different whistles that I own.

Check out the Chiff & Fipple website for lots of reviews to help confuse you. :lol:

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Location: Rodhope Mountains, Greece
Silver flute is my main instrument as well. Clear, bright, strong tone, to compliment your flutes - has to be aluminium Burkes IMHO!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Somehow I knew Adrian would say that. :D :D

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This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:36 am 
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I happen to agree with Adrian on that one. Aluminum Burkes provide a very pure, strong tone.

:wave: Hi, Silver.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:03 am 
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Welcome, Silver_Keys! :)

"Pure" brings three whistles to mind .. O'Riordan, Rose, and Burke. "Sweet" & "Clear" still fits all three, in my opinion. But "Bright" brings the Burke to the forefront. Burke is the best choice especially if you want several different keys, Whistles aren't quite as accommodating as silver flutes in the chromatic area.

FWIW, many makers can tailor a whistle's sound to match what you want. Mack Hoover can make a very sweet brass whistle.

Happy hunting for your whistle.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:46 am 
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I forgot to say welcome :wave:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Thank you all for your replies, and making me so welcome! ;) I'm going to have to look around to find a website that sells these whistles. Does the Aluminum Burkes sell any cheaper than $200? I wasn't thinking of spending that much however if that's the price range for a good instrument then it could be a good investment.
I had a review from another person who thought that Burkes "sound a bit bland and I think they are overpriced for a mass-produced instrument." What's your thoughts on this?
Also if we're in this price range how does it compare to http://www.colingoldie.de/whistles.html these whistles? This is what he recommended to me.
Thank you for all your suggestions so far. O:)
Oh and one more question: Does anyone have a specific website that they go to to order their whistles? Or any suggestions on what ones are reliable?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Comparing a Burke whistle with a Goldie whistle can almost be like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruits, but have completely different flavors. Both are whistles but have very different tones. The Burke is known for having a clean sound with no airish (raspish) overtones. The Colin Goldie is known more for the complex tones. Two totally different sounds from the whistles. It all depends on which sound you prefer. Both whistles are considered 'high-end' whistles.

Be warned that some people consider "pure" to mean sounding traditional, with some rasp-ish overtones. Others consider pure to mean a clear, flute-like tone.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Hey, as far as really inexpensive, I've got a Tommy-tweaked Feadog that sounds fairly clean to me (and I played flute all through school so I'm accustomed to a more pure sound rather than lots of chiff). However, it's very soft so you really can't hear yourself when playing in band.

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"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7 NIV


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:45 am 
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Does anyone play a Tony Dixon whistle? What are they like?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:02 am 
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I have several Dixon whistles and like them. I've played almost every type of Dixon whistle. Only the heavy brass/aluminum with the polymer tops were not to my liking. They felt unbalanced to me, but other people like them better than the lighter versions. The tunable polymer with the brass tuning slide is a favorite. The Trad in brass has a bit warmer tone than the nickel Trad which is slightly brighter in tone.

**Fair warning -- I don't play in public, just for personal enjoyment, and might not be the best one here to give advice.**


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:26 am 
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Location: just south of Akron, Ohio
I have three Dixons that I play, the polymer with brass slide in C, and a low D and low C in polymer. All are nice but very quiet compared to other whistles I have. The low C is almost too quiet, takes very little breath to play the bottom note. For me it's too easy to overblow. But the finger reach is easier than others I've played. But for my money the Dixons are just too quiet.

From your requirements in your first post, I'd still recommend the Burke whistles. They have the tone you described, and are very consistent players. Sure, they cost more, but you can always get a good sound from them, pure and sweet, and loud. I don't think they're bland at all. You should listen to some sound samples, ones without any reverb, to compare.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Does anyone know what the Merlin Aluminum Excalibur whistles are like?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:15 pm 
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Adrian wrote:
Silver flute is my main instrument as well. Clear, bright, strong tone, to compliment your flutes - has to be aluminium Burkes IMHO!

Wow, I'm shocked! I never thought you'd recommend anything other than Overton, Adrian! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:18 pm 
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I've played a great many brands (right, gang? :mrgreen: ) but now the only ones I ever play are made with pvc by our own Tommy. I play (and travel with) his A and Bb, but his low G is great, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Whistle?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:33 am 
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Blackhawk wrote:
Adrian wrote:
Silver flute is my main instrument as well. Clear, bright, strong tone, to compliment your flutes - has to be aluminium Burkes IMHO!


Wow, I'm shocked! I never thought you'd recommend anything other than Overton, Adrian! :shock:


You are right that Overtons are favourites but they have a complex tone rather than the clear, bright tone that he was looking for. I'm still playing your Overton A. :thumbsup:


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