Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I’m buying my first Tin Whistle, and I saw the Clarke Sweetone on The Whistle Shop. It looks good, but I’m not sure if I’ll buy another for a while. I can’t spend a lot of money, so the Sweetone seems perfect for its price and for a beginner like me. Does anyone have any other suggestions or advice?

Thanks.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

At the price of a movie ticket, it’s not a decision that should stress you out:)

For cheapies, I like Oak.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I don’t know the Sweetone, but certainly don’t recommend the Clarke MEG. They can’t get the high C natural or top D, not in my hands anyway, and I tried two of them (after purchase, I’ll add - they come wrapped in plastic these days). To be defective was ever part of the Clarkie’s authentic rustic charm. It was more entertaining when they had wooden blocks with fungus growing out of them. If the Sweetone or other brands of theirs now have a track record of consistently working properly, that would be something of a first, and I’d be interested to know.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

i swear by the walton’s mellow D. they’re cheap and sound good for the money. if you find you can put a little more into it, you can get a nice susato or a tony dixon polymer for $30-$40 American.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Ah, the Walton’s Mellow D looks nice. And by what I’ve just read about the Clarke, I don’t think I want it anymore. I can’t spend over 7$ for a whistle because of shipping. I’ll wait until tonight for suggestions before I order it. Thanks!

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

The Oak has the most robust tubing for the body of the instrument or any of the simple tube and plastic fipple whistles… With any of these, buying them through the mail can pose some risk. It is always best, if you can, to see the thing and have it in hand before putting your money down, and if you can take a whistle playing friend along, all the better.

Are you taking lessons from anyone, or know anyone teaching the whistle, be direct and ask a living in-your-face real hot blooded person for help… We’re all just ‘virtual’ here. ;-)

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Yeah, you’re right, but I don’t know anyone who plays the whistle. I’m not taking lessons, I like learning any instruments I’ve owned on my own. I’ve seen videos of people playing Generations and Susatos, but I’m not sure about them. Susatos are a little expensive, and I just don’t know about Generations.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Sure, if you can’t spend more than 7 bucks, you’re going to teach yourself (do-able), and you "don’t know" about Generations, you don’t really have much in the way of options, so what-for the angst? Get what you can afford and see what you think

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Right. I’ll get the Mellow D because of what the other guy said.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

‘mellow’ is enough to set a mark against it… The charm of the whistle isn’t ‘mellow’ it is the rough edge the classic instruments have, the ‘chiff’ as some say…

The Chiff & Fipple
http://www.chiffandfipple.com/

chiff & fipple presents: Guide to Inexpensive Whistles
http://www.chiffandfipple.com/inexp.html

Walton’s, well, I have a bias, anyone that makes a guiness coloured whistle, I mean, really? And they make something called ‘mellow’? Why not get yourself a recorder… :-P

Chiff & Fipple:
"Oak ~ Cylindrical ~ American made, nickel, highly polished. ~ The tone gets mixed reviews. ~ "

"The Walton’s Aluminum Group. Walton’s has made four different whistles which are cylindrical and made from a thin and VERY lightweight aluminum. There’s a substantial plastic fipple. All have gotten nice reviews and are inexpensive. The best known of these is the Walton’s Little Black Whistle. ~ "
That’s just to get you to chase up the links… ;-)

& The Chiff & Fipple Inexpensive Whistle Poll Results
http://www.chiffandfipple.com/pollresults.htm

Guess which whistle got the highest percentage of ‘Love it’? ~ 36% to the Clarke Sweetone, and over all in the favourable category, Love & Like, with 75%, yeah, you betcha ~ Clarke Sweetone…

So, how’s that for unbiased reportage?

Susato is the only one to beat out the Sweetone, with 39% and 82% respectively…but they are more expensive…

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Alright, I’ve been going back and forth on my decision all day. Someone says Clarkes are bad in some way and they’d be surprised to see a good one, another says he swears on the Mellow D, and then the Sweetone gets second-to-highest ratings for a guide on inexpensive whistles. I’ve gone back to the Sweetone. The Susato is too expensive for me right now.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I’ve gor a Clarke’s Meg in front of me on the desk. It sounds like a tin whistle. It’s not 100% in tune, but it has a lovely emotive sound - it can sound quite haunting, or bubbly and singing, depending on how it’s played.
I’ve got a Susato gathering dust in the other room. It cost 4 times what the Meg did. It’s perfectly in tune, it’s too loud in most circumstances, and it sounds a bit like a turbocharged recorder.
However, I’ve heard some people (better players than me) do wonderful things with Susatos (I’ve heard other, less accomplished, people give entire sessions mass tinitus).
I love the sort of sound Finbar Furey made playing Eamonn An Chnuic. All these modern ‘sweet’ whistles would make that tune a bit pretty and sickly …
But that’s only my opinion.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I love my Sweetone too. I don’t know about the Meg, but the Sweetone has a great tone - quite distinctive I think. In fairness though, I like it as one option amongst several in my pile of whistles - there are other whistles that might be better "all rounders".

I also think the Generations are hard to beat. Everytime I walk past the music shop I buy another Generation in a different key.

My recommendation would be to buy a Generation or a Mellow D for a D whistle, and then get yourself a Sweetone C (and yes I know that’s breaking your $7 rule, but heck, I’m sure you can save up next month’s pocket money!). If you’re going to play whistle, you’ll want a couple of different keys anyway.

Most of the cheap whistles come in D. The Sweetones come in D and C (like some others e.g. Feadog). The Generations come in a much bigger variety of keys (which is probably why they’re so popular) - but every Generation C I’ve tried has been quite sharp without a bit of modification. (I actually found the same thing with a Feadog C I tried).

Hence if you’re a beginner and you want a C whistle (in order to play along to music in the keys of C, F and Dm), you’d be doing yourself a favour with the Sweetone C.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I there actually any difference between the Sweetone and the Meg? I spend a lot of my time in a music shop, and have played around with both quite a bit (I always wipe them with disinfectant wipes afterwards). To me, they sound the same, they look the same… the only difference is the name stamped on them and the price, which is different by 30p.

I enjoy a toot on a Sweetone/Meg from time to time - I’m only a part-time whistle player anyway - and I have one in my whistle collection, but it could never be my main whistle of choice. I am much more enamoured of the lonesome strains of the Generation-styled whistles (although, as many will attest, as far as the actual Genration whistles go, it can take a lifetime to find one that plays in tune - an Oak or a Feadóg ‘Heavy’ is worth the extra pennies.)

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

To their credit, Sweetones/Megs are an easy play, which might be a plus for the beginner.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

The only mellow D I played was terrible - sounded more like an air leak in a moving car than a whistle. The tweaked one’s I’ve hard sound good, but untweaked (the one your talking of) they don’t.

Get the Sweetone - more consistent than the Megs by a bit, and worth every penny of it.

Eric

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

What whistle you get probably doesn’t matter a whole lot if you’re just starting off - if the bug bites, then Whistles will seemingly breed and multiply in your care….
For myself, I have a Clarke Meg in the car which looks like a Sweetone - I find the one I have a bit woolly in terms of sound. Give me a Generation any day for a bit more character!

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I started on a Walton’s D, but there was nothing mellow about it. My family could only take it in small doses ("Aren’t you done practicing yet, Mom?"). If you factor in the awful screechy noises that happen when you don’t completely cover the holes, I remember thinking at the time that a planeload of beginners armed with their Walton’s D whistles could have combed the far reaches of Afghanistan and gotten Bin Laden to emerge from his cave with his hands over his ears, pleading for mercy, and we could have ended a war.

After a while though, the bug did bite and I got a Walton’s C, which was much easier on the eardrums, and a Clarke’s "original" D. That one is indeed mellow though it does take a lot of air to play it. Those were the only 3 whistles available in the town where I live.

Then the expensive bug bit, and that category has been discussed many times here. There was a discussion quite some time ago about becoming addicted to whistles. It could happen to you too. Have fun with it no matter which one you choose.

Posted by .

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I always chime in on these discussions with a defense of the good, old fashioned, wood fipple Clarke whistle. Easy to play, pitch reliable in both octaves, nice chiffy sound, and a bit quieter than some other whistles, which makes the learning process easier on your loved ones. Why not be an authentic whistle player, and play an instrument without these fancy plastic mouthpieces?

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I started with a Sweetone. It is ok, but ‘standard’ whistles are not that hard to use so no reason to use the ST because the ones I had never had the range or the sound quality.

I second the Oaks.

Have had trouble of late with Walton’s and Generations. Generations are the worst.

Favorite cheapie whistle right now is the Feadog.

My regular one is a Michael Burke which may be a bit expensive for a beginner. But it is so easy to play, it would be great for someone getting started.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

Go for the Tony Dixon — around $39. Very sweet. You’ll never need another whistle ever again — of course, that never stopped me from buying more… . um.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

If you get the Dixon trad, it’s only about $25 USDs. It’s my current whistle of choice (when I want a change of pace from flute).

Eric

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

no.

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I quite liked the sweetone whistles. I had one in light green which was quite cool. They’re ok, fairly decent tone. I certainly prefer them to the others available on the market such as the generations. If you think you could fork out a bit more there are other options such as the Susato ( really loud! wide bore, plastic whistle but good strong tone) or the dixon as mentioned above. The other, less well known options, are "tweaked" whistles. These are cheaper whistles such as the generation or sweetone which have been taken apart and improved by other whistle makers. I have a tweaked generation in D which is actually really quite nice. I’ve had it for about 5 years now and it hasn’t let me down yet. It’s quiet but has a sweet, clear sounds that I find pleasing particularly when playing on my own. Plus it doesn’t require as much breath as those with larger bores. You’re looking at about £20 for any of these whistles I mentioned. Take a look at Phil Brown’s website, www.bigwhistle.co.uk, he’s got a good range and his prices are decent. Also, he posts all over the world. Good luck!

Re: Should I get a Clarke Sweetone? (beginner)

I have Clarke Sweetone "D" and Susato. I think the sweetone is great for beginner (like me) and it’s easier to play with it than with Susato…