Which low whistle?

Which low whistle?

Which low whistle should I buy for around £60 in your opinion. I was looking at Dixon and Susato low d whistle. I found video by Miguel Otero here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uXz7HhgbXw&feature=related and I really like the sound of this low whistle but I can not recognize it…can you?

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Re: Which low whistle?

I like my Susato Low D. It also gives you the option of adding one or two keys if you have small hands.

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Wow, that whistle in the clip really does sound nice.
I wish my Chieftain could make that echoey sound…

Re: Which low whistle?

So you think that Overton is the best choice? I still want to find out on which low whistle is Miguel playing in first video…

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Re: Which low whistle?

" ~ but I can not recognize it…can you?"

Just in case, for a direct answer ~ It’s a Susato…

Re: Which low whistle?

Susato with lashings of reverb😎

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Reverb yes 🙂…What about Chieftain low whistle? I heard that Susato is not really great whistle and because of that I am suprised by video clip…

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Re: Which low whistle?

Which low whistle is better for beginner (Overton, Susato,…)?

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Re: Which low whistle?

It all depends on what you want from a whistle, best take all comments, positive and negative with a pinch of salt.. the only way to know is try them, and even then you might get a dodgy one…..
But a beginner? I wouldn’t recomend any low D for a beginner. Spend a few years on high D, to Bb.
If you really want low, try low G…. Thats just my opinion…
Saying that I would suggest the thinnest bore and closest fingering arrangement would be the things to look for.

Re: Which whistle?

Ditto what jig said too!!!

Re: Which low whistle?

Anam, are you an absolute beginner? ~ or are you a reasonably accomplished whistle or flute player looking to begin playing a low whistle?

Hand size, finger spread, can also be an issue, but there are some instruments designed and made specifically for the smaller hand…

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I started playing whistle on a low whistle (because I’m stubborn and that’s what I wanted to do), picked up a high d later on. I’m more comfortable on a low D and probably a bit better too. But I already played fiddle and banjo at that point so I was only learning technique not learning tunes as well.

Do whatever you like, but have you held a low D? Some people find the stretches a bit much hassle, but that didn’t bother me as I’ve got big hands 🙂

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Re: Which low whistle?

Hey Yall i just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I just bought a burke low d. The price is steep ($270) but this guy can make em. I cant say if its better than any other due to the fact that my only other whistle cost $20 and it should have been called a low straw due to the amount of spit i had to suck out of it to get a note. But in the end you get what you pay for. Good day to you from the middle of the swamp in Cajun country.

Re: Which low whistle?

Good point Sean ~ you can really start anywhere if you’re starting, but it is generally easier to have already started someplace before picking up a low D, but if that is what drew you to the music, well, who are we to turn you away… We can only recommend an easier way in, based on experience…

~ based on experience ~ and the cost of a decent instrument… 😉

Re: Which low whistle?

I agree that the low D could be discouraging if you’ve no experience playing the soprano - but if you are set on getting one, then I believe the Overton is the only choice. The others I’ve played include several Howards, a Lambe and a Burke (I think).

Re: Which low whistle?

I am playing tin whistle now…I bought sweettone and generation whistles because they were not so expensive but now I would really like to get better sound and play also low whistles. I have big hands and fingers so I have more problems on tin whistles…

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Re: Which low whistle?

Which low whistle was used in movie Braveheart?

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Re: Which low whistle?

No low whistles were used in the movie Braveheart. I know because I was the player. The low flutes used were quenachos.
Tony Hinnigan.

Re: Which low whistle?

"The Low Whistle Book"
Steáfán Hannigan & David Ledsam
Sin É Publications
ISBN: 0-9-525305-1-1

On a guess I’d say Overton…

Re: Which low whistle?

Tony Hinnigan! ~ that makes a hell of a lot more sense, tonally… There you go Anam, direct from a source. I was curious myself as it didn’t sound like a whistle… ‘Quenachos’?! That would have been a difficult one to suss out. Great! Go raibh ma’agat / thanks Tony, much appreciated…

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I’m all smiles, from ear to ear ~ thanks a ton Tony, I’m listening to your lovely clips and I liked the write-up on your whistle page too, well said…

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Thanks Tony! I just have problem because here in Slovenia we do not have any whistles and I just can not test them…I think Overton is good choice (by the sound clips)…

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Re: Which low whistle?

Slovenia, why didn’t you say? There were some folks making simple six holed instruments in your general neighborhood, I have on, and I love it, but it isn’t a low whistle… Best of luck Anam. Maybe you can escape to try the Overtons in Germany, but the folks making them sound like nice people ~

Discussion: What about this for a whistle story?
# Posted on February 6th 2008 by Key Maniac Lad
https://thesession.org/discussions/16625

Re: Which low whistle?

Ceolachan thanks for this link…Are you sure that you got whistle from Slovenia (not Slovakia)? I forgot to ask about Dixon whistles? I like Alba whistle sound but it is a bit expensive…

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Re: Which low whistle?

I also found Chieftain whistle on e-bay…What about used whistles?

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Re: Which low whistle?

I went through a low D whistle trial phases several months ago. I had played flute (wood Irish flute) for 30 years but due to persistent hand cramping had to give up the flute for the whistle.
Realising that now the low D would be "my voice" so to speak, I got serious about finding out which low D was best for me.
I bought and tried the following low D whistles:
Burke
Overton
Copeland
Susato
Kerry
MK (actually I didn’t buy this one, only borrowed it)
I recorded myself playing a jig, a reel, and an air on each (the same three tunes on each whistle). I could tell how each whistle PLAYED by playing it, but I also wanted to find out how each whistle SOUNDED to an outside listener.
What I was looking for was:
1) intonation
2) "action" (the nimbleness of negotiating the octaves)
3) something I can’t put into words very well, the ability to play between the octaves like a flute does and honk the bottom D
4) volume
5) tone
6) ergonomics
in more or less that order- a lovely tone is of no use to me if the thing is out of tune, or can’t handle all the jumping around the gamut that Irish music requires. #3 is very important also, something that perhaps other low whistle players don’t look for.
What did I find?
The Burke is what I ended up going with. It had by far the most powerful bottom D, ability to honk, ability to play between the octaves. Plus it had perfect intonation and was the loudest overall. It plays in a very flutelike way. The downside was that the Burke, due I think to its very large diameter (it’s by far the fattest) is rather uncomfortable, but it needs the huge tube to do what it does.
The Copeland was the most ergonomic (having the thinnest tube) but fell far short in other areas.
When I listened back to the recording, I was surprised that the Susato sounded the most flutelike. It was the only whistle to retain character in the upper register- all the others, regardless of how interesting their low register, tended to blandness in the upper register. Also the Susato played in the most flutelike way, the ability to play in the middle of the registers. Why didn’t I go with it? It just fell short of the Burke in power or volume.
I know that there are a lot of people who says things like "Overtons are the only low D whistle worth having" and so forth, but I tried three different ones, one from the late 1970’s and a new one and a third of unknown vintage, and they just didn’t outperform the Burke. Actually I recently (and brieftly) tried another new Overton which was very good. I’d like to be able to spend some time playing a GOOD Overton- I know they exist. Likewise I know that very good Copelands exist and I’d love to be able to try one. Anyhow, if somebody does a knee-jerk recommendation of Overtons I would ask them "did you do an extensive trial of your Overton against several other makes?" I did, and I went with the Burke.

Re: Which low whistle?

If you go for something used, again it is best to see it first. If money is a worry then the Aulos or the Dixons are fine. I have had good and bad experiences purchasing through eBay. There is some protection, better than it used to be. I have had less problems with shysters on eBay.com than in Europe, for whatever reason. Maybe the laws are stricter there? With a whistle, well, I would consider it, but in your case, not fully aware of what’s out there, I wouldn’t. There are bogus copies and there are duff ones. For example, the early Howard whistle head was awful, and as a result a number were quickly sold on. Eventually he made a replacement head, which is not a cheap added expense, but if you’ve already purchased one, well, not much choice. There are evidently also fake Overton’s in circulation, which you’ll have read in that thread.

Be careful, as a beginner to the low whistle, for now, I’d avoid the temptations of eBay. It can be a zoo as well, where you get pressed up to the wire and some idiot, hopefully not you, ends up paying considerably more than the item is worth. Recently, and obviously a scam, someone jumped it at the last minute to tens of thousands on an item that was only worth 70 quid brand new…

If you can get a used whistle from someone who is a musician, like on site here possibly, then you might have a better chance of an honest deal, but we’ve had some crackers slip in here under the wire, quickly axed when uncovered by our webmaster Jeremy…

If you can’t resist temptation ~ eBay wise ~ then be wise and add the link here and ask for the gang’s assistance… There are always willing souls… Good luck, and let us know how it turns out…

Re: Which low whistle?

I’ll second Richard’s well expressed experimentation. The Burke whistles are sweet, and the Susato, if you’ve a monetary limit are an OK start. I have found Howards that were nice too, and they have pretty much the same beefy large diameter as the Burke, and almost the same length, and I’ve seen them generally going for around 80 to 90 quid, though you might have to do some surfing to find them at that price…

Howard Music
http://www.howardmusic.co.uk/

I’m not familiar with the Chieftains or Kerrys but some of them are down around that price too. The Chieftains though tending to be advertised and going for 110 to 160 quid or thereabouts, depending on the model…

Re: Which low whistle?

Back on the subject of ~ Tony Hinnigan
http://www.tonyhinnigan.com/

My favourite clip was "A Night with the Chef!" ~ especially the purple Marigolds… Tony, you’ll have to give the Brazilian Caipirinha a go…

Nice Quena tutorials too. All I need now is a Quena… A website with content, I like that…

Re: Which low whistle?

A Kena in the hands of a really really good player has just about the most beautiful flute tone imaginable, nicer than the best silver flute or Irish flute.
There’s a Bolivian guy here in LA who is just fantastic. His tone is so liquid and pure.
I got into playing Bolivian music for a while and I have a nice Kena/Quena and a KenaKena/Quenacho in D as well.
I also got into playing the Sikus/Zamponas. The coolest is the huge Toyo. There are some nice videos on YouTube of Toyos- check them out.

Re: Which low whistle?

I should say that the distinctive tunes played on the Sikus are called Sikureadas, and if you search sikureada on YouTube you’ll come across some nice ones.
Traditionally the Sikus (panpipes, called Zamponas in Spanish) are played in a big ensemble wich consists entirely of Sikus in various sizes (playing in octaves and 5ths) and drums. Pre-Columbian stuff at its finest! Check this stuff out, it’s amazing.
A terrific Bolivian group is Rumillajta (a mouthful to pronounce for non-natives)- check them out.

Re: Which low whistle?

First thank you all for help…I think I will go for Susato Kildare low D Whistle, because it really sounds the most flutelike and it is in my price range…When I will learn and play better I will buy more professional whistle…

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Re: Which low whistle?

A wise choice given everything Anam, the Susatos are great dependable whistles…

Thanks Richard, appreciated… I’ve always loved that family of winds but hadn’t chased it up on the growing content of U-Tube…

I’m also keen on the South American harp too, but haven’t had much luck finding anything recording wise… I’d come across players in the past… But that’s a whole other topic… 😉

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I mixed up some prices…I see that Alba low whistle is around £100 and Susato around £75…Should I go for Alba?

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Ok I am confused now…Is £100 around 130€? I thought that Susato low whistle is around £60, but that is Dixon price…

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I like the ‘look’ of the Albas, but I’m not familiar with them, sorry…

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This shop has the Susato and the Alba low D whistles, in different models, even with keys, and if you ask he’ll express an ‘informed’ opinion ~

http://www.bigwhistle.co.uk/

Susato Tuneable Low D ~ £54.99 at Big Whistle

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55£? bargain,
Id be a bit wary about the Alba. we know nothing……. At least with susato you know what your going to get. And the price……
I like the susato high D. the standard is high, Quality control appears to be good.

Re: Which low whistle?

I haven’t tried the Alba either. I’ve heard others who have tried them say that they’re good. Certainly they are interesting in that they have a curved "blade" rather than the straight blade all other whistles have. (Not curved vs straight as in Susatos and Burkes having a curved windway vs Overtons having a straight windway. I mean the blade itself is not straight across the cutting edge but is notched like a Kena or Shakuhachi.)
I’d like to try one.
About the Howards, I used to own one back in the 80’s but I understand that they are much improved.
I very interesting video is the one by Phil Hardy where he describes and demonstrates his various Chieftan and Hardy whistles.

Re: Which low whistle?

As with most musical instruments you get what you pay for. Saying that if you can find an Ebay bargain… good luck.
With whistles they are relatively inexpensive, you would do well to plan on purchasing a few over the years, that way with time and experiance you can find the right one[s] for you.

Re: Which low whistle?

Discussion: for a beginners low whistle what do you suggest
# Posted on February 22nd 2008 by monkey flute
https://thesession.org/discussions/16809

That’s in case you stumble here on a search and want to see where it went a few days later… 😉