How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

How many people own or have played a Killarney whistle? I just bought a Killarney brass D and must say that I am quite impressed! I had never heard of them until very recently, and decided to buy one, since much of the things I had heard about them were very positive.

I think the thing I like most about the Killarney whistle is how great the second octave sounds. Many whistles can get a bit stuffy in the second octave, especially when you get up to G, but the Killarney is just as easy to play in the second octave as it is the first. The Killarney also requires very little breath, and some have even said that the nickel ones are a little too sensitive and tend to jump into the second octave while they are trying to play in the first. Apparently, when they first came out they were only available in nickel, but have recently added the brass option.

The Killarney is also nicely priced. I paid around $80 for a whistle and pouch, and considering the quality of the whistle, I would call it a great deal. If you want a great whistle that can compete with a Sindt or a Burke, but not pay hundreds for it, then the Killarney is a great alternative option.

So far, I have only met one person that owns a Killarney whistle, and most musicians that I have met have not heard of them, so I would be interested in hearing some feedback from other owners, or people who have tried them out. I think that they will certainly grow in popularity and gain a reputation as one of the best quality whistles on the market.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Yes! I just recently bought a Killarney whistle. I have the nickle plated body, I haven’t tried the brass. I LOVE my Killarney whistle. Really great quality, and you can’t beat the price. I’m very impressed with it. A friend told me they were modeled off Sindt whistles, but I don’t know if that’s true.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Count me in as a fan! I got mine (all brass) a couple months ago, and it’s just as you describe. Sounds—and plays—like a good traditional whistle should. The volume and tone are a nice fit at my local session.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

These whistles are terrific! Reasonable in price and it arrived shortly after ordered. All registers sound great.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I bought mine at Custy’s in Ennis about two years ago after I was shown one at a session in Killarney. I own a Sindt whistle and the Killarney whistle has an identical head, but mine has what looks like a chrome plated body. It tends to be a bit on the shrill side compared to the Sindt, and I find my fingers slipping on the shiny surface, which can be tricky, but it has an appeal that I quite like. At a session with a lot of players it tends to be heard better than the Sindt. I would be interested in trying the all brass version to see what difference there is in sound.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I really like the Killarney for when I want a crisp metal sound (as opposed to a warm, wooden resonant sound). As Jay Bird said, the second octave is really sweet, and this is the first whistle I’ve had that I feel comfortable playing into the third octave. It works well in a quieter session; doesn’t quite cut through in a louder, bar session.

I’ve always preferred the silver look; I can honestly say that I have never felt that nickel whistles are slippery. I guess you get used to it and then never notice. My Killarney is nickel, and my only complaint is that the plating is fairly thin - wears down quickly.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

They are very high quality. It is slippery and the mouth piece is heavy, so it did take a bit of getting used to for me. It’s a pretty loud whistle too, I imagine it would cut through nicely at a session, though I generally prefer a quieter instrument for practicing purposes. The second octave gets described as ‘sweet’ often, but don’t confuse that with gentle or quiet.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Also own Killarney whistle (nickel body). It’s a really well made whistle for the price, but I do still like my Sindts better (less shrill, has more lean to it than the K). But if you are looking for a Sindt without being spoiled by one, go with the Killarney… And with the brass body option, it sounds like they’ve made a really good whistle for a decent price.

Cheers

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Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I have both the nickle and brass. Both superb whistles, with the brass one a little "warmer" sound. I own a lot of other high d whistles (as do a lot of people) high end and cheap ones, and to me the killarneys are absolute top quality. Very easy blown like a generation or feadog. They are the only high d whistles where my family members like to listen to, so a rather quiet whistle with a very beautiful second octave. If you don’t know which whistle to buy when you start, buy Killarney, not really bottom line in price but intermediate, but absolutely pro top quality.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I have a Killarney D.

I got it at a time when I was playing a Sindt D. I sold the Sindt, kept the Killarney.

Let’s face it: the Killarney is a lower-priced copy of the Sindt.

A couple people have said the 2nd octave of the Killarney is "shrill". I wouldn’t use that word, but I will say that my Killarney has a very subtle metallic edge to the tone in the 2nd octave that my Sindt didn’t have. In any sort of noisy or group setting this subtlety isn’t audible.

There are two reasons I kept that Killarney over that Sindt
1) my Killarney has a slightly more easy/nimble 2nd octave than that Sindt
2) my Killarney has an in-tune 2nd octave while that Sindt had a rather flat 2nd octave. (Notice I keep saying "that Sindt" and "my Killarney". I do so because whistles vary and my sample size is only one whistle of each make.)

That Sindt had a slightly darker, rounder, more sophisticated tone and slightly more even voicing.

Darker and more sophisticated yet in tone is my c1980 Feadog MK1, still my all-time favourite D. It’s 2nd octave is as sweet as the Killarney’s, is more pure without the slight metallic edge, yet the low octave is slightly more round and dark. Yes it’s somewhat lower in volume than the Killarney.

One oddity about my Killarney: the tube, I’m told, is a modified Feadog tube. It was modified by chopping the bottom a bit. Don’t know why, because the bellnote (and its octave) are too sharp. I switched the tube with an old Generation tube, and the scale is right in tune now.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I have one a while, balance is a bit different because of the heavier head compared to say a Generation. I also find that the windway is more inclined to clog, less space in it I guess. But overall, it plays nicely.

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Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Thanks for all the replies, and glad to see there are a good number of Killarney players out there! I think the Killarney is going to be the whistle that I recommend to people who want a top quality professional whistle, but don’t want to spend hundreds at the same time. For beginners, I usually recommed Jerry Freeman’s tweaked whistles, as they are very reasonably priced, and I think the most important thing for a beginner is to have a good quality instrument that plays in tune. For the next step up, I’d recommend a Killarney. Of course, I’m still keeping my Freeman Bluebird, as it is an excellent whistle and I do love the tone.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Yes, this type of whistle is a bit head-heavy, but it’s not an issue for me when playing. (On the other hand, I once had a Sindt A whistle, and the imbalance was pretty noticeable.) I’ve had plastic-headed whistles crack, and for a quality ‘keeper’ like the Killarney, the extra durability of the brass/Delrin head is nice.
Clogging has been an issue with mine, too, but the soap-in-the-windway trick solves takes care of it. I just re-apply every so often.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

They look wonderful and it sound amazing.
Got one question, I hope you excuse (seem to have some problems with it): What is the mouthpiece made from, is it plastic? And does it taste a bit like plastic?

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Delrin I believe. It has no discernable taste.

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Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

At one time I had Sindts in A, Bb, B, and D. The Bb was the best player- it was one of the nicest whistles I’ve ever had- but I like my Freeman Tweaked Generation Bb just a tad more. All the Sindts had a flat 2nd octave. Freemans are in tune (the way I play, anyhow).

I’ve never been bothered by the heavy brass heads of the Sindt and Killarney, neither have I had clogging issues with either make.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I love my Killarney. I wish they would make a C.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I have a Killarney nickel plated D.
It is a high quality whistle at a good price.
I can’t say I’ve had clogging problems but it is slippery…..I glued two small pieces of gauze on the underside of the tube where my thumbs rest.
Favourites. Killarney, Freeman Blackbird and Tony Dixon polymer tuneable high D, another nice whistle.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I just ordered my brass Killarney and am very excited to get it in the mail!!

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

Mine just arrived today. It’s a bit on the heavy side compared to the whistles I’ve played so far, but the sound is fantastic, especially in the higher octave, and the response is excellent. Plus the head looks beautiful. Definitely value for money.

Re: How Many People Here Own or Have Played a Killarney Whistle?

I have a brass Killarney whistle (in D). Very good instrument, close enough to my magical O’Briain improved Feadog : a fluent high octave, and quick response. I strongly recommend the Killarney whistle.