Killarney Whistle

Killarney Whistle

So I received my Killarney whistle and while it’s an amazing instrument by most standards I’ve noticed a few gripes.

First, the tone is a bit “scratchy” as in its not very sweet or smooth sounding.
Second, it’s not loud enough! I play with a very lively and rouwdy pub band and I need a whistle that can keep up.


Important to note, the breath requirement for the Killarney is top notch. Owning it will improve my playing for sure, so I don’t regret the purchase. But I’m still looking for that sweet and boisterous pub whistle of my dreams…

Re: Killarney Whistle

Yeah, it’s nice, but the search for the perfect whistle continues.

Re: Killarney Whistle

I bought one a couple of years ago, and the tone is really sweet and smooth. It’s definitely a quiet whistle though, and probably the quietest I own. The main reason mine doesn’t get played is that the tuning of my whistle was a mess, and it wasn’t usable without taping some holes and sticking a piece of plastic up the bell-end which then leaves a weak bottom D. This seems to have been an unfortunate once-off though - I have heard and played numerous other Killarneys with good tuning so I think I got one that slipped through quality control.

Re: Killarney Whistle

I have a Killarney, also. I love its purity and sweetness of second octave. However, I don’t play it often because I can’t get used to the strange balance of it. I always feel like I will drop it. Also, in quiet settings, I hear a metallic buzz that is annoying to me when I play it. As a result, I tend to favor my Dixon Brass Pro.

Re: Killarney Whistle

That metallic buzz is exactly the issue with the tone I have. I don’t mind it all together, but it’s not going to be my war whistle.

Re: Killarney Whistle

Hi BBLF, if you are looking for a really loud whistle you should have a look at the milligan whistles http://milliganwhistles.com they are the second loudest ones I know off and very good whistles too, but they require a lot of air. The loudest one which is really a cannon, is the high d whistle from phil hardy, it can hurt everyones ears including yours and is quite demanding in the upper octave. I own all the mentioned whistles myself. Also the merlin brass large bore whistle high d is quite loud and very beautiful harsher tone which I like anc play a lot. Cheers

Re: Killarney Whistle

IMO the buzz could come from overblowing the whistle as it demands very gentle blowing. When you play other windinstruments this could easily be the case because killarney whistles demands the least amount of air of all the wind instruments I ever laid my hands on ( oboe sax clarinette flute panflute recorders ) and blown softly they are devine. They are my most loved whistles for playing on my own.

Re: Killarney Whistle

Yupp, I figured that overblowing was the cause if not underblowing was the solution. It’s a phenomenal whistle for solo ventures. That much is true!

Re: Killarney Whistle

Also, I just saw Merlin makes a “D7” whistle with a lower 7th hole!! That’s perfect for playing the common scot-Irish modal tunes of the American Appalachian people

Re: Killarney Whistle

I’ll have to try less air, see if it helps. I learned on some demanding beasts so it’s habit to blow harder than needed.
For a loud whistle, BabyBearLoFi, you also want to check out the susato whistle. The few I’ve heard at sessions had some appreciable volume.

Re: Killarney Whistle

Might be worth looking at a Cillian O’Briain tweaked whistle see https://thesession.org/discussions/6212

I picked up one down in Miltown a few years ago and it’s a grand whistle for knocking tunes out on.

Posted .

Re: Killarney Whistle

If it’s a loud whistle you want, try one of Desi Seery’s. There’s a price to pay, though, in that the air requirements are extravagant, but if you’ve got the puff then they’re the sort of whistles that’ll bring down low-flying aircraft!

m.d.

Re: Killarney Whistle

The loudest whistle I’ve ever had is a Susato high D I got around 1980.

That was before Susato started injection-moulding their whistles. The early ones were entirely hand-made, machined from PVC stock in white or brown, with a wood block.

The tone was completely pure, bland most would say, but extremely loud. You could be heard over ten accordions (if that was your goal).

I gave that whistle away to a guy who was doing street busking who couldn’t find a loud enough whistle.

About Killarneys, yes mine has a subtle metallic edge to the 2nd octave, which is only audible when the whistle is played solo in a quiet place.