Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

I am a whistle-flute player, I always had a cheap whistle (Generation at the very beginning, now I’m playing a Feadog). This Christmas I want to buy a present for me with a mid-level whistle, not cheap, but under 100€ (a little over budget is admitted, but not doubling it…). I read a discussion here two days ago on Killarney whistles, what other brands can I take in consideration for this self-present?

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Re: Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

I’ve found susato plastic whistles excellent and consistant in tone and well worth the money. Go for the narrow bore option.

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Susato defo - great for sessions and many top level players love em.

The plastic has upsides too - i.e. Consistency!

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I already have a Susato, but I’ve found it a bit loud and "screamy". I prefer something in metal.

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In terms of bang for your buck, I think you’d struggle to find something better than Jerry Freeman’s tweaked whistles.

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Cillian Ó Briain’s tweaked whistles, like Freeman’s, are also excellent.

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Disclaimer: there is no one right answer, everyone’s tastes are different.

As I mentioned on the other thread, I’m fond of my Killarney and it usually travels with me in my laptop case.

However, I definitely like my Freeman Blackbird a bit better.

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Add another vote for Freeman here. I’ve played a number of whistles of a wide range (Burkes, Overtons, a nice wooden Glenn Schultz—have briefly tried a Susato a few times) and I now own two Freemans: a Blackbird and a Mellow Dog, and either one stacks up very favorably to any higher priced whistle I’ve played. I don’t really play anything but the Freemans with regularity, and when I couldn’t decide between the two, I bought both, and together they were less than half the cost of a Burke.

The Mellow Dog is a really nice whistle with a bit of a throaty tone, but the Blackbird is my typical go to—light and chirpy, fairly pure, yet still traditional.

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I have a C and a D whistle from Tilbury whistles in Texas. They run $75 USD. I’m very happy with my whistles because of their intonation and the quality of the sound. They can be heard over your average session but because of the slightly breathy quality it also blends well when you need. It isn’t the sweet sound you’ll get with some whistles but I don’t find it screechy or abrasive.

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I have many cheap and mid level whistles like; Killarney, Susato, Freeman, Feadog, Waltons, Generation, Dixon, etc. My favorite by far is my Tunable Dixon. Second is the Killarney but after playing the Dixon, I like like the larger width of the Dixon better. Susato was my first purchase and least played whistle now. Just to damn loud!

https://www.amazon.com/Dixon-D-Brass-Pro-Whistle/dp/B000VPLIGO/ref=sr_1_3?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1479566479&sr=1-3&keywords=Dixon+D+whistle

Re: Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

The only Susato whistle I’ve played was very loud with a thin screechy tone, I don’t know what model it was, maybe others are different, but it put me off buying one. I’m a Generation freak, just love the sound they make, tape the odd hole to get it to play in tune with itself and loosen the top to make it play in concert and you have a very playable whistle. I had a play on a Freeman ‘blackbird’ a few nights ago at a session, it was a tad louder than my Generation D with a less breathy sound, playing easily in the lower register, the top end just begged to be played it was so sweet, only starting to cough a little when playing top B. Tuning between notes was about the same as a Generation. Don’t forget Dixon whistles, not too expensive, at least not here in UK,maybe shipping to another country might push the price too far.

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Re: Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

First off, I agree with Sol. Differemt strokes for different folks. I simply love my Dixon Trad brass high D. A sweet sound and so easy to play. I started out on Susatos and, yes, they are loud, which would be great for sessions. Only problem is I don’t have the opportunity to play in sessions. And I tend to think that when playing for personal pleasure, volume is not necessarily critical. Also, for me the D was just too screechy and inconsistent in the upper octave. Occassianlly I go back to them for a try, only to find myself reverting to my Dixon rather quickly. I have been toying with the idea of trying a Tilbury — a "Texas tin." I have heard a lot of good things about them, including what Oboemeg had to say above. Cheers and I hope you find the perfect whistle for you!

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Thomann, the German online music store, sells for some months what looks like copies of Susato, black plastic stuff tunable "irish whistles" in D and C, for something as 5 €. I’ve been told of that by a friend of me, breton flute teacher too who had bought a bunch of them with no problems.
I’ve myself bought about 30 of them for my pupils and all are OK; because of the number, I even could get them for 4€, free of postage fee !!! but even with the postage (it’s then the price of a Walton or a Generation) IMO (and my friend’s opinion too) they are worth the Susato well (but almost 10 times less costly) - and for me without the "screaming" of the Susatos that I could test (OK, only a few of them, but found the same annoying things on each) and they also more balanced between the 2 octaves..
My own whistles and low whistles are Colin Goldie’s (Overtone) and Jonathan Swayne’s, but I play now with these ones too …

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+1 on the Freeman Tweaked whistles. The Bluebird has become my default D whistle. The blackbirds & Generations are great as well. Of course your results may differ…..

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i have a few freeman whistles and a susato and a couple others but my favorite out of all of them would be my killarney. takes a little getting use to but i love the sound of it. Id check them out on their youtube channel and see what you think. I m waiting for my 2nd one to come in the mail. The second whistle id pick would be the freeman whistles

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Not sub 100 euros but I have an Overton/Goldie for sale 100 pounds plus postage and a chieftan for 50 pounds plus pnp both high D non tuneable.

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The Freeman Bluebird and the Killarney are the whistles I reach for most often.

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The Goldie sounds like a bargain. Lovely whistles.

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The Overton Goldie above is in excellent condition cept for one wee score on mouthpiece, comes with relevant certificate, I prefer my Burke.

The chieftan I have had for a good few years, I bought it new, I just do not play it anymore…

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Re: Sub-100€ Tin Whistle

A warning about Susatos—the S series models are LOUD. The V series is better, but better still…the Killarney. It’s a lovely whistle and with the brass head, it’s heirloom quality. I really like the Freeman Bluebird, too. I don’t much care for wide-bore whistles (you might not either, since you play Generations and Feadogs—two of my gold standard whistles); a sweet second octave and a chirpy quality are paramount for me, and the Killarney and Bluebird deliver.

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As I didn’t have a C whistle lying around, I took the above poster’s suggestion of the Thomman whistle mentioned and it arrived yesterday. It is indeed a good instrument and much better than far more expensive ones. I’d take it over a Susato any day. Just sorry I didn’t get one of the D whistles along with it.

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I’m a big fan of Thomann and their cheerfully cynical policy of making dirt-cheap but just-as-good versions of popular brands. (Their budget microphones are excellent.) So I immediately went to their site to check out their whistles. Disappointed that they’re plastic. I’ve yet to try a plastic whistle that has quite the same timbre as metal. Probably showing my ignorance there, but still…

I notice there’s no discussion of Shaw whistles in this thread? Never tried one, but I’ve heard various YouTubers playing them and they sound pretty good to my ears. Was thinking of adding a Shaw to my Christmas pressie list.

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Sure, it is what it is - a EUR4.90 instrument - and I could criticise details of tone and playability specifics. The timbre is definitely "plastic whistle" but that said, it’s a lot better than most plastic whistles I’ve seen. I’d have no issues playing this live, as long as it was within its performance envelope, though probably not for recording.

Ideal for beginners, though.

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