Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

I’d like to ask for an advice if anyone knows any brand or a maker who makes good quality whole aluminum whistles. The plastic head of my old Tony Dixon B flat broke recently, so I don’t want plastic on my whistles anymore. Could be any price.

Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

I love Killarney whistles. Made by great musicians.
Very fairly priced and beautiful to play.

Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

I can’t recommend Colin Goldie enough for his aluminum whistles - handmade passion and a lovely dude!

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Goldie whistles are good indeed (I’m actually selling mine in D, PM me if interested - I’m living in the UK, but could probably get it to my family in Prague, if you wanted to pick it up there).

In general, I find less difference in sound of high D whistles between high end and low end (e.g., I wouldn’t have an issue playing the very cheap Clarke Sweetones or Dixons) and the inconvenience of having to warm up the full-metal whistles sort of outweighs any sound advantage - but maybe it’s just me being lazy. (However, for low whistles or B/C, I find the clogging to be less of an issue and the sound difference between low and high end much higher)

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

http://www.roymcmanus.co.uk/ I have D and Low-A from Roy McManus. Both are wonderful whistles. But **wooden** - which gives them their unique sound. I am guessing it will cost around EUR 200-220 including postage. Big sound, responsive, lovely "bark" kinda like a baby flute, great tuning and FUN!

If I was going Aluminium I’d go with Burke and it’ll come in around EUR 210-230 including P&P. Big advantage over wooden is the low maintenance/care for a metal whistle over wooden. Burkes are 100% dependable in terms of tuning. And great balance low and upper octave. Mellow and pleasing tone. But if I was going Burke, I’d go with his Session D Brass instead of the (featherweight) aluminium. Price is same alu/brass and narrow/session bore it’s just a case of which you prefer. All are sweet whistles. Once you go into the low models the weight advantage of the aluminium becomes a significant factor and I prefer the aluminium at and below Low-A.

No argument regarding Killarney as an affordable tidy player. Certainly great value for money and a dependable quality. And if you are just looking for a nice whistle which is tunable and sweet - hard to beat. Going to be change out of EUR 100 including P&P.

But if the building was on fire and I could only save one…. Roy McManus’s wooden whistle is the one I’d be grabbing - it’s got personality and a sense of craic about it.

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

What you’ll find is that almost everyone will recommend their own whistle of choice so the opinions, without being disrespectful to anyone, are of not much use. You’re much better buying either a whistle you’ve tried and liked or the whistle played by one of your favourite players.

At the same time, I would strongly disagree with the assertion that there in any inconvenience in warming up full-metal whistles though. It literally takes seconds.

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

bogman: Maybe with yours, certainly not with mine. It’s ok for sessions, but not for live playing, where it can start clogging mid set (particularly when playing outside where it can get cold). Mine needs at least 15-30 seconds of warming up the head to make sure clogging isn’t an issue.

Again, this may differ whistle to whistle - my C and low whistles have basically no issue with warming up, but the high D tends to have - and I’ve played several whistles with this pattern, it’s not just one-off.

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

I’ve got 2 Goldie high D’s and had two others previously and none of them were any problem at all. And to be honest, the ones I’ve tried where the owners complained of clogging I found no problem with, unless the windway was dirty.

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Well, good for you… I’m cleaning the windway regularly (without which the problem was indeed much worse).

I guess we can conclude that opinions may vary, probably no point in trading stories about our experiences with metal whistles - I’ve got enough based on me and others, you too. I think it’s also quite a lot about what constitutes a "problem" (is a drop in low note playability once every 20-30 minutes in cold weather a problem or not? Is blowing through the whistle a bit between sets an inconvenience? Is worrying that clogging "might" happen in certain conditions a problem?)

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Greetings all

There’s a brilliant Tip of the Whistle on Chieftains 4

All the best
Brian x

Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Hello, Klára. I know you’re asking about plastic free whistles. But I accidentally found a whistle/flute maker, Nick Metcalf, who uses various materials and makes several keys and styles. Here* is a Bb, tuneable whistle made with cpvc, brass and a Delrin plug. If I were to hazard a guess I’d say the weak link in Mr. Dixon’s whistles (it) would be the ABS head design. It probably helps keep the price down; but it’s a crap shoot.

Have a look at Nick’s whistle. I think the head design is probably more resilient than Tony’s. I cannot say for sure because I have very little experience with Dixon’s and none with Nick Metcalf’s.

Ben

* https://www.ebay.com/itm/332955867203

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Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Just adding Impempe (Ian Turnbull) as another lovely aluminum whistle. Clear, sweet tone.

Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Goldies and MKs are plastic-free, entirely metal.

Killarneys, Burkes, and Albas have plastic components.

I’ve told the story about a friend, in a fit of anger, throwing his Overton Low D down a flight of concrete stairs.

The whistle was unharmed!

Re: Any high quality whistle makers? I need tips!

Of course opinions vary, but I’ve never played a wooden whistle by any maker at any price (including $800 whistles by famous makers) that played anywhere near as well, for me, as the best aluminium whistles (Goldie etc).