Traditional Irish Music
Always wondered what a Goldie low D is like?
Or a Freeman tweaked high D?
Post your own findings and links to "professional" reviews here and discuss with others!
In all fairness (controversy warning!)
I played along with some of the clips from the second site on my brass Generation, and the difference to the high $$ whistles were to me like looking at different car dealers/makes colour charts..
"Moss green" "bottle green" "Sophisticated cool green" and whatever their names are, are really just different shades (and sometimes barely noticeable in difference)
Perhaps i have tin ears.. in which case i have probably chosen a good instrument :)
Might add as well..
Back pressure is, i'd say (with my very limited experience of anything except the host of Generations i own) is well above the Generation and well below a Harper or Overton.
The price for this combo was USD 101 incl. postage to Sweden.
I've too have had a recent delivery. A Brass "session" Burke in "D". I have this view that you need different whistles for airs and dance music and thought it time I "upgraded" from using my 25 year old nickel Feadog for everything. I bought the Burke primarily for the airs.
The price tag was fairly hefty at $200.00 plus postage, so I was expecting great things for it. Michael Burke has had a reputation for manufacturing top quality instruments for quite a while now and I’ve heard some pretty useful players using them. This should take you to his website..
The whistle had been very well packed for its long journey and arrived in pristine condition. It is finished to a lovely standard. First impressions were that it felt like you had a substantial instrument in your hands. It was however, owing to its construction, quite “top heavy”. You soon get over this balance thing but it did take a bit of getting used to.
I was pleasantly surprised by the air volume requirements which are roughly in line with my old Feadog and Generations. I had expected a larger air requirement for the Burke but this only became apparent at the top end of the second octave. Again, I had to get used to that but quickly adapted. On the other side of the coin, the bell note is as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar!
The tuning slide feels sturdy and allows for precise movement. The Delrin mouthpiece is smooth and comfortable and it has a nicely made curving “anti-clog” windway.
So, why would you buy one of these? – answer = THAT tone. Was that in line with expectations ? – OMG YES!!!!!! Michael himself describes the sound as “buttery” and it’s a very good and accurate description. Warm, mellow, smooth and solid.
Bonus? - It’s also proving to be a pretty useful tool for dance music as well!
Verdict? – If I’m going to play a whistle regularly, it will have been worth its money no matter how much the outlay. I have fully adopted this whistle and regard it as a bargain. Mr Burke – if your reading this, I will be back for more.
Got a D/Eb combo from Ian Turnbull at iMpempe whistles yesterday, since i already have a B/Bb-combo this will be a short version review since they are pretty similar in character.
Feel is very similar to the B/Bb though the D is a bit louder and will take a bit more push on the low notes before breaking into second octave. The bell note is a wisp more 'solid' as well.
All in all i am very pleased, and can recommend the iMpempe whistles without hesitation to those in the market for a high end whistle.
I've got an Overton Low D (aka Goldie) and absolutely LOVE it. Rich sound with some whispy overtones on the higher end of the register. Strong voice.... carries well. I have long, thin fingers and the piper's grip has been a bit of a bear to master but I'm doing slower stuff quite nicely now and a moderately paced jig doesn't totally throw me. Reels.... that'll be a while! Bottom line, save your pennies and get one.
Jerry Freeman Bluebird review
Got one of these the other day. Apparently Jerry "invented" them as kind of a fluke, having a lot of Generation D-heads left from making the Freeman Blackbirds, i quote
"I was wondering what to do with the extra bluetop D/Eb Generation whistleheads I have left after using the tubes to make Eb Blackbirds, and I thought ...
"I wonder what would happen if I set one of these up the same way I do a Blackbird?"
Well IMO what happened is that the result is very much like a old Generation, hand picked in a music shop, only the Bluebird sounds like a Generation that has had the bark removed :)
In other words it is very pure in tone, very well in tune with itself and the outside world, and very nicely balanced between octaves.
I quote again:
"It is pure and birdlike, as I had expected, but a different whistle from a Blackbird. (For one thing, it's easier to play, and though it's voiced purer/sweeter than even a pre-1980's Generation, it still has some of the Generation character.)"
The whistle cost USD $34.05 incl. postage, IMO money very well spent!
It is now my #1 "computer whistle" (whistle i keep handy in case i feel the urge to play along to some clip online.
I'm now the proud owner of a Goldie Big O Low D which has an "O" stamped on the whistle after "Goldie." The Big O is Colin's name for his standardised version of the big hole whistle that Colin made a few handfuls of under the Overton name and that Davy Spillane plays, or played, his own tweaked version of. The holes ARE big, the second and fifth about 13mm, the rest about 11mm but what's interesting is that they are not as difficult to cover as one would think. My fingers, while long, are rather narrow but since they sink into the holes, there is a sealing side-effect of this. And I speak as a beginner to the whistle with only six months experience and only just starting to master the piper's grip!! I have one of Colin's "easy blowers" and yet air requirements are very moderate, little more than my Optima and I have no problems with the D to E hole stretch; I don't even consider it a stretch at all.
So what is it like to play? It is not as versatile as Colin's standard Low D and if your interest is in playing faster reels then the standard is probably much better for that. The Big O loses the brightness and crispness of the standard. Instead it has a richer, mellower tone, a creaminess, a smoothness which is absolutely wonderful for slow airs and tunes. It appears to be slightly louder too. Half-holing notes is much easier and note bending more controllable. I am finding a little harder to play than a standard not always getting a good seal on all the holes but not nearly as hard as I would have imagined and, as a fan of airs and slow tunes by Davy Spillane and Marc Duff, I LOVE it. It's WONDERFUL and, for me, worth the little extra effort!!!!
Below is a photo comparing it with the standard Low D which I also love and will keep for those brighter faster pieces. But as far as I'm concerned I've found what I've been looking for in the Big O, the Ultimate Slow Air Whistle.
Couple of my favorite whistes.
Freeman Bluebird-sweet, forgiving and balancec. My current #1.
Freeman Mellowdog- chiffy, hearty, loves to be pushed, #2
Hoovers, white cap, Narrow bore brass. My quite whistes for home and late night playing.
I've got a couple Humphreys on the way. I'll keep you posted.
Which is the quieter, the Bluebird or the Mellowdog?