Some of you may ask what makes me think that I am qualified to give reviews on Low whistles. I could say that I have been a professional musician involved with celtic music for many years, played with so and so, or that I studied music at such and such college, and while this may all be true, I don't necessarily feel that I am "qualified" or an "expert" on the Low whistle. I also do not think by any stretch of the imagination that I am a good whistle player. I have chronic tendonitis in my left arm and will never play a reel at session speed. I just happen to love the instrument. I enjoy reading other peoples opinions on them and had the odd thought that others might like to hear mine. I also figured that as there were not allot of other people out there writing reviews, I might as well do it myself.  I would like to acknowledge the invaluable influence of Gregory Mahans excellent whistle reviews on his Wandering Whistler website
. They helped give me an idea of how to set up a review and what to include.

The opinions expressed in the following reviews are just that, opinions. No attempt at impartiality has been made because hey, it's my website and I'll cry if I want to! The measurements given for the whistles are by no means precise, just me fumbling with a tape measure. The recordings are done using a cheap computer mic, and really do not do the whistles justice (we won't even go into my playing). I hope to improve on this in the future (both the recording quality and my playing), but for now I felt it was better than nothing.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that these reviews are of specific, individual whistles, and should not be taken as an overall review or opinion of their respective brands in general. Even mass, factory produced whistles can vary greatly from whistle to whistle, and hand made ones even more so.

If any whistle maker or distributor would, for some strange reason, like to have their Low whistle reviewed here, or if you feel that your whistle was given a bum rap and would like to convince me otherwise, feel free to contact me and I'm sure we can work something out.  

Rating system key-

One hole - Garbage, worthless, better used as a door stop, back scratcher, pet chew toy or fish bludgeon.

Two holes - It makes a noise at least resembling the sound of a low whistle. Poor materials or craftsmanship.

Three holes - Fair quality whistle.
Several minor or one or two major issues and/or idiosyncracies.

Four holes - Average, good quality whistle.  Only a few idiosyncracies.

Five holes - Professional grade instrument.

Six holes - Gods gift to Low whistlers.

Here are some definitions you might find useful to words that you may run across in the reviews:

Backpressure - The Dictionary lists backpressure as "Residual pressure opposing the free flow of a gas or liquid, as in a pipe." In whistlogical terms, backpressure is the level of resistance felt when blowing into a whistle. The amount of backpressure can vary greatly from whistle to whistle depending on their construction. Backpressure can greatly reduce the amount of air required to play a whistle, allowing for longer phrases before one needs to take a breath.  Professionals and more experienced whistlers tend to prefer whistles with more backpressure as it can also allow for more control using just ones breath. However, begining players tend to enjoy whistles with less backpressure, as it can be easier to get a good sound right off the bat. But in the end it is a matter of personal preference as to how much backpressure is "good". Often, as with many other things, it is a matter of finding the right balance that works for you.

Chiff - In reference to the Irish whistle, chiff refers to the turbulence or distortion (somewhat akin to white noise) inherent to a lesser or greater degree in the tone of most whistles. Chiff can also sometimes more specifically refer to said noise that occurs at the beginning or intitial attack of a played note.

Session - A meeting of musicians, generally at a pub, bar or sometimes even a kitchen, for the purpose of playing Irish Traditional Music. Sessions generally have their own unwritten but collectively acknowledged code of etiquette.

Fipple - Part of the head or mouthpiece of a whistle including the block and wind way that focuses the air at the edge/blade/labium, which produces the sound.

Ornaments - I will often use the word ornaments to refer in general to the techniques or "tricks" that are idiomatic to the Low whistle, such as rolls, crans, cuts and slides.

Reviews -

                   Alba non-tunable Low D

                   Alba Vibe tunable Low D

               Burke Viper tunable Low D               

               Carbony tunable Low D

               Chieftain V3 non-tunable Low D
Chieftain OS non-tunable Low D

                   Chieftain NR non-tunable Low D
                   Chieftain V3 non-tuanble Low F

                   Copeland tunable Low D

                   Howard tunable Low D (old head)

                   Howard tunable Low C

Humphrey Brass Low D

                   Kerry "Optima" non-tunable Low D

                   MK tunable Low F

                   MK tunable Low D

                   MK "Kelpie" non-tunable Low D
                   O'Brien tunable Low D

                   Overton (Goldie) anodized Low Eb

                   Overton short reach non-tunable Low D
                   Reviol non-tunable Low D

                   Reyburn "The Honker" tunable Low D

                   Shaw non-tunable Low D

                   Sweetheart Resonance Blackwood Low D

                   Syn tunable Low D