Reyburn whistles are fairly loud, have a bit of chiff, a wisp of breath and a full, round tone. They are available in the keys of high Eb, D, C, Mezzo Bb, Mezzo A, low G, F and D.
"I’ve been playing the new Reyburn low D whistle for several weeks now and I have to say it’s one of the best I’ve ever played. It’s tuning is pitch perfect and it gives you a degree of tone control that is not often found on low whistles. It allows you to play dynamically without having to wrestle with the tuning. Really fantastic!"
- Seamus Egan, Solas
About Reyburn Whistles
Ronoldo Reyburn has been producing high quality handmade whistles since 1998. His workshop is nestled in the forest outside of Ashland, Oregon and runs completely on power generated by photovoltaic panels. They are made to order and take 2-4 weeks for delivery.
The body of each Reyburn is made of brass (warm tone with more overtones) or aluminum alloy (cooler, purer tone). All instrument heads are machined out of black acetal (a tough, extremely durable plastic) and brass or aluminum alloy for the head tubes. Be aware that a brass head will not fit on an aluminum body. Bore perturbations are incorporated for octave balancing on some, but not all versions. Choices of finger hole patterns are available for the low whistles—the typical inline pattern or the off-set pattern (in which the pinkie finger covers the 6th hole) and greatly improves the reach. The tuning slides used on the brass versions are brass-on-brass and due to the thicker wall of the aluminum alloy, a slip coupling approach is used which is cut into both the head tube and the body tube. Teflon plumbers tape is used for the interface so the player can adjust the fit to their preferred tightness.
The Hi Session heads and the aluminum alloy Low D, have the beak turned to a smaller diameter which gives a more comfortable feel in the mouth. The thicker segment on the head is designed to support a stronger low end and a more powerful bell note.
The Hi Session D and C as well as the Mezzo A and Bb are available as a set (one head and two bodies) for a substantial savings. All Celtic Whistles are tuned to “Just” temperament relative to 70°F (21°C). Those wishing to play in “Equal” temperament please use the contact form to clarify your preference.
Reyburn Whistles has recently developed an aluminum alloy Low D for those who prefer a light weight instrument. The new Low D weighs 1/3rd less than the brass version, weighing in at 209 gms (7.46 oz). The tone of this new Low D is cooler and purer than the brass version, plays very strong and has an excellent tonal balance throughout it’s entire range.
Reyburn Whistles has now (new for 2017) added aluminum alloy whistles in the keys of Low G, Mezzo A, Mezzo Bb, Soprano C and Soprano D. Says one happy customer...
"The Low G was just delivered. It is exactly what I wanted. It plays beautifully in both octaves. The high notes are sweet and easy, and the lower notes are gentle and nicely balanced. The back pressure is the same as the A, which is very comfortable. It is light and well balanced. The combination of the brushed aluminum, black delrin, and sleek design make it aesthetically very pleasing. Thank you very much! This is a great way to welcome the new year."
In 2015, Reyburn Whistles introduced a new version of the Soprano (Hi) whistle, the “Hi Session Mellow Tone Whistle.” This new instrument is available in the keys of D and C and plays with less pressure (back pressure) and has a more mellow (purer) tone than the standard version, with less overtones.
Celtic whistle hole patterns have traditionally been placed in a straight line. Most makers have continued with this tradition, even with the fairly new development of the low whistle. The distance between holes on a Low D when they are in their optimal acoustic position, however, is beyond the reach of some people with small hands.
In an attempt to make low whistles accessible to more people, Reyburn Whistles is offering an off-set pattern with the 3rd and 6th holes designed to more comfortably fit the player’s hands. When using this pattern, the sixth hole—generally the one most difficult to reach—is covered by the “pinkie” finger which greatly improves the reach of the player. This approach allows the player to use the more sensitive pads of the fingers to cover the holes. For those who prefer playing with the left hand on the bottom, the off-set can be reversed.
Of course, he also offers the traditional in-line pattern which generally requires the use of the “pipers grip” on the low whistle to cover all of the holes.
A customer who has switched to the off-set pattern says...
"The issue I was most concerned about, fingering the bottom hole with my pinkie, turned out to be a non-issue within a day. I can play with the pads of my fingers, similar to the Soprano D. Reyburn Whistles are truly exceptional!"
All Reyburn Whistles carry a 30-day money back guarantee (excluding shipping).