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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:28 am 
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Hello all,

I've been silently haunting this forum like a spectre at the feast since I started whistling a few months ago. Judging by the quality of discussion so far it looks like a great place to ask for advice.

I've moved up to the brass Dixon Trad D after labouring on the crummy Feadog I started out on (I'm not prejudiced against the latter - it really does sound like a unreliable recorder-like thing in comparison to the more flute-like and solid and reliable and just lovely Trad) and am enjoying the Dixon immensely. I am now settled on getting myself a Bb as well and am torn between the Dixon Alto Trad Bb and the Generation Bb (whether nickel or brass). And therein lies the rub: 36eu for the Trad Bb vs 7eu for the Gen Bb...

From what I understand, the Gen Bbs seem generally to be good as opposed to the completely hit-and-miss-better-luck-at-Tombola high Ds. Then again, the Dixons are great.

My personal whistle desiderata are as follows:

> Low to medium volume;

> Not too much breath needed lest I keel over and it's curtains;

> A more flute-like and husky tone giving a semblance of depth;

in the light of which it would seem that I would personally be more inclined toward the Trad? Hence toward the deeper cut in my wallet...

If anyone owns a Gen Bb and / or Trad Bb I'd really appreciate any advice, especially regarding the latter - are you happy with it - does it have a great sound - is it reliable - value for money etc etc?

Many thanks!

PS: I've been playing these three clips on repeat in a bid to clear the fog of indecision. In the hands of that prodigious player obviously the Gen Bb sounds superb. I am confused however by the Trad video reviews: the Trad C sounds a lot brighter and less breathier (more desirable in my view) than the Trad Bb (which starts at 2.57)? Might it be the difference in tune and the guy's energy levels that have skewed things and shown up the Bb in a worse light?

Gen Bb (nickel):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTjTVekQGdA

Alto Trads G, A, and Bb:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI-hr-f_tEE

Trad C:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDGnc_7LrSE


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:13 am 
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This is the sort of thing you really need to decide for yourself. Try both and see what you like best.

There is a degree of subjectivity involved and everybody will have an opinion but at the end of the day it's you who will have to play the whistle and only you know what suits you best.

I never had a Bflat whistle, I never really needed one, but recently an old Generation Bflat was included in a batch of whistles that came my way and it is fine, that's as much as I can say. I detest Dixon whistles, don't like them one bit. But you know, YMMV.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:29 am 
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I do not know anyone that has to many whistles. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=46493

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:43 am 
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Quote:
I do not know anyone that has to many whistles.


I do. I don't think I need more than half a dozen (and I am being generous there, allowing for a few extra keysthat could be of use, one day), maybe another half dozen for the fun of it. The rest is surplus. Too many.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:08 am 
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You might also consider a Bb tweaked by Jerry Freeman. I have one, and I like it a lot. Doesn't take a lot of air. I'm not accomplished enough to judge its tone, tuning, etc., but it sounds good to me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
I do not know anyone that has to many whistles.


I do. I don't think I need more than half a dozen (and I am being generous there, allowing for a few extra keysthat could be of use, one day), maybe another half dozen for the fun of it. The rest is surplus. Too many.


I do not know anyone here that would not help give you some relief of to many. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:37 pm 
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I have a Generation Bb. It is quite good in the low octave, but doesn't handle the upper octave terribly well. What I have read and experienced is that with Generations, it is a bit hit-and-miss as far as play-ability goes, but they are fine for a mass produced instrument.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:35 am 
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Thanks for the input so far, will be turning this one around in my mind for a while yet before I dare purchase anything. Considering that I'm effectively skint in any case and most certainly can't get both! (Also am part of the global community of players who can't just walk into a shop and try them...)

Also, does anyone have thoughts on the Dixon Alto polymer ones?

@Mr.Gumby

Detest is a strong word! How come, may I ask?

@ceilidhdog

Thanks for the heads up! Will check it out.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:35 am 
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I have the Generation Freeman-tweaked, the Dixon Trad Bb, and a Dixon Trad C. I'll do a bit of sound/tone comparing this afternoon and post back here. (Am away from home all morning)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:36 am 
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Ok, here's what I feel about the whistles I have of these. I'm a semi beginner player, so am no expert, But I've played all of the following for hours and have compared how they sound to me and their ease of playing. Keep in mind that I have slightly less air/lung capacity as compared to the average person, so that's a factor for me.

--------------

First, I must mention that I love my Dixon brass Trads high D, low G, and the Bb. BUT I'm not a big fan of my Dixon brass Trad (high) C. The C just seems too fat a tube for its length, thus difficult to get the air push needed- and the result is very airy tone that doesn't hold up to the other Trad whistles I have. IMHO. For C whistles, I prefer both my Freeman Blackbird and my Susato Kildare- they are both clear, nimble, and bright without the air push required that I am not so good at. The Freeman Mellow Dog in C is a great playing whistle too. I find the Dixon C Trad really just hard to push (for me) and with too soft and breathy a tone.
But I love my DixonTrad high D and my Bb!... and my low G is great too! I'm betting the Dixon Trad in A is great too. I have Dixon polymer blacks in A and Bb and they are soooo yummy to play. :thumbsup:

-------------------

OK... Comparing the Dixon and Generation Bb whistles side by side:

The Generation Bb I have is nickel plated and was tweaked by Jerry Freeman, so yes it plays in tune and fells pretty nimble.
Its holes line up pretty evenly with the Dixon brass Trad Bb. The Dixon has a larger second-from-bottom hole.

My (Freeman tweaked) Generation Bb has a slightly softer/mellower/breathier tone. It sounds lovely and is not hard to play.

My Dixon Trad Bb has a slightly louder, clearer, more flute-quality tone that has a hollow tone like a bell or flute. It's a little easier to waver off note if not paying attention. It also sounds lovely and is not hard to play.

If you are after a Bb with bell/flute-like and husky rather than airy/breathy, with less push required for strong notes... I'd say the Dixon Trad brass. The Dixon seems a bit louder and clearer, with a flute-y tone.

I hope this helps somehow. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:45 am 
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stefvek wrote:
Also, does anyone have thoughts on the Dixon Alto polymer ones?


Of my three Bb whistles, my Dixon tunable black polymer is hands down my absolute favorite. Keep in mind that I'm not an Irish trad music player- I play more early American music and early music such as English country dance tunes and medieval/renaissance. I love the Dixon polymer Bb- has more rich flute/woodrecorder-like tone, lovely feel of richness. The notes 'kick in' quickly, great breathy sound but easy to push...textured but clear and bell like. It's a true delight for what I like to play!
I have the same Dixon polymer in A, and the tone is just as nice but the finger stretch is a little harder for me than the Bb, which is perfection for my small hands. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:25 pm 
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" a Bb tweaked by Jerry Freeman" I also own this whistle and I like it very much! It was a gift from Jerry as he was really late on shipping an order for another JF tweaked whistle. I might have bought a Bb whistle at some point in time but it wasn't a high priority on my whistle bucket list! I was surprised at how good it was! Thanks again Jerry! a Brass Bb tweaked by Jerry is a very good whistle and I can and will advise buying one. M

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Last edited by mickey66 on Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Thanks a lot for so much useful info! Highly generous and just what I needed :)

I'm really glad several people have pointed to Jerry Freeman's tweaked whistles; I hadn't even considered them because I had falsely assumed that they would be way out of my price range. And lo and behold it seems that the Bb ones, at least, are not.

I'm edging very close to settling on a tweaked Generation. Lovely.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:15 pm 
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stefvek wrote:
Thanks a lot for so much useful info! Highly generous and just what I needed :)

I'm really glad several people have pointed to Jerry Freeman's tweaked whistles; I hadn't even considered them because I had falsely assumed that they would be way out of my price range. And lo and behold it seems that the Bb ones, at least, are not.

I'm edging very close to settling on a tweaked Generation. Lovely.
Please Note: If, you buy a Jerry Freeman Tweaked Bb whistle it will be a tuneable whistle! If, you buy a stock Generation Bb whistle it will NOT be a tuneable whistle! And, really difficult to turn into a tuneable whistle(btw, it's the only stock Gen that is that way) Good Luck, M

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Brass Generation Bb Tweaked by Jerry Freeman http://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistle ... SwR0JUPHYb Next....Nickel Bb http://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistle ... 1487281926 A Plug For Jerry Freeman !

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