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 Post subject: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:26 am 
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I've read a bunch of mixed reviews on whistles like Clarke and Generation that only lead me to believe that they are inconsistent and usually out of tune. I thought I'd get a C whistle to try out since a few tunes I like ask for it. I get it, you get what you pay for but at this point I probably won't use it too much. Any recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:34 pm 
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For about $42 (a little less than 3 times the price of a basic Generation C whistle), you can get a tweaked Jerry Freeman that will play as good as the high-end whistles and you don't have to worry about inconsistent quality. My two cents...

Pat

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:37 pm 
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The old-school way to do it was to go to a shop that had a fairly fresh box of Generations, and to insist on trying before you buy. Some will insist that health regs don't allow this, but you could usualy find at least one clerk that cared less.

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:15 pm 
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If you want an inexpensive whistle, I recommend the Oak. I have one in D that cost about $11. It plays in tune and is tunable. Not sure about a C, as I don't have one.

Von

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:57 pm 
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plunk111 wrote:
For about $42 (a little less than 3 times the price of a basic Generation C whistle), you can get a tweaked Jerry Freeman that will play as good as the high-end whistles and you don't have to worry about inconsistent quality. My two cents...

Pat


I've been thinking about the Tweaked Freeman whistle but I thought I read somewhere that the tweaked Generations were discontinued. How would you compare a tweaked Gen D compared to say a Dixon Trad?


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Any of the more affordable whistles are capable of being a terrific player. All the landmark whistle LPs, like Feodog Stain, etc., were recorded with them. Until the 80s that's all there was available. The great players of the day got theirs by cherrypicking. In the post internet era, the body of knowledge that came to be known as tweaking began being assembled and shared. Now, folks have figured out what was wrong with the imperfect examples, and what to do to make them equal to the cream of the crop.

There's not a whole lot of difference between any whistle with a plastic head and a metal tube, and the better they're tweaked, the fewer the differences. I think that whatever marke Jerry Freeman* is using as his feedstock, at this point, you should trust his 20 years experience over the brand. He has a profile here, and while he rarely posts these days, he'll likely respond to a PM or email. Ask him about the differences between his current offerings, and I expect you'll get a forthright response. I suspect, however, that there are no bad options, so choose at random if you must. The most important thing is to get a whistle and start playing it. The time you spend dithering is time you'll never reclaim.

*I've known him as a board member over the years, but I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in him or his business.

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:09 pm 
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Jerry Freeman sells his whistles through his eBay store. A search will pull up his current offerings.

Von

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:40 pm 
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I can't recall playing a Freeman Generation C, but a Freeman Generation Bb is my go-to Bb whistle.

I preferred it to the Sindt Bb I used to have, and to the Burke Bb I tried.

The only Bb whistles I've tried that were better were a couple vintage Generation Bb's which were owned by good players.

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:
I've read a bunch of mixed reviews on whistles like Clarke and Generation that only lead me to believe that they are inconsistent and usually out of tune. I thought I'd get a C whistle to try out since a few tunes I like ask for it. I get it, you get what you pay for but at this point I probably won't use it too much. Any recommendations?


One thing you'll find about whistles, whether they're cheap & made in a factory or dear & made by a loving craftsman, is that inconsistency is all part of the game.

Any cheap whistle will need work for it to sing. Jerry Freeman does a good job tweaking Generation type whistles.

Rolled tin whistles, of which Clarke is but one brand among many, also need to be tweaked in order to sing. I don't know if anyone offers that service or not, but it's a skill you can learn easily enough on your own.

Beyond that, every whistle, whether it's a dreaded Cooperman or the most expensive Copeland, requires your time, effort and patience to play well and in tune. Just like any other wind instrument you'd care to toot.

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:30 pm 
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O.K., I sent Jerry a PM. Let's see if he wants to talk.


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:16 am 
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I think you'd be better off just buying a Gen. I have a Freeman whistle in C (can't remember if its a Bluebird or a Blackbird) - it's ok, nothing special, and in my humble opinion, not worth the extra cost compared against a Generation whistle. (I also have two Dixon whistles in C which are ok. I have nothing against Jerry's whistles, but please don't expect them to live up to all of the hype expressed on this forum.)

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 am 
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hoopy mike wrote:
.... but please don't expect them to live up to all of the hype expressed on this forum.)


I'm not sure what this means for most of what I have read on this forum describe Jerry's quite accurately. The two that I have from him, a Blackbird in C and a brass tenor in G, are exactly as represented. Very nice whistles.


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:52 am 
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I don't think the argument is that Jerry's whistles aren't nice whistles. He sells whistles to cater for a variety of tastes. And their suitability will depend on individual tastes. They are modified mass produced whistles. Their voicing and/or playing characteristics have been changed from the original. And so far so good. Opinions are divided when it comes to the playability of off the shelf whistles whistles and the effect of tweaking, some would argue cheap whistles can only be used effectively when modified, others would see that differently.

Claims from bringing about world peace down to saving the future of Irish music and all that, that's hype.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:07 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Claims from bringing about world peace down to saving the future of Irish music and all that, that's hype.


You guys really like to set a high bar, I was just hoping to stop annoying my cats.


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 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive Whistles
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:09 am 
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That's probably a good start.

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