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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Okay the title doesn't necessarily tell you much, but what I'm asking is, given current production models versus those made X number of years ago, which mass manufacturers of the more inexpensive whistles, such as Generations, Feadog , Walton's or anyone else you'd care to list, seems to have maintain a study quality over the years? And actually, let's just narrow it down to plastic mouthpieces with metal bodies. But feel free to chime in with whatever you want.

Anecdotally, after looking at many reviews and YouTube videos and so forth, I'm left with the impression that Feadog and Walton's are kind of tied or fluctuate back and forth between first and second with Generations coming in third. What say you?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:36 am 
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I have Gens, a Feadog, a Waltons, a Clarkes, & an ABS Tony Dixon in high D.

The Gens & Feadog sound the same, to me, the Waltons a little mellower.

The Clarke & Dixon have a totally different sound, more mellow.

These are all cheap whistles, so will vary slightly in manufacture, but overall, I'd expect them to have the above characteristics.

Edit: Of the high D, I tend to grab the Waltons or Dixon out of preference.

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Last edited by fatmac on Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:06 am 
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I have some Generations I've had for 45 years: the C and Bb are holding up well, but I also have one 40-year-old D that's still a good player. I've worn the nickel off round its finger holes, too.

I also have a couple of original Overton low As from the early '70s, which I still play, and a low G from the late 80s.

Others have gone by the wayside - Shaws, Clarkes, the odd Feadog, etc..

Mind you, I usually took my time choosing the Gens, playing as many as I could before buying (I was allowed to do that, back in the day).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:39 am 
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MichaelRS wrote:

Anecdotally, after looking at many reviews and YouTube videos and so forth, I'm left with the impression that Feadog and Walton's are kind of tied or fluctuate back and forth between first and second with Generations coming in third. What say you?


My first choice is Feadog. The windway is tapered making it more efficient. The others have straight through
windways. Generations sometimes have a deformed windway exit causing a turbulent airstream to the blade.
By deformed I have seen them with one side of the exit smaller than the other.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:54 am 
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Injection moulding is process that will inevitably give you a variation in output. This would apply to any whistle using this means of production.

I have also seen badly deformed Generations that were absolutely gorgeous players (see below), not by design but by accident. Which probably underlines the fact variation in the process can work both ways.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:30 am 
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These moulds wear out over time, and I wish the companies would put more effort into maintaining or replacing the moulds when they start to wear out. My understanding is that Jerry Freeman won’t even try to tweak the current Gens because what they’re putting out is too subpar to do much with.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:24 am 
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Thank you all for your input. While not replying directly to everybody I have read them and they were helpful. That picture of the bent mouthpiece was really wild. Just shows the level of quality control that even made it off the factory floor.

Yes I've ordered a Jerry Freeman mellow dog and in my correspondence withJerry that's exactly what he said. If you know what a manufacturer is consistently putting out, that is to say if what makes it subpar is pretty much consistent from one whistle to the next, you could do something with that. But if you have to take the time to analyze each one and create a specific plan for it in order to correct it, that would cut your own productivity down substantially and it's just not worth it.

I thank everybody again


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:36 am 
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Just shows the level of quality control that even made it off the factory floor.


But perhaps you missed the point it was an exquisite player and the photo was part of the cover image of a highly respectable whistle CD it was used on.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
Just shows the level of quality control that even made it off the factory floor.


But perhaps you missed the point it was an exquisite player and the photo was part of the cover image of a highly respectable whistle CD it was used on.


No, I understood that. But if you're the quality control guy or gal on the line and you see that coming down the chute or conveyor belt or however they do it, I should imagine you don't grab it and test play it to see if it's okay to send on its way.

One would think you would simply snatch it up, yank the head off and toss it and perhaps recycle the tube in the production line for a new head.

That it got through, even though by some magical fluke it played well, says something negative to me about the state of their quality control.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Tommy wrote:
MichaelRS wrote:

Anecdotally, after looking at many reviews and YouTube videos and so forth, I'm left with the impression that Feadog and Walton's are kind of tied or fluctuate back and forth between first and second with Generations coming in third. What say you?


My first choice is Feadog. The windway is tapered making it more efficient. The others have straight through
windways. Generations sometimes have a deformed windway exit causing a turbulent airstream to the blade.
By deformed I have seen them with one side of the exit smaller than the other.


Generations also have a taper in the windway, both in height and width. Examine one and you will see it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:45 pm 
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I see it's open season on Generation whistles again.

On different forums and boards so many of the comments are just second hand anecdotes, received wisdom and repeated gossip, none of which match up with my own experience with Generation whistles.

Yes, someone somewhere has had a "bad Generation" I'm sure (just as with any other manufactured goods), but you know what they say about swallows and summers.

Is every single cheap plastic headed whistle that comes off every manufacturers production line going to be utterly flawless. No, obviously not. But, I do not see any great over-riding problem with the quality of Genration whistles. I've owned and played many of them over the years and each and every one of them has been perfectly fine, and none of them were specially chosen. I've never noticed any of the dozens and dozens,hundreds probably, that I've seen in shops and on festival stalls to have these egregious faults that are so often deplored in such confident tones.

So, yes, I'd recommend a Generation whistle to any beginner. They are a perfectly good and sensible choice and do not routinely require any "fixing." Learn to play the thing before buying so unquestioningly into what I consider as overblown myth-making about this particular brand of whistle.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:02 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
I see it's open season on Generation whistles again.

On different forums and boards so many of the comments are just second hand anecdotes, received wisdom and repeated gossip, none of which match up with my own experience with Generation whistles.

Yes, someone somewhere has had a "bad Generation" I'm sure (just as with any other manufactured goods), but you know what they say about swallows and summers.

Is every single cheap plastic headed whistle that comes off every manufacturers production line going to be utterly flawless. No, obviously not. But, I do not see any great over-riding problem with the quality of Genration whistles. I've owned and played many of them over the years and each and every one of them has been perfectly fine, and none of them were specially chosen. I've never noticed any of the dozens and dozens,hundreds probably, that I've seen in shops and on festival stalls to have these egregious faults that are so often deplored in such confident tones.

So, yes, I'd recommend a Generation whistle to any beginner. They are a perfectly good and sensible choice and do not routinely require any "fixing." Learn to play the thing before buying so unquestioningly into what I consider as overblown myth-making about this particular brand of whistle.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:28 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
I see it's open season on Generation whistles again.

On different forums and boards so many of the comments are just second hand anecdotes, received wisdom and repeated gossip, none of which match up with my own experience with Generation whistles.

Yes, someone somewhere has had a "bad Generation" I'm sure (just as with any other manufactured goods), but you know what they say about swallows and summers.

Is every single cheap plastic headed whistle that comes off every manufacturers production line going to be utterly flawless. No, obviously not. But, I do not see any great over-riding problem with the quality of Genration whistles. I've owned and played many of them over the years and each and every one of them has been perfectly fine, and none of them were specially chosen. I've never noticed any of the dozens and dozens,hundreds probably, that I've seen in shops and on festival stalls to have these egregious faults that are so often deplored in such confident tones.

So, yes, I'd recommend a Generation whistle to any beginner. They are a perfectly good and sensible choice and do not routinely require any "fixing." Learn to play the thing before buying so unquestioningly into what I consider as overblown myth-making about this particular brand of whistle.


I understand that, and it makes sense. But then I would wonder why somebody like Jerry Freeman would give up on tweaking them when, they seem to have been such a popular mainstay of his product line


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:06 pm 
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MichaelRS wrote:
ecadre wrote:
I see it's open season on Generation whistles again.

On different forums and boards so many of the comments are just second hand anecdotes, received wisdom and repeated gossip, none of which match up with my own experience with Generation whistles.

Yes, someone somewhere has had a "bad Generation" I'm sure (just as with any other manufactured goods), but you know what they say about swallows and summers.

Is every single cheap plastic headed whistle that comes off every manufacturers production line going to be utterly flawless. No, obviously not. But, I do not see any great over-riding problem with the quality of Genration whistles. I've owned and played many of them over the years and each and every one of them has been perfectly fine, and none of them were specially chosen. I've never noticed any of the dozens and dozens,hundreds probably, that I've seen in shops and on festival stalls to have these egregious faults that are so often deplored in such confident tones.

So, yes, I'd recommend a Generation whistle to any beginner. They are a perfectly good and sensible choice and do not routinely require any "fixing." Learn to play the thing before buying so unquestioningly into what I consider as overblown myth-making about this particular brand of whistle.


I understand that, and it makes sense. But then I would wonder why somebody like Jerry Freeman would give up on tweaking them when, they seem to have been such a popular mainstay of his product line


Who knows, he's running a business. I've no idea how many whistles he sells and I've no idea how many "tweaked" Generations he sold compared to his others. They certainly seem to be rarely mentioned compared to his Blackbird and Mellow Dog whistles.

As far as I understand, he used to also do Clarke Originals, Sweetones and Shaw whistles too.

The only Freeman whistle I've ever played was when I had to borrow a whistle at a gig moments before going on stage. My whistles had been accidentally left at home. It was his Blackbird model in D, and I literally had no chance to even try it before playing it on stage. It worked fine, I had no problems with it, but I would not be interested in buying one because it has a sound (very pure) that I'm not really interested in.

To my mind, the Freeman "tweaked" whistles are not cheap whistles that needed to be fixed, but instruments that have been changed to get a particular sound. Though his Mellow Dog whistle seems to be a step further where he manufactures a new tube and widens the bore of the whistle head. It's essentially his own design of whistle.

Anyway, I don't know Jerry's motives (and do not intend to impugn him at all), but I can relate my own experiences (which are reflected in other whistle players I know) of Generation whistles. That is, I like them and I have never had one of the fabled "bad Generations."

As an aside, there are far more whistle brands these days than any of us have played. Compared to those I've ever bought or played there are exponentially more. In the end, though, the tin whistle is a very simple instrument.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:11 am 
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I sometimes have gotten pushback on this but I still think it's worth considering.

A lot of people here are like me: learning the whistle mostly in isolation. There is no community of whistle players that I easily draw on. Sessions I've observed don't welcome beginners. So if I buy a ten dollar whistle, It's hard for me to tell if it's a "bad " whistle, or if it's my fault. That's just frustrating. It makes it less fun to play.

In my experience, same as about everybody else, the inexpensive plastic headed whistles can vary a great deal. I noticed this right away, when I was starting out: two whistles of the same brand would play differently. I thought about it: I could keep buying ten dollar whistles until I found one I liked, which is certainly a viable solution, or I could instead buy one whistle for the price of 5-10 inexpensive whistles that someone who knew how to play had paid attention to. For me this was totally worth it. I liked the Killarney whistle right away: they just made practice more fun and less frustrating. They say, on their website, that "These instruments are distinguished from the inexpensive whistles in that each whistle is individually manufactured and “voiced” by a skilled person rather than made in a factory." We all know to be skeptical of hype, but I have found this to be true. The Killarney whistles (i have two) are very consistent in sound and both show signs of having been mucked about by someone who knew how to, for example, slightly adjust the finger holes for better intonation.

I've found the same to be true with "tweaked" whistles. I have a freeman and a Cillian O'Briain. Both were better from the git, as they say, than the less expensive whistles I picked up here and there.

You might end up finding an inexpensive whistles that sounds great-. And the hunt is fun. At this point, I can sound ok on any whistles. I'd just offer the suggestion that you minimize frustration and maximize the value of practice time if you get a whistle that's had a bit more care and attention applied to it.


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