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Which Bb whistle to choose?
Susato Oriole Bb 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Tony Dixon Alto Trad Brass Bb 15%  15%  [ 4 ]
Generation Bb 54%  54%  [ 14 ]
Other (please state) 23%  23%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 26
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:27 am 
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Location: United Kingdom
Hi all,

I have been playing my Clarke Sweetone D whistle for a few months now and am steadily improving my playing.

I keep being drawn towards the sound of Bb whistles however - I realise now that whistles prove to be quite addictive! :D

What I can't yet decide is which Bb whistle to choose :-?

I have looked at the Generation ones and read that they can be rather variable and that you may have to work your way through ten or so until you find one that is good.

I have also looked at the Susato Oriole Bb and the Tony Dixon Alto Trad Brass Bb.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on these or any others?

Thanks in advance :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:02 am 
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Location: Middle of Virginia
Since this is your first Bb, a Generation may suit you well. Many members on this forum favor the Generation Bb, including those who have more expensive models. Odds are you will end up collecting a lot of whistles, and like many others, come to the conclusion that the Generation Bb was a real gem. Check out YouTube clips for the Bb of various models. Of course, you have to decide based on your preferences, but at about $16.00 (US) the Generation Bb is a safe bet.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:35 am 
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I have a Freeman-tweaked Generation Bb that I like a lot. As a relative newbie, I find it's easy to play and, to my ears, very much in tune.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:48 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I have 2 Gen Bb whistles, brass, & nickel, they both sound the same, which isn't really a surprise, as the nickel is just a plating on the brass.

I bought myself a couple of Brass Trads (alto A & low G) after the Gens that I had collected, so I'd say if you want to spend the money, go with the Trad, but the Gens are OK.

(I have no experience of Susato.)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:36 am 
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If you're not ready for something like the Reyburn A/Bb set (two bodies w/one head) then you really can't go wrong with the Freeman tweaked Bb. Reasonable price for a very nice playing whistle and a huge improvement as compared to the over the counter Generations. I have several high end whistles and several Freeman tweaked Generation and Feadog whistles. Hard pressed to see a big difference. It's there, just kinda subtle.

Freeman does a great job and his tweaked whistles play better in tune and are more responsive than the stock version(s). You may never need anything better. A real gentleman to deal with too. :thumbsup:

Piper Joe


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:15 pm 
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I only play for my own benefit, and have played a few weddings, church services, etc. I've owned a few Bb whistles over the years by Generation, Bleazey, O'Riordan and a few others. I have an O'Riordan A that fits perfectly with a Generation Bb body, and it's the best. That's an exception and I think the Generation would be my choice otherwise.

Reg

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:08 am 
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I voted "other" because the best Bb I've ever owned is a Freeman Generation Bb.

Yes I could have voted "Generation" but that might be taken as meaning an off-the-shelf Generation.

I have several of those but none play as good as the Jerry Freeman one.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:10 am 
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rhulsey wrote:
I have an O'Riordan A that fits perfectly with a Generation Bb body, and it's the best.


I play sort of the opposite thing, a (Freeman) Generation Bb head on a home-made "A" body.

At left.

L-R A, Bb, B natural, C, C sharp, D, E flat, F.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:54 pm 
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Tough call. I have a pre-80 brass Gen Bb, a newer Nickel Gen Bb, a Susato Kildare Bb and a Parks Walkabout Bb. Love all of them. Each is different and has its own place.

Get a Gen now... Then a Kildare (step up from Oriole, (I think), then a Dixon.... And so on.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:30 pm 
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The tweaked generation will be nice if you are on a budget. I do not know about the air requirements of the Tony Dixon brass whistles, but I had a plastic Tony Dixon a few years ago and really thought it was an air hog. I have played many whistles in many keys down to D so playing an Alto whistle was not the issue. That being said, I gave it to a friend who is playing it happily.

My Bbs are a Tweaked Generation and later a Sindt. But I wonder if any other folks out there in Fippledom have ideas on the new makers.

I have a Carbony F, but their Bb may be out of your price range.

Check the Irish Flute Store for used whistles too. And ask them questions about any whistles they have. They are very helpful.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:29 am 
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Dear pbff,

I too share your enjoyment of Bb whistles. They occupy a sweet spot between higher and lower whistles. Not shrill, but still with great carrying power. Rich, solid tone ... but nimble enough for a variety of musical genres.

I use a McManus blackwood wide bore and a standard bore in Bb (plus another wide bore in mopane and standard bore in newtonia, as backups). I play them professionally, so didn't mind the outlay. Once you have instruments of that calibre (excuse the pun), you know that you will never need to upgrade.

Nice to know that you're not being limited by the shortcomings of your instrument. But it all depends on what your present and future musical needs are.

Good luck,

Sean.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:24 am 
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busterbill wrote:
The tweaked generation will be nice if you are on a budget.


This appears to imply that one can pay a higher price and get a better Bb whistle than a Generation.

Personally I haven't found this to be the case.

Yes I've owned and/or tried the makes you mention, and many others besides, some in the $200-$600 range, but my Freeman Generation outplayed all of them (at least for my style of playing and the musical attributes I'm looking for).

I haven't played a MacManus, and would love to try one. I'm always on the lookout for things I've not tried.

I have played numerous expensive wooden whistles from some big-name makers and not cared for any of them.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:56 pm 
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I tried a ton of Bb whistles and found them all pretty solid, but I wanted a really strong low end and the only Bb that got me that was a Doug Tipple Bb Fife. It's a gem.

Eric


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:18 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
This appears to imply that one can pay a higher price and get a better Bb whistle than a Generation.

Of the four Bbs I've still got, I'd put my Bracker first, Susato Oriole next, and Generation and Freeman Generation equal third. I find the Freeman Generation to improve on the stock model in some ways but not in others, prefer the Oriole (possibly just my particular Oriole, who knows?) to either overall, but only really play the Bracker. So, yes, you can get a better whistle, or at least I can, for me, and no way would I trade for my Bracker for a Generation (not even the older model I used to have, which from memory I liked better than either of the ones I have now). You equally might not like my Bracker, but that's fine because it's not on offer. And it in turn is by no means the most expensive Bb you can buy, but that's fine too because I've neither need nor desire to pay more when this one gives me what I want.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:38 pm 
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We have four Bbs in this house; one Sindt, two nickel Gens, and a brass Gen, that one is the newest at around 4 years old or so. I like the Sindt best, one of the nickel ones is a bit better than the other, and I quite like the brass one. Really, all three are pretty consistent and they all get played. Home tweaked. The brass one is $10 CDN at the local store. Hard to go wrong. Some folks figure the Bb is the best whistle in the Gen lineup.

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