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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Hi -- I'm up north of Seattle. I know of Dusty Strings -- are there other places to play whistles in person in the region? Perhaps makers' shops?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:30 am 
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if You’re looking for a try before you buy kinda scenario short of Generations, Oaks and Feadogs you’re not gonna be in much luck to find a “whistle shop” in the PNW or anywhere aside from Ireland. Most of us buy from the makers directly or second hand with either online reviews and personal recommendations. Best get yourself down to a session and befriend some whistle players and ask if you can try out their instrument. Most of us (I presume) are not terribly germaphobic and will let you try their instrument and spend some time talking about it.

The closest thing I know of to a whistle shop is the online Irish Flute Store based out of Ohio, but you’ll have to buy the whistle first. I believe they have a return policy on their instruments.

Cheers,

Melany


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:51 am 
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anywhere aside from Ireland


An even there they'd be very rare indeed. I couldn't think of a single one with a decently varied selection to be honest.

I suppose whistlemakers do not often have wholesale prices so with a shop's mark up, prices can spiral very quickly into silly territory. Last week I jumped at a few O'Briain 'improved' in a (pop up) shop, only to find they wanted €55 for the D and an outrageous €70 for an Eflat. So that didn't fly.

But the standard ones will serve you well. I tried a fair number of Generation and Oak Ds in Custy's yesterday and a few Oak Cs and found them all at least decent and a good number of them nice and very playable. Nearly spent €7.50 on a D but really don't need one so left it. But they were whistles I would happily play in any context at all.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:49 am 
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clepsydrae wrote:
Hi -- I'm up north of Seattle. I know of Dusty Strings -- are there other places to play whistles in person in the region? Perhaps makers' shops?

Thanks.


Not really. I'm in the general vicinity, and I've found that the "big box" instrument stores like Ted Brown and Guitar Center might stock a handful of whistles of one specific brand such as Walton's or Oak, but then only in D. And I don't think they want you to try them out in the store.
This may sound a little off the wall, but with the summer season in full swing, you could try visiting a Renaissance Faire. Sometimes there are folk musical instrument vendors that have a few different whistles and let you try their wares.

If you are ever down in the Bay Area, the "Lark in the Morning" shop in Berkeley, CA has whistles by Shaw, Dixon, and I think a couple other makers in various keys, and they encourage you to give them a try.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:01 am 
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clepsydrae wrote:
... I'm up north of Seattle. ...

You might check in with the Irish Piper's Club in Seattle. Their web site seems to be down but there's a Facebook page. Since most pipers also play whistles, folks there might offer some insights.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:28 pm 
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Thanks for the tips, everyone; am I correct that Dusty Strings has a selection of whistles? Or am I misremembering the flute selection they have as including whistles... it's been like 15 years since I was in there...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Oops -- I might have been confusing Dusty Strings with Lark or something... (I used to live in the Bay Area)... pics online seem to show that Dusty Strings has more of the budget tier of whistles only...

@RenaissanceGuy -- is Clarion Music still a store in Sn Francisco? I find their website but no mention of the store... when I lived there (20 years ago) it was a pretty incredible place to visit... but maybe they just do lessons/shows now?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:10 pm 
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clepsydrae wrote:
Oops -- I might have been confusing Dusty Strings with Lark or something... (I used to live in the Bay Area)... pics online seem to show that Dusty Strings has more of the budget tier of whistles only...

@RenaissanceGuy -- is Clarion Music still a store in Sn Francisco? I find their website but no mention of the store... when I lived there (20 years ago) it was a pretty incredible place to visit... but maybe they just do lessons/shows now?


I've never made it to Dusty Strings myself. Currently their online shop only lists a bamboo whistle by Erik the Flutemaker. The in-store inventory may be different.

It looks like Clarion's retail operation closed in 2016: https://clarionmusic.com/history/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:16 pm 
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It looks like Clarion's retail operation closed in 2016: https://clarionmusic.com/history/


Yeah, too bad. Not surprising, though. Circa 1998 it was an amazing place to wander around in. I don't think I ever saw someone purchase something. :-) It was like a big, dusty museum of exotic instruments that you could pick up and play.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:46 pm 
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You're in luck, actually. Dusty Strings has Generations, Clarkes, Carbony, Susato, and various models of Dixon whistles. Their inventory is slow to turn over, so there might only be odd keys, but it'll give you an idea of how they play.

side note: my whistles will be in there sometime next year.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:03 pm 
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MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
You're in luck, actually.


Good to know, thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:02 pm 
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p51baby wrote:
The closest thing I know of to a whistle shop is the online Irish Flute Store based out of Ohio,

Cheers,

Melany


Did they move from Greeley, Colorado? https://www.irishflutestore.com

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Tommy wrote:
p51baby wrote:
The closest thing I know of to a whistle shop is the online Irish Flute Store based out of Ohio,

Cheers,

Melany


Did they move from Greeley, Colorado? https://www.irishflutestore.com


Nope. They are still in Greeley. Years ago they were run by a different fellow, Doc Jones, in Idaho. I myself have been know to mix up Iowa and Ohio. It wouldn't be to hard a stretch to add Idaho to that three syllable vowel beginning and ending state's name club. :D


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