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 Post subject: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:10 pm 
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I have to confess that after 3 or so years playing the whistle until 2 days ago I had never played a Generation whistle of any age or key. I first started playing Waltons and then a couple of Clarke’s. All serviceable whistles but not for me so I veered over to more expensive whistles and adopted the view that cheaper whistles weren’t for me.

On that basis I dismissed (stupidly in hindsight) the notion -espoused by a number of members here - that older Generation whistles could be wonderful whistles.

Well 2 days ago I came across a dirty old looking Generation D whistle in a second hand type market that looked so filthy and pitted that I initially left it but at the last minute just before leaving the market I went back on a whim and spent the few dollars asked for it.

It was so pitted and distressed looking that I assumed it was nickel but I did note the dimple on the back of the red plastic mouthpiece and the ridge running down the front of the mouthpiece so I assumed from what I had read here that it was one of the older models.

Surprisingly some direct action on the whistle tube with brasso and brass started to appear. The brass polished up as new. Not much I could do with the mouthpiece where the red at the top has faded in comparison to the bottom but it is in one piece without any teeth marks although there was a small hairline crack in the ramp. A touch of superglue should ensure the crack doesn’t get any worse.

As for how it plays it is unbelievably good. Very easy to play. In tune. Sounds somewhat like my brass Killarney, perhaps a fraction quieter but a bit sweeter. To me it is the same class as my other much more expensive whistles and miles better than the cheaper brands I have tried.

Have I just got lucky or are all the older Generations this good?
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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:57 am 
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Now you know why I've never bought a Killarney whistle :D

Are they all this good? My experience of the two pre-1980 Generation Ds that I have now (and memories of whistles past) says yes, but common sense says that the nature of ABS plastic moulding means there must have been some variation.

No, I'm not opening the door to those who claim that every Generation is awful until you stumble upon one of the magical ones that got away. If that's the case then every Generation whistle I own or have owned would be one of those "magical" ones, and what's the odds of that?

My first line is not knocking Killarney whistles. I can see why people like them. They are going for that "old-school" sound that was originally defined by these older Generations. Killarneys as you point out are a little louder and seem a little less sweet than the older Generations, but this is a path that Generation themselves first trod with the redesign of their moulds.

The modern Generations are probably easier to play. If modern Generations take a light touch, then these older ones are more so. Then again, take time, get used to them and they play beautifully, I think that this light touch is the source of many people's problems with Generation D whistles.

The only critique I have is that they are quiet whistles. Personally I like their volume in a session, they're blenders rather than session dominating whistles. They're great for practising at home. It does mean, though, that there are situations where I want/need a louder whistle.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:03 am 
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I forgot to mention.

On my Generation whistles, I wrap thread around the head (at the end where it forms a socket for the tube). Two or three layers of thread in a band, which is then treated with superglue or clear nail varnish.

This forms a fibre re-enforced polymer that helps stop the head from splitting, which is the eventual fate of many Generation whistles.

I learnt this trick on this board, from Richard Cook (panceltipiper) I believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:58 am 
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Quote:
common sense says that the nature of ABS plastic moulding means there must have been some variation.


Yes, they varied as much as the present. While some were excellent, a lot were serviceable mediocre and some weren't very playable at all. But their overall voicing was different and that is what most people singing their praises in retrospect seem to like.

Quote:
The modern Generations are probably easier to play.


I don't know about that. There seem to be different interpretations of 'easier to play'. If I use the description I would have old Generations in mind, taking very little air, responsive and light to the touch and not a lot more between the octaves. You can play the mwithout thinking. However, there seems to be a school of thought this makes whistles sqeaky, requiring more control and therefore harder to play. Which I think is nonsense, taking little air and being very responsive means easier to play in my book. Foolproof (beginner resistent) does not make a better , easier to play, whistle. In that sense I also think of Sindts and Kilalrneys as requiring just that bit more effort to play, arguably marginal but still, and therefore not as easy going as your Genration etc.



That said, I went through a batch of new Generation in Cusrty's over a year ago and the yall looked liek they were done with new moulds (unlike a previous batch) and found them all playing well, some more so than others but all whistles that were very playable and enjoyable.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:20 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
No, I'm not opening the door to those who claim that every Generation is awful until you stumble upon one of the magical ones that got away. If that's the case then every Generation whistle I own or have owned would be one of those "magical" ones, and what's the odds of that?


My experience also.

I think a lot of it must be if one is willing to spend the time with a Generation to understand its quirks, limitations, and strengths. There was only Clarke and Generation available (to me at least) when I started, and I have rarely played anything else. It's entirely possible that I just don't know any better - but I have yet to try anything else that I liked as well.

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Last edited by An Draighean on Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:44 pm 
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When I started out, the Gens that I had tended to squeal a lot, but after playing some other whistles, & coming back to my Gens, they didn't do that any more..... :D

Yes, you just need to learn how they want to be played......& they're not the only ones either. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:48 pm 
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About the Generation Conversion itself, we should perhaps gather for some sort of rite.

It would involve being anointed with whiskey, or something.

Other than that, I'm open for ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:27 pm 
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BYOW

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:18 pm 
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Pancelticpiper wrote “About the Generation Conversion itself, we should perhaps gather for some sort of rite.

It would involve being anointed with whiskey....”


That would then lead on to a heated debate about which was better Irish Whiskey or Scottish Whisky.

Ecardre, thanks for the tip via Pancelticpiper re securing the tube end of the plastic mouthpiece against cracking. I think I’ll use a fishing rod repair kit which one can use when replacing an eyelet on a fishing rod. It involves wrapping strong but thin twine around the bit to be secured and covering with a quick drying glue.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:10 pm 
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I've never had Scotch, but I do like Irish whiskey. And Bourbon, and Tennessee whiskey...and I also need to sample Guinness again.

Back to topic, the jury's still out on whether I'll be a Generation convert. The first step will be to conclusively determine if my present two are outstanding, complete duds, or somewhere in between.

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:11 am 
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I have a bottle of Jack Daniels...

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:27 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
About the Generation Conversion itself, we should perhaps gather for some sort of rite.

It would involve being anointed with whiskey, or something.

Other than that, I'm open for ideas.


Let the first of November herewith be known as Generation Day.

:D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:37 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
I've never had Scotch ...

Let me define it by saying that you can't; Scotch has a diversity of styles that defies pigeonholing, so you're better off going by the region it comes from. More of a Speyside single-malt guy, myself, here.

I will say that having known the deeply complex aesthetic pleasures of Scotch, one wonders why Cognac is still a thing.

Dan A. wrote:
... and I also need to sample Guinness again.

Everyone does. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:04 pm 
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fatmac wrote:

Let the first of November herewith be known as Generation Day.

:D :D :D


Great idea!

And it just now dawned on me...duh...that the Generation Rite Of Conversion will have to involve bending the knee!

And I'll bring the whisky...unless someone want to bring whiskey instead!


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 Post subject: Re: Generation Convert
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:10 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
common sense says that the nature of ABS plastic moulding means there must have been some variation.


Yes, they varied as much as the present. While some were excellent, a lot were serviceable mediocre and some weren't very playable at all. But their overall voicing was different and that is what most people singing their praises in retrospect seem to like.


Is it also possible that the "excellent" ones are more likely to be the ones still around today, hence why it can seem like they're all good?


I have a pair of B-flats I'm fond of (one is mine, one was my mom's, yes, they each sound slightly different and I can't decide which I like better, which is why I still have both; Kind Katharine would give one to her friend who recently learned to play whistle, but I'm still waffle-y), and an E-flat (a junk-shop rescue, though I don't think it's very old) I like and a recently-acquired C that I... just don't like. It seemed out-of-tune, harsh on a couple notes... to the point that I was thinking "I know I haven't played much recently but surely I am not *that* out of practice" as I just couldn't believe it was the whistle... these things have been improved a bit by adding blu-tack, but it's still not optimal and now has that muffled-y sound I've heard some people get with the blu-tack thing. I really wanted to like it (it's my supplement to my Clarke Original C for when I want something louder), but... I keep thinking there has to be something wrong with my ear or my playing, except I don't seem to have this problem with my other whistles. Maybe I need to record it and see if it's really as bad as it seems when it's right in my face.


Nanohedron wrote:
Let me define it by saying that you can't; Scotch has a diversity of styles that defies pigeonholing, so you're better off going by the region it comes from. More of a Speyside single-malt guy, myself, here.

I need to find a whisky-tasting... I am not as well-versed in Scotch as I would like to (should) be, but it's a bit daunting to buy whole bottles of everything to be able to try a bunch of different ones (and somehow I feel it would be most helpful to me to try a bunch side-by-side to really know the differences, rather than going out one day and trying one or two, a while later trying different ones and trying to remember it all, etc.). I'm not sure I've ever encountered anything like a Scotch flight, though.

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