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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Played at NAMM Thursday & went today to wander around.

Booth after booth, pavillion after pavillion, of things having nothing to do with the sort of music I play.

Then :o I see a booth that's all whistles!!!

None other than Tony Dixon himself holding court, presiding over rows of shiny things.

I've had nearly zero exposure to Dixon products and it was wonderful to be able to try so many things. The most interesting was a prototype plastic conical-bore Low D whistle. It's noisy at NAMM and hard to hear subtleties, but I was impressed by the sophisticated flutelike tone and performance of this new thing. It was all made in one piece and therefore nontunable, and more or less looks like a Dixon top emerging out of an Irish flute. I liked its sound and performance better than the cylindrical Dixon Low D I tried there.

I was also very impressed with a Dixon high D whistle with a black plastic top and thick heavy brass body. It had a complex nice tone and played very well.

Tony also had a display of Phil Hardy whistles. The Old Style (Overtonlike) Low D he had there played like a dream, considerably better than the V3 there to my way of thinking.

I'm going back in the morning when hopefully it shall be a bit less loud, and try to get a better listen to some of these things.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:57 pm 
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The older style low whistles from Phil are special - they have such an even temperament between presence and chiff, and they could honk. The Dixon high whistles are quite nice - different at first...I like them, but overall, I find that I can't "push" them as much as I'd like to - like they have a rather limited "sweet spot" - for me, anyway. I had the thick brass whistle (that I think you are describing) for a while - it was quite a nice whistle in it's own right. I still have an older nickel Trad that I like to play on occassion. It's one of a few "keepers."

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:20 am 
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Yes I got a chance to try various Dixon high D whistles: plastic top with thinwall nickel body, thinwall brass body, and the thickwalled brass body. The thick brass had more complexity and character to its tone, I thought.

Yes that Phil Hardy OS Low D was a real honker, a nice powerful low range and no harshness in the high notes. Today I'm bringing in my MK to compare it with the various Dixon and Hardy Low Ds.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:36 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
The thick brass had more complexity and character to its tone, I thought.


I have one of those, and I like it a lot. It is loud though, to my ears. I filled the cavity under the windway with blue-tack (aka poster-putty) and thought that improved it a little.

I was told that 'shutting it in a car door' was one of the main accidents befalling whistles. Pity the car if you try this with the Dixon solid brass whistle. Still, I have a skoda, and the door would be cheaper to replace. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:32 am 
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Saturday I went in the morning and Tony and I went off to a quiet room to put a Phil Hardy OS Low D, my MK Low D, and the prototype Dixon conical Low D through their paces.

The new conical Dixon Low D is very special. It plays unlike either of the other Low Ds, probably different from any Low D whistles. When switching back and forth between the MK (still my favourite Low D) and the conical Dixon there was the distinct feeling of switching between types of instruments.

Tony said that a two-piece tunable conical Low D would be available within a couple weeks.

Hard to see, but here's Tony and I at NAMM. I'm holding the conical Low D prototype:

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:41 am 
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Tony Dixon has a conical flute and a whistle head for it which for some reason I've never seen mentioned here.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:22 am 
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Elvellon wrote:
Tony Dixon has a conical flute and a whistle head for it which for some reason I've never seen mentioned here.

It has had its moments in the sunshine.

http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=70032
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66574

among other threads.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:43 am 
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This new prototype is different from the flute/whistle combo he makes.

It's all cast plastic, thin and light, and all cast in a single piece. There's no tuning slide.

Tony said it was quite new and only existed in that one prototype.

Anyhow here's our Thursday night NAMM performance... I'm the piper right by the drums :evil:

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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