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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: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:11 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
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...


For sure what you say about Jerry improving the stock model in some ways but not in others! Jerry's Generations tend to play in a distinct way that's unlike any stock Generation I've tried. (Sample size is around a dozen Freeman Generations and hundreds of stock Generations.)

I will say that the particular Freeman Generation Bb I've been praising plays unlike all the other Freeman Generations (of any key) that I've tried. That Freeman Generation Bb plays like my favourite vintage Generations and very much like the Sindt Bb I used to have.

On the other hand I've played some Freeman Generations (in various keys) that I didn't care for at all.

Susatos are one of those things people will disagree on. I only like the Susatos in Low C and Low D.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:24 am 
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pbff wrote:

I keep being drawn towards the sound of Bb whistles...I have looked at the Generation ones and read that they can be rather variable...


Just an update about off-the-self Bb Generations: I have two older ones that play fairly well. I like the voicing and the tone but the tuning is a bit quirky on both of them.

Now that I use that Freeman Generation Bb head on a home-made Mezzo A body I need a nice Bb in my roll. So I checked both of the vintage stock Generation Bb's against an electronic tuner and found that they both were tuned in the same way.

Speaking in D-whistle terms, the E, G, A, B, and C# all were tuned to match each other. So far so good!

I found F# to be a tad flat. This is very common on Generations D's as well, and many trad players prefer their F#'s tuned that way.

The main problem was quite flat D's, both Bottom D and Middle D.

Now, I could have put tape on 5 of the 6 finger-holes to bring C#, B, A, G, and E down to the pitch of F# and D.

Instead I took the older, more beat-up stock Generation Bb and chopped the bottom of the tube a bit.

The result was having all the notes in tune with each other except for the slightly flat F# which hole I carved out some.

Now the whole gamut from Bottom D to the 2nd octave B is right in tune.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:27 pm 
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Just out of interest, about how much did you feel you needed to take off the bottom of the Bb tube?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:33 am 
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About 2mm.

Here's a post I just did in the "tweak" section with all the details of the modifications I did

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39238&p=1215283#p1215283

Here's the bottom of two Generation Bb tubes, on the left a stock one, on the right my chopped and carved one

Image

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:59 am 
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I have the Bb in Roy McManus blackwood and MusiqueMorneaux Bb in Mopane. I prefer wooden whistles while I have Bb others in the plastics and metals. I posted the Mopane in the Chiff collection pics yesterday. I do like the Bb sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:45 am 
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Thanks for the info & link, Richard. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:04 am 
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I've had a chrome Generation since the 90s. I finally got a Freeman tweeked Generation. The Freeman is vastly better for me. There are two main differences.

First, he makes the tone sweeter and less breathy. It's also a little less bright.

Second, and more important to me, he cuts about 1/8 inch off the end of the tube which dramatically improves the tuning. With the stock whistle I need to tape the L2, L3 and R3 holes drastically to get them in tune enough to play with my wife's fiddle.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:53 pm 
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highland-piper wrote:
The Freeman is vastly better for me.

First, he makes the tone sweeter and less breathy. It's also a little less bright.


Interestingly, with most of the Freemans I've tried (Generations in every key, plus a couple other D's) the Freeman tone is more dirty or rough than any of my vintage stock Generations. This is especially noticeable in the 2nd octaves, where B in particular can be harsh.

The exceptions have been one Freeman Generation Bb and one Freeman Feadog D which both had amazingly sweet 2nd octaves.

highland-piper wrote:
Second, and more important to me, he cuts about 1/8 inch off the end of the tube which dramatically improves the tuning. With the stock whistle I need to tape the L2, L3 and R3 holes drastically to get them in tune...


Yes that's what I had to do with my stock Generation Bb, chop off around 2mm from the end of the tube, to get the bell-note and its octave as sharp as the rest of the scale.

Some of the Freemans appear to be chopped at the top of the tube too.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:52 pm 
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Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply and for all your feedback.
It's been really interesting to hear what everyone has to say :thumbsup:

I think it is now safely narrowed down to either a Generation or a Dixon.
The Freeman Generation do have a nice sound, from what I've heard on clips anyway, but I'm not really sure how I would go about buying one in the UK?
I have taken a look at his EBay store, but I'm not really up on what I'd have to do re Import VAT and other charges :-?
Any ideas guys?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Buy a generation.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:57 am 
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Being in the UK too, I bought Bb Gens first, then a Dixon in G then in A, (then the rest of my collection).

If you don't like the Gen at first, which I doubt, you can fill the hollow below the windway with Blu-Tac to improve them, evidently, (I haven't felt it necessary).

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