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 Post subject: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 3:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:43 am
Posts: 120
Location: Galway
I'm wondering if anyone can tell me a bit about characteristcs of the Park Every whistle and Sandy Jasper's Elf Song, relative to say the Dixon Trad?

The story so far:
* I started with a Clarke original. Loved the "sweetness" of the sound. But I keep the whistle in my bag, so the mouthpiece got pushed out of shape.
* Tried a Feadog, it sounded awful.
* Got a Clarke Meg instead, sounded so much better, though still without the sweetness of the original, and it felt a bit light for my liking. But it kept me going
* Two years later, picked up the Feadog again and it sounded so much better now "it" had matured (they must be like wine, getting better with age ;-)
* Another year later, got adventurous and got a Dixon trad. Loved it by comparison to the Feadog, the 2nd octave especially sounds so much smoother.

Sadly the Dixon has suffered an injury (cracked and chipped head): it sounds far worse than the Feadog. So I'm looking for a replacement. I prefer a metal whistle, not too light, plastic head, preferably dark coloured, so it's not too obvious to anyone looking in to my bag.

I've read the reviews on C&F, and done a bit of searching (I need to buy on-line, for various reasons). Candidates so far are
[list=]
[*]Dixon trad,
[*]Dixon High D Whistle with Brass Body. DX203D (what IS the difference between these two, in terms of sound/playability)
[*]O'Briain New Improved High D Brass Whistle
[*]Blackbird (wasn't on the list before, made it there due to comments in some other postings here).
[/list]

But I haven't found any reviews of the Elf.

And I noticed the Parke featured on BigWhistle: it's not dark coloured or metal, but if the volume control really does work as promised and the sound is ok, then it might just be a good thing to try.

Thoughts welcome … (including links to reviews of the Elf if I've just missed something!)


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:02 am 
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Location: Land-of-Sky
I am actually not that crazy for Elf whistles, but I do like the Feadog. I understand how you don't like it, for when I was starting out, I did not like it either. Now I love it though.

But the Dixons, O'Brien, and the Blackbird are all great whistles. I don't think you will be disappointed with any of them. What is your price range?

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:44 am 
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Location: A little left of center, and 100 miles from St. Louis
I am a big fan of the Parks Everywhistle, and Carey's new version of the Walkabout is my current practice whistle (because my youngest kiddo doesn't like having her brain pierced while I learn the high parts of a tune - I'm a slow learner :D ) but can also hold its own playing with others. I highly recommend it.

I am not personally familiar with the Elf or Dixon. (for high D, session or band, I usually play a Burke DBSBT.)

Have fun with whichever one you decide on!

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:50 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I cannot recommend the Blackbird highly enough. If you're considering buying one and don't have one, then I say just go for it. I stalled a while before buying one, thinking, "I've heard it's good, but it can't be all *that* special, right?" I was wrong. Seriously, the Blackbird is just that good. It's a relatively quiet whistle, too, so if volume is a concern, that's something to consider.

As for the Every Whistle, I have the Walkabout and I think it's a wonderful whistle. It's CPVC, so it doesn't meet your metal requirement, but the tone ring does work to reduce the volume. Just spin it around and close off the window and the volume decreases (while simultaneously making the whistle more breathy). I use the Walkabout as my primary practice whistle so I can turn the volume down and not pester my wife and daughters with my horrid playing. The Parks whistles tend to be pretty sturdy thanks to their CPVC construction and they're incredibly easy to take care of, to the point that you can literally toss them in the dish washer if they get dirty. The Walkabout is nice, too, because it breaks down into 3 pieces and you can also get a small black pouch to put it in. I carry mine with me everywhere I go.

I still plan to get a Dixon Trad (I hear nothing but good things, and obviously you had good experiences with them, too).


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:35 am 
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Location: Madison, AL
MaryC wrote:
* Two years later, picked up the Feadog again and it sounded so much better now "it" had matured (they must be like wine, getting better with age ;-)

I think more accurately, YOU have improved over time....not the whistle. I hear this repeatedly from beginners or those on the road to learning whistle. Inexperienced players tend to blow too hard until they learn breath control, and Feadogs can easily be overblown, along with the Dixon Trad, making them sound terrible. Both require a light touch. So pat yourself on the back. You're improving :thumbsup:

ElfSong testimonials: http://www.elfsongwhistles.com/Testimonials.htm

Don't know what your price limit is but have you looked at David O'Brien's telescoping high D? Very nice tone, excellent intonation, and wouldn't be too obvious in your bag ($100): http://www.obrienwhistles.com/OBPvideo.html (click on "a Stowaway telescopic soprano D whistle")

....or maybe Hoover or Burke.

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:44 am 
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Ballyshannon wrote:
MaryC wrote:
* Two years later, picked up the Feadog again and it sounded so much better now "it" had matured (they must be like wine, getting better with age ;-)

I think more accurately, YOU have improved over time....not the whistle. I hear this repeatedly from beginners or those on the road to learning whistle. Inexperienced players tend to blow too hard until they learn breath control, and Feadogs can easily be overblown, along with the Dixon Trad, making them sound terrible. Both require a light touch. So pat yourself on the back. You're improving :thumbsup:


I think that's what she meant by the quotation marks and smiley. :)

I have a Parks Every Whistle and it's also probably my favorite. Granted, it's not metal and light-colored, but the tone ring does work to both adjust the volume and the breathiness. I also like that it's a wider bore and the finger holes are larger (or at least feel larger) than my other whistles.

Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:59 am 
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Location: Madison, AL
Jason Paul wrote:
I think that's what she meant by the quotation marks and smiley.

I think you're right, Jason. Can't believe I didn't catch that. But then a pat on the back doesn't hurt. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:18 am 
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I have both the Dixon Trad D brass and the Dixon solid brass D whistles. With the warning that my skills and experience are limited I will proffer my opinion.

I like both whistles a lot, though I prefer low whistles. I prefer the solid brass whistle as I think it plays more sweetly, though the Trad may be a bit faster responding. I prefer the weight and solidity of the heavy brass whistle - the body will be around for a long, long time.......

I dont feel up to using terms such as 'chiff', so II have rushed off a recording in which I use first the Trad, then the solid brass whistle. It may be an unfair comparison, though I did try to play the whistles the same.

And I made plenty of mistakes, but its not about my playing......

Hope that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Location: Southern Ohio
It's hard to recommend one whistle over another. It's really too personal of a choice. I have a Blackbird, Dixon Trad, Every Whistle, and did at one time have the Dixon brass. All of the whistles are nice, but each has a different voice. Depends on the sound you want. My favorite of those listed to play is the Every Whistle. The brass Dixon was given away because of the weight. It felt unbalanced in my hands and was too heavy for my taste. Possibly it's been modified since I had one ... that's been a couple of years ago.

One person's giveaway whistle is another person's treasure .... :) Happy Hunting!


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 12:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 43
Don't waste your time on an Elfsong. Dixon makes good whistles, but they are VERY easy to overblow. I haven't played a Park, but I have several friends who love them. When he makes a Bb, I'll be first in line. I don't like D whistles much, nor C whistles.


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 3:46 am 
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Not to be a wiseguy, but whatever whistle you choose you might want to consider keeping it in a case of some sort. You seem to have trouble with damaged whistles.

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:34 am 
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I played an Elfsong once but it was in session and I couldn't really hear it well enough to evaluate it, other than to say I didn't like it as much as my Burke. And that is was heavy.


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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:57 am
Posts: 92
Location: Phillipsburg, NJ
Hello!!

Well I have a Parks Every Whistle and a Blackbird. As others have said.....the Blackbird is an awesome whistle. It does not require a lot of breath control and the 2nd octave is very easy to play in.

The Parks Every Whistle is a great whistle too. Right now it is my practice whistle due to it's durability and the ability to control the volume. It does require much more breath control and it is less restrictive as far as air flow so I find that I am taking a lot more breaths compared to the Blackbird.

If I were to have to choose only one whistle....it would be the Blackbird.

Just my $.02

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:48 am 
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Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
MaryC wrote:
I've read the reviews on C&F, and done a bit of searching (I need to buy on-line, for various reasons). Candidates so far are

[*]Dixon trad,
[*]Dixon High D Whistle with Brass Body. DX203D (what IS the difference between these two, in terms of sound/playability)
[*]O'Briain New Improved High D Brass Whistle
[*]Blackbird (wasn't on the list before, made it there due to comments in some other postings here).


It's not on your list, but I'd like to mention Jerry Freeman's tweaked Mellow Dog. I have both it and a Blackbird. Contrary to what Rap4th has found, my feeling is that the Blackbird really calls for some significant breath control in the lower register. I've found the Mellow Dog to be much more forgiving - doesn't sound as "pure" in the upper register as the Blackbird, but has much of the sound of the Generations/Feadogs/Dixons Trad.

Happy hunting.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Elf vs Park Every vs Dixon trad -- help choosing one please!
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:03 am 
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Mary, if you're still transplanted in Galway City, can't you just walk over to Powell's and try a bunch?

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