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 Post subject: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:34 pm 
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One of the minor downsides of the Dixon Trad D for fans of Frankenwhistles is the inability to swap heads. The Dixon head is slightly longer (~13 mm) and the tube slightly shorter (~15 mm) than a standard Generation D head and tube. The Dixon tube is also slightly wider. So the Dixon head is not interchangeable with other standard 1/2 inch D heads - Generation, Feadóg, Waltons, Oak, etc.

Pondering this knotty problem here at GuruLabs, I decided to try a standard, larger C head on the Dixon tube instead. First, 7-8 turns of Teflon/PTFE tape to snug up the head on the tube. Unfortunately, it's not possible to pull the head out enough to bring the pitch down to D. But it is possible to push it in far enough for a nice in-tune Eb. Hmmm ...

This position leaves the left hand notes (A and B in particular) sharp relative to the right hand. But a bit of tape over the T2 and T3 holes brings the intonation right back into line. Even the C-nat oxxooo is nicely in tune.

The result? A very nice Eb whistle with a big sound because of the large C head. I'm actually using a Blackbird C head, which works great. And, of course, the hole spacing is that of a D whistle, which might be more comfy for some hands than a standard Eb tube.

So there you have it, something to try. I'll try to post a sound clip later ...

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:31 am 
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No audio clip yet, but here's a photo of the FrankenDixon Eb (bottom):

Image

The top whistle is a Generation Eb for comparison. It's easy to see that they're virtually the same size at A440,
and the hole spacing is actually very similar.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:14 am 
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The Dixon trad tube seems to be a bit wide. It seems to me like it favors the lower octave. I bet it would sit comfortably in a key like Bb.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:11 pm 
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I.D.10-t wrote:
The Dixon trad tube seems to be a bit wide. It seems to me like it favors the lower octave. I bet it would sit comfortably in a key like Bb.

Maybe it looks wider in the photo. The difference is really pretty small - Generation 1/2 inch OD, Dixon 17/32 inch OD.

But yes, the larger C head makes it a nice, free-blowing whistle, that does sit nicely in Bb. Both octaves play very well. And I'm finding that I can almost dispense with the tape over the LH holes after getting used to the breath adjustments.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:17 pm 
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The Dixon bore is halfway between a standard body D and a wide body D or standard body C. As such, it would be quite well suited for use as a wide body Eb tube without being oversized at all.

Best wishes,
Jerry


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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:47 am 
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Well, I only have an Oak to compare it to. It seems that the Dixon body can slide over the Oak's (in D) and that seemed wide to me.
MTGuru wrote:
And I'm finding that I can almost dispense with the tape over the LH holes after getting used to the breath adjustments.

Kind of strange hearing you used tape on the LH. My (limited) experience is that the Dixon headpiece isn't easy to blow sharp or flat.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:14 am 
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I.D.10-t wrote:
Kind of strange hearing you used tape on the LH. My (limited) experience is that the Dixon headpiece isn't easy to blow sharp or flat.

Oops. First, remember that it's not a Dixon head on there now, but a Blackbird C head. And second, remember this is a D whistle playing in Eb. So in effect, the head is pushed in very far. Naturally, the top notes are relatively more affected by changes in head position. The tape over T2-3 just tunes the now sharp B and A down a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:17 am 
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Oops, got that all backward.

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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:21 am 
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I.D.10-t wrote:
Oops, got that all backward.

:-) Yeah, that's why this is interesting, I think. It's not just swapping heads; anyone can do that. It's actually taking a fairly quiet Dixon Trad D, and turning it into a big-sounding Eb whistle!

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Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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 Post subject: Re: FrankenDixon Eb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Very nice! BTW, Trad heads fit nicely on 17/32" diameter S&K brass tubing, which is available in many hobby shops & hardware stores. Go get yourself a piece of it (about $3), whip out Flutomat or TWCalc and make a C body, so the now-orphaned Trad head isn't lonely. The would give you a (relatively) narrow bore C for a very small investment.


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