Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

I have just purchased my first Tony Dixon instruments and would make the following comments.

The whistle is absolutely brilliant!! Beautiful sweet tones and it keeps true all the way to the top. Softer than the Susato with more tin whistle like qualities. It feels and plays almost like a wooden instrument. Very reasonably priced. I would heartily recommend it to anyone. http://tonydixonmusic.co.uk

The polymer tuneable flute is a little more problematic. I am used to playing an 1834 Monzani and Hill which has a very small embouchure and I find the size of the Dixon embouchure a bit big to handle. It seems to be about the same size as that on Rudall flutes from the mid 19th century. Might suit someone with big lungs and better lip control than I have? Again very reasonably priced and my 11 year old seems to be able to handle the fingering so perhaps a good [and cheap] starter for kids?

I have sent off for a low whistle head for it [interchangeable heads are available for the flute and the high D whistle which converts into a piccolo] to see if it’s easier to handle.

Anyone out there had experience of the Dixon low whistle?

Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Breandan, try a search for Dixon low whistle and you’ll find a handful of past threads on the subject.

My sons and I own three of the Dixon high d’s and play them regularly. Very good whistles for a steal of a price.

The low D is a bit quiet and flute-like, but good in all other regards. I lost my interchangeable flute head joint, so I can no longer comment on how it works.

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Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Greetings breandan, I’ve played a Dixon low D on a couple of occasions. Seeing as the only thing I can compare it agaist is my Howard low D (most brands of low whistles don’t come by Sydney that often) - compared to the Howard the Dixon takes a lot more air, but the finger spacings are more manageable. With a metal low whistle you can feel the vibration of the instrument against your lips and fingers - I find this desirable because it helps me to understand my sound better, but this was lacking in the Dixon model - it felt ‘dead’ to play in regard to the player-instrument interfacing, but it did have a nice tone, much quieter and mellower than a Howard. Dollar for dollar you can’t go wrong with the Dixon though, they’re great value for a decent instrument. I’m considering getting F, A and G whistles from him, but the Australian dollar is far too weak against the GB pound at the moment to make it worthwhile…
peace, dargs

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Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

I have the Low whistle -flute combo for a year now. I’m very satisfied with the low whistle (once it’s warmed up), which is very easy to play and has a good response, and I think the flute is good enough for beginners, altough I experienced some tuning problems when playing at sessions.
Last week I ordered from Tony an E polymer high whistle.

Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Good to hear your comments about the high d whistle. I had posted a thread a few weeks ago asking about susato and dixon whistles, and after the replies was leaning towards the dixon. I think your enthusiasm reaffirmed my choice to make a purchase in the near future. Thanks.

Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Thanks for the comments. I have ordered the whistle head and also a little embouchure attachment that Tony says should make playing the flute head easier.

Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Hi Breandan,
glad you lke the Dixon’s, I have a high d (tuneable,brass slide), a Low D (1 piece) and a PVC flute (1 piece) and the whistles especially are very good, the flute is good value as a beginners instrument. I may be wrong here but you refer to the flute as polymer, Tony Dixon does indeed make a polymer flute but it’s conical bored 3 piece and costs about

Re: Tony Dixon Polymer Whistles and Flutes

Breandan, I’ve owned a low D and high D duo set for over a year now and find them wonderful instruments for the price. They do have idiosyncrasies however. The first high D I got I sent back with a note that it simply wasn’t in tune with itself no matter how I slid the mouthpiece in or out. The Whistleshop sent me another one which was in tune. Since then a friend of mine had a similar experience. I love the high D whistle, play it every day, but don’t play it as a fife much at all. The low D however I play as a flute and a whistle interchangeably and it’s great fun. Another curiosity though is the fingering of the C natural. On the high D I get a good in tune C with the middle and third fingers of the left hand down, leaving the first hole open of course. On the low D whistle however, I have to leave the third finger open, so the only hole closed is the second. Because of this difference concentration is required when going between the two instruments. Also, on the lowest note of the low D I find it most comfortable to use my little finger of my right hand to close the hole, rather than the third finger, which I simply can’t stretch that far. This works well for me until I play it with the flute mouthpiece. Holding the instrument in the transverse position, the right little finger can be used to actually hold the instrument by resting it on the flute body just below the last hole. Complicated though if this finger is also used to close the hole.
A year ago February, Lunasa played in Taos, New Mexico, where I live, and that weekend the band members gave a symposium in Albuquerque. So, I got to sit in with Kevin Crawford for the afternoon, listening to him play and spin yarns. At one point he played every instrument brought by every participant, including my low D Dixon flute. Unfortunately he was NOT impressed and stated that he found it very hard to play all the notes cleanly. Since that episode, I have to agree that not all the notes sound equally well, no matter how I blow them.
One other thing I find myself doing with the high D whistle is cracking my left index finger off the hole slightly to hit notes in the upper register. This technique is similar to what a recorder player does with the thumb hole for the same reason. I find it allows me to play upper register notes softer than just overblowing, and by varying the amount of "crack" I can actually tune the note while playing. This doesn’t work very well on the low D instrument however.
Chris Knox "Christy O’Tweeters"