Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

It’s take it or take nothing, I’m one step from buying a whistle and can’t decide between these too.

I’m looking for a somewhat quiet whistle that can handle high octaves pretty well.
Oh and .. I can get both of them at the same price, so price is not a problem.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

I don’t know anything about whistles but the ‘Jerry Freeman Blackbird’…sounds much cooler than a Tony Dixon Trad. I can hear people go wow when you mention it…you can abbreviate it to ‘The Bird’…which you can’t do with a Tony Dixon

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Get both then.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Jerry Freeman Blackbird Jerry Freeman Blackbird Jerry Freeman Blackbird Jerry Freeman Blackbird Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Clear enough ?

OK

Buy Buy Blackbird

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

I dont like either. I have both. IMO they are expensive cheap whistles. [sorry lads] Go to a shop and try a bunch of standards Faedogs or generations and save up for something good. Burke I like.
There is a carbon fibre copy of a copeland that will likely be worth while asking on chif about… you have tried there?

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Or buy half a dozen different cheap whistlesin different keys , generations [gen]. Volume can be adjusted with a bit of blu-tac though it does modify the pitch.. Or buy a few cheap D whistles.. or make your own even!
I mean I looked at a few ’ instruments’ modified by another well known maker. IMO Its simply a commercial cashing in on the makers name,. Perhaps there is an improvement in tone, but the quality was poor in the extreme. Maybe these were the last left of a bunch after all the non cracked fipples were bought.. quite possible. They were awfull what was left anyhow. How did they manage to get out of the workshop in that condition? outsourcing? No Im not going to mention the name and Im not talking Jerrys whistle either.
With the blackbird I removed the head and replaced it with an old Faedog and it was better than the modified version.
#Again Perhaps I was unlucky a sample pool of one is not much to go by. Thats merely my experience and some folk rave over them so I presume[d ]there must be value

As far as TD, well I should have learnt my lesson from the first TD I bought, sigh. the head had a design fault, a score line, which is where it broke within days of purchase.
But as the new brass session whistles got good reviews i got one. Yes its slightly better than the gen, but certainly not 4 times better.
Its partly to do with personal taste Im sure, do you want a pure tone or a bit of scratchiness? Im after a pure tone such as from my O Bouchard a top class whistle but not cheap at 150e.
Peoples jaw drop when you mention a price like that! but in comparison…its 150e not 1500e or 15,000e, for a decent instrument.

After 25yrs of occasional pottering around on a whistle. gens and the odd susato, I decided to focus on a bit of effort on the whistle so I got a few good quality yokes. .
So Id suggest being happy with a gen for at least a decade or so :-) get a few , read up and modify them yourself if you want better tone.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

"Go to a shop and try a bunch of standards Faedogs or generations"

Last time I was in Walton’s in Dublin, it seemed that many of the whistles had little plastic shrinkings on the mouthpieces - to seal them. I suppose for hygenic reasons - health & safety and all that stuff. But of course, no opportunity to try them out. I wasn’t inclined to buy as a result..

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

If you have tried it, and dont like it, fair enough. I would’nt suggest anyone consider a Mp3 MP4 to be something you could judge quality by personally …… I think the Bouchard is well worth the Money. I presume you’ve tried them ….

I think mine is by far the best whistle Ive tried… for me. I tried burke high D, but it had no volume IMO nice tone.
The Bouchard wide bore is just right for me , I actually paid 190 for a C/D combo. try getting a decent fiddle [case] for that , let alone bow . you can get maybe 3 decent sets of Viola strings for that money…
I could buy a dozen cheap whistles for the price of one Low C string…. 3 strings to one Bouchard whistle.. doesnt seem so expensive now does it?

How much was your sindt whistle ? I might get one at some time.
I mean a second hand Abel /D combo is 500$ a Copeland D around 200£ second hand.
Yes its expensive compared to a generation… so what? I can buy a cheap fiddle for 1$ plus postage… do we all go round comparing fiddle prices to that? Laughing at folk who spend a grand or 3 on a bow because you can get one for 10bucks…

Why not buy Pakistani UP ? dirt cheap. compared to that A Woof set is a ridiculous price eh? jeez you could buy a car for that money!
No, we dont because quality matters.

Its all relative.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

It IS all relative but the argument it’s cheaper than a grand piano so it’s actually cheap doesn’t really cut the mustard. And that was my point.

And I’ve heard you play it. FWIW.

On the overall price of whistles: some are ridiculously overpriced and not particularly great. Compared to those you are indeed far better off with a €25 Cillian O Briain improved.

Some other whistle makers actually know what they’re doing and then you’re into an area of suitability and personal choice. And spending power.

Buying an expensive whistle doesn’t guarantee greater playability, responsiveness. That’s just the way it is. Pricetag doesn’t equal quality where whistles are concerned.

Remember the latest instalment of the twice annual re-run ‘what do people who can play and have a choice play’ thread on C&F:

http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=82023

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Hello, mellowBreez.

FWIW:
I might observe here that there is a major factor of ability involved in making an educated choice.

Some players can get more (or less) out of a whistle, by understanding pressures and incorporating it into their phrasing and technique.

My whistle teacher could make my cheap bargain basement piece of tin sound like angels singing.
I, alas, cannot.

You really need to check your new whistle out HANDS-ON, so to speak. You should then be able to tell if it is agreeable, regardless of cost or "pedigree".

Oh, and by the way -
get the Dixon.
;-)

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Another point considering is skill. Top instruments are made for players who can actually play. They supply a broader range of tonality in the hands of a skilled player. They may not do much at all for a beginner.

As you mention Wooff sets: I remember Geoff Wooff always grinning when another customer phoned for a set of pipes asking ‘will I sound like the Prof ?’ He always told them ‘No, you won’t’ .

I also remember the excitement whe nLia mO Flynn first took out Ennis’ pipes during the eighties. People expected him t osound like Ennis. When asked after the gig they said ‘he sounded like Flynn, playing a flat set’.

There was a summer eight or nine years ago when I had the misfortune of finding myself in the company of different people playing Abell whistles. They all played them terribly out of tune because they just couldn’t handle them. In fairness I met one of those people five or six years later and her skills had caught up with her instrument. At least to the point she could play it in tune.

Equally there are some instruments favoured by a lot of beginners that are nearly fool proof but the downside is that these instruments sound terribly bland in the hands of skilled players.

So many things to consider.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

that was a x post. Sorry too about drifting off topic a bit.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Prof:
That was rather what I meant, without being too verbose.
And a good point, too.

Possible parallel -
I dabbled on flute a bit, and, when first shopping for a flute asked about the very up-scale flutes a local gent makes. A friend, an excellent flute player, kindly steered me away from those flutes.

They are not for novices, or any experienced flutist who does not wish to invest a lot of time learning to utilize the qualities they are designed for. Apparently, they are of "eccentric" design, and require retraining for most flute players.

I settled for the more "user-friendly" flute.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Uhm, guys, I’d appreciate some kind of feedback related to the topic!
How about a tweaked Sweetone from JF? They are 15$ on whistles and drums online shop.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Don’t ask people on the internet. Go to a shop, play the whistles and pick the one that suits you best. They’ll both work satisfactory.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

And I didn’t mean the Sweetone thee. They’re evil.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

I can’t go to a shop, I live outside America and Europe :D

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

"Don’t ask people on the internet. Go to a shop, play the whistles and pick the one that suits you best. They’ll both work satisfactory."

In a lot of places, thats just not possible.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

The guy’s in Peru. Dropping in to a local shop for Irish instruments probably isn’t an option.

Why not go for a diatonically tuned quena instead? You’ll have very good local makers of them, you can try one out in person, and it can play anything a whistle or recorder can, only louder. (In theory. I have what ought to be an okay quena - a G alto by Vannini from Argentina - but my tone production still isn’t steady enough to take it out in public).

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Your all right, whistle buying is tricky. Boils dow to personal taste and the luck of the draw. Quality control on the cheaper end is dire leading to huge variations between similar instruments. Added to this, high end whistles rarely dieliver on the claims made for them.

My own initial post on here was based on my owning 2 Dixons and a JF Blackbird. I don’t like either of the Dixons - 1 aluminium and 1 polymer. They both have a tendency to buzz round about the "A". On the oither hand, my Blackbird is an OK piece of kit. The whistle I use 99% of the time though is my trusty 25 year old Feadog. If I were ever to lose it, the Blackbird would replace it.

I’m thinking about a Mellow Dog actually, for my next purchase. How about that? a mellow dog for a mellowBreez ? - surely its a must !

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Not at all Prof, very relevant and excellent points. Really, anyone interested in buying any instrument should bear them in mind.
Its always a risk buying unseen/heard/played but what can you do if your situation doesn’t allow this? you have to ask for advice.
We all have different requirements and its a risk.buying on-line , one Im prepared to take. But, you cant do better than trying a whole range.
If thats not possible, and your a beginner, you have to start somewhere. Buy the best you can afford, research and take as much time as possible making your decision.
If its really between the Dixon and Blackbird, and your not considering Clarke, gen or my favourite a faedog, the old wide bore design[why did they change design!! ] go fr the Dixon.

But really Id recommend 4 faedogs D’s for the same money. you got a good pool of spares, one might actually be good and/or you can simply do a few mods yourself.
Its basically adjusting the head internal volume to match the cutoff frequency of the bore and finger hole lattice.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

You know guys, it’s pretty funny that you call the $36 whistles something like "almost high end", when there are places out there that sell OCARINAS with more or less the same range no less than $118 (the double chamber ones).

Oh well, I’m getting the Blackbird then, it’s gonna be a long wait but I think It’ll pay off :D

Offtopic: Any nice website where I could start my whistle journey? Something like a manual 101 for dummies..

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

$118? Is that all?

http://www.woodenocarina.com/order.html

or if you’re looking for a second-hand bargain, somebody’s been trying to sell a pair of them on EBay recently for $1000 - which is a significant saving off the new price.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

"Uhm, guys, I’d appreciate some kind of feedback related to the topic!"

Well, who asked YOU anyway.

Wait…

Oh, right .

Sorry.
(Get the Dixon.)

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Sounds like a C and F thread. I started out with Feadogs many years ago. Great round sound…Then….garbage

Generations…. Don’t get me on a roll. I have cups full of them. Trash

Stinking Recession…or maybe the ‘outsourcing’ of the manufacture…

The mass produced are done in China, Viet Nam, East Timbuktu….By desperate people who wouldn’t know the difference between an accordion, tin whistle or a tuba.

I bought a Burke. Best decision I could have made. They are made in the USA. But I understand that the overseas folk have the same shipping I have with the overseas makers that I have.

Buy from the best craftstman you can locally unless the difference is that significant.

Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Mellow Breez I’d be interested in your take on the Blackbird once you get it.
As a fellow beginner it’s a whistle high on my list.
Or I may just save for that Sindt.

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Re: Tony Dixon Trad or Jerry Freeman Blackbird

Yep I decided to go for the Blackbird, but I won’t arrive here for at least 2 weeks.

I’ll be doing a discussion as soon as I get the hang of it, look forward to it!