What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

I have a dixon polymer which works great for me so I thought I would go back to them to try a brass one as I would like a decent (low-mid range) brass one as the low low ones I just can’t get them sounding nice; tried faedog, generation, clare and all have that shrill obnoxious sound.

I would like a sweet soft sounding brass one. I know it isn’t just my playing because the polymer one sounds just fine to play. I have tried with the other brass ones above time and time again and just can’t get an enjoyable sound out of them. It always feels like I am wrestling with the instrument whereas the polymer is a really smooth easy play; I just would like a brass one of the same price point to experiment with for that ‘authentic’ trad sound.

Hmm I suppose I should go with a freeman tweaked (only just remembered that one!) shouldn’t I in that case as you can’t get more authentic than that and that will be in the same price range. I wonder if it will cost a lot for UK postage…

Oh it isn’t looking good on that front either!

https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/feedback_profile/freemanwhistles?filter=period:TWELVE_MONTHS,overall_rating:NEUTRAL&limit=25

3 bad feedback saying items weren’t sent in the last month

and also

http://thewhistleshop.com/catalog/whistles/inexpensive/Generations/tweaked.htm

it says he has stopped doing tweaked generation Ds due to inconsistency.

Are we under a quality (and affordable) D whistle drought?

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Regarding the Freemans—I have my fingers crossed. I ordered a tweaked Low G over a week ago on Ebay. Never heard from him after purchasing, so sent a brief and kind follow up email via Ebay. Waited 72 hours and still hadn’t heard anything so sent another. Never heard from him. Nothing from Ebay regarding my whistle processing, or shipping out soon, etc. They took my $$$ but zero communication. Sure hope his health is well. Giving him the benefit of the doubt for sure.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

@damien thanks but I want new anyway, don’t like the idea of years of other people body fluids having run through an instrument before I got to use it; sloppy seconds as they say.

@littlejig I was looking last night and saw he had sold one only about 60 days ago so it seems to only have been a recent thing so will have to watch this space.

I emailed this chap about tweaked clare 2 piece whistles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtWZUgMDOdQ


but the email failed and got returned.

I guess I will be sticking with my polymer for now. At least I can get a good sound out of that one vs the harsh cheap brass ones I have.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Apple pie, get a olivier Bouchard wood and brass and thats all you ever need to do, they dont some any better than this . Im just waiting on a new narrow bore D , the wide bore is a belter so I wanted something a bit quieter .
I mean 25$? For an instrument?!? That wouldnt buy me a set of fiddle strings…. 100€ for a professional level instrument !! Incredible cheap.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Link? I see no website or ebay listing of the guy you mention. EDIT: oh I see a video on youtube of that whistle, I am trying to get away from a recorder type of whistle not more like one! and the head looks just like a recorder. I guess that is a $100 buck one anyway since it says hand made one and ye I am not paying that price when there are perfectly good ones for cheaper.

I think relative price is not really relevant. I want something I am happy with for as cheap as I can get away with; the dixon I am happy with quality and build wise for a very reasonable price. The more I pay the more worried I would be about losing it.

Of course I would pay £100 or so if that was all there was around but there is plenty to suit all tastes and price points, well not plenty in this range I am after evidently 🙂 but there are there some for those who take the time to do a bit of digging. Seems a lot worse situation for this price point than 10 years ago when there seemed to be much more offerings.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

"Link? I see no website or ebay listing of the guy you mention." … Yeah, me too. But I do know that these whistles, as good as their reputation is, are not cheap.

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Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Yes I just read they are hand made, which I can guess will be in the top range category, so seems my price request was ignored.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Maybe you can ask Henk Kremer from Netherlands [henkkay at yahoo dot com]
He tweaks (or at least used to tweaks) whistles for less than 10€.

According to this 2009 topic, https://whistle.soforums.com/t675-Tweakers.htm?q=tweak
"the unplayable Bb Generation became perfectly playable" and "the Feadog didn’t shrill anymore in the upper octave"

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Buy cheap, buy twice…. or … theres a few tunes in my profile with an old C whistle of his. He makes a bunch of them then brings them to Ireland , doesnt leave with any …..

I look at my sofa there, cheap cello 400cheap but nice spanish guitar 250
2 fiddle’sand bow 2000 banjo from 1920 cost me 150 mini banjo 250 All basically cheap and cheerful My best whistles are still the cheapest instruments i have .

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Any tweaked or handmade whistle will have been played by someone else.

In case you are eager to avoid that!

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

I love my brass Freeman Mellow Dog high D whistle. I have several of his whistles and have had to replace two, one lost, one that fell out when I was getting into my car and backed over it.

Jerry is on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/jerry.freeman.98499. I sent your post to him. Hopefully you’ll hear from him soon.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

@brotherhug, when you say replace two, were those the lost one and one you ran over? Or did the fipple mouth pieces crack? I’ve seen youtube reviews of his whistles where the mouthpieces have cracked and either the owner re-glued them together (not glued ON, I know they are tunable), or put thread on them to hold them together. Not sure how common that is or not?

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

I got a reply from the dixon camp and they did indeed say the brass ones are discontinued and when I asked why they said the material became too hard and expensive to acquire. Surely brass is one the the most abundant metals there are?

Generation and faedog don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down their production of brass products, or any other company for that matter.

thanks @brotherhug. I have no intention of using facebook myself though, can’t stand it, but perhaps he will have an email.

Yes @choons I am aware someone else will have played it a little, but not for years on end day in day out, it is a compromise I was willing to make since they seem the best sound for the buck and a warm water soap bath should ease my conscience about any lurgies remaining on the instrument, however very used ones can have years of ‘build up’. I know 1st hand when I have cleaned them in the past.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

I assume you’re looking for brass specifically, otherwise the Dixon trad in nickel would be the obvious alternative to a Dixon trad in brass, as suggested above.

Timothy Potter may fit the bill whenever he has them back in stock, unless shipping from the US is too high: http://www.tjpottermusic.com/products/whistles/highdbrass.htm

O’Briain improved perhaps too dear at 35 euro ?
https://obriainimproved.wixsite.com/obriaintinwhistles/shop

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Hadn’t heard of either of those, thanks. Well the first one is out of stock, like seems to be the usual case with these offerings.

Can anyone vouch for the second with regards to how the whistle plays?

I will hang on for a while (not in any hurry) to see if any of the others (ie freeman) ones show up but good to know my options and research others in the meantime.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

LittleJig and others. I contacted Jerry yesterday about delivery concerns and received this reply from him…

"I apologize for taking so long with this and for the lapse in communication. I’ve been working (more than) full time the last three months as a volunteer supporting critical care doctors on the front lines of the pandemic, which is how I got so far behind with whistle orders. There’s still much more to do in that effort but in the last two weeks I’ve completed a major part of the work and am able to devote more time to whistle production again. I’m making headway each day, will be able to get most orders out within the next week or so.

Again I apologize for the delay and I appreciate your patience.

Best wishes,
Jerry Freeman"

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

There have often been complaints about lax communications from whistle and flute makers, particularly during the current crisis times, but it’s understandable.

These are not businesses with staff to handle communications. The several flute and whistle makers I’ve known and dealt with over the past 35 years are usually one man operations with helpers to do some parts of the work. The makers are usually musicians themselves and their focus is on the quality of their work. Most of them, from Michael Copeland to John Sindt, are bad about communicating.

Good instruments are treasures for us, even the $30 Freeman. These are not mass produced like Generations and others, but are hand-crafted, often to order.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Yes it seems like a real labour of love from Mr Freeman.

As I said I am not in a hurry so will not bother him right now seeing as he is already backlogged and his other priorities are much more important.

Oh and thanks to you and him for relaying the message.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Btw regarding the design, did someone say he puts a piece of wood or some blocking in the whistle which has broken for a couple of people.

Maybe I read it on a chiff and fipple post, I think it was here…

That does make one more concerned that more moving parts might = more chance to break and be stuck with a duff whistle again 🙂, until it got sent for repairs unless it was an easy fix.

Ah it was littlejig above:

"@brotherhug, when you say replace two, were those the lost one and one you ran over? Or did the fipple mouth pieces crack? I’ve seen youtube reviews of his whistles where the mouthpieces have cracked and either the owner re-glued them together (not glued ON, I know they are tunable), or put thread on them to hold them together. Not sure how common that is or not?"

The mouthpiece not some internal part, although I did read he adds ‘extra’ parts in there to make the sound, so my question stands, does it make them more likely to break down or are they built to last a lifetime? …bar being run over by a car of course.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Oh and I read he doesn’t tweak generations any more…that’s a bummer.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Hey guys just found another one

by Cillian O’Briain which is actually in stock is the O brien improved whistle.

Looks very promising, although more pricey than the freeman stock at £50, though may come to a similar price when you include shipping form US to UK.

I might just splash out the extra few quid as the blurb sounds just the ticket.

Will look around for other reviews, anyone have experience with the whistle or the man himself (as a maker).

Oh I see a couple of vouches here https://thesession.org/discussions/6212

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Another one that just sprang to mind -does anyone know if Mack Hoover still active? His site is functional at
https://praisewhistlers.org/mackhooverwhistles/MackHooverWhistles.html

If so he makes a whitecap whistle that might be up your alley. The full whistle (head and tube) are over your budget, but he will also sell just the head to go on a generation tube or similar, and the head on its own is $35 so maybe an option.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Thanks, ye I had forgotten about him, maybe that would be good for me, putting one of his on one of my 3 cheap brass ones I already own, hopefully it would make at least one sound decent across all the notes!

What is with all these whistle tweakers and their piety? There is freeman talking of spirits and angels, tim potter who is overtly pushing the god tip all over his site and also I see hoover levering it into his site too 🙂.

Well as long as they sort me a nice whistle their beliefs are non of my business.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

"Oh and I read he doesn’t tweak generations any more…that’s a bummer."

Freeman never stopped "tweaking" Generation whistles, though he did stop with the D Generations for a while and then started again.

Personally, I find my natural Generation whistles to be quite fine.

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

Does anyone know if Mr. Freeman is OK? I ordered a whistle a few weeks ago (paid and taxed and shipping etc.)

Sadly, he has not responded to Ebay messages thanking him for the order, and requesting info regarding shipping.

I read in the thread here that he has been doing important work helping support Covid—true gentleman! And, someone got a hold of him on his Facebook. I sent a respectful message there as well and received no response.

My concern is that Ebay is not providing any shipping information as of yet, and I am not home. If my whistle arrives, I don’t have neighbors I can ask to gather it, and my front door is on a sidewalk that is heavy foot traffic access to the neighborhood pool this summer. I’m worried wondering hands and eyes can only walk past a long tube so many times before curiosity kicks in and fingers become sticky. I’d like to be able to track my order so I can drive back to down the night before, and be ready for it’s safe delivery.

The estimated delivery dates on Ebay item reads that it may arrive as soon as tomorrow (please no!). And, as I said I have no tracking number, and can not get a hold of Mr. Freeman for information.

Any tips?

Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

If there is no shipping information on your eBay summary, messages or email then the whistle has not been shipped. The delivery date is an estimate and it doesn’t always go as planned. His eBay store has zero items currently though I think he is sending out some backorders albeit delayed. I have no information about the reason for the delays. I hope he is OK and everyone who ordered a whistle receive them before too long.
Take care,
AB

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Re: What is a good brass whistle for about £20-25; similar to the dixon brass, which seems discontinued

@littlejig it was explained very clearly that his saintly work on covid is what is holding him up, what more is to explain? It is an ongoing thing ya know 🙂

On chiff and fipple they have more info about it though and I recall them saying he is getting through the backlogs now. Take a look over there for the more detailed updates or they say just contact him on facebook which is the only reliable way to get him currently.

@Andrew well all I saw was that they were discontinued (the Ds I mean) on one of the websites he is associated with whistleshop (?) so I knew no more than that.

" Personally, I find my natural Generation whistles to be quite fine." Well it is a lucky dip isn’t it when buying them. Or maybe you have the skill to handle these wild beasts better than I but the fact is Jerry tames them somewhat to make them easier to manage for the more amateur player.