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Help: Susato D Whistle

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GUEST,Jiggers 25 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM
DonD 25 Jul 02 - 06:59 PM
DD 25 Jul 02 - 07:09 PM
radriano 25 Jul 02 - 07:14 PM
Melani 25 Jul 02 - 11:06 PM
GUEST,smallpiper 26 Jul 02 - 05:34 AM
fogie 26 Jul 02 - 06:53 AM
Jiggers 26 Jul 02 - 08:16 AM
PeteBoom 26 Jul 02 - 08:47 AM
Bob Bolton 26 Jul 02 - 09:20 AM
Pied Piper 26 Jul 02 - 10:26 AM
Jiggers 26 Jul 02 - 10:29 AM
fogie 26 Jul 02 - 12:23 PM
Willa 26 Jul 02 - 02:37 PM
alison 27 Jul 02 - 12:38 AM
Kaleea 27 Jul 02 - 02:13 AM
Sarah the flute 27 Jul 02 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Leadfingers 27 Jul 02 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Jiggers 27 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM
IvanB 27 Jul 02 - 08:29 PM
alison 27 Jul 02 - 08:50 PM
catspaw49 27 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM
Bob Bolton 28 Jul 02 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 28 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM
alison 28 Jul 02 - 11:26 PM
Jiggers 29 Jul 02 - 05:11 AM
Pied Piper 29 Jul 02 - 11:47 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 29 Jul 02 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Jiggers 29 Jul 02 - 07:37 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 29 Jul 02 - 09:20 PM
alison 30 Jul 02 - 12:37 AM
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Subject: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM

Hi,

I recently went to a pub in Oxford where I came across a lady playing a Susato Black High D Whistle. It sounded so nice that I decided I should get one. I went to the music shop in Oxford but could only find cream Dublin versions. I went to the Susato web-site and ordered a Black Dublin (Soprano) version but when it arrived it was much bigger (almost recorder size) than the whistle she had been playing and is very difficult to play (I normally play a Clarkes Sweetone). The whistle she had was thin and un-tuneable.

Can someone tell me where I can get one just like hers ? Are they no longer manufactured ?

I have seen tuneable ones of about the same size but she said that her un-tuneable one was better ! Is the tuneable my only option now ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: DonD
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 06:59 PM

I've got a C whistle and a D whistle, How the hell do you tune a whistle? I've got a slide whistle which has lost its 'integrity'[ (it's 40 years old) and has no low or highj registers, but it's not what I would call tunable.

How do you tune a whistle?


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: DD
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 07:09 PM

Sounds like you have a low D rather than a high d. A high D is about 12 inches long. The Dublin is the non tunable and the Kildare is the tunable. They are Still around. Check out the Chiff and Fipple website for a listing stores that sell whistles. The Whistleshop and Elderly i believe both carry Susatos. There is also a Susato site on the web.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: radriano
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 07:14 PM

Some whistles have an adjustable thipple. With those whistles made with plastic mouthpieces you can steam the mouthpiece to loosen the glue. Then they are somewhat tuneable by moving the mouthpiece up and down.

I'm not familiar with Susato whistles. I have a Copeland brass whistle that's built with a moveable mouthpiece. They are superb but not cheap (around $150 for the D whistle and that was some time ago). Last I heard there was quite a waiting list for Copeland whistles. If you are interested, Jiggers, I think I still have Michael Copeland's address at home somewhere.

Radriano


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Melani
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 11:06 PM

Copelands are now up to $259. (I got mine just in time!) Try www.copelandwoodwinds.com. The reason you can't get them in stores any more is that Michael Copeland has discovered the internet--so why wholesale and get half the money, when you can get all of it instead? The wait for mine was seven months. They are beyond wonderful, and I can't thank radriano enough for letting me play his, which is how I became convinced I couldn't live without one. If you don't want to spend that much, check out the reviews on the Chiff and Fipple website. There are tons of different whistles available. You can get a Susato set for about $30 with one mouthpiece and three different bodies--D, C, and I think B-flat.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,smallpiper
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 05:34 AM

You can get the susato whistle via mail order from Hobgoblin. Its the alto that you are looking for and they cost around £12.00 (uk pounds). email hobgoblin@nottsshop.fsnet.co.uk and they will give you the info you need. cheers and enjoy john


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: fogie
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 06:53 AM

Sorry to gatecrash, I have an affiliated question. Does anybody know if one can obtain true flageolets, as they were originally termed, that is, I think, two holes at the back and six at the front, used on boats in Nelsons day and previously, They were said to be excellent to play and I've never even seen one?????


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Jiggers
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 08:16 AM

Thanks for the advice.

My whistle is not a low D - it is a Black Dublin Susato. I know where I can buy whistles and I do not want to buy a Copeland whistle (not yet anyway). I have been to the Chiff and Fipple site many times.

I was actually just wondering if anyone has a Susato D Whistle that is not tuneable and which is thinner than the Dublin model ? Also, if someone has a tuneable Susato in High D then is it any good - is it as fat as a recorder or is it thin like a Clarkes Sweetone - is the fingering the same as for a Clarkes Sweetone?

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: PeteBoom
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 08:47 AM

Hello Jiggers - I played Sweetones for some time before buying a pair of Susatos. Mine are both tunable I'm afraid. What I have found is that the Susato is a bit more tempermental as far as breath control goes than the Sweetone - its a bit more finicky that is. At the same time, I think it gives a very lovely tone.

On my "C" whistle, the high B tends to be a little flat - nothing that a pen knife carefully applied won't sharpen up a bit. My "D" whistle is spot on - seat the mouth-piece squarely and you're in business. If you're getting odd notes, maybe check the individual notes against a tuner would tell you what's up, eh?

If I remember correctly, fingering for the lower two octaves were the same (could be mis-remembering here - it has been several years since I played the Sweetones, although I still have one rattling around in my gig bag...) The third(!) octave was a bit different. Of course, the fellow who showed me those fingerings played military fife...

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 09:20 AM

G'day fogie,

The trouble with the "true flageolet" is that it meant different things at different times. The position (front or back) has little or no effect of tonality ... just playing style.

To me, the "true flageolet" is the type with the "onion dome" top ... with the wind supplied through a tube into an air space - a sort of "balancing chamber" so that the attack is much gentler, the tone sweeter ... but the range shorter since it is very hard to overblow for octaves.

To others ... I did see something about a new "narrow bore" line of Susartos. I haven't seen these, but I have a range of the earlier two bore ...both in tunable and fixed types. My high 'd' is a fair bit smaller than a descant (soprano) recorder ... even with a tuning slide! (and my low 'D' is is BIG ... but not quite as big as an Overton ... or one of my own parallel-bored alloy models.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Pied Piper
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 10:26 AM

Hi Jiggers. I have a tuneable Susato in high C and it has a good tone. But I have had to adjust its intonation a bit. On mine the D was sharp. Also I think they are designed to use the simpler Bb fingering o++ooo rather than the o+++o+ I've got used to. Mine won't play high Bb easily either. My favourite C whistle was an Indian bamboo one with a great tone that I tuned up, but after a few years sterling service it cracked and after another couple of years with tape all over it, it gave up the ghost(I still have the remains which I look at whistfully ever now and again). All the best PP.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Jiggers
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 10:29 AM

Bob,

Thanks for response.

Two follow up questions

Is your High D tuneable Susato easy to play with respect to how hard you have to blow ?

Is the fingering as follows (for both octaves? ) :-

x = finger down 0 = hole open Top of whistle is at left hand side.

D - xxxxxx E - xxxxx0 F# - xxxx00 G - xxx000 A - xx0000 B - x00000 c# - 000000 c Natural - 0xx0000

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: fogie
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 12:23 PM

Thanks Bob, does anyone know the sort of wind instrument I was describing. Two holes at the rear for both thumbs, and beloved of sea captains? I think I read that it was fully chromatic, because of the two rear holes. Interesting that bassoons have very peculiar ?8 position rear thumb keys.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Willa
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 02:37 PM

Jiggers
I have tunable high D and low G Susatos and a non-tunable high C Susato. The fingering I use is as you describe, and I find them easy to play. The whistles are straight, not tapered like the Sweetone - the D is about 1.5cm in diameter. I do find that, in a group, they sometimes don't 'sit' too well with the Sweetones, though I've checked mine against my tuner and they're OK (I keep a couple of Sweetones as well and use them if need be).I'm envious of a friend who's just bought a set of three Susato whistles; one head and three interchangeable lower sections.I got mine from The Music Room, Cleckheaton.www.the-music-room.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: alison
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 12:38 AM

I have a one piece (untunable)Susato D whistle and I don't like it!!.... nice tone but as I have said before it can't be trusted in the upper octave.... I do like the susato low A though....

I now play a wonderful whistle (looks the same, and has a lovely tone.... eg black) by tony Dixon.... he makes tunable and non-tunable


I prefer tunable .... makes it much easier to fit in with the session or band if you can make minor adjustments when required....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Kaleea
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 02:13 AM

I have both C & D black tunable Susatos. I really like them. The lower register & upper finger alike. The lower register can be heard well, and the instruments overall can stand up to a raucus Irish session. (don't get it too close to the mic) They are both well in tune, except that when I switch to the other key, ie, playing in G on the D whistle, I have to adjust the tuning a smidge. I have many compliments with the susatos, and don't think I have a better whistle. The amount of air used is not as much as a generation or clarke! I also have a tunable Ralph Sweet "Flageolette" in D which is carved of cherry (my choice) with only 6 holes in front like all my other feadogs, (whistles) and has the curved shape. It also has a very nice tone, is well in tune, and can stand up to an Irish session. I have whistlin' friends who have one in oak (or whatever) and they say they like the tone of mine better. But then, no two whistles are ever the same! I got it from Lark in the Morning (scroll down to "wooden pennywhistles"!!: http://www.larkinam.com/MenComNet/Business/Retail/Larknet/whistleirflute


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 07:28 AM

I totally agree with Alison. I have a tunable susato high D and it is pretty horrible and out of tune in the high register. The only benefit is that it is loud and useful for competing against melodeons etc and in pub sessions. You have to blow in aparticular way to get it in tune higher up the scale but I'm not happy with it. I'm afraid I've rather reverted to the good old generations plus a good mike or a microvox pickup although I like the sweettones to. I have a wooden whistle which has a recorder like tone - nice for old english tunes or french bourees. I tried out a sharp F metal one and it cut my mouth to ribbons so I wouldn't recommend that either.

Is that helpful???

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,Leadfingers
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 04:31 PM

Glad to see someone else has found Tony Dixon.I have a Set of his for quiet folk club stuff,and a set of Chieftans for Amplified work with the bands a gig with. They are no tunable but do have a fairly constant volume lefel into a Mike.The Dixons are tuneable,and in my not very humble opinion are very good value for money.And Tony is a good lad to do business with.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Alsion: Do you have a tuneable or non-tuneable Tony Dixon High D ?

Sarah: you have a different opining from Kaleea and Willa on the tuneable High D Susato - who is right ? Also what wooden whistle would you recommend as I am interested in getting one - what keys are best for English and French tunes ?

My quandry now is do I buy a tuneable High D Susato or a Tony Dixon one ?

Can someone sway me or do I have to buy both ?

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: IvanB
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 08:29 PM

Jiggers, how wide is the bore on the Dublin Susato high D? My Susato high D (untunable, brown in color) has a 0.5" bore. It works fine for me and the intonation in the high register is just as good as that in the lower. In fact, the only note I have problems with on this whistle is F#, which sounds slightly flat in either register. OTOH, I have a Tony Dixon low D tunable, which I love as well. Have never played the Dixon high D, so I can't compare against the Susato. BTW, I was at Elderly today and see they are carrying untunable high D Susatos with the same bore and color as mine, but a slightly different exterior design (the mouthpiece looks slightly different and they have a finger rest, which is detachable)

I tend to believe that buying whistles can be a crapshoot. For instance, the Generations are highly praised, but I hate my high D Generation, its tone is horrible.


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: alison
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 08:50 PM

Go with Tony Dixon, they are cheap enough that if you don't like them (which I doubt)... you can get another Susato

mine is a tunable high D of the completely plastic variety (he now does ones with a metal joint, like on a flute.. I haven't tried those) it has a tone similar to the susato and "cuts through" a session very well.... plus I use it amplified for gigs

I also have a C, a low G and a low D by Tony, all gorgeous sounding.... the low D is wonderful... it isn't as big as others and the holes are easy to reach and cover (and it is cheap in comparison), ..........I have long thin fingers which tend to fall right into the holes on low whistles......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM

Sneed Hearn....Malcolm G. Farquaarr....Why does "Susato D. Whistle" sound like another name W.C. Fields would have used?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 06:15 AM

G'day again fogie (or: back to the thread drift),

I had a good look through the reference books for the different varieties of flageolet. Like any instrument that has been around for a long time, in a number of countries, the flageolet did come in a variety of shapes and fingerings (quite apart from the 2 and 3 barrel versions that allowed various degrees of harmony playing for the nimble-fingered). The most common national reference is to "the French Flageolet" with 4 finger-holes on the front and 2 thumb-holes at the back- and the "English Flageolet" with all 6 finger-holes placed frontally. Either way, these basic forms have only 6 holes - just like the fife and the penny whistle - and so have a basic diatonic (7-note scale) form.

Whether the fingers - or the thumbs - cover some of those holes doesn't really give any more fingering options for accidentals but, just as we see today, skilled players can get any accidental from a 6-holed instrument by careful fingering. This usually means lowering one or more fingers below an open hole to flatten a note ... or else "half-holing" - slightly raising one end of a finger pad to sharpen a note.

By the 19th century, it was becoming common for better quality flageolets to come with additional, normally closed, keyed valves ... anywhere from 3 to 7, depending on the skill and ambition of the player. (Actually, I suspect that there would have been the odd instrument with just one or two keys ... as in the first steps from fife to "school flute", but these are not usually seen in the collections or illustrations.) There may be slightly more room on the front for finger keys of a "French Flageolet" where both thumbs are used for fingering (but a raised risk of dropping the damned thing). The holes covered by the keyed valves can be placed anywhere convenient since the lateral positions of these holes or keys don't affect their intonation, which is a product of their distance from the ends and relative size.

As well, by the 19th century, most English flageolets had moved to the full 8-hole fingering pattern still seen today on the recorder: 7 finger-holes in front and one thumb hole at the back, nearest the fipple. As any recorder player will tell you, this pattern (and a good memory for fingering charts) allows you to play fully chromatically. Throw in a bit of 'half-holing' and you can even play microtonically (or out of tune ...!).

So, in the end, I'm not sure of the peculiar advantage to ship's captains of "French Flageolets". They existed ... but were supplanted by more complex fingerings or valve patterns. The great attraction of 6-hole fingering (6 fingers or 4 fingers and 2 thumbs) has always been the rugged simplicity and vigour of playing in the home key ... and (mostly) its closest related key. This is normally a fourth above (eg: the Irish habit of playing a 'D' whistle mostly in 'D' and 'G').

Maybe some Liverpool ship's chandler with a good line of patter just came across a large job lot of older style "French Flageolets"!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM

Thanks for responses,

Alison : Can you check, before I purchase, that what I am buying is correct - A "Soprano D Tuneable Whistle £15.00" from Tony Dixon.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: alison
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 11:26 PM

yes Jiggers, that is the same as the one I have... good luck... I hope you enjoy it

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Jiggers
Date: 29 Jul 02 - 05:11 AM

Alison: Thanks

Ivan B: I will have a go at measuring the bore on the Dublin whistle and get back to you.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Pied Piper
Date: 29 Jul 02 - 11:47 AM

The best high D whistle I ever heard was made by John Swayne (of Blouzabella). If I recall correctly it was a two piece tuneable wooden whistle with a curved wind-way. Anybody out there got one? All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 Jul 02 - 01:06 PM

Alison, glad to see you've found a world beyond Generation!

My two loudest whistles are a Susato D tunable (Dublin I think) and a brass whistle made by Michael Burke. The latter was expensive, and slightly under-developed when I bought mine, but easily tuned and close to being a fine instrument by any standard. It cost about 100 US dollars I think, which was a good price for a hand-made brass instrument. (See Chiff & Fipple.)

The Susato is pretty well in tune within itself, but the high octave does need plenty of attack. Tunes that flick between the registers can be tricky. I'm a bit wary of the "Battering Ram" jig, for instance, because of an isolated high D in the A part.My guess is that this is the same characteristic that everyone else complains of, because I've played several Susato Ds and they are all the same. I suspect it's caused by the thickness of the plastic, and have wondered about chamfering the finger holes to remove their "walls".

There are first-class players around who play Susatos with no evident problems. They must think that whatever effort this takes is repaid by the loud but pleasant tone.

At Warwick folk festival yesterday I tried out three Tony Dixon high Ds, hoping they would have the Susato tone but without the high-register problem. In fact some of the lowest notes were very weak, volume was on the low side and changing register was a bit squeaky. After 15 minutes of sampling I was not convinced that I'd get along with a Dixon. However I did buy a Dixon low D, tunable, which at 39 GBP was better value for money than I could ignore. The tuning range is huge (as indeed it is on the high D) and the thing plays easily across the whole range

Wit the high D, I really was hoping the Dixon would be the answer, but for me the tunable Susato is still deidedly the better of the two.

In my experience, the breath needed and volume are directly related, and no manufacturer seems to have found a way of giving more volume without needing mroe breath. My impression is that the Burke is perhaps slightly more efficient than most in terms of breath to volume ratio, but I'm not absolutely sure. Do others have views, or has anyone (Bob Bolton perhaps>) attempted to measure these factores?


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 29 Jul 02 - 07:37 PM

Alison : what do you say to that ? I am now swayed back to buying a Susato ! Must I buy both ? They aren't too expensive so I probably will but I wish, I wish , I wish that I could just buy one !

Fionn: Thanks for the input - its a pity you didn't like the Tony Dixon - I might buy one anyway.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 Jul 02 - 09:20 PM

Just an afterthought. There's a guy who plays around the Belfast sessions - don't know his name; he also does a bit of busking in Belfast city centre. Always a Susato D, and he never fluffs a note. Top notch player. (Alison, you may have seen him on your last visit?)

I've got to give Tony Dixon top marks for the low D, however. I've not put mine down since buying it on Saturday. It plays extremely easily. The tuning's not quite perfect, which is noticeable in the higher register, but it's part of the character I think, and you can correct it a bit when playing, as with pipes.

I should say that I was already accustomed to pipering fingering, and have long fingers, but the finger-hole spacing is close to the limit of what I can manage comfortably. Women, and men with small hands, would find it difficult (though I've seen one or two mnage somehow).


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Subject: RE: Help: Susato D Whistle
From: alison
Date: 30 Jul 02 - 12:37 AM

Hi Fionn,

I still like my Genereation (the 20 year old one... can't find any decent newer ones)... although I carry it as my "spare" these days... *grin*

Jiggers it is up to you...... I have seen top players use Susatos with no problem at all...... but I don't think its worth the hassle to me of not being able to jump between registers (dependably)which a lot of the tunes I play do.....

slainte

alison


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