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View Full Version : How often do you change your pipes?


Adam
04-05-06, 03:30 PM
How often do you change your pipes? Maybe a weird question, but I keep seeing pipers on several forums saying my next set will be this, I used to have that, in the US everyone had Krons two years ago, now the same guys talk about their MacCallums. Some guys in my band, which are not even competing, change every couple of years, some have several sets.
I've had the same one and only set since I started. I greet :puppydogeyes: when I have to change a reed, never mind a chanter or a bag. Is it now getting the norm to change pipes around like chanters? Or am I getting it aw' wrong? :jeeze:

DoogieG
04-05-06, 04:23 PM
I suppose pipers like that are on the never ending quest for the ultimate sound....they are going to be greatly disappointed!!

I can understand people collecting older sets...but to keep buying new ones every couple of years.......got more money than sense if yer ask me!!

Bobby
04-05-06, 04:44 PM
you noticed that too eh? Must be nice to be independantly wealthy and have multiple sets or buy new ones every couple years.

AlistairFyfe
04-05-06, 06:09 PM
I just have the two sets, both purchased via the band in 1984 (1 set belonged to my son, who gave up piping 12 years ago on going to university).

I don't feel the need to purchase another GHB as I feel I have enough flexibility to make adjustments via different drone and chanter reeds etc. Plus I don't know how it's come about but I seem to have gained a Warnock chanter and lost a Kintail, so this gives me some additional flexibility!

Must confess, I have been thinking about trading in one set for a set of session pipes. Only thinking at this stage, as I am not sure how I would get on with the hassle of very weak reads and a moisture control system.

I don't want to Hi jack this thread, so will start another on 'session' pipes.

Jamesinator
04-05-06, 06:50 PM
mine have been played for the last 3 generations and havent been replaced yet lol.

phyx
04-05-06, 07:12 PM
I've been trying to figure that out myself. I don't have any yet, but the set I purchase, is going to be the set I keep for a life time unless they sound absolutely hideous.

DoogieG
04-05-06, 08:16 PM
Aye..some of us are lucky enough to be playing older sets...luckily passed onto me by my Grandfather..theres no way Id be able to afford to buy em.

I suppose if these people had really done their homework theyd be happy with just the one set...how much difference is there really between Krons...MacCallums et al....they all claim different gimics...based on a set of pre war Lawries..........yes..its based around an early Henderson Bass drone blah de blah de blah. To me its a load of old balls. If a set of pipes sounds good then buy em...dont buy them because theyve been given this false sense of carrying on the tradition of pipes that simply cant be made anymore.

Gibsons ( Phyx! ) are based upon a set of MacDougalls...but I wouldnt buy them merely because of that fact. Id buy them because Ive heard them ...and yes they are good....but then again there are sets of MacDougalls that arent great......normally poor old Gavins!!

Steve
04-05-06, 08:34 PM
As Doogie said.. If you lucky enough to have an old set... Mine as a 1912 set of Henderson with full ivory and sliver mounts... I am the 4th generation to play them... and i hope that my son wil play them in the near future...

If you get the right set the first time... you will never have to buy a second... never mind a third or forth...

Itchyknee
04-05-06, 08:36 PM
I've only had the one set. Macleod's Highland Supply. Done me fine for the last 13 years and the good wife has no intention of letting me replace them in the near future. I still get a good sound out of them (every now and then) and see no point in replacing them anyway. They're a bit knocked about but that means I don't worry too much carting them about when I've had too many shandies.

phyx
04-05-06, 08:55 PM
To me its a load of old balls.

LMAO


Gibsons ( Phyx! ) are based upon a set of MacDougalls...but I wouldnt buy them merely because of that fact. Id buy them because Ive heard them ...and yes they are good....but then again there are sets of MacDougalls that arent great......normally poor old Gavins!!

What has sold me on Gibsons are the sounds I've heard (online)--name John Mitchell's Terror Time recording...those drones are amazing!

However, another thing that has sold me...research. I've been reading up on various makers for months now. So far, in North America, Gibson is one of the biggest pipe makers, and you know what? I've been looking for used Gibsons and going through 3 years of classifieds (using 3 different search areas), I've only found 2 people selling theirs--and they're only selling them because they're upgrading to more expensive Gibsons.

To me, that speaks volumes. I can't tell you how many Kron, McCallum, Hardie, Henderson, Lawrie, Naill, Dunbar, and other makers I've seen for sale. This is not to say that those pipes are bad...it's just to say that a company who has been in business for 30+ years and has, in a 3 year period, only had their sets resold twice has got to be doing something right. (I've seen LOTS of Gibson Firesides for sale though).

Anyway, I'm sure it's not an exhaustive search, but after looking on ebay, Piper & Drummer Online, BDF, and the online piping classifieds, I can say that I've only seen 2 sets for sale.

So, I've not heard them in person, but I've heard them online, as I've heard many other pipes online, and nothing has come close (though I've yet to hear a MacDougall--unless Doogie's playin' em on his band's site, and if so...I've got no complaints here). I'm going with Gibsons so far based on what I've heard, and I only wish someone here in town played them so I could hear them up close and personal--guess I'll have to pioneer that one. :bgt:

SDowns
04-05-06, 09:03 PM
If you notice - it seems a lot of new pipers are buying McCallums. I am not convinced they are prime time pipes. We've several guys in the band playing them...nothing spectacular...but they're okay. I think Kenny is serving this specific "market" well. :bg:

The only reason I am looking for another set of pipes is that the drones tune too low on my current stand when playing some of the higher pitched chanters.
I have to tighten all the adjustments on any drone reed to get the drones up to the hemp line. Right now I am playing Spitfire drone reeds and a McCallum poly chanter. It is a very good match.

Scott has offered to bore the drones out for me so they will align better with the modern pitches...but I am a bit skeered of ruining a good thing and will continue to use them for my solo work.

I am also considering the Gibsons. I've heard them, I've played them, and I like them.

redneck
04-05-06, 09:34 PM
As Doogie said.. If you lucky enough to have an old set... Mine as a 1912 set of Henderson with full ivory and sliver mounts... I am the 4th generation to play them... and i hope that my son wil play them in the near future...

If you get the right set the first time... you will never have to buy a second... never mind a third or forth...

Steve m8, agree wi ya 100%. ( fer a change:wink: ) Don't forget the drone reeds themselves have a lot to do with your final sound. You'll get different sounding pipes using different types of drone reeds, getting the right balance for your particular set of pipes is as important as the pipes you select.

Dai Robb
04-05-06, 11:00 PM
I dont believe it, I am dumbstruck, You actually agree??????

A. Shack
05-05-06, 02:30 AM
Same boat as you Shawn; Scott offered to bore mine to his newer spec to get the drones up with the higher pitched band chanters. I was full on with that idea until our Pipe Sgt was tuning me a few weeks back and really really liked the sound from my drones - so now I'm balking.

We're tuning around 481-ish (James, yes?) and that is 5 Hz over Scott's ideal chanter pitch. I've fiddled with my Kinnaird reeds to no end, but can't get to the hemp, not to mention how low my bass sits WITH the top section tuned down as well!

Our band is switching to cane Croziers soon, and hopefully there's a bit more tuning range on them vs Kinnaird. I do love Kinnaird drone reeds though.

SDowns
05-05-06, 04:09 AM
Shack,
Thanks for sharing your story...there is definitely a reason some of us are looking. And who knows...I may never actually purchase another.
Even so, I can't imagine ever selling these CR / Morton pipes. They are solid.

:red:

true_blue_piper
05-05-06, 10:04 AM
We're tuning around 481-ish (James, yes?) and that is 5 Hz over Scott's ideal chanter pitch. I've fiddled with my Kinnaird reeds to no end, but can't get to the hemp, not to mention how low my bass sits WITH the top section tuned down as well!

Our band is switching to cane Croziers soon, and hopefully there's a bit more tuning range on them vs Kinnaird. I do love Kinnaird drone reeds though.[/QUOTE]

And translated into English that is.........???
(for this here nursery graduate)

DoogieG
05-05-06, 10:16 AM
Its high mate.....very high!!!!:wink:

Adam
05-05-06, 10:21 AM
Drone reeds do make a big difference. My P/M said my pipes were loud, (I can't disagree), I wis using Apps acoustics, so I put in Rockets. Now they're much quieter, like having different pipes. Eezedrones are about half way between the two, volume wise, but all three have different tone.
I'm in agreement about MacCallums, they're good pipes, but I cannae' see why the USA has gone nuts about them, there are better pipes out there over the Atlantic, I've not heard Gibsons, but I think Dunbars and Krons sound better.
Still, they've got their tag line;
Buy MacCallums: 1000 American grade 5 and ungraded pipers can't be wrong
:bg:
I heard one set of US MacLellans, (I think??), it had bronze leaves and stuff on the ferrules, but I was not impressed at the sound.
On the subject of listening to pipes online, I think it's baws, you can't hear tone that way.

selpiper
05-05-06, 10:24 AM
My set of Mortons also tune low on the pins and I agree that it is nearly impossible to get Kinnairds to tune at the hempline at 481 Hz. I'm affraid that Crozier cane reeds will not solve the problem - I have tried!

The only solution is to have the tuning height raised. I think this can be done in 3 different ways or a combination of them.

Firstly the reed seat can be reamed in order to make the drone length shorter, secondly the bell can be opened and thirdly the bores can be opened.

I belive that the two first options will not change the sound properties of the drones significantly- just a matter of changing the drone length. But this could be a subject for a new interesting thread?

My Mortons had also an issue with tuning pin fit in the chambers - I have had this repaired together with raising the tuning height at a pipe maker in Scotland. I'm awaiting the return of the drones - and will let you know how it turned out.

Soren.

Bobby
05-05-06, 03:00 PM
Kinnaird makes two types of bass reed. One is lower pitched than the other (means it will tune really low on the wrong pipe) Try asking him for a higher pitched bass to see if that works better for you.

Shawn,...there's a new set of spitfires with carbon tongues in the works. I have the prototype I'm testing for him. These sound better than the originals (which I didn't like). Not the same old carbon fibre we've all seen before either. I'm also looking forward to testing a new set by a different maker that Dundee and Redneck knows about.

A. Shack
05-05-06, 03:26 PM
True Blue,

If your question was genuine, and you weren't just yanking my chain, I'll post a lengthy reply later today when I'm off of work.

Bobby,

I actually had Rob make me a complete set of sharper pitched tongues, but the difference was negligable at best. I'm quite gun-shy on these spitfire reeds. I rushed right out and spent $154 on the NovaCane, based on Ringo's ravings. They were crap - pure and simple.

Tcheuchterloon,

I agree - online sound bites are fundamentally useless in evaluating drone tone. You need to hear drones up close and personal.

redneck
05-05-06, 07:39 PM
Your reply is 1st class , Redneck style....................well done m8.

true_blue_piper
05-05-06, 11:57 PM
[QUOTE=A. Shack]True Blue,

If your question was genuine, and you weren't just yanking my chain, I'll post a lengthy reply later today when I'm off of work.

LOL....good one mate......but no...don't waste time....reply not necessary. I've no interest in numbers and gadgets, only in ears. :wink:

A. Shack
06-05-06, 02:42 AM
Gotcha True Blue. :bg:

true_blue_piper
06-05-06, 10:40 AM
You should get together wi' Bobby. The pair of you could do a roaring trade selling lugs like that to the RSPBA......

"Bung Free - Judging Lugs"

An claidheamh soluis
12-05-06, 02:11 PM
I originally had a set of Hardies that belonged to the band I learnt to play with.

I've now had the same set since 1985 and they just get better and better. I've gone through a few chanters mind.

redneck
14-05-06, 04:31 PM
I'm also looking forward to testing a new set by a different maker that Dundee and Redneck knows about.

Same here Bobby, I ain't heard nothing on the release date yet but will keep you up to date m8.

piper_dancer
20-05-06, 03:00 PM
I don't plan on changing my pipes. Unless something serious happens to them and its impossible to play them anymore. Mine are pretty old (130+?) lawries. They sound REALLY good.

Craig m
20-05-06, 05:31 PM
ive only jst bought a new set of McCallums so not changing for a while now. they are great by the way

Piper of Rose
22-05-06, 05:55 PM
Changing pipes No

pay for new house yes

A. Shack
29-05-06, 04:02 PM
Selpiper,

Just looking for an update on your Morton's after their re-bore. How are they tuning now?

streakypiper
10-06-06, 06:16 AM
First set was some phat MacCallums with crozier reeds, had a awsome sound.

Now play Shepherds with ezee tenors and crozier base. Ow baby.

selpiper
10-06-06, 08:16 AM
Selpiper,

Just looking for an update on your Morton's after their re-bore. How are they tuning now?

Hi A. Shack,

Up until now, I have been playing a set of 1988 Kintails for band competitions - I didn't want to change setup in the middle of the
band contest seasons. Now the competitions are over and I have installed the
Mortons, but didn't have time to play them yet.

But Douglas MacPherson did a good job on even up the tuning chambers and doing the reed seats. By mouth blowing one of the tenors, I can say that the tuning height has been raised a bit, but I need to test them in the bag.

Cheers,
Soren.