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Subject: 3rd Set


Author:
Randy
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Date Posted: 19:47:54 04/01/03 Tue

Hello All,
I'm trying to get a good cross-section of opinions here.
I've been piping solo and with a local band for about 3 years now. I currently have 2 sets of Pipes A/B Dunfion, and a set of Dunbar p3's. The Dunfions have a very sweet sound (kinda like Lawries) but only after fussing with them for about 30 to 40 min. and adjusting tape does everything finally settle and get locked into place.
The Dunbars are easy and quick to lock on but are very Henderson-ish and LOUD drones even with pretty quiet reeds
I'm looking to purchase another set of A/B Pipes. My third future set will be used as Solo pipes. So a very steady mellow drone sound Not an "in your face" sound. And chanter that is easy to reed and balance without too much fussing over. Each note blending right on with the drones are most important. in other words, "Really nice harmonics and minimal fidgeting"

When ever I ask dealers to recommend a set of pipes, Amazingly, They always recommend the brand/s they sell, Even though some confess to playing an entirely different brand themselves for Solo competition. I never really get to hear individuals at band pract. And only one guy (imho) really has an outstanding sound, But plays vintage Hendersons, Outa my price range. I'm looking in the price range of about 1,500 USD

Any honest help would be appreciated. I am fond of the sound Alastair Gilles is able to create.

Thanks in advance.
Randy

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
brad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:05:45 04/03/03 Thu

Randy:

What's interesting, is that you indicate you don't want an "in your face" sound. But, you like the sound of the vintage Hendersons. The Dunbars you own are basically the same inside dimensions as vintage Hendersons.

Hendersons are known for a bold aggressive sound, which it sounds like you do like, if they are set up correctly.
Have you (or somebody who knows a lot) worked with your drone reeds to get them to a gentler sound? Reeds need to be adjusted to get that nice tone you're looking for. Adjust the bridles to shorten the tongues up a bit if you can.

Also, perhaps the volume of your drones is loud compared to your chanter? Are you playing a vibrant reed with good volume? It may be more that your overall blend between chanter and drones isn't what you're after.

And, regarding the Dunfions. If you're adjusting tape and stuff, that's a chanter issue, not drones. There are some excellent players getting great tone from those drones! I would be surprised that if your blowing is steady, the drones take more than a few minutes to settle in.

You might be better off to save some money: get an excellent chanter and reed set up, then get your drones set up to blend well with it.
You've already got two nice sets of pipes!

A third set of pipes will take more time to keep in playing shape.

Brad



>Hello All,
>I'm trying to get a good cross-section of opinions
>here.
> I've been piping solo and with a local band for about
>3 years now. I currently have 2 sets of Pipes A/B
>Dunfion, and a set of Dunbar p3's. The Dunfions have a
>very sweet sound (kinda like Lawries) but only after
>fussing with them for about 30 to 40 min. and
>adjusting tape does everything finally settle and get
>locked into place.
>The Dunbars are easy and quick to lock on but are very
>Henderson-ish and LOUD drones even with pretty quiet
>reeds
>I'm looking to purchase another set of A/B Pipes. My
>third future set will be used as Solo pipes. So a very
>steady mellow drone sound Not an "in your face" sound.
>And chanter that is easy to reed and balance without
>too much fussing over. Each note blending right on
>with the drones are most important. in other words,
>"Really nice harmonics and minimal fidgeting"
>
>When ever I ask dealers to recommend a set of pipes,
>Amazingly, They always recommend the brand/s they
>sell, Even though some confess to playing an entirely
>different brand themselves for Solo competition. I
>never really get to hear individuals at band pract.
>And only one guy (imho) really has an outstanding
>sound, But plays vintage Hendersons, Outa my price
>range. I'm looking in the price range of about 1,500
>USD
>
>Any honest help would be appreciated. I am fond of the
>sound Alastair Gilles is able to create.
>
>Thanks in advance.
>Randy

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
Randy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:39:46 04/04/03 Fri

Thanks Guys for the good advise, I think you may have saved me some money.
I had not considered maintence aspect of a 3rd set. Maybe I still just havent found the right chanter and chanter reed for these pipes.
I will continue that persuit.

"buy a nice Naill Blackwood chanter. Get yourself some Shepherd, Gilmour and Caldwell reeds and just play around with the different reeds in the chanter."
The chanter I currenty use in the Dunfions is a Naill A/B and Soutar reed Med. strength. I've tried 6 plus diffferent reed brands Macphee,Higgins,Apps,Wygent,Caldwell.

"you don't want an "in your face" sound. But, you like the sound of the vintage Hendersons."
Your right, I guess I should qualify that, Someone had told me they were Henderson's But I'm not positive.

"Have you (or somebody who knows a lot) worked with your drone reeds to get them to a gentler sound?"
I've currently have the drones reed strength set just a-- little bit harder than the most air taking note, HI A on the chanter before they shut off.

"Are you playing a vibrant reed with good volume?"
Actually, to be honest, I really dont think so. The reed started out Med and I've been playing it regularly for about 4 months, but I shaved it a little bit at a time when I was breaking it in, In the Naill chanter outside the Bagpipe. It can be calssified as easy now.

" It may be more that your overall blend between chanter and drones isn't what you're after."
I think thats correct, With the Dunfions, Ive tried DunfionA/B chanter Macallum,Warmac,Dunbar. Sold the Dunfion chanter, It was just impossible to reed

"There are some excellent players getting great tone from those drones! I would be surprised that if your blowing is steady, the drones take more than a few minutes to settle in.
I've checked my blowing on a homemade water manometer,while playing tunes, i think pretty steady, The water dose move but not constantly or wildly. Any info on the kinds of drone reeds, chanter, chanter reed set ups those guys favor? Or where to go to find out?

"get an excellent chanter and reed set up, then get your drones set up to blend well with it."
Do you have any recomendations, or know of a certain brand/s chanter and reed that lends itself particularry well to Dunfions? Seems I've had this problem with these (Dunfion) pipes since day one. Very finicky pipes to be sure. The Dunbar P3's are pretty plug and play and accepting of many brands of reeds, Just maybe being all plactic the drones sound harsh and loud to me.

I think you guys are correct about the chanter &or chanter reed being the culprit, When I cork the chanter stock the drones alone sound fine. I currently have a set of EZ's in there now, in the past Iv'e use Henderson Harmonics, Henderson Deluxe, with good drone results and Duo-tone with awful sounding results. Cane, of course was by far the best sound. Any sugesttions re chanters and or chanter reeds I have not tried that would be a good match for the Dunfion drones would be welcome.
Thanks again.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
brad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:54:53 04/04/03 Fri

|||Naill has an excellent chanter. A BUNCH of the top players play them. But, realize they are more difficult to set up than others. Have you had your instructor help you with it?
And are you close to a pipe supplies dealer? The best way to buy reeds to to test a bunch in your chanter.
>The chanter I currenty use in the Dunfions is a Naill
>A/B and Soutar reed Med. strength. I've tried 6 plus
>diffferent reed brands
>Macphee,Higgins,Apps,Wygent,Caldwell.
>
|||Nothing wrong with the sound of Hendersons! It's probably good to note though that the sound of the pipe is dependent on the "set up"
>"you don't want an "in your face" sound. But, you like
>the sound of the vintage Hendersons."
>Your right, I guess I should qualify that, Someone had
>told me they were Henderson's But I'm not positive.
>
|||Out of curiousity, where are the drone tops tuning (in coparison to the hemp-line)?
>I've currently have the drones reed strength set just
>a-- little bit harder than the most air taking note,
>HI A on the chanter before they shut off.
>
|||Shaving can a pretty awful effect on the sound capabilites of the reed. If you can get your hands on a reed that sounds good, but is a LITTLE hard, don't shave it.
Play it for a bit until it eases up to your level - you'll probably be happier with the tone and volume.
>"Are you playing a vibrant reed with good volume?"
>Actually, to be honest, I really dont think so. The
>reed started out Med and I've been playing it
>regularly for about 4 months, but I shaved it a little
>bit at a time when I was breaking it in,
>
|||My experince with Naill chanters is that they are not overly loud. Although capable of a very sweet sound, and good distinction of embellishments, a louder set of drones can overpower. That being said, I would guess you don't want to change chanters. And, it would surprise me if you can't get either your Dunbars or Dunfions mellowed down a bit.
As a last resort, you might want to consider a set of "tone enhancers" In a sipper bag, then can quiet a set of drones somewhat (be aware that some people do not like them).
>" It may be more that your overall blend between
>chanter and drones isn't what you're after."
>I think thats correct, With the Dunfions, Ive tried
>DunfionA/B chanter Macallum,Warmac,Dunbar. Sold the
>Dunfion chanter, It was just impossible to reed
>
|||Lars Sloan of The Rogues plays them - and has ridiculously nice tone. I know he instructs in Houston, but am not sure how to contact (you might want to check The Rogues website.
Also, I think Aberdeen Bagpipe supplies sells them - they would be a good source of info if they do.
>"There are some excellent players getting great tone
>from those drones! I would be surprised that if your
>blowing is steady, the drones take more than a few
>minutes to settle in.
>I've checked my blowing on a homemade water
>manometer,while playing tunes, i think pretty steady,
>The water dose move but not constantly or wildly. Any
>info on the kinds of drone reeds, chanter, chanter
>reed set ups those guys favor? Or where to go to find
>out?
>
|||I'm a big fan of the Kron Medalist chanter - I really like the ease of reeding, and it's very sweet sounding (wigh nice full sound)
As far as drone reeds go....I don't have much advice, as I haven't worked with Dunfions. EZ's are usually pretty good when set up well.
I like the sound of Omegas, Selbies, EZ's and Rockets. I would GUESS that a set of Kinnaird (sp?) carbon fiber tongued reeds would settle well in those drones.
>"get an excellent chanter and reed set up, then get
>your drones set up to blend well with it."
>Do you have any recomendations, or know of a certain
>brand/s chanter and reed that lends itself
>particularry well to Dunfions? Seems I've had this
>problem with these (Dunfion) pipes since day one. Very
>finicky pipes to be sure. The Dunbar P3's are pretty
>plug and play and accepting of many brands of reeds,
>Just maybe being all plactic the drones sound harsh
>and loud to me.
>
>I think you guys are correct about the chanter &or
>chanter reed being the culprit, When I cork the
>chanter stock the drones alone sound fine. I
>currently have a set of EZ's in there now, in the past
>Iv'e use Henderson Harmonics, Henderson Deluxe, with
>good drone results and Duo-tone with awful sounding
>results. Cane, of course was by far the best sound.
>Any sugesttions re chanters and or chanter reeds I
>have not tried that would be a good match for the
>Dunfion drones would be welcome.
>Thanks again.

Good Luck!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
Randy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02:19:41 04/09/03 Wed

My Instructor hasn't helped me the current reed in the Naill.
I wish I did live close to a piping supply! I usually order via internet about a dozen at a time in hopes of getting three or four winners. I agree the best way is to try the reeds in your own chanter and then buy, But I think the closest piping supply that I'm aware of is way too far.

>|||Out of curiousity, where are the drone tops tuning
>(in coparison to the hemp-line)?
the tenors are about 1/4in above the hemp line and the top bass joint about 1/8in above and the bottom is about the middle (maybe a little lower)of the tuning pin.
I'll take your advise on a little bit harder reed and I will not give into the temptation to shave it.

>As a last resort, you might want to consider a set of
>"tone enhancers" In a sipper bag, then can quiet a
>set of drones somewhat (be aware that some people do
>not like them).
Yes, that is a good call. Right now I'm using shepard tone enhancers in both set of pipes and both sets have Bannatyne zipper bags. I like them, especially air effiency-wise. And your are right they do quiet the drones down some.

>|||Lars Sloan of The Rogues plays them - and has
>ridiculously nice tone. I know he instructs in
>Houston, but am not sure how to contact (you might
>want to check The Rogues website.
I contacted Lars about six months ago and I don't think I asked him the right questions, at the time I was thinking it was perhaps the drone reeds that were the problem, and switched to cane for a while, But talk about having to fiddle and mess around before the pipes were in tune!! I don't think I'm ready for cane.

>Also, I think Aberdeen Bagpipe supplies sells them -

I purchased the Dunfion's from Aberdeen, I actually started on these pipes three years ago and I didn't even realize there was a problem until I purchased the Dunbar's and it only took me a very short time to balace the chanter get the drones tuned and locked on. Ignorance is bliss!
I do think your sugesstion of a harder chanter reed may help and I'm going to give that a go. The chanter reed I'm currently playing: From Piob Hi G to low G I have to ease up on the pressure or Low G "honks".
Thanks again for the help
Randy

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
Randy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02:22:04 04/09/03 Wed

>My Instructor hasn't helped me set the current reed in the
>Naill.
> I wish I did live close to a piping supply! I usually
>order via internet about a dozen at a time in hopes of
>getting three or four winners. I agree the best way is
>to try the reeds in your own chanter and then buy, But
>I think the closest piping supply that I'm aware of is
>way too far.
>
>>|||Out of curiousity, where are the drone tops tuning
>>(in coparison to the hemp-line)?
>the tenors are about 1/4in above the hemp line and the
>top bass joint about 1/8in above and the bottom is
>about the middle (maybe a little lower)of the tuning
>pin.
>I'll take your advise on a little bit harder reed and
>I will not give into the temptation to shave it.
>
>>As a last resort, you might want to consider a set of
>>"tone enhancers" In a sipper bag, then can quiet a
>>set of drones somewhat (be aware that some people do
>>not like them).
>Yes, that is a good call. Right now I'm using shepard
>tone enhancers in both set of pipes and both sets have
>Bannatyne zipper bags. I like them, especially air
>effiency-wise. And your are right they do quiet the
>drones down some.
>
>>|||Lars Sloan of The Rogues plays them - and has
>>ridiculously nice tone. I know he instructs in
>>Houston, but am not sure how to contact (you might
>>want to check The Rogues website.
>I contacted Lars about six months ago and I don't
>think I asked him the right questions, at the time I
>was thinking it was perhaps the drone reeds that were
>the problem, and switched to cane for a while, But
>talk about having to fiddle and mess around before the
>pipes were in tune!! I don't think I'm ready for cane.
>
>>Also, I think Aberdeen Bagpipe supplies sells them -
>
>I purchased the Dunfion's from Aberdeen, I actually
>started on these pipes three years ago and I didn't
>even realize there was a problem until I purchased the
>Dunbar's and it only took me a very short time to
>balace the chanter get the drones tuned and locked on.
>Ignorance is bliss!
>I do think your sugesstion of a harder chanter reed
>may help and I'm going to give that a go. The chanter
>reed I'm currently playing: From Piob Hi G to low G I
>have to ease up on the pressure or Low G "honks".
>Thanks again for the help
>Randy

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
Brian MacColl
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:34:11 04/03/03 Thu

I have to agree with Brad 100%. This is a chanter issue for sure. Take $300.00 and buy a nice Naill Blackwood chanter. Get yourself some Shepherd, Gilmour and Caldwell reeds and just play around with the different reeds in the chanter. And put the other $1,200 back in the bank. Also, get to a good instructor, even for only a couple of lessons to help set up the chanter for you. Another set of pipes is only going to compound your situtation. Keep it simple, try the chanter first.

Good luck,
Brian




>Hello All,
>I'm trying to get a good cross-section of opinions
>here.
> I've been piping solo and with a local band for about
>3 years now. I currently have 2 sets of Pipes A/B
>Dunfion, and a set of Dunbar p3's. The Dunfions have a
>very sweet sound (kinda like Lawries) but only after
>fussing with them for about 30 to 40 min. and
>adjusting tape does everything finally settle and get
>locked into place.
>The Dunbars are easy and quick to lock on but are very
>Henderson-ish and LOUD drones even with pretty quiet
>reeds
>I'm looking to purchase another set of A/B Pipes. My
>third future set will be used as Solo pipes. So a very
>steady mellow drone sound Not an "in your face" sound.
>And chanter that is easy to reed and balance without
>too much fussing over. Each note blending right on
>with the drones are most important. in other words,
>"Really nice harmonics and minimal fidgeting"
>
>When ever I ask dealers to recommend a set of pipes,
>Amazingly, They always recommend the brand/s they
>sell, Even though some confess to playing an entirely
>different brand themselves for Solo competition. I
>never really get to hear individuals at band pract.
>And only one guy (imho) really has an outstanding
>sound, But plays vintage Hendersons, Outa my price
>range. I'm looking in the price range of about 1,500
>USD
>
>Any honest help would be appreciated. I am fond of the
>sound Alastair Gilles is able to create.
>
>Thanks in advance.
>Randy

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
Kevin
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:39:52 05/21/03 Wed

Why do Naill chanters cost so much?

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
jwk
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:06:15 05/20/03 Tue

Hi, I have been playing Dunfion drones for two years now. I also had a lot of trouble with the drone reed situation, the Henderson Harmonics were a nightmare. I switched to Selbies, big difference, esp. in tone. Bass was still a tad finicky. I have subsequentley switched out the "normal" Selbie bass drone reed for an inverted Selbie bass drone reed. Lordie what a difference! Very steady, strike-ins are a dream, and I seldom if ever have to re-tune!! Very sweet tone, perfect in my mind for solo work. I have been using both a Dunfion poly chanter, with a Coel-Mor medium reed,(no tape necessary if reed is placed properly) and an older Hardie abw with an Apps, also a medium (tape on E and F). Currently looking for an old Sinclair. Don't give up on the Dunfions until you have given the Selbies with the inverted bass a try!
Good luck!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: Re: 3rd Set


Author:
ScotsPiper
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08:35:41 08/20/08 Wed

I agree with jwk, i also play dunfion drones with selbie reeds with inverted bass and they seldom need re-tuned, they sound absolute magnificent, i play with mccallum McC2 solo chanter with shepherd med reed and it is perfect.

Good Luck!!

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