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Subject: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Dave McMillin
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Date Posted: 19:12:39 03/20/02 Wed

I am looking for a first set of bagpipes. Here is where I am:
1. I do not want beginner level bagpipes - I want a set that I may play for a long time.
2. I have budgeted about $1500.
3. From my past as a sax player and my experience on a practice chanter I know I want a water trap system as I seem to have to stop about every 20 minutes to clear out my practice chanter.
4. The local pipe band is closely associated with the St Andrews society and wants us to have Scottish made pipes.

I would like recommendations such as what options I should add on such as nickle slides, etc. I am more interested in their relationship to tonal quality, tuning, playability, maintenance. I would consider an option such as substituting a Naill chanter as long as the rest is Scottish. What brand/model with customizations (water trap, etc) would you recommend for around $1500.

I would also appreciate some insite on which brands/models to avoid as long as you can give specific details (more than Kintail pipes suck) and a good web vendor (there are none within 150 miles).

Thanks in advance

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Pat
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Date Posted: 22:09:00 03/20/02 Wed

"wants us to have Scottish made pipes"

Do only Scots makers know how to make a pipe?
No...a good pipe is a good pipe, made in the USA,
Canada or England. I am baffled by some who
think that Scots can only make a good bagpipe.
Dedication, pride of workmanship, tone and good
after market support is what to look for.
If you are putting up the cash for the pipe
you should choose the maker based on input from
known pipers, not the St. Andrews Society.
By the way I am not slighting Scotland in any way
as I am Scottish. A friend of mine who is a pipe maker
tells me every pipe maker in North America and Great
Britain are currently making a nice instrument at
present. The choice is yours in the end by personal
Preference.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
PiperDown
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Date Posted: 23:15:47 03/20/02 Wed

Here, here!

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Dave McMillin
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Date Posted: 20:18:52 03/21/02 Thu

I agree with you that the USA, England, Canada, etc pipe makers are as good if not better. The local pipe band gets considerable financial support from the St Andrews society and that is the only reason they want Scottish made pipes. I am not sure how strict this "suggestion" is but in case they say it's that or forget the band I wanted to see what this group could recommend in Scottish pipes.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Kevin Gilstrap
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Date Posted: 14:31:56 03/28/02 Thu

Hello all,

I just wanted to comment on what was being said about the St. Andrew society requiring Scottish made pipes for the band. I've been a player for nearly thirty years and a former member of the St Andrew pipe band in Kansas City. I have played for different St. A societies around the country from time to time and made friends with other players affiliated with other St. A societies. I have never heard of a St. A society requiring pipers from the bands they support to purchase Scottish made pipes. Usually the St. A societies support the bands in turn for performances for various occasions. Unless the Society is purchasing the pipes for the players in the band, how could they possibly know what kind of pipe the band is playing? I'm a player and I barely knew what pipes the guys in the band were playing, except for the obvious ones! Just a thought.


>"wants us to have Scottish made pipes"
>
>Do only Scots makers know how to make a pipe?
>No...a good pipe is a good pipe, made in the USA,
>Canada or England. I am baffled by some who
>think that Scots can only make a good bagpipe.
>Dedication, pride of workmanship, tone and good
>after market support is what to look for.
>If you are putting up the cash for the pipe
>you should choose the maker based on input from
>known pipers, not the St. Andrews Society.
>By the way I am not slighting Scotland in any way
>as I am Scottish. A friend of mine who is a pipe maker
>tells me every pipe maker in North America and Great
>Britain are currently making a nice instrument at
>present. The choice is yours in the end by personal
>Preference.

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[> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Nadav
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Date Posted: 11:03:53 03/21/02 Thu

As said before many times: get a Naill's. make your first set to your last set. i think DN1 now cost less than 1000$ (~620 pounds).
i would suggest buying also a ross cannister system. sound you, like me, need it. and you dont need a water-trap. (BUT ROSS IS FROM AUSTRALIA!) :)

but ask someone with more expirence then me. i have only the expirence of buying one set (naill's)

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[> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Pat
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Date Posted: 17:28:14 03/21/02 Thu

{As said before many times: get a Naill's. make your first set to your last set}

Naill must be using that new million dollar lathe!!!
I personally am not a big fan of Naills, I am an
open piper and although I have heard wonderfully
set up and steady sets the sound is not what I
like to hear in a set up.
The actual tone of the bagpipe comes from the piper
and his/her set up, reeds and knwoledge of the instrument.
Tone is very personal and Naill is not doing anything
that other makers are not doing.
Email makers and find out who can get you a better
bang for your pound or dollar.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
aberdeen
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Date Posted: 15:00:21 03/22/02 Fri

Whoops!
You forgot to tell him (BUT NAILL IS FROM ENGLAND!) :-)

All the best,

Jim

>As said before many times: get a Naill's. make your
>first set to your last set. i think DN1 now cost less
>than 1000$ (~620 pounds).
>i would suggest buying also a ross cannister system.
>sound you, like me, need it. and you dont need a
>water-trap. (BUT ROSS IS FROM AUSTRALIA!) :)
>
>but ask someone with more expirence then me. i have
>only the expirence of buying one set (naill's)

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[> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Nadav
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Date Posted: 09:08:09 03/23/02 Sat

you're right aberdeen... i'll say it now instead.

(BUT NAILL IS FROM ENGLAND!) :)

cheers,
Nadav

btw sinclair is from scotland, and they are considered really good. find them at www.leith33.freeserve.co.uk/

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[> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
PiperDown
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Date Posted: 13:53:39 03/23/02 Sat

Goodness, are there are any good pipermakers left in Scotland?

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[> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Paul Hinson
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Date Posted: 20:29:51 04/13/02 Sat

>1. I do not want beginner level bagpipes - I want a
>set that I may play for a long time.
>2. I have budgeted about $1500.

Any well made set, whether "beginner" or "top of the line" produced by a reputable pipemaker should last a long time. The big difference between a "beginner" set made by a reputable pipemaker in the UK, Canada, the US or elsewhere and a "top of the line" set made by the same company is the amount of decoration on the wood (beading and combing) and of what the mounts, ferrules, and drone caps are made. Again, any reputable pipemaker should exercise the same craftsmanship and quality control on a "beginner" set as on a "top of the line" set...the higher the price, the more decoration.

To my understanding the only decorations which impact the sound produced by the bagpipe are the ivory or silver soles which might be put on a chanter. Supposedly ivory soles give the chanter a warm sound while silver gives the chanter a brassier sound.

>3. From my past as a sax player and my experience on a
>practice chanter I know I want a water trap system

Water traps/tubes can be easily made for just a little money with materials found at a decent hardware store...electrician's tape, plastic plumber's tubing, a cork, and an exacto-knife.

>4. The local pipe band is closely associated with the
>St Andrews society and wants us to have Scottish made
>pipes.

If you do a bit of research, I think you'll find that Gibson, Dunbar, Kron, and MacLellan pipes (and maybe others), although made in the US or Canada, are, in fact, made by people trained in Scottish bagpipe companies. Aren't these instruments then Scottish made, regardless of where they're made?

Paul Hinson

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[> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Hank Delison
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Date Posted: 21:22:35 04/14/02 Sun

Hey have you found your pipes yet? For $1500 you should be able to get just about any brand you want. As has been said many times before, the basic pipes sound the same as the more ornate ones, the price is different is all. The thing about silver verses Ivory (or plastic?) soles on the chanter is the first I've heard. Intertesting, I'll start paying attention to that now. See if I can hear it.
My only contribution to which brand to buy is .... There is no such thing as no/fault bagpipe buying, you pay your money and take your chances. Who knows what you will like 10 or 20 years from now, or what will be popular.
Anyway, post back when you get your pipes, and tell us the end of the story.
Hank

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Newbie looking for bagpipe recommendation


Author:
Dave McMillin
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Date Posted: 21:54:17 07/30/02 Tue

Yes, I have ordered some pipes. I looked for a long time and went to 3 different highland games to listen to soloists. I could not really tell much difference in pipes standing in a field. The only difference I could hear seemed to be more with technique of the piper. Another student of my piping instructor ordered some Fletcher pipes and I also did after seeing and hearing them. I ordered some 1/2 silver with a zoomorphic pattern, probably more than I should have spent but since I am in my 40's I figured this will probably be my first and last pipes. I have not got them yet but I keep hearing from the person I ordered them through that they are worth the wait.

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