View Full Version : 3/4s + 1/2 sized pipes questions
Sir Edwin CBE
04-30-2008, 05:16 AM
Firstly - most still use a full-size chanter yeah?
Second - drone wise do they tune lower/higher and what's the volume like.
Who here uses any, what are you like height wise and what do you think of them?
I'm considering a set of poly Soutars 3/4 sized for indoor/pub gigs and generally throwing around.
04-30-2008, 10:06 AM
My pipe teacher uses a set of 3/4 size antique pipes for kids to start on. The bores of the drones are quite narrow compared to most pipes. The narrower bore makes a lower pitch for an equal length. The result is that a shorter length of bore results in a drone that can tune to match a full-size drone.
My experience is with only that one stand of pipes, but they use a full-size chanter and do tune to match the old standard (around 466, I think). They are just plain cute, being smaller and all.
I've wanted a set of those Soutar polys for some time, but keep waiting for more money to show up first!
04-30-2008, 01:12 PM
I have a set of old Robertson's 3/4 drones, with a reel-size chanter by Center. It is smaller but a full-sized reed fits it. A very enjoyable instrument, not so dominating as the big pipes, easier to blow, too. I had a set of Lawrie's drones again with a smaller chanter; it was even better. They tune at about the same place as large drones. The little chanter is part of the fun; Keep an eye out for one.
05-01-2008, 04:02 PM
I am using a ca. 1900 set of 3/4's for my hiking tours in Scotland. They are fitted with a modified full-size chanter, an early P. Henderson. The sound is reduced, and the drones are very air-efficient - and they are lighter and take less space. I would like to find a 3/4 vintage chanter, but the last one sold for a high price - such chanters are scarce.
I have a bill for "a set of half size bagpipes" (= what we call 3/4 nowadays) sold in 1895 to a Lieutenant J. MacAlpine Leny by David Thow, Dundee: not sure if he bought these for himself or for his son or a pupil. The price of £ 3 was nearly a third of the standard price of a full size ivory mounted set, so the reduced cost was certainly a substantial argument, too.
Ringo Bowen shows an unusual half silver set by Duncan MacDougall, hallmarked to 1893-94: the overall size is slightly less than full size, but bigger than 3/4, the bores being also somewhere in between. The odd size does not match any description in Duncan MacDougall's price list, and must have been custom made for a weak blower. Otherwise, the lavish engraving and extra silver on slides and mouthpiece denote an expensive instrument, not a "cheaper" option.
05-02-2008, 05:13 AM
Yep keep in mind that the name "3/4 size pipes" is new, they were never called that in the old days when all the classic pipemakers made them.
In the old days they were called half or reel size pipes and were around 7/8 the size of a full size set.
Most of the classic makers also made something called the second size reel pipe which evidently was a tad smaller than the "half size" (7/8 size) pipe.
These came with chanters with narrower bores so that the chanter volume and drone volume matched.
These chanters, today, are being called "border" chanters by many makers.
The "slightly less than full size" pipe mentioned above was not at all unusual, but was in fact the standard size for what they called the "half or reel size" pipe.
Here, once again, are my c1900 Glen "half or reel size" pipes along with a full size set (what they called the "military or Great Highland pipe") and a c1900 set of what they called the "miniature or chamber pipe", what today we call "smallpipes".
05-02-2008, 05:51 AM
Based on the sets I've heard and played, there's a good reason these instrument sizes are not popular.
05-02-2008, 01:11 PM
I have ABW Gibson Firesides and ABW Hardie 3/4's with a full size Hardie chanter from 1970.The Firesides can be played and dont make children cry but the volume certanly fills a room.My neighbours cant hear me and I live in a GDR plattenbau(paper thin walls)The 3/4's have beautifuly mellow sound that I love and are about 3/4 the volume of a full size drone,a soft reed makes the chanter quieter to the extent that it all balances.My Hardie chanter low A is 456 Hz with the Chris Apps 24"Hg reed.Eezedrone made the Drone reeds up to measure however the two tennor drones I could only just tune at the very top of the pins.I tried drone reed extenders from J Dunbar but these were too big to fit into the drones.So I contacted Ronnie at Eeziedrone once more and he is at the moment making longer tennor reeds for me.I think that the poly 3/4 would be a good starter instrument for a kid to take home and try out.Hardwearing and probably take less air like my 3/4's.They are also a very good price.