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macdaddy65
07-06-2008, 07:55 PM
Clicked on the Morton Bagpipes link this evening and was redirected to register.com. Hmmmm...Anybody have any news on this firm??

gazpiper
07-07-2008, 04:36 AM
HAKIM DIN GROUP OF INDUSTRIES
P.O Box 536 Raja Road, Sialkot
TEL : (92) 432-268835 / FAX : (92) 432-267919 / E-mail : hakamdin@brain.net.pk
Canada Branch : Adnan Hassan. 12535,4204 Woodlands 17st SW ,Calgary,Canada. Ahassan2000@yahoo.com

phyx
07-07-2008, 05:35 AM
Hmmm...very interesting...

Troy Jesse
07-07-2008, 05:48 AM
From other sources here and on the web, I thought it was well-known that Hadam Din pipes were being resold.....

macdaddy65
07-07-2008, 07:12 AM
Love to find some threads here on this topic...Have searched, but cannot seem to find any that match...Can anyone direct us to more info on the Dunsire site??

Miniracer
07-07-2008, 10:09 AM
Well, this fellow is selling Morton pipes through www.thehouseofpiping.com (http://www.thehouseofpiping.com) out of Alexandria, VA.

Durganpipes
07-07-2008, 12:02 PM
Scott A. Morton is a member of the forum and in a post from 12/06 says he had aquired full ownership of Morton bagpipes, I guess he had people turning pipes for him, but took more control, you could just PM him. I got that by searching "Morton" without the "'s and looking until I found a post by him, Tim.

Michael Flemming
07-07-2008, 01:41 PM
Well, this fellow is selling Morton pipes through www.thehouseofpiping.com (http://www.thehouseofpiping.com) out of Alexandria, VA.

If you really want Hakam Din pipes you might as well buy them direct and avoid paying Mr. Morton's markup. I was one of those taken in by the posts on this forum referring to things like "25 year old ebony", which were complete fiction. In my defense, I can only say that more knowledgeable persons than me were also taken in by Mr. Morton for a while.

The one thing I did right was to use a credit card for the deposit that I gave to Mr. Morton. It took almost a year to recover the funds via my credit card provider (Citibank; they were as helpful as they could be but are heavily constrained by rules & regs). In contrast to the difficuly in recoving the deposit, recoving the second unauthorized charge that Mr. Morton made to my credit card was quite easy....

I have all the correspondence with Citibank, so I am quite prepared to prove what I have just said.

Shawn Husk
07-07-2008, 03:52 PM
Beware of Scott Morton. My P/M got burned pretty good by him on a set of refurbished pipes and he also added a second unauthorized charge to his credit card.

Shawn

Richard Mao
07-07-2008, 07:30 PM
If you report on a bad experience ... that has now reached final status.... please stick to facts... what was done to get the situation corrected... what the result was.... and what time frames were involved...

avoid drawing conclusions if your situation resolution is still pending...

tread the fine line please... observe the forum rules on civility.... and avoid personal attacks/aspersions.

Rich da Moderator.

ralph
07-08-2008, 09:47 AM
Hello,
I have no idea whether Scott Morton Makes pipes anymore or not. What I do know is that I bought a set of pipes of his through Kinnaird Bagpipes, and exchanged them for a set of Kron's. They were literally the worst set of pipes I'd ever seen. Now I don't know who made them, I do know that he didn't because he told me as much. I did hear through member's on here that someone else had my set of pipes, and found them to be great. Whether or not that was actually my set of pipes I won't know. I do know however that he gave me a pipe chanter for all my trouble. It's a nice chanter, I use it to this day. It did take me close to 4 months to get that pipe chanter, and tons of e-mails on my part.

I did hear from the people who supposedly had my set of pipes I returned that I was trying to extort Mr. Morton, and sully his good name. However, I don't think he needs any help doing that. Ralph Drew

iunderwood
07-08-2008, 09:52 AM
If you report on a bad experience ... that has now reached final status.... please stick to facts... what was done to get the situation corrected... what the result was.... and what time frames were involved...

avoid drawing conclusions if your situation resolution is still pending...

tread the fine line please... observe the forum rules on civility.... and avoid personal attacks/aspersions.

Rich da Moderator.

I just noticed this, you type kinda like William Shatner. :)

Brent Lowrie
07-08-2008, 10:07 AM
Sad to hear this news. I am playing a set of Scott's pipes and am quite happy with them. Great tone and have won a few senior piob and Grade 1 light music events with them in Alberta over the years - drones and chanter. They are about 5 years old. Great drones. Unfortunate...

Thomas_Childs
07-08-2008, 10:30 AM
Hey, Brent,
It's your piping not your pipes that win contests. Imagine what you could do if you upgrade your pipes.

Josh Cooper
07-08-2008, 10:00 PM
Same Scott Morton??
I bought a set of Scotts Ebony Pipes with an ABW Chanter
back in 05, (Same ones pictured in the following link)
http://www.bobdunsire.com/raffle/index.htm

I loved those Pipes, I bought them because I had heard and played a set of Caladonia Road pipes, which was I belive Scott's former company. About 6-7 months ago I traded them in on a new set of Scotts Pipes which are even better. Ebony, Moose antler, and Silver. They look super, and play outstanding. I could go on how much I like them, but we all know how subjective that is etc...
For what it is worth, I have had no problems with either Scott's Pipes, or service, and have allways recommended his pipes to others.

I am real sorry that others have had negetive experiences with Scott, I sure like my Mortons. A couple of other pipers (much better than me) have played my pipes and have had nothing but excellent reviews.

Having bad service and the like really blows. I am not trying "defend" bad business or poor quality by any means. I just really really like my pipes...I think they are the "Bomb"
Dont kill my Buzz yet

Josh

Brent Lowrie
07-08-2008, 10:25 PM
Hey Thomas

Ya, thanks! Well... you gotta have a solid pipe to place playing a 15 minute tune. Hakim Dins (or whatever they're called - who the hell would actually seek a set of those out anyways??)won't get it.

I agree with Josh, I love my pipes. I played a funeral service yesterday. Piped the family into the hall and then stood for 45 minutes while they relived the deceased's life. When I struck up to play a 5 minute set during the slideshow, they were still in tune. Not a word of lie and that's one of the things I love about them - rock steady.

It saddens me to hear some of you have had bad experiences. Mine have only been good. Cheers!

ralph
07-08-2008, 10:35 PM
Yeah,
It SURE made me sad! And it stressed me out to no end as well. But that's water over the bridge now, for me, anyway. Hopefully no else will have the same experience. Ralph Drew

Michael Flemming
07-09-2008, 08:26 AM
From what I have picked up through the grapevine, Caledonia Road was a perfectly reputable firm. It was after it closed that things went downhill.

I have also been told by several people that they suspect that posts critical of Scott Morton from a year to two back were deleted from the forum. Perhaps one of our esteemed Moderators could confirm or deny this rumor? It has a bearing on the reliability of information gleaned from the forum.

ralph
07-09-2008, 10:06 AM
Yeah, I can tell you posts were deleted. I don't have to be a moderater, memory serves me very correct.

Why they were deleted? You'd have to ask the person who deleted them on that one. I suspect they were of little instructional value, because they were written to serve a particular purpose.. which was to get Scott Morton to cooperate in giving someone a refund. Granted, I will say the way things were deleted at the time seemed kind of unfair. But then there are rules to posts on this forum, and we don't have "Free" speech on the internet. They are free to let stand what they want.

I will say this though, Compared to the Maccallum Bagpipe bashing you see on here, where the thread get's locked.. this was a lot different, they disappeared completely, and fast. And also, in the trading post forum, a guy's ad for sale had other peoples "Expert" opinions added to their postings.. The most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I.E. "I have this set of pipes for sale, I got the from Morton, I am selling them because they don't live up to my standards" and then Ringo Bowen adds to the posting completely unsolicited "I inspected these pipes, and they meet the standards set forth by the maker" Complete rubbish, and cronyism..

But who knows maybe this post will get deleted. Or at the least this thread locked. Ralph Drew

Wulls
07-09-2008, 10:08 AM
We do not delete posts here unless they are slanderous, malicious or untrue......
To be honest we do not have time to vet every allegation made here so we kinda depend on the "aligators" being honest and the person on the recieving end will always have the option to respond.
If a spat between two (or more) folk starts to grow arms and legs we will usually close it to prevent unpleasantness....

ralph
07-09-2008, 10:23 AM
You know I don't see it on the his website anymore, but Ringo Bowen used to have some sort of "certificate" where he inspects the bagpipe he sells you and it meets his high standard of quality. Perhaps that is what he was referring to on that edit he made to the post of the Guy selling the Set of Morton's on the trading post back then. Those pipes didn't meet my standards, and probably most other people's out there. If that's the case, I'll make sure never to trust that guy to sell me a set of pipes. Ralph Drew

Michael Flemming
07-09-2008, 10:58 AM
We do not delete posts here unless they are slanderous, malicious or untrue......


Having come very close to the situation myself, I can easily sympathize with someone who had been defrauded out of perhaps several thousand dollars by Scott Morton ("fraud" is the term that I used in my correspondence with Citibank so I see no reason not to use it here) and I think that a perhaps intemperate post would be excusable. I realize that the moderators were in a tough spot, particularly since this was probably the first and hopefully the only time that something quite this bad was going on. I feel rather strongly that information that might help to warn off others ought not to be suppressed.

Troy Jesse
07-09-2008, 11:20 AM
Here is a web page that I thought might be of some interest...

page related to thread (http://www.thebagpipeplace.com/museum/page279.html)

Kenneth Tucker
07-09-2008, 01:31 PM
About 4 years ago I called Morton to order a long blackwood pc based on some raves in the Forums. After about 6 weeks I emailed to see when I might expect delivery. I got no reply so I started calling and finally got through to him. He did not seem to have any recollection or record of the previous call so I went through the process again and did receive the pc several weeks later. The sole was different from that which we had discussed, there were shavings in the bore, it was noticeably warped, and, to an ex pipe smoker, there appeared to be several fills on the lower half. After a while the mouth piece came off. I also noticed that there was no maker's name stamped on the instrument.

Under the theory that life is short, I decided to swallow hard and move on. I now suspect that this pc was not made anywhere on this continent!

Richard Mao
07-09-2008, 03:22 PM
Careful, folks...

If you want this thread to continue to be available for factual reporting...

Piling on..... and beginning to cast aspersions by innuendo... has to be avoided....

questioning the actions and motivations of others and other postings or deletions(including those of moderators)needs to be avoided as against forum rules...

or else this thread will be closed....

Rich, da moderator.

ralph
07-09-2008, 03:49 PM
Well here's an interesting question, I'd like to pose... The former vendor's of Morton Bagpipes, when and why did they stop selling Morton Bagpipes? Factually speaking. Not questioning their actions or motivations, just curious to know what happened. Because obviously SOMETHING happened. I can think of a couple of Vendor's who sold Morton pipes, maybe they'd like to chime in. Ralph Drew

Troy Guindon
07-09-2008, 05:40 PM
Here is a web page that I thought might be of some interest...

page related to thread (http://www.thebagpipeplace.com/museum/page279.html)


Very interesting read!

Thanks for posting the link.....

Michael Flemming
07-09-2008, 06:31 PM
Personally, I don't blame the vendors. As I said, more knowledgeable persons than me were deceived for a while. My *guess* is that early on there was some remaining stock from Caledonia Road that was sent to vendors as examples of Morton pipes, then the pipes sent to those vendors in response to later customer orders were not of the same quality, to put it mildly. This would explain the fact that there are some people out there who speak highly of their Morton pipes. They would be the ones who got the dealer samples.

I hope that those with more first-hand knowledge (and I *know* that there is a lot more out there but I don't want to speak for anyone else) will chime in now that this is finally becoming public.

Lewis McElroy
07-09-2008, 06:55 PM
I must comment on the Scott Morton topic. I did sell a few of his pipes over a period of about three years and had only on instance of wood cracking (this is not unique to pipe making. Nail bagpipe makers had their problems with wood in the late 80's).

I currently own a set of full silver Morton's with ebony wood with David Marshall Silver and a set of polys with nickel and imitation ivory. Both sets are identical and sound excellent. The silver set is two years old and the poly is one year old. Focusing on my silver set, I have never had any cracked or warped wood (I use a natural based oil and oil the bores twice a year. The same is true for the outer partson this set. The craftsmanship is excellent (both sets) with smooth, crystal like bores and air efficient. In my mind, these sets were made by Scott.

I have heard and played a set of the Hakam Din pipes and quite frankly,these sets do not produce the tonal quality nor are they air efficient. The question should be, who made the Morton style pipe first. Scott or Hakam Din? I bet the first. We all know that various Pakistani makers have been copying Scottish sets styles way before the 1940's.

The flaw I found in Scott's sets was his use of tape to hold on mountings. The mountings would work lose very quickly requiring professional gluing. Oh well, this happens.

The last contact I had with Scott was April of this year. He was complaining of sickness. Like most of you, I have had no success in contacting him within the past several months. I was supposed to receive a set of CA 1900 set of Lawries (nickel and ivory) and have not seen them yet. He is probably out of business.

sjbpiper
07-09-2008, 09:28 PM
< The flaw I found in Scott's sets was his use of tape to hold on mountings. The mountings would work lose very quickly requiring professional gluing. Oh well, this happens.>

Sounds like quality to me!!

Troy Guindon
07-09-2008, 10:19 PM
Okay, I need to ask the following question:

Has anyone actually seen (with your own eyes!) Scott behind a lathe making a set of bagpipes from scratch? I'm not interested in someone saying they saw him install some mounts, etc. - what I'm really interested in is reputable and known, eye witnesses who have seen him turn pipes from a block of blackwood.

If not, has anyone been to his shop in person and were "eye witness" to what would like like a "bagpipe shop" with the appropriate equipment and work in progress?

I recall posts in the past where he made reference to other employees in his firm, so he must have a shop set up where a number of his clients actually visited him in person and picked up their new pipes in person.

How many have been to his shop and have seen bagpipes being made on lathes from blocks of blackwood? - simple, straight-forward question.

...If we get the appropriate number of responses confirming eye witness accounts of Scott's ability as a turner, then the question at hand should be put to rest rather nicely I would think...

ralph
07-09-2008, 10:42 PM
Well When he talked to me about the set I returned to Kinnaird, he said that someone was making the pipes for him, and that he'd been sick. I took that to mean someone was running his shop, but I didn't think to ask. He said that because of me he was instigating a rigourous quality check system, and would personally inspect every set of pipes that went out the door. It should be noted, that I repeatedly told him that he should burn the set, only to hear much later that someone else ended up with them. (Apparently they found them suitable to try to pawn them off on someone else) My problem which I told him, was that If I order a set Of Morton Pipes, then I want him making them... but in reality the more reasonable thing would be to expect him to be at least involved to the point that he saw and inspected the pipes, at the VERY LEAST.

As far as the vendor's go; Going through a vendor was the only reason that this didn't turn out ugly for me. It seems that the people who dealed directly got the worst of it. I wrote Kinnaird, and complained, and mailed them back, and it was done. Rob Kinnarid was a class act guy. My only complaint, I wish he had inspected them before sending them out, maybe I'd never even had to have the disappointment of opening up the package of my "Dream" set of pipes, only to find what I did.

And a real piece of advice; Don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong if you think there is something wrong with your new set of pipes. People will try to come off like this; "I am a grade one player, and I don't find anything wrong... you don't know anything" Bottom line, people are out there to make money... and every industry has it's vipers. Ralph Drew

macdaddy65
07-09-2008, 10:50 PM
Hmmmmmm...Interesting points, Lewis. I know what you mean about the tape; that is one thing I cannot understand. Indeed, my Mortons have one ferrule which has about 1/8" of masking tape holding it on. A few of the mounts are loose and the tenor bushes are different sizes. And these are bona fide, been-in- his-hands Morton pipes.

I suppose it is possible for a maker in Pakistan to copy a set of pipes...But...bless his heart...is Scott Morton on their freaking radar??? I talked to a well known maker in Scotland a couple of years ago and mentioned Scott's name...He had never heard of him, but some cats in Pakistan have?

Much of this could, I guess, go into a "he said, he said" kind of thing. Ringo's page,though, is, for better or worse, a kiss of death in this thing of ours. When I found that page, I understood the meaning of shock...like medical shock...I don't want anybody to ever feel like that. That page, even if Morton's name is not mentioned exactly, is bad news. What does it do to the value of Morton's pipes? Can someone go on the Trading Post and give a set away now? Knowing about it, does one have an ethical responsibility to mention it in the event of a possible sale in the interest of full disclosure? It takes about four seconds for those cats from Naill to jump on here and defend their product's name when a copy is floating around and they should, bless their hearts. Gee, you'd think Scott would want to do the same thing and try REALLY HARD to make Ringo take that page down...Yet, there it is...

I always thought this could have been cleared up fast. Just invite a couple of guys over ( Seems like a couple of folks up there within driving distance had SOME kind of relationship with Scott), maybe serve them some Molsons and pretzels while you stay on task and bust out a set or a few pieces thereof...Easy as 1,2,3 it seems to me.

Some kind of flood gate seems to have been opened here. It's like all this pent-up frustration is FINALLY being let out, as if
some kind of emotional dam has burst. I mean, the original question just asked if anyone had any info and then...BAM!!! it is on!!! I don't know if I have ever seen a thread quite like this. And all through it, I just get a feeling of...sadness. Maybe those of us who have been touched by
this thing have some right to be mad, frustrated, whatever...but
the feeling I get from those of us "in the club" is just kind of bewilderment. Maybe because we just don't know exactly what the truth is. Not knowing the WHOLE story makes it worse.

Maybe someone who lives in Ontario and is close could go knock gently on his door and see if he is OK, see what the deal is?? Does he have NO friends either here OR there?? Maybe they could jump on here and give us some more info??? Maybe someone who has worked with him, done business with him, made money with him in the past could offer some info?

scotchboiler
07-09-2008, 10:52 PM
It would seem that Scott Morton farmed out much, perhaps all, of his turning work to other makers. I know personally of at least one current maker who did projects for Scott. There was a post from Scott himself a year or so back in which he commented favorably on the craftsmanship of several other pipemakers--most likely these were the actual turners of "Caledonia Road" pipes.

It is always a tragedy when a respected company stops living up to its good reputation. It seemed as if Scott had many good ideas and, at least some of the time, put out an exceptional product. In all due fairness we know of several Scottish makers, and retailers, who have gone downhill as well with their instruments and services.

ralph
07-09-2008, 10:57 PM
Well When he talked to me about the set I returned to Kinnaird, he said that someone was making the pipes for him, and that he'd been sick. I took that to mean someone was running his shop, but I didn't think to ask. He said that because of me he was instigating a rigourous quality check system, and would personally inspect every set of pipes that went out the door. A problem I had with that, which I told him, was that If I order a set Of Morton Pipes, then I want him making them... but in reality the more reasonable thing would be to expect him to be at least involved to the point that he saw and inspected the pipes, at the VERY LEAST.

As far as the vendor's go; Going through a vendor was the only reason that this didn't turn out ugly for me. It seems that the people who dealed directly got the worst of it. I wrote Kinnaird, and complained, and mailed them back, and it was done. Rob Kinnarid was a class act guy. My only complaint, I wish he had inspected them before sending them out, maybe I'd never even had to have the disappointment of opening up the package of my "Dream" set of pipes, only to find what I did.

Now the guy who I talked to and I posted on here to get Mr. Morton to give him a refund... All Scott Morton would do for him, was to sell the pipes for him, and give him the money of the sale (Which he lost money on) He wouldn't even give him a refund. This was not including the price of a chanter, he payed for and never got. And of course the whole time this was going down, people were trying to act like He was in the wrong, and was trying to pull a fast one on Scott Morton. Like what happened with his ad in the Trading Post.

And a real piece of advice; Don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong if you think there is something wrong with your new set of pipes. People will try to come off like this; "I am a grade one player, and I don't find anything wrong... you don't know anything" Bottom line, people are out there to make money... and every industry has it's vipers.

And one more even more important piece of Advice; Take what is said on here and even on some of the vendor's site's with a HUGE grain of salt. A big reason I was interested in these pipes, there was a huge amount of post's where people on here were acting like Morton Pipes were the holy grail of piping. I will admit, I got sucked in. Especially reading glowing reviews on sites of reputed Bagpipe Guru's, who also happen to deal in said pipes. I mean if these people have their finger's on the pulse of the piping world, and can vouch for someone, why wouldn't you believe them? Be Weary! Ralph Drew

Richard Mao
07-10-2008, 01:18 AM
...........What does it do to the value of Morton's pipes? Can someone go on the Trading Post and give a set away now? Knowing about it, does one have an ethical responsibility to mention it in the event of a possible sale in the interest of full disclosure? .......

The buyer has the total responsibility of forming his/her own opinion on ANY used pipes...

regardless of the name of the maker.... I personally will not automatically attribute any quality to any specific set of pipes usded.... Henderson, Lawrie, etc....

because we know of the number of different design/quality changes that have occurred over the history of those makers....

because we know pipes from those days being sold now... may be a mix and match of replaced parts...

because we know of the shakey identification/provenance of many used pipes especially pipes of the bygone era

The buyer has the total responsibility of ensuring the returnability of any pipes he/she deems unsuitable, for whatever reason.

====

Mortons being offerred for sale? What if they were from the era of outstanding quality as has been attested to as these pipes were originally making their reputation... they might be worth a look, indeed.

What if they were being offerred evaluated by a very trustworthy piper of proven reputation and skill....

====

A bad experience or spell of bad experience .... does not tar the whole universe.... this thread or any bad experience thread only provide data points.... that might cause more cautious, step by step involvement with a specific offered product...

I would, personally, not read any more than that into it...

carry on...

Richard Mao, The Peking Piper ( richardmao@rocketmail.com )

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bruce Wright
07-10-2008, 01:27 AM
My problem which I told him, was that If I order a set Of Morton Pipes, then I want him making them... but in reality the more reasonable thing would be to expect him to be at least involved to the point that he saw and inspected the pipes, at the VERY LEAST.

I really don't have a dog in this fight; I've never met or talked with Scott or even exchanged emails with him, and to the best of my knowledge I've never even seen any of his pipes. However there are any number of makers (typically the larger ones but some smaller ones as well) where the person whose name is on the masthead isn't the one who turns the pipes. I don't think that's the measure of much of anything; in the end you don't really care who turned them, but you do care whether those in charge of the company maintained an attitude of quality.

Bruce

Wayne Johnston
07-10-2008, 05:44 AM
I got a set of Morton pipes as my first and only set in June 2005. I still really like them - they look and sound good and are air efficient as far as I can tell.

My problem is I sent Scott my middle bass drone section because of a crack. He emailed me March 8 telling me to send it in and I explained I'd like to time the sending until after some gigs. I sent it toward the end of May hoping to get it back for July 4. Getting close to that date I noticed the web domains down etc.

I just want that section back, fixed or not, or even just the pieces (ferrule, tuning pin, maple projecting mount) so I could have someone else replace the blackwood. So if someone does knock on his door, I'd like to commission them to retrieve these things.

Troy Guindon
07-10-2008, 05:46 AM
These are all interesting and good points, but I'l like to reiterate my original question, but with an addition this time:

Even in the day when some supposedly quality, Morton pipes were being made, did anyone...anyone at all, see Scott behind a lathe making a set of pipes from scratch, or did anyone visit his shop and see it full of wood lathes, other bagpipe making equipment, and employees??

The other point that I'd like to make is that there is, in my opinion, a huge difference between sourcing out pipes to other, reputable turners (or even a CNC machine for that matter) versus having a Pakistani company turn a bagpipe that ends up selling under the guise of a North American maker. Regardless of when or why (or even if) such a thing occurred, I believe the person responsible has a responsibility to fully disclosure such at the time of sale, especially in the case of buying a new bagpipe.

Bruce Wright
07-10-2008, 06:45 AM
The other point that I'd like to make is that there is, in my opinion, a huge difference between sourcing out pipes to other, reputable turners (or even a CNC machine for that matter) versus having a Pakistani company turn a bagpipe that ends up selling under the guise of a North American maker.

I'd certainly agree with that. I don't see any good reason why the Pakistanis couldn't turn out a good product, but that does appear to be the case in practice.

But I know there are plenty of people in North America who have tried their hands at pipemaking, sometimes with not much greater success (and even at times less success) at turning out a quality product than the Pakistanis - which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't actually try to sell their experiments. (Names withheld to protect the guilty, but I know of a couple of people in the band who got burned by such people over the years. As far as I know none of them are still marketing their products).

The common thread is probably that all of these pipemakers both here and abroad never went through a proper apprenticeship with a reputable pipemaker, nor have any other relevant experience; it may not be rocket science but it's more than turning table legs.

FWIW.

Bruce

Scott A. Morton
07-10-2008, 08:08 AM
I chose to do shut it down, retool and design with intentions of opening at a date yet to be determined. I have made pipes since I was 18. The association of our company and Pakistan products is utter garbage. Some are taking the lead from a so-called expert who started this nonsense. Two firms from Pakistan (one using CNC) copied my sets and a Murray’s set with the same profile, which we found out. They also copied Naill, Strathmore and a few others. Our legal investigation also found that they are duplicating a new popular chanter on the market. We measured a set from there and the internals are quite different from our anyways.
Quite frankly I have no ill will towards the companies in Pakistan because they need to do what they have to so they can live, breath and eat.
The reason we were picked on as a target runs too deep that I will not get into on this forum. We were identified because we have a flat combing which is very rare.
I will take any legal action I choose if I fear any of my employee’s names are libeled or slandered. I have played pipes since I have refurbished 1286 sets of pipes. I have worked for a number of pipemakers building pipes and chanters as a moonlighter. For those who do not live far way know me and they come to the house to get their pipes repaired and machined while they wait.
I also resent this “ripping off”, at times in the past working on a refurb, I have spent days upon days bringing a pipe back to a new state. I could never charge a customer the real or full amount. I chose to do this for the pleasure of it, not because I had to. As I said, I started this when I was in my first year of university. I have worked part time at a profession that pays extremely well…to make pipes that really does not pay these days.

So who am I and what you do not know and hear:

- Hundreds of times I have repaired pipes for free because the piper cannot afford it due to financial difficulties
- I donate 2 sets a year to pipers or groups/bands who cannot afford a set
- I donated a set to Bob Dunsires Cancer Lottery with Dave Marshall supplying the mounts
- I drive 130 miles to teach and help a youth band that cannot afford an instructor
-I have given away 3 wood lathes that were well used by us to aspiring and set up pipemakers/restorers

Believe what you want and play what you want. I made the pipes, tested the pipe and set it up before shipping. Perhaps in the past I concentrated on the tone a little too much and neglected the outer cosmetic idiosyncrasies. I have been taught the pipe by some of the greatest players in the world; they are the first ones to tell you that if it sounded good they wood play a tree log.
Scott

Michael Flemming
07-10-2008, 08:18 AM
I know of at least two highly reputable members of this forum, individuals whose reports we would all accept as valid, who live within an hour's drive of you. I'm sure we can get one of them to volunteer to visit your shop and see your stocks of 25 year old ebony and report back to all of us.

macdaddy65
07-10-2008, 08:50 AM
Well, there you go...the man himself. Outstanding! This is just what this thing needs! It seems as if the "big guns" have been strangely silent on this one. (Thanks for your interest, Troy!!
You are, IMHO, a heavy hitter in this bagpipe thing) I am glad Scott, at least, has stepped up and has made some effort to explain the situation to the masses. This has been a festering sore for some time...at least it seems the ball is rolling to some kind of resolution.

BTW, I was looking up definitions of "libel" the other day...For all you lawyers out there: Is it true that "truth" is an absolute defense against any charge of libel? That is to say, if a fact is a fact, does that immediately end any libel action??

Ringo
07-10-2008, 08:59 AM
Ralph, you're holding my feet to the fire, and rightfully so.

When I was first presented with a set of Morton bagpipes I was impressed. I thought the instrument was well-made with quality materials. I checked feedback on this and other forums and owners of Morton bagpipes seemed overjoyed with their instruments. There was nothing negative anywhere. I also played a Morton chanter and it was very good. I became a vendor.

Over the course of the next few months I started to suspect that my initial assessment was grossly flawed. I sold one set only and, based on that experience and other findings, I terminated the relationship and pulled the information off my site.

I continued to watch from a distance and became concerned when I saw certain patterns developing. People sent me pictures and related personal experiences which were all very disturbing. This involves repairs, refurbs, and new instruments. I received information that led me to makers in Pakistan and elsewhere. I purchased a bagpipe directly from one of the makers and subjected that bagpipe to a careful and thorough study. I also have correspondence (from the MIM maker) that confirmed their bagpipes were be re-branded and sold in North America.

At this point I felt that I had an obligation to make facts available to others. I prepared and published my MIM page (http://www.thebagpipeplace.com/museum/page279.html). I did not name any maker and allowed readers to draw their own conclusions. The page remains unchanged from when it was intially published. I stand solidly behind every word written. Also, this page represents only a small sampling of information and pictures that I have compiled.

Rightly or wrongly, I am regarded as an expert on the instrument. Obviously, I too, can make mistakes. Based on my subsequent findings, I regret that my initial "due diligence" fell short of the mark and I owe my readers an apology for that error.

Most sincerely
Ringo

Thomas_Childs
07-10-2008, 09:01 AM
Scott,

The repair work you did for me was the poorest quality and workmanship I have ever seen and you made no attempt to correct the matter. I saved the piece after I had it professionally replaced and I will be happy to share pixs of the piece that you made. The bore was too large and off center leaving the wall thickness of the tuning pin paper thin on one side and thick on the other and the Ivory furrule and projecting mounts did not fit properly. It also took several months dispite your repeated promises that you had completed the work and it was enroute to me.

Based on my experience, I can't recommend your services or your pipes.

ralph
07-10-2008, 09:10 AM
Hi Ringo,
Thanks for writing. I really do appreciate it. Hope the blisters on your feet will heal soon enough. :) Ralph Drew

Troy Guindon
07-10-2008, 10:00 AM
Well, I keep going back to my original point, and here it is again:

We now have over 1600 people who have read this thread, and no one is yet to state that he or she has seen Scott turn a set of pipes from scratch (block of wood), or have seen a bagpipe shop full of equipment, people, and work in progress!

I bet if I asked how many people have seen Thomas Doucet or Dave Atherton, or Dunbar, or McCallum, etc. make a bagpipe, we would have an endless amount of confirmtaions, but why not here??

I, for one, would be willing to supply a piece or two of blackwood in order to watch Scott turn them himself, and produce the results that others boast of.

Further, I'm sure that there are others on this forum who would be willing to witness the event as well.

This would allow Scott, if he accepts the challenge, to "put his skills where his mouth is," in a matter of speaking.

DonutPiper
07-10-2008, 11:46 AM
Well, I keep going back to my original point, and here it is again:

We now have over 1600 people who have read this thread, and no one is yet to state that he or she has seen Scott turn a set of pipes from scratch (block of wood), or have seen a bagpipe shop full of equipment, people, and work in progress!

I bet if I asked how many people have seen Thomas Doucet or Dave Atherton, or Dunbar, or McCallum, etc. make a bagpipe, we would have an endless amount of confirmtaions, but why not here??

I, for one, would be willing to supply a piece or two of blackwood in order to watch Scott turn them himself, and produce the results that others boast of.

Further, I'm sure that there are others on this forum who would be willing to witness the event as well.

This would allow Scott, if he accepts the challenge, to "put his skills where his mouth is," in a matter of speaking.

Dead horse here, in my opinion. It's apparent Scott Morton is "out of the business" and unlikely to resume...

Thomas_Childs
07-10-2008, 11:50 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Troy Guindon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, I keep going back to my original point, and here it is again:

We now have over 1600 people who have read this thread, and no one is yet to state that he or she has seen Scott turn a set of pipes from scratch (block of wood), or have seen a bagpipe shop full of equipment, people, and work in progress!

I bet if I asked how many people have seen Thomas Doucet or Dave Atherton, or Dunbar, or McCallum, etc. make a bagpipe, we would have an endless amount of confirmtaions, but why not here??

I, for one, would be willing to supply a piece or two of blackwood in order to watch Scott turn them himself, and produce the results that others boast of.

Further, I'm sure that there are others on this forum who would be willing to witness the event as well.

This would allow Scott, if he accepts the challenge, to "put his skills where his mouth is," in a matter of speaking.

Dead horse here, in my opinion. It's apparent Scott Morton is "out of the business" and unlikely to resume... </div></div>

We can only Hope.

Shawn Husk
07-10-2008, 02:00 PM
Scott, I too have seen your refurbishing work. The set of pipes you worked on was a complete shambles. No pipemaker in his right mind would have sent these back to the customer. And you played the same game with my friend as you did with others:

"Oh yes, the pipes were shipped out to you yesterday." Then a week later "Oh yeah, those pipes shipped out just today." etc etc etc....

What about double charges on credit cards for services or products that were never delivered?

Shawn

tchev
07-10-2008, 06:18 PM
Its good to see this thread progress!! We are a community of sorts and we need to look out for each other and that involves info we share to keep our family from falling into inescapeble ruts. If we were all graced with endless CASH there would be no problem-----just a wee bump in the road. Its not that way with me so I say thank you for Honesty.

Wayne Johnston
07-10-2008, 07:53 PM
I think the above last sentence was uncalled for. &lt;moderator deleted cited post&gt;

Scott contacted me today after his earlier posting to say he had been on holiday, but he will be repairing my piece.

bigdogpiper
07-10-2008, 08:23 PM
I would like to add to this first for a pipemaker / bagpipe repair person or shop to make a good living at it - it is really hard . The amount of time one spends is enormous , unless you have a established firm and crank out x amount of pipes or repairs a month . I have not played , seen , or heard a set of Morton pipes , but I have played / repaired / refurbed a many of new and used sets of pipes some even of the great vintage makers . For me the pool is too large to compete with or try and break into pipemaking . My main source of business is word of mouth and my repair / refurb business is only a part time venture . I'm not slashing any maker/ repair shops work , I have never seen a set or piece that could not be corrected in some way shape or form . I can not account for any wrong doing or bad experience with any makers listed here , I only had one bad experience with a maker that has been shut down for a long time now .

Josh Cooper
07-10-2008, 09:04 PM
My Morton Pipes are only 6-7 months old. You could'nt get me to part with them. Very Different from the first Caledonia Rd. set I played, and very different than my first set of Mortons circa 2005.

I am at loss here.

I did not witness Scott make my pipes, he did call me during the process to ask me a few questions about set up and the like.

I dont know if it is relevent, but if anyone wants to check mine out. (like I said they are fairly new) My info is in my profile.
I would love to show them off.

I am not trying to pick sides. I dont have an issue other than an extreme love of my particular set of bagpipes which are Mortons.

I cant get over all the previous positive postings re: Morton Pipes vs. the current thread. Killing me here.

Josh

Troy Guindon
07-10-2008, 10:02 PM
Hi Josh,

Out of curiosity, have you compared, in detail, your pipes to the Pakistani maker in question here?

I would be very interested in your comments...or, perhaps you can post some detailed pictures for all of us to examine.

Josh Cooper
07-10-2008, 11:02 PM
Troy,
I will take a closer look. I think I have some pics of my older pipes. There is a distinct differnt combing style on my new set.

Anyone tell me how to post a picture in a post?

Josh

Mike Greene
07-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Anyone tell me how to post a picture in a post?
Josh

Detailed explanations for most of the common posting options here: Topic Posting Options (http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=446068#Post446068)

In the Forum Related (http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&amp;Board=14) forum there are a number of tips for getting the most of the forum system.

Josh Cooper
07-11-2008, 12:03 AM
Troy,
I e-mailed you a couple of pics I'll try and get you some more.

After closer study of the Pipes on the MIM web page I will say the external parts look very similar (I am far from any kind of authority) especially the beading and combing. The mounts and trim were not the same.

However the comments were as follows:

So what of these bagpipes? Here's what I found.

1) After a couple of days the wood started to shrink down and morf. The OD lost its concentricity and wound up more oval than round which means they used green wood!

"not even sure what this means" "I noticed no Morfing shrikage or loss of O.D...."

2) Further to the above, the bores shrunk down so you couldn't insert the sleeve on the tuning pin into the tuning chamber! Further evidence of the low quality of wood.

"never a problem"

3) The reed seats were bored off-center.
"reed seats were fine"

4) The bushings in the metal caps were sized all wrong. The bass bushing bore was small and the tenors were big plus they weren't even close to being the same!

"had no cause to question, pipes worked fine"
5) No underbushings in place. No hemp stops.
"I dont know"

6) A very tiny bell under the cap. It was almost a straight shot through!
"I dont know"

7) The internal bores resulted in a very flat tuning drone.
"tuned just fine @hemp line with Kinniard Drone reeds"

Hows that?
Pipes allways were good to go...

Josh

Ringo
07-11-2008, 04:31 AM
This post is not specific to any particular maker however there are a number of manufacturing firms that anyone could call today that would make a line of bagpipes under a private brand. Over time it might be possible to have products from several different manufacturers floating around out there all under the same brand. It can become very challenging to sort out what is what. In fact, this may be why some people enjoy a favorable experience with a particular brand where others experience quite the opposite. Just a thought.

Ringo

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 05:33 AM
Ringo,

I never really thought about the idea that "a particular brand" could be sourcing out to various manufacturers - very interesting!

Josh, I did not receive any pictures. Please send them to:

troyguindon@xplornet.com

With your permission I'll forward them along to Ringo once I receive them so we can have a bit of a discussion.

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 06:50 AM
Scott,

In your post you mention that "they also copied Naill, Strathmore and a few others. Our legal investigation also found that they are duplicating a new popular chanter on the market."

With an emphasis on the word "our," are you stating that the other companies you mention are involved in this legal action? If not, who does the "our" encompass? If you were to provide details on this legal action, it might go a long way in your defense.

Further, you stated that "I will take any legal action I choose if I fear any of my employee’s names are libeled or slandered." Since you did not mention past employees, I can only assume that your shop is still up and running. Who are your employees, and where is this shop located?

Last, you mention that "I have refurbished 1286 sets of pipes." Have you actually counted how many sets of pipes you have refurbished? I'm just wondering how many others know the exact number of pipes that they have refurbished...

BTW Scott, we now have over 2200 people who have viewed this thread, and still no one has confirmed that they have seen you make a bagpipe from scratch, nor has anyone confirmed that they have been to your shop which is full of the employees that you are so focused on protecting.

Since it is your shop, and they are your employees, and you make the bagpipes, perhaps you can be so kind as to provide a list of known pipers who could attest to being in "this shop full of employees," and that they saw you make a bagpipe from scratch.

Anyone who can rememeber that he refurbished 1286 sets of pipes should have no difficulty providing such a list from his memory....

pancelticpiper
07-11-2008, 07:24 AM
I was trying to think of an example of a "maker" who did not actually make the pipes he sold under his name, and remembered one. Though not a GHB maker, this maker's case might give some perspective here.
You might not know the name Kostadin Varimezov, but he is a legendary figure in Bulgarian folk music. Calling him the "Bulgarian Donald MacLeod" falls short of implying his stature. His recordings have been immensely influencial in Bulgaria and a whole generation of Bulgarian pipers has come along listening to his recordings, learing his technique and his repertoire. As a performer, composer, and teacher he is without peer.
He "makes" pipes. He sells them, they are stamped with his initials. But he doesn't turn a single part. I found out that a woodturner turns all the wood parts and sends them to Kostadin. Kostadin assembles the parts, makes the reeds, and voices the chanter. (That's the real skill, making the chanter reed and carving the chanter fingerholes, the voicing.) He makes the bags and ties the pipes in. So, what he gets are some sticks and what he produces are top-class instruments, reeded and ready to go.
Does any parallel exist in the GHB world?

By the way, I've heard Josh's Mortons and the drone sound is very nice. Bold, lots of harmonics. I'm at a loss myself to explain it. IF they are Pakistani pipes, they are the only Pakistani pipes I've ever heard that "sound right". How can Hakam Din do what no other Pakistani maker has been able to do?

About the idea of sending a delegation to Scott's workshop, it made me think: I've played Hendersons, Glens, Lawries, McCallums, Dunbars, Shepherds, Doug MacPhersons... and I've only seen Doug MacPherson and the McCallum people actually make pipes, and that on video. None in person. I don't think a very high percentage of pipers actually visit the workshop of their pipe's maker.

Bruce Wright
07-11-2008, 07:46 AM
This post is not specific to any particular maker however there are a number of manufacturing firms that anyone could call today that would make a line of bagpipes under a private brand.

I will amplify this statement of Ringo's a bit - not all such companies are located in the Middle East, and some would be well known to most of the pipers on this board, turning out very good instruments.

As far as I know, completely outsourcing the manufacture of an entire line of pipes to another maker in the West is unusual but not unheard-of. But there are many places who outsource the making of practice chanters.

FWIW.

Bruce

Michael Flemming
07-11-2008, 07:54 AM
About six months ago I heard from an industry insider (who wants no involvment in this discussion) that Scott Morton had started sourcing pipes from Jett Engineering. I'd guess that these are what Josh has.

Brent Lowrie
07-11-2008, 08:18 AM
For the record, I am totally against outsourcing Anything to Pakistan or anywhere outside North America. It will be our undoing I believe. That said, Ringo has noted on his site the fact that the Peter Henderson Co. outsourced their manufacture to Hardie and Lawrie who made sub-standard pipes in their name. My first pipe 34 years ago were Henderson and the base drone warped to the point that they couldn't he tuned. Our band has several sets of Somers pipes that have drone caps and ferrules that are loose and falling off. I've seen a set of Shepherd's that had a knot in the middle of one of the tuning pins and know of Naill's that have cracked upon delivery. McCallum with loose fittings too. Let's be careful when we attribute these shortcomings to a single maker as unique to that maker.

Scott used to have pictures on his site of him working in his workshop as I recall. Makers who use CNC turning lose the turner's "touch" to identify poor wood, knots and flaws. So who should we point fingers at?

It's a real shame some have had bad experiences. I had some mounts get loose soon after I took delivery but seeing as they went from humid Ontario to arid Alberta, I wasn't surprised.

I sure hope this all has a happy ending. Just my two bits worth.

John Henderson
07-11-2008, 08:23 AM
I've only seen Doug MacPherson and the McCallum people actually make pipes, and that on video. None in person. I don't think a very high percentage of pipers actually visit the workshop of their pipe's maker.

Having seen both Charley Kron and Dave Atherton at work, I can recommend visiting your local maker if you have a chance. I know it's not an option for lots of folks, but Charley's shop is a short walk from the Metro North station in Dobb's Ferry.

Bruce Wright
07-11-2008, 08:26 AM
Our band has several sets of Somers pipes that have drone caps and ferrules that are loose and falling off.

Yes, and we have had similar problems in our band with several Shepherd pipes - easily fixed with some glue. This isn't uncommon in new pipes when the wood settles a bit, especially when the fittings aren't threaded as they are on some pipes. However threading isn't a panacea either; I have a Dunbar blackwood pipe which has threaded mounts, and a couple of them got a little loose as well - but the difference is that if the mount or ferrule is threaded it won't just drop off if it becomes loose.

Bruce

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 08:36 AM
I have absolutely no problem with a brand sourcing out its manufacturing requirements, especially if it is disclosed: the only thing I'm wondering about here is whether or not Scott actually makes (or made) bagpipes from scratch, and whether or not this shop full of employees ever existed, or does today.

I think the difference here is that he does, in fact, contend that he is a bagpipe maker and he has personally made some (many??) of the pipes in circulation that bear his name.

While I agree that probably few pipers have visited the shop where his/her pipes were made, I'm sure that every pipe maker out there has "witness to his/her skill" and shop.

For me, all I'm looking for is verification of what Scott himself says, and I'm leaving it to him to provide that. As mentioned, this should be no problem for someone who can remember that he refurbished 1286 sets of pipes!

I'm not making any specific allegations, I'm just asking for verification of the facts that Scott presented, and I'm asking Scott himself to do that.

I know for sure that both Thomnas Doucet or Dave Atherton would gladly invite a perspective buyer to their shop to show off their skill in the hope of enticing a sale.

If/when Scott validates his position, I will gladly and publicly acknowledge his skill as a pipe maker.

Food for thought....

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 08:40 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Brent Lowrie</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Our band has several sets of Somers pipes that have drone caps and ferrules that are loose and falling off.

Yes, and we have had similar problems in our band with several Shepherd pipes - easily fixed with some glue. This isn't uncommon in new pipes when the wood settles a bit, especially when the fittings aren't threaded as they are on some pipes. However threading isn't a panacea either; I have a Dunbar blackwood pipe which has threaded mounts, and a couple of them got a little loose as well - but the difference is that if the mount or ferrule is threaded it won't just drop off if it becomes loose.

Bruce </div></div>

Bruce,

I think the bigger diference here is the claim that some of Scott's mounts were taped on! While some of you may remember Dave Atheton and myself having a bit of a disagreement about what constitutes good workmanship when it comes to the installation of mounts, I'm sure that Dave would have no problem with me suggesting that we both could agree that tape will not do the trick!

Brent Lowrie
07-11-2008, 08:56 AM
Troy, being in Ontario (I know it's a huge province) could you arrange to travel to see Scott's shop yourself! Not sure of the distance between you. Might be worth the trip.

On another note, I wonder why Jim McG is no longer advertising Kron pipes on his site when he helped develop them?

Jet Engineering
07-11-2008, 09:01 AM
About six months ago I heard from an industry insider (who wants no involvment in this discussion) that Scott Morton had started sourcing pipes from Jett Engineering. I'd guess that these are what Josh has.

I can assure everybody that Jet Engineering did not supply anything to Morton Bagpipes....

Bruce Wright
07-11-2008, 09:03 AM
I think the bigger diference here is the claim that some of Scott's mounts were taped on!

Yes, I was replying to the comment about Somers pipes, and wasn't referring specifically to the Morton pipes. I really don't know enough about them to say anything, never having seen any to the best of my knowledge. I think we can all agree that tape would not be acceptable!

Bruce

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 09:06 AM
Hi Brent,

I have been to Scott's house (or it might have been his girlfriend's/wife's?), but I have not been to his shop.

I would gladly go and visit his shop as long as he was willing to turn a piece while I watched from a block of wood.

I would love to see his set-up with all the lathes, other equipment, and the obviously large number of pipes currently being refurbished. I'm assuming that there must be a lot of work in progress based on the fact that he has already refurbished 1286 sets of pipes!

I think that would make him one of the busiest pipe makers/refurbishers on the planet, so I'm quite anxious to see this thriving shop.

As for Jim, you would need to e-mail him and ask him directly.

As for me, I think I'm done of this until Scott invites me up to see all of this in person.

Troy

Lewis McElroy
07-11-2008, 09:54 AM
I would like to add some comments:

1) Henry Stark, I believe, was a maker of all types of wood instruments which included the bagpipe. Stark was not a turner nor a bagpipe player. He did know quality and was instant upon specific standards or the set was not sold. Who were the turners? Probably every turner in Scotland who needed extra money. The point is, it is mythical to assume that all great pipe making firms did not contract out when demand was high or when other things involved the firm's management. Also, If you note that Stark did "dispose of" lower quality sets under his management, would one not also conclude that people are human and, yes, good craftsmen are not perfect? Do you think Stark was able to grab all of his imperfect pipes off the market? Highly unlikely.

2) I think it is not so important whether Scott is great turner or not. It is important that the pipe you buy meets your expectations and there is a clear way to resolve the issue if it does not. For all I know, he is a good turner and contracts out because he is involved in other business details. I would think this is not so unusual.

3) Mountings with tape is bad. It is a measure of quality but not 100% in my opinion. Mountings attached to wood, in its very nature, will come off over time. One would not expect so soon with a new instrument (espcially the cash paid for the pipe)but it is workable. The key is the communication between the buyer and the seller and that if is directly from the maker, the maker should take steps to resolve the problem for the future. A re-call so to speak with folks who would have that problem. A nastly econimic lesson to learn for the maker, but in order to stay in business, that may force a positive result. By the way, mountings falling of new purchased instruments are not new. This happen to at least one maker some 10 years ago. Apparently the problem was corrected.

I do believe in absolute clear communication and reasonable response times from a seller/buyer. I also believe that the seller should reasonably expect some returned items that may be expensive. In any event, the outlay for a returned item only remains temporarily but the individuals reputation can last a lot longer.

Randy J. Homer
07-11-2008, 12:05 PM
Lewis, I think you may have it backward on Henry Starck. He himself was a turner and a rather innovative bagpipe maker. He was the actual source of others' brands, but did not farm out any work himself. Everything stamped "Starck" was indeed made by Starck, his son, his grandson or their apprentices (which included Les Cowell, which goes far to explain their quality!) Pipes branded and sold by others may have, in fact, been made by Starck for them.

ratherbpiping
07-11-2008, 12:13 PM
I have been following this thread with interest as it explodes.

IT brings up some interesting perspectives.

I believe the Bowen Classic bagpipe is actually made by Dunbar to Ringos specifications. So are these Dunbar pipes, or Bowen Pipes? I understand Bowen Classcs are great pipes.

Products usually carry a tag on them "Made In Canada" or where ever. With bagpipes this is not done. Some times you will see "Assembled in Canada" My "German" car is a VW Jetta. Assembled in Mexico, and most of the parts also from Mexico, But is it a German Car. I really don't care, the only car I have owned that I liked better was an Audi A4.

When I first heard of Caladonia Road Bagpipes, I thought it would be a pipe to stay clear from because of the generic, noncommital style name. When they were stopped, and Morton Bagpipes came into existence, I thought they would have credibility, Scott now put his name on it. If you consider a persons intentions, why would some one intending to rip you off, put his name on something. I would have been much more skeptical of Caladonia Road, than Scott Morton Bagpipes. I am not saying mistakes were not made, I just think intentions were not to rip people off. What i find strange is that if his nme is on it, why would he let quality control get so far out on these pipes. If he were importing the sticks and doing final assembly himself, it would give him good opputunity for quality control. Car manufacturers farm out parts, but the quality standards are set by the auto maker.

In emails with Scott a few years back one thing stuck in my mind that he said. It was something like "The quality of the big bagpipe makers in North America is very under rated, and on average higher than the UK." I put this in quotes, but it is relly my recollection of what was said rather thn a direct quote. He specifically mentioned Kron, Dunbar, and Gibson. What brought up this comment was that I was looking for pipes for a student, who wanted Scotish made Bagpipes. I was insisting he consider non Scottish pipes as well. Why I found the comment interesting was that he was supporting North American pipes, other than his own.

The other thing I find great about this thread is that it has been allowed to continue. Moderators are showing restraint. This is good, but as the thread is interesting let's not push it too far. A couple years back, there were many praises said about Scott Morton's pipes. Now it seems he has been shunned.

And finally, Troy, give it up. If I were Scott I would ignore you too.
the fact that no one has responded to yur Challenge, does not mean he does not turn pipes.

As far as the Tape for the mounts, I thought I had read tht Caladonia Road pipes had threaded mounts?

acadianpiper
07-11-2008, 12:44 PM
As far as the Tape for the mounts, I thought I had read tht Caladonia Road pipes had threaded mounts?


I have a set of Caledonia Road pipes that are four or five years old. I purchased them used from another BDF member a couple of years ago. The mounts are, indeed, threaded on. One of my bandmates has a set of Morton pipes that are about 2 1/2 years old. I'm not sure how his mounts are attached, but none has come loose so far. My CR drones are well made and have an excellent tone, powerful, yet mellow. I get a lot of compliments on their tone. My bandmate's Morton pipes also have a very nice tone, but a bit more aggressive than that of my CRs. The wood of my CRs has not shrunk or warped, the bores are straight, round and centred, I have no problem inserting the tuning pins in the tuning chambers or, indeed, sliding the drones down the tuning pins right to the mount, the bushes are correctly sized, the drone reed seats are centred. In short, it is an excellent set of pipes that I am very happy with. This is not to say that others may not have had more negative experiences with CR or Morton pipes. Thirty years ago, I purchased a set of brand new S/I pipes by one of the leading Scottish makers of the time. I sold them in disgust a few weeks later. Many others received pipes from that same maker that they were delighted with. Around 1960, my old teacher and first PM bought a brand new set of pipes by another leading Scottish pipe maker of the time. He gave up playing them after a couple of years and reverted to using an older set because his new pipes had an inherently unstable tenor drone. It happens and I'm sure many others could tell similar stories.

I have been hesitant to join in this thread because the last time I praised my CR pipes on these forums I received a couple of rather nasty PMs from a forum member (not one who has so far posted in this thread) with an axe to grind who seemed to feel that his view was the only one that anyone should be allowed to express.

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 12:49 PM
I have been following this thread with interest as it explodes.

IT brings up some interesting perspectives.

I believe the Bowen Classic bagpipe is actually made by Dunbar to Ringos specifications. So are these Dunbar pipes, or Bowen Pipes? I understand Bowen Classcs are great pipes.

Products usually carry a tag on them "Made In Canada" or where ever. With bagpipes this is not done. Some times you will see "Assembled in Canada" My "German" car is a VW Jetta. Assembled in Mexico, and most of the parts also from Mexico, But is it a German Car. I really don't care, the only car I have owned that I liked better was an Audi A4.

When I first heard of Caladonia Road Bagpipes, I thought it would be a pipe to stay clear from because of the generic, noncommital style name. When they were stopped, and Morton Bagpipes came into existence, I thought they would have credibility, Scott now put his name on it. If you consider a persons intentions, why would some one intending to rip you off, put his name on something. I would have been much more skeptical of Caladonia Road, than Scott Morton Bagpipes. I am not saying mistakes were not made, I just think intentions were not to rip people off. What i find strange is that if his nme is on it, why would he let quality control get so far out on these pipes. If he were importing the sticks and doing final assembly himself, it would give him good opputunity for quality control. Car manufacturers farm out parts, but the quality standards are set by the auto maker.

In emails with Scott a few years back one thing stuck in my mind that he said. It was something like "The quality of the big bagpipe makers in North America is very under rated, and on average higher than the UK." I put this in quotes, but it is relly my recollection of what was said rather thn a direct quote. He specifically mentioned Kron, Dunbar, and Gibson. What brought up this comment was that I was looking for pipes for a student, who wanted Scotish made Bagpipes. I was insisting he consider non Scottish pipes as well. Why I found the comment interesting was that he was supporting North American pipes, other than his own.

The other thing I find great about this thread is that it has been allowed to continue. Moderators are showing restraint. This is good, but as the thread is interesting let's not push it too far. A couple years back, there were many praises said about Scott Morton's pipes. Now it seems he has been shunned.

And finally, Troy, give it up. If I were Scott I would ignore you too.
the fact that no one has responded to yur Challenge, does not mean he does not turn pipes.

As far as the Tape for the mounts, I thought I had read tht Caladonia Road pipes had threaded mounts?




My challenge was not made to anyone other than Scott, hence the reason why nobody else responded to the challenge. I only asked the general, piping public if anyone has seen him make a bagpipe, or has seen his thriving shop. Further, with all due respect, your position about ignoring me, or supporting the fact that Scott should, makes absolutely no sense to me. If he does, in fact, make pipes as per his contention, then why wouldn't he want to "set the record straight?"

I have my own horror story with respect to Scott's skills as a "pipe maker," and to make a long story short he almost ruined a very special set of pipes to me. Luckily, Thomas Doucet was able to repair the damage...damage caused during the most elementary, maintenance procedure. (No, it wasn't the Wilson Macdougalls!)

So, as far as "giving this up" is concerned, I thought I had done so previously, although I'm hoping that Scott would want to set the record straight and validate his skills.

I recall Scott mentioning his shop in Bolton, ON, where, if I recall properly, bagpipes and clarinets were made. Has anyone been to this shop? Was it moved? Is it still open? These are all valid questions.

Brent Lowrie
07-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Good points ratherbpiping

My Caledonia Road/Morton Pipes have threaded mounts. The reason I use both names is because after playing the CR pipes for a while, I was having a bit of unsteadiness in the middle tenor. I contacted Scott who asked I send them in for a look. He not only corrected the problem for free within a few weeks but also brought the drone bores up to the standard of his new Morton pipe (this is just prior to the rebrand of Caledonia Road to Morton Bagpipes). It was Scott who said my pipes were now a Morton pipe. He was quite proud to put his name on them. Fixing a piece for free is expected but to go over the whole pipe and return what has been a stellar instrument sound-wise is going above and beyond.

Again, I wish Scott the best as I know he had been long-suffering a lung ailment. I look forward to seeing his new website too. Hopefully he includes video of himself turning his pipes to put all this to bed.

Troy Guindon
07-11-2008, 12:58 PM
Brent,

I don't think he needs to go to the trouble of making a video. As mentioned previously, this can all be laid to rest by Scott providing me with the address of his shop, and I'd happily drop in and watch him turn a bagpipe.

If they are as good as some claim in here, and I watch him in awe, then it could be worthwhile as I might buy a set!

Lewis McElroy
07-11-2008, 01:13 PM
I stand corrected only on one point regarding Randy's comment on Stark: I meant the pipe maker Duncan MacRae (purchased by Grainger &amp; Campbell in the 50's), also an innovator with water traps and hempless tunning slides.

No one could ever say for sure what a pipe maker did or did not do unless ran the business. The fact remains that many turners turned for other makers in a contract form or an ad hoc basis. Stark was not necessarily and exception through its history of making pipes. This is nothing new to the history of pipe making.

By the way, name stamps do not mean much. An example is Peter Henderson in the 1970's. Lawrie was turning Henderson pipes and applying the Henderson's name. Henderson did cease turning operations at about that time in their shop. Again, no suprises.

JRM
07-11-2008, 01:25 PM
From what I recall reading Duncan Macrae did indeed make bagpipes. He was a wood turner by trade. However he did not play the pipes. His pipes and chanters were very highly prized in his day, and still are by all accounts. I own a set myself.

Dr D
07-11-2008, 01:35 PM
I have nothing to add but did want to say this has been a very, very, very interesting discussion or thread. Thanks to all the real participants.

Mike Beeler
07-12-2008, 10:56 PM
I’ve been playing my Morton’s for about two years now. I bought them out of the BDF trading post from a fellow who won them in the BDF raffle. I’ve made posts on this forum in the past attesting to the delight that I’ve experienced with my pipes.
I still enjoy my ebony pipes the same now as then. After two years I’ve experienced no problem with cracks, warped drones, or loose mounts or ring caps. They’re still a dependable set of pipes that sound good to me. However, since the report last year about them being MIM pipes and Morton’s disappearance from all of the Vendor sites as well a
Sponsor on this site did have me wondering if my pipes were made elsewhere. I still don’t know who or what to believe. All I can believe is that I like the sound that comes from my pipes. They are still a delight to play. I have no reason to doubt that there are many people out there who has received poor pipes with the Morton name on them. I also have no reason to doubt that are many people who have received good pipes with the Morton name on them. I will say however that I am not as proud an owner of Morton pipes that I once was since all this speculation came about. It’s been kind of a downer to know that you’re happy with a set of pipes that many pipers feel are crap. Oh well, I guess the sound of the pipes, good or bad, should dictate my satisfaction instead of the reputation of the Maker, good or bad.

Josh Cooper
07-13-2008, 02:03 AM
I have recieved quite a few e-mails last couple of days about my Morton Pipes. Some wanted pics, some wanted dimensions some offerd opinions. 1 or 2, I have no idea what they wanted..
After carefull review by many concerned folks, the "true" maker of my pipes has been narrowed down to about 5 makers (7 if you count hakim din and jet) or possibly Scott Morton.


I did get 2 e-mails basicly telling me the same thing, from different sources, that alot of what is going on with Morton Bagpipes and the whole MIM thing has alot to do with some business relationships that went sour a while back and is totally B.S. One e-mail went on to explain how some big people in the bagpipe world are sitting back and not defending Scott, because it is better for their business not to. of course all just opinions.

I learned all sorts of things about who engraves silver and who does'nt who turns pipes who does'nt blah blah blah.

Interesting reads. When I offerd up my pipes to show them off I meant that I like them, so of course you will too....
not to get myself involved in the cloak and dager world of the GHB, and all the conspiricy theories that go along with it.

I went and played my pipes this afternon, and I think they sounded exceptionally good...So I thought F-yeah theese Pipes Rock! I bought them From Scott Morton because I liked the sound of his product. Still do, that's that. No loss of joy.
Buzz wont be killed.

Best
Josh

gatormac
07-13-2008, 04:04 AM
It’s been kind of a downer to know that you’re happy with a set of pipes that many pipers feel are crap.

I don't think you should feel bad in any way about your pipes. I kind of think that you and others are missing the point. Nobody is saying that there were never any good pipes produced by this company. Ringo even said his first Morton set was very good. Whoever made them, there were evidently some good ones. That is usually the case in these kind of things- some good production that generates interest and purchases, followed by scam or just bad business practices and poor quality. Those with good reputations have earned it by working hard and producing consistently good products, year after year.

I don't think there is a problem with farming out this kind of thing, as long as you are honest about it, and also ensure what you are selling is of good quality. However I would say that anyone who secretly farms out to a maker in central asia, and then charges standard prices, is being dishonest, to say the least. There may be a day when decent quality comes out of that region, but to date it is only known for low quality products that have frustrated the efforts of many a beginner.

I've heard enough comments by reputable pipers, who also tend to promote makers in their own hemisphere, that I would have reservations about future purchases from this maker. In the world of business, any type of business, you usually reap what you sow.

Wulls
07-13-2008, 06:41 AM
After carefull review by many concerned folks, the "true" maker of my pipes has been narrowed down to about 5 makers (7 if you count hakim din and jet) or possibly Scott Morton.

Jim Wallace has posted above that his company (Jet Engineering) has never supplied bagpipes to Scott Morton.

Troy Guindon
07-13-2008, 06:50 AM
Just to set the record straight, I do believe that there are a number of pipers out there with great sounding pipes that bear the Morton name, just as there are a number of poor sounding sets that bear his name as well.

Can it not be as simple as this: the quality of the Morton pipe is directly related to who Scott might have been using to turn some (or all?) of his pipes at any given time? It would appear as if there are some really good pipes that bear his name, so I think those individuals have every reason to be proud of their pipes.

In Scott's post he stated that he shut down his website, but it looks to me as if it actually expired!

He also stated that he has repaired hundreds of pipes for free. Folks, that is a lot of pipes! Given that, where are those hundreds of happy pipers who got great, free service from Morton Bagpipes? Surely they should all be defending the company here. Further, don't you think that even one of those
"hundreds," who owe Scott a debt, have been to his shop?

He also mentioned that he drives 130 miles to help out a band that cannot afford an instructor. What is the name of this band? Where are they located? Why aren't any of these students who are getting free lessons chiming in?

Also, why haven't the three pipe makers who got free lathes from Scott chimed in?

I'm personally finding it hard to believe that although Scott has provided free service to hundreds of pipers, drives 130 miles to give free lessons, donated 3 wood lathes suggesting that his shop has new, state-of-the art equipment no one is chiming in!

Further, we now have almost 3000 people who have read my question about seeing Scott make a set of pipes or have seen his shop. Are they all refusing to say something because one guy thinks it is the right thing to do?

Last, I think we can all assured that Scott is reading these posts. Why has he not just provided the address of his shop?

countrypiper
07-13-2008, 05:05 PM
we have a saying out here amongst the dust and flies - if it smells like it, looks like it, and sticks to your shoe like it - then don't taste it - because it probably is what it seems to be -you have to trust your own senses - so if the pipes look like MIMs, sound like MIMs and are made like MIMs - then don't buy them - on the other hand, if they look OK, sound OK and are well made, then there is no problem - regardless of the brand on the ticket.

macdaddy65
07-13-2008, 10:55 PM
Well, I guess I am about as confused as I was when this thing started. I guess there is no definitive answer to the mystery that is Scott Morton. I guess one could call the RCMP, see if they could bust out a "Mr. Big" operation on the guy, whatever, or get in touch with IC3.gov and file some kind of complaint if one felt the Internet had been used to defraud anyone. Maybe those cats could get to the bottom of it...but I
doubt they would care.

Maybe the truth will never be definitively known on this one. Except for a couple of his business acquaintances, nobody who really KNOWS the guy has jumped on here and given us any more info. Major props to Ringo and Lewis for giving us part of their stories!! Still, the guy has dealt with more people in the biz than just these two cats, eh??

I can appreciate the "conspiracy theory" comment from Josh. Someone in this told me with all confidence that Morton had his stuff made by Jet. Jet comes on and says they don't work with the guy. Why would they lie? No reason to, as far as I can see.
Once these things get started, I guess they take on a life of their own, eh? Theories are past off as facts and then, BAM!!,
confusion reigns.

Maybe there are some lessons in all of this:

1)Make sure you get what you want.
2)Make sure you get a receipt for what you got. Can someone tell me why some bagpipe people don't like receipts?
3)Make sure there is a paper trail of all your activities with
the person with whom you are dealing.
4)Maybe pay with a credit card? Seems like the guys in this situation who used credit cards at least had some options
to try!!

I am sure there are more you can add.

You know, when the coffin flies break in and our bodies start to turn to liquid, this ain't going to amount to very much. Too bad
we have had to deal with it this long. If these Forums would have fostered a sense of open, candid discussion earlier, I guess some people would have been saved some grief. But that is all in the past now. 3000 hits and we are still no closer to knowing what the truth is. I suspect we will never know the whole story.

Last year, I won my second ever Piobaireach competition with
my Mortons. The big names were out there, but the Mortons, with their funky caps, cracks, mis-matched combing, not exactly smooth bores, and all took the day. Go figure. Maybe there is even a lesson in that somewhere.

I am going to TRY not to worry about Morton so much anymore. Hey, this is cutting into my practice time!!!

Brent Lowrie
07-14-2008, 07:42 AM
Yes, I must admit feeling done-in there for a while thinking perhaps I had been duped and had been playing a set of MIMs for five years, winning prizes, showing them off and all along looking the fool.

Then I gave my head a shake. I have been playing pipes too long to be fooled and think back to a weekend where I won a grade 1 MSR with Andrew Bonar of SFU judging, a Grade 1 Jig/ Hornpipe with Terry Lee judging and a Senior Piobaireachd judged be Alan Walters and I had to smile... at least "My" Morton's aren't shyte. They were all impressed with the Sound and made a point of checking them out.Why should I be so self-absorbed over my pipe.

Best to you all and whoever made my pipes (I believe it to be Scott Morton himself). Think I'll go play my pipes to cheer myself up.

Troy Guindon
07-14-2008, 09:09 AM
Brent,

I'm of the belief that Scott had, at times, some very talented, North American turners (and possibly others) making pipes for him.

While you may have great pipes (based on your own testimony and that of the judges you mention), where the doubt lies for me is whether or not Scott (himself) made them.

You're right in that the important thing is you have great-sounding pipes, but I'm curious as to why some are so adamant about the idea that Scott turned the pipes himself.

Is there something you know that the rest of us don't? Have you seen him make pipes? Have you been to his shop? Do you at least know where it is?

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but what explanation might you have for the fact that no one has yet admitted to seeing him make a bagpipe, or has been to his shop, or Scott's unwillingness/reluctance to provide its address?

With all due respect, what is it that is causing you to cling to the notion that Scott made the pipes himself? I'm really just curious here.

Richard Mao
07-14-2008, 09:19 AM
Brent,

..........
Is there something you know that the rest of us don't? Have you seen him make pipes? Have you been to his shop? Do you at least know where it is?

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, .....................


Troy,

Not as a moderator..... but as a reader of this thread.....

I am wishing you would stop "cross examining" over and over and over again other members of this forum for their postings.....

beating a dead horse indeed.... you've made the request so much more than once.... in my opinion, you are coming across antagonistically to each of these members.... and seem to have an axe to grind and regrind and ... and publicly re-posting and re requesting and re challenging...

I acknowledge.... you have the right/privilege ..... but please.... take your persistence PRIVATE, please...

with exhausted regard...

Richard Mao

Troy Guindon
07-14-2008, 10:46 AM
Richard,

Wow!

I did not think my questions were being taken as a "cross-examination" versus being part of a discussion, and based on Brent's comments I felt the need to ask him the question directly as I thought perhaps he might know a little more than the rest of us.

If I am coming across as a lawyer doing a cross examination, then I do aplogize as that wasn't my intent, and for the record I did emphasize that my question was "with all due respect," and that it was simply out of curiosity.

Further, if anyone else thinks I was being antagonistic, then I apologize for that as well.

Richard, perhaps such a mesaage from you might be better sent privately as well....

Troy

Reid_
07-14-2008, 11:05 AM
Hey, Brent,
It's your piping not your pipes that win contests. Imagine what you could do if you upgrade your pipes.

There's nothting wrong with Brents pipes. I had the pleasure of hearing them first hand. Great sound / tone.

Brent Lowrie
07-14-2008, 11:46 AM
Troy, you do seem a little antagonistic. Sorry to break it to you.

I believe Scott made my pipes because he said he did and I have no reason to doubt his word. We spoke over the phone many times and at length about many things. He has never done anything that would make me doubt or question his honesty so when he says he made them, I believe he did. Just the kind of guy I am I guess.

Hey Reid, how are things in Cowtown? Thanks for the backup. Best of luck to you guys at Calgary/Canmore. Say hi to all for me.

Troy Guindon
07-14-2008, 11:48 AM
Brent,

It wasn't my intention to, so I do apologize for that.

Take care, and enjoy your pipes!

Troy

Reid_
07-15-2008, 07:58 AM
Troy, you do seem a little antagonistic. Sorry to break it to you.

I believe Scott made my pipes because he said he did and I have no reason to doubt his word. We spoke over the phone many times and at length about many things. He has never done anything that would make me doubt or question his honesty so when he says he made them, I believe he did. Just the kind of guy I am I guess.

Hey Reid, how are things in Cowtown? Thanks for the backup. Best of luck to you guys at Calgary/Canmore. Say hi to all for me.

Any time Brent. Doesn't John play either CR or Morton's? Which ever one's they are they too are a great sounding set of pipes. Cowtow is the same as it was when you left just more expensive :lol:. Things are good out there. How you been?

Scott A. Morton
07-15-2008, 07:55 PM
I have been contacted by a number of members to inform me that other forum members are harassing them because they have written good things about our company. I am amazed and disappointed in so many people who have personal and professional interests that have been to my shop, waited while I turned a piece for them. Others who are close friends of mine, I have told to stay out of this bloody mess.
Professionals of this forum who sent me all their pipes that were sent out for repair to another firm and got them back unplayable. I fixed the pipes sent them back to him …playable and nicely playable. The makers who constantly phone me for advice because they were having trouble with their dimensions or production. The makers that I have helped out locating a supply line, introducing them to my suppliers. Of course I did not make every pipe or performed every repair. I may have not have been overly diligent ensuring quality upon leaving the shop; this is something that I aim to rectify.

I will address only some of the posts and misinformation:
Flemming: The only time I heard that you were canceling the order was when the credit card company reversed the D/P. Over a period of months I contacted you repeatedly by email and telephone, sent you several pictures of your pipe in all stages of production. Oh…our ebony…I have sold, given away trunks or cut pieces to pipemakers and suppliers. They have more than praised it.
Ringo: Our records indicate that you have never sold one of our pipes. You also indicate you measured our pipe.
Troy Guindon: You picked up pipes at our cottage. I am married and have four children.
As I informed you and David Marshall can verify. We only hand rubbed your pipe and cleaned the silver. Your pipe was never on the lathe; it was never in our shop. Dave brought it over and together we meticulously hand polished the external pipe. We never touched your bores! You are more than welcome to come to our shop when we restart, as is everyone. How much more crap or enticing do you want to do here Guindon. See you at the games!
Shawn: I did not personally refit that Japanese bagpipe. I do recall that the bores were off, the pieces were warped and several other issues. It took an extensive amount of time to refit the pipe. We did not overcharge: ½ engraved sterling silver with moose antler mounts, machine off the old mounts, make a new stock for the pipe due to a cracked stock, fit the new mounts, polish the pipe and ship it back. We charged $2600.00 CDN. The silver alone costs near enough $2000.00

CaledoniaRoad Instruments made other woodwind bodies for a number of companies. I was part owner buying into it. One of the reasons we decided that Morton Pipes should be let go is that the break from CR instruments was not clear enough; hence Morton Bagpipes was just that in name and a division of CR Instruments. We turned on wood and CNC lathes located in premises that rented in Bolton,Ont.
Over the last eight months I have mucked around with profiles and experimented. I have not found one yet that I am 100% sold on.
We have made pipes out of almost every wood on the market. We designed and built pipes from photographs, all custom. I have used Canadian Maple, Impregnated Maple, Mopane, Katalox, Lignum, Kingwood and Cocobolo. . We made tons of Delrin pipes and chanters. I have always been supportive of every maker; I think it is irresponsible to slander another maker. The Scots pipes, American and Canadian pipes….CNC or not… are all finely made and produce quite a good sound.
I have no more time for this; I am playing for the pleasure of it once again, working extremely hard to support my family as all you folks do.
As I said when I open up independently this time. All are welcome to visit. The website will have videos of the shop and the turning.
I truly know quite a bit that could ruin the reputations of a lot of businesses here, in particular where a lot of products are produced. I would never do that because being in this game since I was nine, I respect piping too much.
I hope to God the moderators shut this subject; this is truly out of hand with terrible accusations and hearsay. I thought this board was above this. I will no longer respond to this post as it is a slinging match.
Scott

Chris Hamilton
07-15-2008, 09:24 PM
I do believe there's not much more to be said here. So, I am closing this thread. Whatever the veracity of it all is, time to move on.

Chris