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hercules
10-11-2005, 11:46 PM
Does anyone has any comment on the quality of McCallum Bagpipes. I mean the quality of the ABW and plastic, and etc.

I own one, but recently, the mouthpiece broke away from the blowpipe. The nickel part on the mouthpiece was also faded.

On examined, I realised that the mouthpiece was made very thin. And looking all over the stocks, including internal stocks, I realised that the wood is thinner than my friend's. Ths bagpipe has been with me for about 3 years now. If this thread would able to post pictures here, I would like to have pictures here to show you guys for comments.

I hear people telling me that McCallum Bagpipes are not hand-machine-made, but through a process of automatic machinery. I wonder if this is true.

I agree that the MaCullum are very well made and priced very reasonably. The sound quality are well accepted. But I am wondering how long can this bagpipe lasts?

Robin Beck
10-12-2005, 02:37 AM
Is that that can of worms I smell, or is just a 'Jar of Slugs'?

CWRoberson
10-12-2005, 12:45 PM
This is a valid question and not the same as "what kind of pipes do I buy". He honestly questions how much longevity can one expect and has personal experience to indicate that McCallums may not be long lasting.

How long do pipes last? Do some companies typically produce more durable pipes than others? People could easily state their personal experiences without making a statement about the vendors line of merchandise as a whole.

SerialKilter.
10-12-2005, 03:11 PM
so far I have had mine for 5 years. Not a problem yet. Had to replace mouthpiece once but thats it. Occasional a ferrule will come lose but no biggie. Just apply adhesive and im fine.

I fully expect mine to last longer then me.

Aaron M
10-12-2005, 03:20 PM
Yup, I don't see why mine won't last a long time. Treat them well and you'll have them for ever! I really like my McCallums...

Funkee Munkee
10-12-2005, 03:34 PM
I agree Aaron.

Hercules, I don't know your particular situation - so please don't take this personally.
I have to comment though, that I have seen the way guys take care of their pipes...and then when something goes wrong, poof....the comments show here or they are griping at practice about cracks, breakage, and chips.
I know there are some valid situations...however I feel for the pipe makers / vendors for having to "make right" for some issues which are not theirs.

Originally posted by Aaron M:
Treat them well and you'll have them for ever!

d4g77
10-12-2005, 04:07 PM
I also have a set of McCallums, although they are only 6 months old, I have had no problem, apart from a small scratch on the blowpipe, which was done during manufacture.

McCallum were so helpful, being 6'2", they sent me 3 different length blowpipes to get the right one.

I think there is a 2 year warranty on them, but I would try writting to McCallum with images of what has happened and see if you can get some advice directly from them.

John Chambers
10-12-2005, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by CWRoberson:
How long do pipes last? A long time. I just got a set of David Glen's made in 1880, and as soon as I re-hemp them and put them in a bag they should be great. I'm sure they have another hundred years on them, at least.

Now, the McCallums - I haven't noticed that the plastic is any lighter than that on my other pipes (MacLeod and Dunbar). The mouthpieces seem to be about the same as far as I can tell.

I looked at the thickness of the wood on my stocks (and upper tenor/bass sections etc.), and they all seem to be very similar. Considering that the outside diameter of most stocks are very similar (and they all fit nicely in synthetic bags), I'll venture a guess and say that the difference in the thickness of the wood could well be influenced by the internal bore of the pipes.

Actually the stocks on my McCallums (AB4's) look to me to be exactly the same dimensions as the 1900 Henderson stocks that are on my Glens. (judging by eyeball).

My nickel silver tip on the mouthpiece has faded a bit also, while the mounts and other silver still has a nice, bright sheen. I just attribute that to the fact that it's right next to my mouth when I blow, and not to any defect in the metal. I haven't tried polishing it, but I suspect that it will shine right up again.

Anyway, I really like my McCallums (as you can probably tell). Other than the odd loose chanter sole (repaired in about 5 minutes with some epoxy), I see no problams with the quality of these bagpipes.

They are machine made, as is clearly noted on their website. Stuart McCallum has an engineering background, and Kenny MacLeod is a long-time bagpipe maker, so these guys know what they're doing IMHO. Several top pipers and bands use their products.

Anyway, whether or not you choose McCallum or any other brand, most of the top brands are of outstanding quality and should last longer than you and I. One last point is that we are dealing here with a "natural" product - wood. No matter who makes the bagpipes, it's almost impossible to look at a chunk of wood and tell if it's going to develop a crack or split in the future - that can happen to the absolute best in the world.

Sorry for the rant! just my newbie .02 worth :)

Henderson T
10-12-2005, 05:32 PM
I have a student who has a set of McCallums on order and should be getting them in the next few weeks. I have a question about the hardware, i.e. the ferrules, mounts, ringcaps, and chanter soles: are they threaded on? I saw that a few of you have had a chanter sole come loose or a ferrule come loose or even had to replace a mouthpiece. That has me a little concerned. Firstly, as she's totally stoked over getting them and playing them, I'd hate to see something that in my opinion shouldn't happen occur with her pipes; to me, it'd be a real blow to morale, like paying all kinds of money for a new car and two weeks later something breaks.

Just was curious and sort of wanted to prepare myself for some headaches if the hardware isn't threaded on. Any info. is greatly appreciated.

T

John Chambers
10-12-2005, 06:03 PM
No, the only thing threaded (as far as I know) is the mouthpiece.

I had my chanter sole come loose and sent them an email about it asking what type of glue they used. The answer was epoxy, so I repaired it in just a few minutes and that was that.

While agree that it shouldn't happen, the fact is that it does. What with the changes in humidity, and the voyage from Scotland to here, I've heard of several cases of loose ferrules.

It's no big deal, just be aware that it might happen. Their customer service is top notch, but I didn't want to send my pipes back for something I could easily repair. They sent me a couple of nice T shirts though!

hercules
10-12-2005, 09:40 PM
Guys, thanks for your input.

It just happened that mine got this problem. I was just comparing with my friend's pipes wich has no problem so far. Not even loosen ferrules/mounts due to humidity. His pipes is going to 5th year. I was told that the loosen ferrules/mounts has also go to do with the grade of ABW used.

As I said, if I could post the pictures of my McCallum here, then probably you will understand my points.

Probably, I am just one of the unlucky one.

Kenny Macleod
10-13-2005, 04:06 AM
Hercules,

I'm not quite sure what you are meaning.

The wood on the stocks is basically determined by the ferrulle size. So the outside size,is the same for most makers,we all buy from the same suppliers,and really the internal size only varies very slightly from set to set.

The mouthpiece threads are 9/16 x 30 TPI. Thats not a standard thread size,but is used by a lot of makers. There are a couple of other different sizes used,but it tends to be the TPI ( threads per inch ) that are different.We do use a 9mm bore,which people like for the air flow,but does leave the threaded part a bit thinner.

As has been said,if you look after your pipes,they should last for years,but if you ,or anyone else,has any problems,dont hesitate to get in touch.

I noticed in your previuos posts,you have posted multiple links,in various threads, to a business in Singapore.Its a businees that wanted to sell McCallum Bagpipes,but we had to say no,only because we already had a distributor there.

Is there a connection ?

I'm probably being paranoid,but people have been totally ripped of by a couple of companies,that have gone onto liquidation recently,and the power of the internet is that you can say what you like,even if you have an agenda.

I'm not saying that has happened in this instance,but everyone is going to be more nervous when parting with their hard earned money.If there is a commercial interest,it might be better if it was stated,so that any comments could be viewed in that light.

Kenny Macleod
McCallum Bagpipes

Bayoupiper
10-13-2005, 07:13 AM
I have done a lot of research and have settled on McCallums for my next set.
Actually, my first ABW set.


BP

MichelleB
10-13-2005, 07:52 AM
I'm very please with my McCallums. I had an issue with a stock but Kenny replaced it. It wasn't a problem having to do with the integrity of the manufacturing process. I think it could have happened with any set.

I did have a projecting mount crack but that was the fault of USAirlines and not the manufacturer. :mad:

I'm happy with my purchase and I would certainly purchase the same again if I had a "do-over".

:thumb:

Mustache Joe
10-13-2005, 09:03 AM
The blowstick on my new McCallums developed a crack and Kenny replaced it posthaste. My McCallum practice chanter developed a crack in the upper half and he replaced the whole thing - without me having to send the cracked piece back. With my new chanter he included a 'T' shirt, a towel, a CD, and a book of music. Couldn't have been more generous and accommodating.

As for my pipes, I think they're fabulous and have received compliments from judges and professional pipers for their sound and beauty.

No worries, Hercules. You've got a great product.

Claxon
10-13-2005, 10:23 AM
My McCallum's came with the wrong size blowstick for me from the retail shop I got them at... I emailed Kenny about 6 months down the road after I had given up on trying to 'make it work'. He promptly mailed me out a new blowstick for no charge (something I didn't expect since I was ok to pay for it). I've knew a guy who had the AB4's and the ferrules seemed to come loose, but I didn't see how the guy was treating the pipes (i.e. did he leave them in his car in the winter & summer?) so I can't say whether that is common or not. I personally love my McCallum's and they seem very solid (had them for 2 years now) and the sound is fantastic. Add to that the best service in the business and you've got a winner on your hands. :thumb:

John Chambers
10-13-2005, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Bayoupiper:
I have done a lot of research and have settled on McCallums for my next set.
Actually, my first ABW set.
You'll absolutely love them. Wonderful sound and great looks. If you haven't noticed, there are a LOT of happy McCallum owners hanging around here...

Aaron M
10-13-2005, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by John Chambers:
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Bayoupiper:
<span style="font-weight: bold"> I have done a lot of research and have settled on McCallums for my next set.
Actually, my first ABW set.
You'll absolutely love them. Wonderful sound and great looks. If you haven't noticed, there are a LOT of happy McCallum owners hanging around here... </span></div></div>:thumb:

Aaron M
10-13-2005, 11:51 AM
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/fire_101/worshippy.gif http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/fire_101/worshippy.gif http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/fire_101/worshippy.gif http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/fire_101/worshippy.gif http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/fire_101/worshippy.gif
!!! McCallum Bagpipes !!!

Donald Ross
10-13-2005, 12:09 PM
Some makers will get mixed reviews, and everyone has their favorites, but I have never heard of anyone on these forums complain about, or regret their purchase of McCallum pipes. Also, everyone seems to get good service from them. Hard to imagine you could go wrong with them.

MichelleB
10-13-2005, 12:10 PM
Aaron, that's great. :lol:

Atisha
10-13-2005, 12:19 PM
I can only chime in the praise. Even though I "only" own a plain student set, I couldn't be happier. They may not look as sharp and shiny as one of those high-end full-silver pipes, but for 690 for a blackwood set, I guess I got more than my money's worth. So far, nothing has cracked, no parts have come loose, and with the two-year warranty, I think I'm well on the save side.

Many people have complimented me on the rich, full sound of my pipes and were perplexed to find out I was playing a "low-buget","industrially manufactured" (how shocking :wink: ) set...

Pipin' FF
10-13-2005, 12:21 PM
I had one problem with McCallum.......They put out there "Clasp" edition pipes about 6 months after I bought my AB4's and I would have loved to get the Clasp edition instead :bleh:

Hey Kenny, You guys have a trade-in policy?

Other than that, I have recieved great comments on my pipes from some of the worlds best at seminars :thumb:

John McCain
10-13-2005, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Atisha:
Many people have complimented me on the rich, full sound of my pipes and were perplexed to find out I was playing a "low-buget","industrially manufactured" set... The sound comes through the holes on the inside, not the stuff on the outside.

Best, John

Rafe
10-13-2005, 12:40 PM
I have to admit to having some second thoughts about the AB1's I bought in March. Those engraved AB4 Horn Deluxe in the new catalog look awfully nice. Other than that I've been very happy with the look, sound and service. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McCallums to anyone.

Hey. Post 333. The number of the Half-a-beast.

Curt
10-13-2005, 12:48 PM
I am very impressed with McCallum pipes. I set up a beautiful set for someone in our band. Full silver. Very nice set of pipes and really nice tone. Also, the chanters are really quite good. I have played my McCallum chanter in solo now and again and have gotten very good comments. The best comment was "first rate pipe". Good stuff IMHO. How long can the pipe last? I have a 100+ year old set that I play and I can't see why your McCallums can't last that long. Hope you have kids to hand them down to.

Zebedee
10-13-2005, 11:18 PM
I purchased a set of new AB1's a week ago and am very happy with them except for a cracked bass mid section. The dealer I bought them off is waiting to hear from McCallum to see if they have one in stock otherwise I could be in for a long wait for a replacement to be made.
Other than that they sound and play beautifully.

Frank W
10-13-2005, 11:28 PM
Another happy piper who plays McCallum AB4 Clasp Edition. Being new at this and these are my first set of pipes, I can only say I really enjoy playing them but I've had many experienced pipers say they were very impressed with these pipes. I did get a crack in my blowpipe but it was replaced promtly by the dealer.

I hope they will always remain with my family when I'm no longer able to play.

Tom308
10-14-2005, 06:33 AM
I play a full silver set of AB10"s and love them. Great look, great sound. I plan to pass them on to my grandson who is almost two someday. I've owned them for a couple of years and Kenny has been great. I wanted to get a shorter blowstick to match the set and had no problems.
I would reccommend them to anyone.
Tom308

crawford wilson
10-14-2005, 07:27 AM
my Ab4 Clasp Edition are magnificent. have had a slight problem with the ferrules coming loose, although a little super glue and things are fine. best sounding pipes i've had in over 30 years.

SerialKilter.
10-14-2005, 10:46 AM
I echo the statements above. I love mine. I also had a slight problem with the Ferrules coming loose. I went to ACE hard and bought some strong adhesive and they have not come loose since. That was a few years ago.

Kevin F. Gilstrap
10-14-2005, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Pipin' FF:
I had one problem with McCallum.......They put out there "Clasp" edition pipes about 6 months after I bought my AB4's and I would have loved to get the Clasp edition instead :bleh:

Hey Kenny, You guys have a trade-in policy?

Other than that, I have received great comments on my pipes from some of the worlds best at seminars :thumb: Hey, Rob, I think your pipes are awesome! Don't even think about trading them in! :thumb:

Pipin' FF
10-14-2005, 01:33 PM
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"&gt;quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;&lt;font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"&gt;Originally posted by Kevin F. Gilstrap:
&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"&gt;quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;&lt;font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"&gt;Originally posted by Pipin' FF:
&lt;strong&gt; I had one problem with McCallum.......They put out there "Clasp" edition pipes about 6 months after I bought my AB4's and I would have loved to get the Clasp edition instead :shrug: Why can't I get that response...I thought it was "the pipes make the player", not "the player makes the pipes" :eek: Now I guess I gotta practice more :bleh:

ThugPiper '72
10-14-2005, 04:10 PM
McCallums ROCK!!!! :thumb: :woohoo: