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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 10-21-2020, 02:21 PM   #1
jviss
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Default I Need a Practice Chanter

I'm new to all of this, as many of you know. I started recently, using my Dad's George Alexander long PC. I stupidly placed it on the carpet on its sole, and then knocked it over onto one of the heavy metal legs of my Manhasset music stand. The sound of the crack in the top was deafening. And it's getting worse.

I've asked my instructor for advice on a replacement, but he hasn't gotten back yet. I was wondering a few things.

Does anyone make an all-wood PC anymore? I've only been able to find ones with plastic tops online.

Is a long PC O.K., preferred, not desirable, etc.?

I guess this is probably the 100th PC thread, sorry!

jv
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:28 PM   #2
olypiper
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

I believe David Naill makes an all wood PC with a poly lined top.

All of my wood topped PCs are vintage. I think Murray Huggins, Roddy Maclellan, and Strathmore make them, as well.

I have both long and standard sized chanters, and seem to gravitate to the standard size, but there really is no difference in sound, just length.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:28 PM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

I had the cracked wood abw top for my near 50 yr old Hardie chanter replaced earlier this summer by PM Brian Donaldson in MN.
The top had cracked 5-6 years ago..I glued it several times...then finally reached out to Brian.

He made an excellent replacement top for a very reasonable price using very dark abw to match the bottom section and reusing the original ivory ferrule. A perfect match to a second same RGH ivoried chanter I have.
I sent him the top and bottom.

If you want to retain old...get it repaired. Otherwise McCallum and others make excellent pcís. Standard length for me has served well...IMO,..many long chanters hog the table among a band of standard length chanters. I donít know any makes who provide a wood top anymore...even by request. For a Naill wood top with poly insert...I donít get that point.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:21 PM   #4
CalumII
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

Cracks are repairable, and those Alexander chanters are nice - might be worth doing, and possibly less expensive than a wooden replacement.



Naill and Walsh make poly tops with a wood sleeve, which is purely aesthetic, but aesthetics do matter.


I don't honestly think the short v. long thing really matters, certainly not as much as the ink expended on it over the years would suggest. I usually suggest short to my students entirely on cost grounds.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:38 PM   #5
jviss
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

Thanks for the replies so far, folks. My instructor is not only an accomplished piper, but makes pipes, collects PC's, etc. He said he can certainly fix mine, and will drop off a plastic top for me to use in the mean time.

I still want to get another chanter, though. So many choices!

jv
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:59 PM   #6
Toxpert
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

My S/I blackwood chanter from 1986 developed a crack in the top. I sent it off to Dunbar for repair. Rick and his elves did a fantastic job installing a Delrin lining with a threaded mouthpiece into the inside of the cracked blackwood top. They also cosmetically fixed the crack.

From the outside....you cannot tell anything was touched. Inside, it has a trouble-free permanent fix for moisture control. No more cracks.

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Old 10-22-2020, 12:03 PM   #7
Pip01
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

A partial... and my edit...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxpert


Rick and his elves did a fantastic job installing a Delrin lining with a threaded mouthpiece into the inside of the cracked blackwood top.


From the outside....you cannot tell anything was touched.



Inside, it has a trouble-free permanent fix for moisture control.



No more cracks. :thumb:




Greetings to All,

Once and again... kindly allow me to... re-underline... the
extra-ordinary skill... to be found amongst... Rick... and his
Shop Elves!! :)

Whether for repair... or restoration... you... and your pipes...
and your purse... could not be... in better hands!! :)

Quality... and surety... are in every detail... of every action...
that they take... and their results... speak for themselves...

Likewise... the quality... of their pipes and products... is also
to be... highly regarded... and praised!!

Simply have a go... at where... and by whom... their pipes...
and their products... are played... and employed...

And therefore... you... and your purse... can... rest easy... :)

Regards to All,

Pip01




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Old 10-22-2020, 04:22 PM   #8
MichelleB
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my blackwood Naill with the poly top. It has a built-in spit trap, too. Sounds gross but its really good at keeping the reed dry.

I lucked out and got one second-hand at s bargain price. But honestly, after playing it for a while, it's worth the full price.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:34 PM   #9
John Dally
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

FWIW I have owned most of the brands mentioned above, and I hated only one or two of them. I've been playing a full size Colin Kyo for the last few years and love it.
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:04 AM   #10
Glenurquhart
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Default Re: I Need a Practice Chanter

You can certainly have the cracked top repaired and it could be lined with a synthetic tube on the inside.
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