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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 08-09-2018, 10:02 AM   #1
piper Q
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Currently Mississippi, who knows where next
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Default Highland Circus fairylore small pipes, questions.

One of the folks I interact with from time to time was gifted a set of Highland Circus Small Pipes. After looking them over, they seem to be an interesting set up, but I've got questions on numerous aspects of them. After a bit of internet surfing I was able to find a phone number and contact name for the Balston Lake, NY. location. However the Web Site is either dead or under construction.

I'll attempt contacting the gentleman, but in the interim any other input the members here might supply will be appreciated. Even if it may be to mount them in a frame and display them as a conversational item.


The drones and drone reeds appear to be set to 3 different tunings, The Bass drone I think to A, and the two tenors to E and A. as the reeds are differing sizes and the bores appear to be different dimensions. I'd rather know for certain than to make assumptions on that.


The chanter reeds appear similar to some practice chanter reeds, but are long with a very pronounced stem.

Will other small pipe drone and chanter reeds such as Gibson Firesides work in the Fairylores. I really don't want to muck up a set of pipes or reeds on a snipe hunt to make things work if a solution has already been found if it is a case of the manufacturer having stopped producing and parts not being available. That said, I like my Gibson Fire side.

Thank you for any info.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #2
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Highland Circus fairylore small pipes, questions.

My understanding is that they've been out of production for a while. You'll just have to mess around with various reeds and see what goes the best. I believe you're right about the drone tunings (A-e-a).
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:22 PM   #3
J.R.
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Default Re: Highland Circus fairylore small pipes, questions.

You might want to track down Matt Farrigan, the creator of the pipes. Im not sure if hes on social media, but his son Kenny plays with the Schenectady Pipe Band (I think).

I played a set for a few years - very fun to play and nice tone, and worked in session playing. I think there was just a lot of competition when they came out, otherwise they would have been a go-to alt pipe.

As far as fettling, I remember the drone reeds being specific to the pipes, but the chanter reed was basically a PC reed (I think - I seem to recall swapping various broad-blade plastic reeds into it with good effect). Really nice tone for plastic pipes, particularly the bass.

I hope your friend has fun with them - very cool little set there.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
piper Q
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Default Re: Highland Circus fairylore small pipes, questions.

Thank you for the feed back. She's game for using the pipes as a practice goose. Have a safe end to Summer .
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