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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 08-03-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
MacTallanambeann
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Default Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Hi all, I recently got this set of pipes from Sourcebagpipes. My wife bought them as a gift for our wedding anniversary as I was mooning over them (something about them kept me coming back to look at them again and again) and she decided they would make a great gift which I am really chuffed about.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150491...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150491...posted-public/

They really are a terrific sounding set of pipes with a tone that is sweet and full of lovely harmonics (the wife describes them as 'old and mellow' sounding) and they tune pretty low. Using Henderson Harmonic deluxe reeds I have to have the adjuster screws full in to get the drone tops up to where I want them on the pins with a reasonably low Naill blackwood chanter.


Now to the questions -

1. Ross at Source tells me that he believes they were made by a turner who formerly worked for Naill, does anyone know who this might be or does anyone recognise the pipes or their style?

2. Ross told me that he believes they are Ebony and Coco bolo anyone know how to tell or is able to tell from the pics?
I am no expert and so have no idea how to tell ebony from African Blackwood although what I will say it that they are a fair bit lighter than my half nickel Henderson PHo1's or my button mounted Naill Dn0's.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:55 AM   #2
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Yes the mounts look like cocobolo.

About the pipes themselves, ebony and ABW are easy to tell apart in person, not so easy from photographs. So I would just be guessing.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 08-05-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:44 AM   #3
magsevenband
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Pakistan comes to mind.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:41 PM   #4
Glenurquhart
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

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Originally Posted by magsevenband View Post
Pakistan comes to mind.
I don't think so. Too well-made, real dark hardwood (not stained), and a special design that would hardly be expected from a pipe made in Pakistan
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:59 PM   #5
MacTallanambeann
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Thank you for that input Glenurquhart. I am pretty certain they are not from Pakistan. I was told by Ross MacKenzie, and I don't see that he had any reason to lie, that they were made by a chap who was involved in hand turning for D. Naill for a friend around 2010. He couldn't or wouldn't tell me more than that. He didn't talk them up and I bought them because they attracted me rather than being sold them. Soundwise they are cracking with a very mellow but full sound! I meant to actually compare them lengthwise against my other 'standard' pipes but I am guessing the drones are actually a bit longer than standard as my Henderson Harmonic deluxe reeds are set to highest pitch to get the drone tops tuning toward the top of the brass slides.

The weird thing for me is that, although I have handled quite a few sets of pipes over the years none have felt 'old' and oddly delicate when I picked them up the way these do which had me wondering if they were actually an old set of pipes that had been re-worked but, against that is that the blowpipe has never had a flapper valve fitted (no groove for it) and has a mouthpiece with a valve incorporated. The other odd thing, and I actually quite like it, is the cord guide level with the tenors on the bass drone.

I have to note that my wife didn't pay an enormous amount for these and I am only interested academically in trying to find out who might have been the maker. Whoever they were they created a really sweet sounding set of pipes.

Last edited by MacTallanambeann; 08-07-2019 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:12 PM   #6
jackhawkpiper97
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

One thing you could try is emailing Naill and seeing if they can provide any insight, or even some very keen/critical eyes to see what all on your pipes is Naill or Naill-inspired.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:51 AM   #7
magsevenband
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackhawkpiper97 View Post
One thing you could try is emailing Naill and seeing if they can provide any insight, or even some very keen/critical eyes to see what all on your pipes is Naill or Naill-inspired.
Jack
Let's see what Naill says indeed.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:14 AM   #8
Bob Harper
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

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Originally Posted by magsevenband View Post
Let's see what Naill says indeed.
I'm glad to hear they're sweet sounding pipes, but the quality of the turning doesn't seem up to Naill standards. In particular, I'm looking at the cord guides, the caps and the ferrules.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:58 AM   #9
MacTallanambeann
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

Ach to be honest it's purely idle interest. It would be nice to know the story of where they came from and who made them but it's by no means necessary for me to enjoy them. I don't doubt that they were made in a shed somewhere, and knowing whether it was by a skilled bagpipe maker or by a hobbyist turner/piper is just curiosity. When looked at closely they clearly are handmade and, while the mounts and caps follow a set pattern, they are not identical. The fact for me is that they are unique, unusual, sound really nice and are a gift for my wedding anniversary from my wife. I spied them on the Sourcebagpipes website and something just kept me returning to them until my wife said "do you like them that much because, if so, I'll buy them for you". When I received them and stuck them in a bag they just fell straight into tune with ease with my Naill's Blackwood chanter.

They are now never going to leave my possession as they have taken on not only sentimental value but they have a great 'feel' to them also and I guess that is what really matters in any set of pipes plus I do rather dig the unusual simple, flat combing, brass slides and the simple elegance of the coco bolo mounts.

Last edited by MacTallanambeann; 08-08-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:09 PM   #10
Bob Harper
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Default Re: Anyone know these pipes, wood? Maker?

I like the flat combing look and the cocobolo wood mounts also. But in the end: as you say, it's all about the sound.
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