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

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View Poll Results: Which is which?
#1 Poly #2 Blackwood 9 40.91%
#1 Blackwood #2 Poly 13 59.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-01-2017, 07:26 AM   #21
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

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Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
It seems like if the chanter could impact our perception of the drones, then the sound of the drones would change with each note. That is, if low A made the drones sound a certain way, then E should make them sound different. But the drones sound pretty uniform through each recording.
I think drones influence the chanter more than the reverse but there is still an impact on both.

Here are some interesting experiences I've had with different drones over the years.

1. Naill - with my old set of 1985 ebony Naills they had such a strong E harmonic that whenever you'd hit E on the chanter the drone harmonics would interact in a very different way than the rest of the notes on the chanter. It was very odd and if the tuning was just right you'd get this incredible ringing sound above your head that filled the room and sounded like it was roving about the ceiling. What's interesting to note is that in recordings of top pipers playing Naill's you can hear this same effect. Most notably in some of Jack Lee's older recordings.

2. Atherton MacDougall copies (MD's) in ebony as well - with that set the drones had such a strong B harmonic that when you would hit a B on the chanter you'd almost swear the drones were tuned to B they interacted so strongly.

Different chanters played with the same drones can have a much different sound. This is why I posit that one can hear the difference in chanter material based on the way the drones interact harmonically with said chanter. Yes it is very subtle, and honestly either of the chanters played in Patrick's sound clips in my opinion could be played to a very high standard. Nothing wrong with either of them but yes they do have a difference in sound.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:01 PM   #22
bob864
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Perhaps we can still conclude that there's just not a whole lot of difference between these two chanters, regardless of flawed recording technique?
That's my conclusion based on what I can hear.

The same results as my two Soutar chanters.

My takeaway is that if I were shopping for chanters, I'd buy poly until I found the one I liked, and then get ABW.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:51 PM   #23
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

#1 is blackwood, #2 is poly
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:09 PM   #24
Jared Loch
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

Fascinating! Thank you for doing this Patrick, I feel I've learned something here. Cheers.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

Thanks Patrick. Again, I'd love to hear them in person. My mailing address is..............
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:43 AM   #26
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

You're welcome Jared.

Charlie, I made it to the ABQ games this year as I joined WUSPBA and plan to again next year and hopefully a CO games at some point. If so, I'll bring them both (if I remember).
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:29 PM   #27
bob864
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
#1 is blackwood, #2 is poly
Interesting. I picked the 2nd chanter as having a slightly "more aggressive" tone.

Not that it has any real relevance to the current discussion, but I got a new microphone yesterday and it's interesting how much different my chanter sounds with the new mic compared to the old.
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:41 PM   #28
Green Piper
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
You're welcome Jared.

Charlie, I made it to the ABQ games this year as I joined WUSPBA and plan to again next year and hopefully a CO games at some point. If so, I'll bring them both (if I remember).


Sweet! It'd be great to see you some CO games. I have thought about competing in ABQ next year too!

It's funny because ABW has been selected as a great tonewood. However, I do sometimes wonder if most of us could really differentiate between ABW and poly, all things else being equal.

Maybe your recordings conceal detail, maybe there's no real difference, or maybe Murray has two quality products?

Charlie
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:27 PM   #29
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter, Can you hear the difference?

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Maybe your recordings conceal detail, maybe there's no real difference, or maybe Murray has two quality products?

Charlie
There is no doubt in my mind that at least the last is true.

I don't guess there's any chance you'll be in Le Veta, CO Sept. 21-24 for the Spanish Peaks Celtic Music Festival/Smallpipe Workshops with Tim Cummings and Ben Miller? I'm driving up Thursday and leaving Sunday.

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Old 09-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #30
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Default Re: Poly or Blackwood Chanter: Can you hear the difference?

I have been tempted by the La Veta workshop for a while. The trick is getting away for the weekend.

Charlie
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