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Old 06-26-2019, 11:41 AM   #1
Greenpipe
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Default Wygent drone reeds

My band went to a Bflat chanter for parade season. Not wanting to mess with my painstakingly set tenor drone reeds for playing at 480, I dug up a pair of Wygents from the bin, and set them up for 466 with a quarter inch of hemp showing on the pins. Nice sound out of the tenors. (My bass tuned at 2 inches up on the bottom pin so it's OK.

I remember these reed being sensitive to moisture when I last played them nearly 30 years ago, but this was before effective MC Systems. I now use a Moose valve with a Trapdri. Does anyone still play Wygents and could chime in on this?
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:18 PM   #2
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

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Originally Posted by Greenpipe View Post
My band went to a Bflat chanter for parade season. Not wanting to mess with my painstakingly set tenor drone reeds for playing at 480, I dug up a pair of Wygents from the bin, and set them up for 466 with a quarter inch of hemp showing on the pins. Nice sound out of the tenors. (My bass tuned at 2 inches up on the bottom pin so it's OK.

I remember these reed being sensitive to moisture when I last played them nearly 30 years ago, but this was before effective MC Systems. I now use a Moose valve with a Trapdri. Does anyone still play Wygents and could chime in on this?
When I was playing Bb years back I had drone reed extenders and reed set screws far out it was a pain. The lower pitched sound is nice once your ears adjust to it though. I notice that it's now a lot easier to get Bb chanters and even reeds that adjust to Bb. Seems every maker now produces one where there were only a few makes several years ago and you needed reed extenders.

Wygents were such a good design that to this day Ezeedrone's shameless copy of them are considered the gold standard of synthetic drone reeds. I use a Moose valve as well and have the Trapdri if needed (but not installed since I haven't had issues so far). Are you worried your Wygents will cut out from moisture?
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:00 PM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

I utilize MG reed extenders....remove the existing pitch screw from your ,say, 480 set up and screw in these ca 1”long extension “tubes“ with their own pitch screw. Now plug in your Bb chanter and you’re done..just a tich of final fine tuning on the pins. Pretty innovative widget in my book. MG does it again.

MG also make drone top Bb extenders....but I think they might be iffy to the extent of not necessarily fitting the bush of xxx pipes.

these tube thingys however are great..as long as you’re not encumbered with MCS cups at the stock bottoms.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
I utilize MG reed extenders....remove the existing pitch screw from your ,say, 480 set up and screw in these ca 1”long extension “tubes“ with their own pitch screw. Now plug in your Bb chanter and you’re done..just a tich of final fine tuning on the pins. Pretty innovative widget in my book. MG does it again.

MG also make drone top Bb extenders....but I think they might be iffy to the extent of not necessarily fitting the bush of xxx pipes.

these tube thingys however are great..as long as you’re not encumbered with MCS cups at the stock bottoms.
Do these only fit MG drone reeds? I'm wondering if they would fit the tuning screw on a Henderson Deluxe reed.
Do they change the sound of the reed (other than merely lowering the pitch)? I found that the reed extenders that you hemp up and insert between the reed and the drone don't work well for me, they add some weird harmonic I don't like. Somehow.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:38 PM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
Do these only fit MG drone reeds? I'm wondering if they would fit the tuning screw on a Henderson Deluxe reed.
Do they change the sound of the reed (other than merely lowering the pitch)? I found that the reed extenders that you hemp up and insert between the reed and the drone don't work well for me, they add some weird harmonic I don't like. Somehow.
I know they fit EZ drone reeds and MG carbon reeds,..they do ( did) not change the tone ..only the pitch.
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:56 AM   #6
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
Do these only fit MG drone reeds? I'm wondering if they would fit the tuning screw on a Henderson Deluxe reed.
Do they change the sound of the reed (other than merely lowering the pitch)? I found that the reed extenders that you hemp up and insert between the reed and the drone don't work well for me, they add some weird harmonic I don't like. Somehow.
This is an odd thing to ask since literally just today I was comparing my MG White Mamba reeds with Henderson Deluxe and Armstrong X-Treme reeds. The Henderson Deluxe and the Mambas were so similar that out of curiosity I swapped the tuning screws.


Will the MG extenders screw in? Absolutely. I can 110% confirm that the screws are identical in thread pitch and can be screwed into either set as if it were its own. The threading on the Henderson Deluxe are also tapped all the way from to the hole opening so there is a lot of adjustment. Will they lower the pitch? More than likely. Will they make the Henderson Deluxe play oddly?



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Old 06-28-2019, 05:21 PM   #7
DapperDan
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

Interesting.

I don't have an MG reed to compare to, but the screw from a Henderson Carbon fiber reed does not fit an Ezeedrone. If and EZee fits an MG though... I'm missing something. If I want to be a total nerd I'll take my tuning screw to an auto parts shop that has a thread counter, and see if I can get the specs of the MG extenders before buying them. Would be nice to use the same reeds.

From those pictures, I'd say they're all getting their carbon fiber material from the same place.

For the OP, I can confirm that Balance Tone Bb flat reeds work as advertised. You can get them to Bb with the drones tuned where you want on the pins. I'd like to hear your band!
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Old 06-29-2019, 12:50 AM   #8
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Wygent drone reeds

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
Interesting.

I don't have an MG reed to compare to, but the screw from a Henderson Carbon fiber reed does not fit an Ezeedrone. If and EZee fits an MG though... I'm missing something. If I want to be a total nerd I'll take my tuning screw to an auto parts shop that has a thread counter, and see if I can get the specs of the MG extenders before buying them. Would be nice to use the same reeds.
I have all of these reeds, I'll just try Ezeedrone screws in the MG and/or Henderson tomorrow and let you know.

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
From those pictures, I'd say they're all getting their carbon fiber material from the same place.
Keep in mind they are all Scottish makes so they're all probably sharing the same suppliers which would also explain why their body materials are so similar in dimension and type. Considering that the Henderson and MG screws fit each other and that the bodies of the X-Treme, Deluxe, and White Mambas are all very close in milling and material I would gather they spend a lot of time using the same parts or techniques.
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