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

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Old 04-23-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
Matt Willis Bagpiper
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Default Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

Had the chance this week to play test and review the newest drone reeds from Terry Ackland of Canada, and they are great! I compare them with my previous Ezeedrone/Balance Tone set up, including going back and forth between so you can hear the tonal differences.

These reeds are reasonably priced and play great! Thoughts folks might want to learn more. (Not sponsored or anything, just a review):https://youtu.be/wwcFIXnC1mE
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:03 PM   #2
WBpiper
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

Very nice
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:26 PM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

Good video Matt. I appreciate how much more audible the Ackland tenors are. Regarding tuning, it is essential that you keep adjusting the drone until all is nice and smooth. I find them no harder to tune, and in general, easier to tune than many other brands. More than with any other reed, I am tempted to reach up and make sure both tenors are still going only to find they are, they're just so stable it sounds as if one must have surely cut out or never struck in.

I also wanted to make sure everyone understood, in a more public space than my blog, that I have no financial connection to Terry Ackland or his reeds. He simply sought my opinion and being a 36 year old retired (participation) trophy husband with nothing better to do I simply gave Terry feedback on all the prototypes he sent me over the course of a couple years.

Last edited by Patrick McLaurin; 04-23-2020 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:48 PM   #4
olypiper
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

Oh, Patrick!

I'm sure it had more to do with your comprehensive compilation and analysis of drones and drone reeds than your status as a (participation) trophy husband! But I am fond of self deprecating humor.

It sounds like a great reed set to try out, and now that I seem to be in possession of an A 440 chanter, I might have to try the longest ones.

Great job (as usual) on the video, Matt! Keep up the great work.
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:52 AM   #5
Green Piper
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

I have tried a set in my Robertson drones, but not done a huge amount with them. They’re domineering for sure compared with my Ezeedrone/Rocket combo which, to date has given me a drone sound that IMO is “to die for.” In fact, I recently plugged in new Ezee tenor reeds and they were literally “plug-and-play” giving me the steadiness in tone right out of the box. Of course, now they’ve been played a little, a bridle or two may need a slight nudge.

However, back to the Ackland reeds. What I have just said does not make them bad reeds. They’re simply not to my taste - yet! I’ll spend more time with them over the next few months.

For me, it seems reasonable to try different types of reeds especially when they’re as affordable as the Ackland. Maybe I’ll have another play with them over the weekend.
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Old 04-24-2020, 10:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

All the great reviews...vis-a-vis steadiness ,one drone sound, big sound,etc almost make me want to run out and buy a set. Almost.
Then I snap back,recognizing the name reed’s I play already do the same.
So,for me it’s a personal preference for ‘the sound’ with degrees of laziness and frugality,...plus running out of drawer space.
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Old 04-24-2020, 02:38 PM   #7
burp birl
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

2 piping mates and I ordered sets of the 480's and we were going to compare them in our Atherton MacD, Heritage, and Premier model pipes but unfortunately, the COVID nightmare began 2 days before they arrived.


I was able to try mine out in my MacD pipes briefly but I have put them onto the back burner for the time being because at the same time I had received other products that needed my attention (like a new bag replacement for one).



I'm about ready to give the 480 reeds another try. The brief time I did have the reeds in I remember them being very robust AND the tuning pin was a bit too easy to move in and out.



The robust 480 reeds might be a good thing though. One of my new items with my new bag was the Dri Flo System and I have found that the Dri Flo system REALLY affects the drone volume and tone. Perhaps a way around the Dri Flo (the moisture control it gives is 2nd to none) might be to use the 480's and their robust nature to good use and bring life back into the drones with the Dri Flo installed. In the meantime, I'm testing out the Dri Flo capabilities while using few silica beads (half the amount).



Hopefully, I'll get a chance to give the 480's a try this weekend. My other 2 friends who have the 480's are not the most adventurous pipers and probably won't try out the new drone reeds until they can have somebody close by who knows a bit about drone reed manipulation.



Jenni
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Old 04-24-2020, 02:59 PM   #8
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

FWWI, I found the 466 version too robust for my pipes, but I play two sets at about 466 with fairly light chanter reeds. I think they's be killer band reeds, just not suited for what I do.
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Old 04-24-2020, 04:10 PM   #9
magsevenband
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

I ordered both the 466 and 480 sets in early March and had planned to give them a full workout during a busy month of gigs and parades and then post a review, playing them in a set of 83 ABW Kintails with a Shepherd Orchestral chanter, a 1960's era Regimental set of Hardies with an ABW Naill chanter and a poly set of MacCallums with a G1 chanter... then the pandemic happened and all that went by the wayside...all I can say at this point is that they are indeed bold...which is just what I like in my sound...I despise quiet drones...I plan to post a proper review once some time has passed and my performance schedule resumes...very reasonably priced though!
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:02 AM   #10
Randy McIntosh
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Default Re: Ackland 480 Drone Reeds - Play Test, Comparison, & Review!

Has anyone tried them in a set of Naill’s yet?
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