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

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
Rich MacNeill
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Default Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

Hi, I have a set of Campbell and Grainger pipes and I am having difficulty finding a set of drone reeds that will work well and have a mellow sound. The reed seat is narrow making it difficult to seat the reeds also. Does anyone have any experience with drone reeds in Campbell and Graingers, that you might be able to suggest a particular set of drone reeds for them?
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
RakesOfMallow
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

What I am going to recommend is controversial, but well supported by many more experienced players. Purchase a tapered hand reamer and ream out the reed seats enough to accommodate most drone reeds. I couldn't tell you the exact diameter of the hole, but it was large enough to fit an Ezee drone reed in the seat solidly.

I had the same problem with a set of Hardies, the reed seats were very small. I reamed them out and was able to plug in a set of Kinnairds. The difference was night and day. The reeds wouldn't fall out into the bag, and because I was able to get them in tighter, they tuned in a much better spot on the pin.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:05 PM   #3
OldPipes
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

Rich:
I have a 1948 set of G&C pipes and I bored out the reed seats with a tapered reamer, plugged in a set of Selbie reeds and viola. The pipes are very easy to reed and have excellent tone. I have used Wygents, EZDrones and Selyies but have settled on the Selbies. Excellent harmonics with my Gibson, Dunbar or MacCallum chanters. I don't know what vintage your pipes are but boring the reed seats worked great on mine.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

I would agree that boring out the reed seats would probably be your best option, but if you don't want to alter your pipes I can recommend my own cane drone reeds.

I make different sized tenor drone reeds. If you have a small bore pipe or a small reed seat I use the smaller diameter tenor drone cane that I have and it works very well.

My website address is below if you're interested.

Shawn
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
JRM
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

If the reed seats are too narrow to accomodate synthetic reeds, you have no choice but to ream them. It's quite simple and safe to do so and won't affect the tone. You don't say what reeds you have tried already. You might want to try ezeedrone, Canning, Kinnaird. It's been years since I've heard G&C pipes, but I don't seem to recall that they were particularly mellow sounding. I could be mistaken.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
Piperguy416
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

I heartily recommend Apps cane drone reeds, they sound amazing in my '69 G&C drones. If you want a good synthetic option, I've been running MG reeds for quite a while and they sound good too and are very, very stable. My bass drone tends to run toward the mellower side with both of these kinds of reeds, and I've read that this is somewhat typical for G&C bass drones. My reed seats are not reamed.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:26 PM   #7
MacDhughaill
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

After having played G&C for decades they do tend to be more mellow ( as compared to the MacLellans that I now play) Nice tone but not booming-- I believe that they best reed that I ever played in them were Rockets. I would say the Rockets that I had made for the G&C were a better then the Rockets I play in my MacLellans. (which in themselves are very good)

I never reemed the reed seat and never had a problem with reed fitting --- I would tie a little hemp and make sure the reed was tethered to the drone-- so it would not fall into the bag.

Get Rockets if you can. Before the rockets I was using Henderson Harmonics ( red) they were good as well.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:05 AM   #8
jsragman77
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

G&C pipes from when?? Some (the earlier ones I think) have nominally sizes bores and there are others possessing very narrow bores.

The stocks on the narrow ones are barely .700 - Yikes!

You can ream the seats and bores, somewhat, on the narrow drones to accept a wider range of reeds. If you ream the stocks to, say, 25/32, you'll have to add so much hemp the drone will likely lean one way or the other in the stock because of the big wad of hemp. Makers match stock bores and tenons.

If the G&C pipe has nominal bores, you can find synthetic reeds to suit, like Balance Tone or EZ tenors with a Kinnaird bass. If the pipe is one with narrow bores, narrow cane - like Shawn wrote.

Mark
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:57 PM   #9
Rich MacNeill
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

I have reamed the tenors and left the bass seat alone, the drones are seating well now.
I have tried balanced tone, Shepherd Sm90's, and Ezdrones. I am currently using a borrowed set that I cannot figure out whose they are. They are ok, but I will need to return them eventually. I am going to try a few of your suggestions for reeds. At least you have narrowed down the options. The Sm90's have worked the best so far, but they are louder more brassy I think would be the best way to describe them. I am looking for a more mellow sound.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Drone reeds for G&C Pipes?

Quote:
G&C pipes from when??
I got my G&C brand spanking new in 1976. I would have to dig them out to determine the measurements---I forget the exact when I got the Rockets-- I would say roughly 7 years ago. They were,for me, the best reeds I ever played in them. A close second was the mid- 1980's Ross reeds--
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