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Old 12-09-2016, 05:18 PM   #1
Rick Pratt
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Default Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

there is a set of Northumbrian pipes by Colin Ross / David Burleigh on E bay.

anyone know abut the quality of David Burleigh pipes?

Regards
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Rick
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: ross / Burleigh

From what little I know Burleigh was perhaps the most prolific NSP maker. Most of the time when I see an old NSP for sale it's a Burleigh set.

Colin Ross is a very fine maker. I used to play a set by him, a beautiful set in D made of boxwood with silver-plated keywork and ferrules.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:35 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

Burleigh produced thousands of sets. They are good but not great, and obviously a second hand set may be in poor condition aside from the construction.

If they are in good nick and the price is right, and you are comfortable working with a set of bellowspipes then you should be able to make headway with them.

Colin Ross is a very fine maker.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:14 AM   #4
Rick Pratt
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

Prolific, so he likely made quite a few pipes. How good were they?

this set includes the Colin chanter and it looks a bit worn. Will one of you folks with experience in NSP have a gander and advise?

The seller knows next to nothing about pipes so is not a source for useful information.

Northumbrian Smallpipes Colin Ross 7 Key Chanter in Yew & Blackwood-Bagpipes




RP

Last edited by Rick Pratt; 12-10-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:41 AM   #5
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

Here's the direct link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Northumbrian...kAAOSwnHZYRVmP

Best wishes.

Steve
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Last edited by Steve Bliven; 12-10-2016 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #6
CalumII
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

They work perfectly well, can be made to play in tune without too much trouble, and don't have major issues. The negatives are things like keys not being as responsive as they could be, the level of decoration not being as high, that kind of thing.

If it's coming with a Ross chanter, that's a positive as the chanter is somewhat critical.

Just looked at the listing - obviously it needs a new reed, but it looks like the seller has plugged the bellows connector into the top of the chanter. It looks like everything's there.

Note that Northumbrian pipes don't command high prices (I really don't understand how their makers make a living), so don't be tempted to overpay for them.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

I commissioned Colin Ross to make a set of D smallpipes for me. That was back in the early 1980s. The pipes are beautiful work of art, the drones instantly lock and sound wonderful. I have one key on the chanter for a high e.
After all these years...no issues with wood or workmanship.

I bought these to play with Celtic ensemble groups I played with. The chanter was spot on for tuning.

Why did I choose Colin? Simple, I asked smallpipes players who they thought was the best.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

I saw that listing and in a nutshell I thought the buyer would get a brilliant chanter and serviceable drones.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:26 AM   #9
Rob_Say
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Pratt View Post
there is a set of Northumbrian pipes by Colin Ross / David Burleigh on E bay.

anyone know abut the quality of David Burleigh pipes?
Morning - I didn't respond to this earlier as I had a direct interest in the auction; I rescue non-playing sets and restore them to the playing condition - and as it turns out mine was the winning bid.

David Burleigh was the first professional NSP maker and by far the highest volume maker of NSP. Now retired, he set out in the 1970s with the explicit aim of making NSP more widely available - and his pipes were designed and made to this end, many components were externally sourced / pre-machined. For almost 40 years the only sets of pipes you could get 'now' were made in Longframlington. Musical and construction quality is variable - and both usage and age are factors. I've seen everything from 'fire wood' to 'very good'.

Colin Ross makes individual instruments to order - his instruments are all of the best quality. Every part is hand-made and even those elements that are externally sourced (bag & bellows) are sourced at the highest possible quality.

Only one top NSP player (Adrian Schofield) plays a Burleigh set - and that was custom commissioned (not the standard pattern). I also believe Adrian has applied his own unique stamp on the chanter. A significant proportion of top level NSP players have sets / chanters from Colin.

Since David's retirement the market for NSP has been somewhat in flux - there is no volume producer & David's previous low entry price can't be matched. In fact his pipes now go for more than he charged for them new. The current market price for a fully playing fettled Burleigh 7k F set is 700 - 800.

Colin's sets are highly regarded and rarely come up for sale - the most recent set at auction went for ~2300 (17k F chanter + G chanter) which I regard as a fair price.

The majority of sets on eBay are in unknown playing condition and setting them up will be anywhere from 50 to 500 IF you can find someone to do it for you. (I only work on sets I buy - it's a hobby, I can't work to order). I have passed on a number of sets recently - one I know was a bargain, one I know was a pup. There is another (non-Burleigh) set listed currently at 695 (BIN) which is worth probably half that amount (when fully playing) and which I won't buy at any price.

In respect of the quality of this particular set and based on my skills and resources - the assessment went something like:
- Treat it as 'non-playing', potential for accidental misdescription (e.g. Yew = antique Box?)
- Reeds: dead chanter reed, assume it needs reeding throughout
- Mechanics: Ross chanter is very low risk, drones are low risk, bag is medium risk (I replace 1 in 3 bags on Burleigh sets), bellows are medium (>25yrs old, potential high cost item).
- Case: not listed, every set needs one (and I have a stack of 25 lovely cases in my garage)
- Location: luckily I work in Dublin fairly frequently so can collect

Depending on the above, the refurbished set will either end up going out sometime next year as a very good starter set; or I'll marry the chanter to a better quality set of drones and find a donor chanter to create an entry level set on the back of the Burleigh drones.

cheers

Rob

Last edited by Rob_Say; 12-14-2016 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quality of Ross / Burleigh Northumbrian pipes?

Great post Rob!
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