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

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Old 01-23-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
Flyrod
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Default Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

I have McCallum AB4's with MG drone reeds. They sound fine, but there are other reeds out there that sound much better. I'm looking for a full, rich sound. I've looked through previous posts, but I haven't found anything that really pointed me in a good direction. (Apologies if I overlooked a relevant post.)

So what do you think, forum-mates? Best ideas for best drone reeds?

Thanks.

-Brad
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

There's always cane, the ultimate in a full rich sound. I think I know a good maker.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
Ian the Bagpiper
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Default

I have a set of kinnairds in my pipes although they're not mccallums. But I've heard mccallums with them in them and they sound pretty good.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
theFrenchpiper
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

I have Omega Crozier Carbon tenor reeds & Cane Bass drone reed made by a French Maker called McTy ( Yves Tison) Most of French Piper (Famous or not) used these cane reeds with my McCallum 2009 AB1 deluxe

He only made to order

My sound is ( for me ) Amazing

i think i found the nice drone tone

The Omega reeds are not easy to tune but, when you have find the good tone !!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:56 AM   #5
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

I own a set of AB4s, and I've tried Canning, MG's, Ezee's, Crozier Cane, and full cane. I most definitely like a much fuller, broad, less smooth sound compared to a few of the more focused, two dimensional synthetic reeds I've heard in McCallums.

To that end, I don't think anyone will argue that a full cane setup is able to be bested if you want to achieve that broad rolling, crackling, enveloping full drone sound. What they will argue with you about is what it takes to keep that cane maintained versus popping in a set of synthetics and making a compromise.

So to answer your question, cane drone reeds are what sound best in McCallums. Period. If you aren't able to play full cane or are set on getting synthetics for their mechanical advantages/repeatability, then I've found Crozier Cane to be the best synthetic reed I've ever heard in a set of McCallums. I fiddle with them far less than cane but more than all the other sets I mentioned up above, and it's totally worth it.

William

P.S.- I heard another player with a set of McCallums this past fall that sounded nice. Well integrated, locked in and not overly harsh; I thought they said they were Selbies afterwards.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:46 AM   #6
ABW1
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

I use Kinnairds in my McCallum's. People have asked me more than a few times what drone reeds I am using--they really liked the sound. Sorry, didn't check to see what area you are in, but Willie McCallum is going to be in the New York area. Heard he is approachable. Or you could email the makers and ask them for a recomendation.

take care.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
el gaitero
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABW1 View Post
I use Kinnairds in my McCallum's. People have asked me more than a few times what drone reeds I am using--they really liked the sound. Sorry, didn't check to see what area you are in, but Willie McCallum is going to be in the New York area. Heard he is approachable. Or you could email the makers and ask them for a recomendation.

take care.

a dozen or more of my competing and band students play Selbies in the their McCallum pipes; nary a fault among them; unlike Kinnards ,MG's EZ drones ..with inconsistent tongues causing unequal tuning heights, buzz or double toning.

Good point about Willie McC; I'll be seeing him in Feb at a session I set up for one of my students ...will be good to hear his thoughts on this. I've played EZ's,.. but hardly ;...no matter how much time spent fiddling the bridle to the nanomicro setting they suggest is required...they still double tone ( in my old Hardie pipes...and new McCallums );..I got higher pitched Canning's made up...perfect!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

Cane are the best.

The next best thing I've found is to use Spitfire tenors and a Kinnaird bass reed.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:04 PM   #9
Flyrod
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

Got my Crozier Cane reeds today. For anyone who might not know, they're synthetic, but the tongue is cane. I play McCallum AB4s, and I chose these mainly due to my playing MG reeds for a few months, and deciding that the tone didn't seen quite right. I decided against 100% cane reeds since I didn't want to be fiddling with them all of the time, but I really wanted the cane sound. I plugged the Croziers in and was able to get them snapped in quite quickly. They're very air efficient and adjust easily. The sound is absolutely tremendous! I was wondering how dramatic the switch from carbon to cane would be, and the answer is: it's a very noticeable difference! The Croziers were plenty loud without being overbearing, and the tone is pretty close to perfect to my ear.

I'm pretty happy with the Crozier cane reeds. These sound just like the sound I was hoping for...
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
Mr. Woolery
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Default Re: Recommended drone reeds for McCallum AB4's

I have McCallum pipes and have tried several makes of reeds.

Omegas didn't suit them. Just could not make those reeds happy.

Wasn't happy with Spitfires, either. Tenors worked fine, bass not so much.

Silversonix sounded great, but I could not make them happy at my chanter pressure, they get too honky if I open them enough for my chanter reed to play without shutting off the drones.

Cannings work very well, Ryan Canning has great concern about making sure folks are happy with his reeds, but the sound was just too smooth for me.

Cane were very nice, but whenever I'd have to be out of town for a while, it seemed like my pipes had to start over as if I were setting up the reeds for the first time. That got old.

Ezee was my fave for band piping as they gave me clean cutoffs and still sound very nice. But they take more air than I wanted, so...

I'm back to the MGs the pipes came with. Not perfect, but a very nice sound and fairly idiot proof. Right now I am happy with just having a nice pipe and decent efficiency.

-Patrick
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