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Old 05-30-2019, 08:59 AM   #11
el gaitero
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post


Thanks all for chiming in .. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
~Nate
You’ve no doubt read all the other posts...I’m curious ...if you tried a standard Shepherd reed...ca 30” . ( which will soften to about 28” after several tunes) .

Look forward to your results with the G1. A top performer.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:10 AM   #12
Pppiper
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
You’ve no doubt read all the other posts...I’m curious ...if you tried a standard Shepherd reed...ca 30” . ( which will soften to about 28” after several tunes) .

Look forward to your results with the G1. A top performer.
Funny enough, a Shepherd is among the first I'd tried, but I couldn't get the E to stop burbling.

The next I'd reached for was the G1 standard reed I'd mentioned earlier (at least that's what I THINK it was, but it could also have been a MacPhee or Mur-reed). After that, I got a look at the time, and decided to table the pursuit, as I had my "real practice" to do ... more competitions are sneaking up soon, so I need to exercise some restraint with these little "projects" if I expect to do well.

30" is a little strong for my preference, but I can blow that if I have to. In general I'll shave and sand the reed till I can blow it with comfort and control ... whenever I've tested the resultant reed strength with a gauge, the reading is usually around or at a little below 25".

I do have other Shepherds kicking about ... maybe another one will happen to go better ... I'll try here and there as I wait for the G1s and Chris Apps' reeds to arrive. Will definitely let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #13
milwiron
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post

30" is a little strong for my preference, but I can blow that if I have to. In general I'll shave and sand the reed till I can blow it with comfort and control ... whenever I've tested the resultant reed strength with a gauge, the reading is usually around or at a little below 25".

Cheers,
~Nate
Your honesty is refreshing, thanks Nate.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:17 AM   #14
el gaitero
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

[QUOTE=Pppiper;1337799]

Funny enough, a Shepherd is among the first I'd tried, but I couldn't get the E to stop burbling.


30" is a little strong for my preference, but I can blow that if I have to.

(....initial strength will drop 2 bars after about 10 min. Lightly pinching the Shepherd stand reed lips together to close the mouth a wee bit will also help...then use the smallest diameter ( about 1/8”...not 3/16”) dental rubberband doubled and rolled up ( from the staple end) to the middle of the blades..to keep it ‘lightened’)

... the reading is usually around or at a little below 25".

( too light ..causing E burble?....if you can play initial 30...you cud do 27-28” no?

I believe it’s “hard” to play an Easy reed....takes blowing discipline and control.

Last edited by el gaitero; 05-30-2019 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:20 AM   #15
Pppiper
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Your honesty is refreshing, thanks Nate.
=) HUGE believer in a comfortable, easy-to-play bagpipe.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:29 AM   #16
Pppiper
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
too light ..causing E burble?....if you can play initial 30...you cud do 27-28” no?

I believe it’s “hard” to play an Easy reed....takes blowing discipline and control.
Hard to play an easy reed (i.e., it's a difficult thing to play an easy reed well) ... this is fair, though, not wanting to toot my own horn ... I'm a pretty darned steady blower/player. I can listen for tone and adjust accordingly. I was always pretty good at that, but I've gotten even better since I started competing last year.

Ha, playing around an hour or so, just about everyday ... seems to make a difference somehow?? ((( sarcasm on ))) ... pfft .. no, MUST be a coincidence. =P ((( sarcasm off )))

But yeah ... everyone's different, but I've come to find that with a nice and easy pipe, it becomes much easier to learn the control that's needed to blow it steady, and with a nice sounding tone.

As to the reed being too light, causing it to burble? If that's the case, then that reed (in my book), is disqualified as a contender.

Cheers & chunes,
~Nate

Last edited by Pppiper; 05-30-2019 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:37 AM   #17
Pppiper
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
dental rubberband doubled and rolled up ( from the staple end) to the middle of the blades..to keep it ‘lightened’
Oh, forgot to say that I haven't tried a rubber band in a while ... something to try again. Thanks!

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:38 AM   #18
el gaitero
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Oh, forgot to say that I haven't tried a rubber band in a while ... something to try again. Thanks!

Cheers,
~Nate
Finding those smallest ones is tough.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:22 AM   #19
gatormac
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Seems to me it's very much a luck-of-the-draw sort of thing. From what I've seen, reeds that worked in my A-440 chanter would work fine in my modern-pitch chanters, but not necessarily the other way round.

Cheers,
~Nate
Yeah, well going from typical modern pitch chanter (Bb+) of the same make to a concert Bb (A=466) chanter of the same make (Shepherd chanters) is not much of a stretch, but going to a concert A chanter (A=440) of another maker is a lot trickier. I was just surprised when someone mentioned that Shepherd made a different reed for their concert Bb chanter than for their regular Bb+ chanters. Their regular reeds work fine in the concert Bb chanters, and the difference doesn't seem significant enough to me to warrant making separate reeds for it.

I have found Shepherd chanters and reeds to be so consistent that I haven't purchased a new chanter reed in years (and I play with a very dry system).
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Last edited by gatormac; 05-31-2019 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:05 AM   #20
Pppiper
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Default Re: Reeding a 440 Maclellen chanter

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Originally Posted by gatormac View Post
Yeah, well going from typical modern pitch chanter (Bb+) of the same make to a concert Bb (A=466) chanter of the same make (Shepherd chanters) is not much of a stretch, but going to a concert A chanter (A=440) of another maker is a lot trickier. I was just surprised when someone mentioned that Shepherd made a different reed for their concert Bb chanter than for their regular Bb+ chanters. Their regular reeds work fine in the concert Bb chanters, and the difference doesn't seem significant enough to me to warrant making separate reeds for it.

I have found Shepherd chanters and reeds to be so consistent that I haven't purchased a new chanter reed in years (and I play with a very dry system).
Yeah ... A-440 is kind of asking a lot. Interested to see how some of these new reeds go when they arrive. I'm also tempted to experiment with adding a cooper bridle, which is what border pipers do. And/or using a rush in the chanter for the sharp notes ... I find it fascinating that uilleann and border pipers use those things all the time with their conical chanters/reeds, yet highland pipers do not .. shrug.

And bravo on your everlasting Shepherd reed ... really nice to find that one reed that's happy to keep on going and going. I know a couple players who have had the same reed in for 2-3 years at least. I seem to get a good year or so from mine before I start thinking about changing them out.

Cheers all,
~Nate
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