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

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Old 07-12-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
MacTallanambeann
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Default Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

Hi all,

I recently picked up a set of used Naill pipes and they came with Naill drone reeds (Green fellows with carbon fibre tongues) that, I believe, actually equate to Harmonic Deluxe drone reeds from Murray Henderson but without adjuster screws.

Never used carbon fibre reeds before and I am finding the bass drone creates a nice tone and is very friendly to work with but the tenors are just a little lacking in tone and colour to me. I notice that MG reeds have shaped tongues on their carbon tenor drone reeds and I was wondering if this actually makes a difference and, if so, would it be worth doing something similar to the tongues on my reeds.

I am not hung up on these reeds and don't mind doing some tinkering if it would be worthwhile as they were an unexpected bonus when the pipes arrived and I have plenty of other reeds including some new Canning Blues and Ezeedrones that will be coming my way next week.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

The Henderson Deluxe from my experience are a smoother, calmer style reed more similar to say Canning (brown versions especially). Murray's Harmonic version are much more up front and full of color. Very different personalities. In my pipes I have found that the Deluxe tenors were pressure sensitive, and both of these tenors are not my preference personally though they are very good (especially I could imagine in say a Henderson style pipe). The Harmonic and Deluxe bass reeds with different tenor reeds on the other hand seem to work very well.

Since you have the Deluxe reeds and have some other reeds on the way I'll link recordings of different tenors with that bass and maybe some full sets.

Canning Blue - Henderson Deluxe
Selbie - Henderson Deluxe
Ezeedrone - Henderson Deluxe
Redwood - Henderson Deluxe
MG White Mamba - Henderson Deluxe
Canning Blue - Canning Blue
MG White Mamba - MG White Mamba
Henderson Deluxe - Henderson Deluxe

I'm not sure what the effect of the paddle shape has on the MG White Mamba tenors or what that would do to the Hendersons. It's probably a combination of easing the tongue so it's lighter/easier to play and perhaps doing something with the trapped air and moisture between the bridle and the opening.

I do find both sets of these tenors to be pressure sensitive and more difficult to play but I also play around 25-27 inH2O. On the MG recordings you'll notice I have the bridles set nearly where they double tone because otherwise they aren't as efficient as I'd like. If it weren't for other non carbon tongue tenor reeds that are easier to play (Selbie, Balance Tone, Ezeedrone, Canning, Redwood etc) I would probably stick with the MG. And I still may, they are in my top 10 combinations currently with the Harmonic and Ezeedrone basses.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:27 PM   #3
MacTallanambeann
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Default Re: Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

Thanks for posting those sound files William. I will have a good listen to them in a little while. As well as the Henderson Harmonic Deluxe (Naill's) I also have a couple of old sets of R G Hardie (I think these were actually Balance Tone?), Bannatyne synthetics (Woody looking 'absorbent' bodies) and regular Ezeedrones as well as the new Ezeedrone's and blue Canning's I am waiting on coming out from R G Hardie's so I have quite a few different reeds to play with.

The Henderson Harmonic deluxe (Naill's) are very stable need little effort/skill to strike in smoothly and are pretty air efficient it's just that they also don't seem to have a great deal of colour in their sound. A very solid hum but not much in the way of harmonics. I thought this might be down to the thickness of the plastic bodies (they are very chunky) and the solid, hefty carbon tongues. I was thinking that perhaps reducing the mass of the tongues ala the MG carbon reeds might allow them to vibrate a little more richly.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:39 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William McKenzie View Post
The


-in/view?usp=sharing"]MG White Mamba - MG White Mamba[/URL]
[URL="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BrCOHQPpCadtL1GI6fGuhs6juF7Np0pf/view?usp=sharing"]
.

.
The White Mamba - White Mamba test confirms what I hear from my pipes...solid and rich.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:40 AM   #5
Søren E. Larsen
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Default Re: Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

From my point of view the ring (Overtones) you get off the Ezeedrone tenor reeds is a much desirable feature. The Henderson deluxe tenors a bit of the same ring.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Carbon fibre reeds, worth tinkering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Søren E. Larsen View Post
From my point of view the ring (Overtones) you get off the Ezeedrone tenor reeds is a much desirable feature. The Henderson deluxe tenors a bit of the same ring.
I agree, although they're different ends of the spectrum maybe. When I listen to Ezeedrone and the Henderson Deluxe I hear a soft, subdued sound, with a solid fundamental note and a bit of the higher ring like you noted. When I listen to reeds like the MG White Mambas or Balance Tones High Resonance (you can listen here, please excuse the bass lower harmonic wobble, very hard to hear this in my living room) they are much more of an up front, hard sound, full of crackle as loud as the fundamental note.

You can enjoy the MG White Mambas that sound very much like cane but are a bit more of grass flatteners, or choose Henderson Deluxe when you want something more simple and calm. Both great choices just different moods.
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