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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 07-30-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
Bren95
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Default Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

New to this site, came on for help as I have read in the past plenty of discussions about Rocket Drone Reeds.

After searching the internet for the past year or so I still haven't got close to finding a set unfortunately.

Can anybody on here tell me where i can source a set please. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
Green Piper
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Rocket reeds are no longer being made, so if you want a set, you’ll need to buy them used. Furthermore, they were made for specific makes of drones.

Mark Lee made details of his reeds freely available and Kinnaird drone reeds are very similar.

I have two sets made for Robertson drones. The bass reeds are great, although the glass tongued version tends to shut off too easily. I don’t care for the tenor reeds and use Ezeedrone tenors instead.

If you want a set, post a WTB in the Trading Post and specify your make and age of drones. You will likely pay a premium for them, but they ought to hold their value for resale if you don’t like them.

Good Luck.
Charlie
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Just buy original Kinnairds.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:48 PM   #4
John McCain
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
... although the glass tongued version tends to shut off too easily...
Has anyone come up with a technique to make Rockets easier or harder? Moving the bridles doesn't really work for me. I wonder if changing the bridle to a different material would do it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:13 PM   #5
Green Piper
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

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Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
Has anyone come up with a technique to make Rockets easier or harder? Moving the bridles doesn't really work for me. I wonder if changing the bridle to a different material would do it.


I have tried moving the bridle on the glass tongued version. It does influence reed strength, but not to a great amount. At least that has been my experience. The carbon fiber bass version works really well for me (thank-you Patrick). In a recent solo competition, the judge said that my drone sound (Ezee tenors and cf Rocket bass) was “beautiful” and blended very well with my Shepherd chanter.

I felt very pleased.

Charlie
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
Has anyone come up with a technique to make Rockets easier or harder? Moving the bridles doesn't really work for me. I wonder if changing the bridle to a different material would do it.

Buy another set made to operate at the pressure you want.



I was rather narked about this as well when I bought a set and only discovered afterwards that I should have specified a weight that could accommodate my band chanter at the time.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:04 AM   #7
Doug Walton
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Just buy original Kinnairds.
Interesting - I'm honestly curious about this, since I was using standard Evos for a while before switching to EZs for my tenors (I still use their Evo bass). Is there something subpar you've experienced with the Evos compared to the originals? thanks...
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:46 AM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

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Is there something subpar you've experienced with the Evos compared to the originals? thanks...
Yes, I think the Evo tenors have an unpleasant buzz.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:23 PM   #9
Green Piper
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Yes, I think the Evo tenors have an unpleasant buzz.

Evo’s are my backup reeds. The Edge are more mellow, but a pain to adjust.

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Old 07-31-2019, 11:17 PM   #10
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Mark Lee Rocket Drone Reeds

Rocket Reeds are not the holy grail everyone has made them out to be. They were expensive, hard to get, and had a lengthy waiting period when they were available. I owned a new set and they were great reeds, sure. But like others have said year after year, month after month, just purchase a set of Kinnairds. You'll have near the same volume, character and overall sound. Hell, with the Edge reeds you'll have a very similar sound, the same locked fundamental note as Mark Lee's design because the bridles are also set, AND you'll have adjustability for strength.

Mark Lee made Rockets to order for your pipes which theoretically balanced the fundamental tone off the reed seat with the natural resonance of your pipes given his bore measurements. They were not adjustable for strength. And as Patrick has noted from his trials they essentially worked in most other makes of pipes fine which means in the end it doesn't made much of a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Yes, I think the Evo tenors have an unpleasant buzz.
I asked Rob Kinnaird about the volume and tone differences. He told me that the bass reeds between the original "Carbon Fibre" and the Edge are very similar, the tenors will be quieter and less bright. I kind of feel like the Edge are essentially the Evolutions with a screw bridle. Maybe I'm way wrong on that but that's my impression anyway. I do like the Edge reeds but in my particular MacDougall pipes they are fairly intense especially the tenors like you noted with the Evos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
Evo’s are my backup reeds. The Edge are more mellow, but a pain to adjust.
More mellow? What is this black magic you speak of?

The set screw could use more threads for finer movement for sure. They're course enough that even a quarter turn is the difference between shutting off and fairly open. They are set screw equivalent of the Ezeedrone bridle fussiness; you need only look at them wrong to go awry.
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