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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 11-27-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
Locke Bar
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Default Drones too sharp

Anyone have any ideas on flattening tuning on drones that are far too sharp for most available drone reeds on the market?. I've tried using the drone extenders to no avail and I'm tuning the drones almost to the tops of the tuning slides. Band chanter (McCallum) pitch is 480.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
RichPiotrowski
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

What pipes and what drone reeds?

I have Dunfion pipes.

I'm using Canning drone reeds and my chanter is set at 468.

I have no trouble tuning the tenors to that pitch.

On the bass drone I use a drone reed extender so that the top joint is at the hemp line and the bottom joint is up a 2 fingers.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:02 PM   #3
wvh46
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

Drones too sharp for 480? An interesting problem. Usually I'm trying to get my drones down to the pitch of the older chanters I have.

Dunbar makes a set of over-length extenders. But what I do is use thin-wall brass tubing and make my own to suit.

Pipedream makes a set of long reeds I think, you might look at their website.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
olypiper
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

In general, the things that will make the reeds lower pitched are making the tongues longer by moving the bridles back, increasing the reed body length by adjusting the screw or plug out, and moving the reed out of the drone further. My guess is that with extenders unable to help with that, you are going to need some longer reeds. You can also try putting a small piece of wax or tack on the end of the tongue, as that will also flatten the pitch.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

I've experimented with sleeving the inner bore of drone reeds ( Bass only) with hobby tubing to flatten the pitch in the manner of a rush. I'm satisfied that it works, at least with Selbie drone reeds. Obviously, the tubing cannot extend into the reed aperture.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:33 AM   #6
wvh46
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

In the past I've done the same sleeving using a plastic straw cut to length and slit length-wise on one side. Worked until a more permanent solution. You could try that to see if a sleeve works for you. Again, don't block the reed aperture.
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #7
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

Definitely some good suggestions here.

Keep in mind that altering the bore may cause your drones to become unstable or harder to reed. There is a happy ratio between the bores of the drone so if you go changing one bore, that will affect things a bit. Whether it's significant, that you will have to determine. Each set of drones has its own characteristics.

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Old 11-28-2015, 01:27 PM   #8
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

Just to be clear, I sleeved the bore of the drone reeds, not the drone itself. I had no trouble adjusting the tenor reeds (Selbies) down to B flat at 466Hz, but the bass reeds were unstable at that pitch until I tried the sleeving solution.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:28 AM   #9
jd3214
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

Experienced the same problem with two sets of antique set of David Glen pipes. Found that Kinnaird Evolutions had sufficient adjustment and seem to be working fine. Also found Chris Anderson Xtreme reeds with hollow tuning pins work great with plenty of volume and air efficiency. In both cases, asked for and got wonderful support from both reed makers.
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:13 PM   #10
celticmanone
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Default Re: Drones too sharp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke Bar View Post
Anyone have any ideas on flattening tuning on drones that are far too sharp for most available drone reeds on the market?. I've tried using the drone extenders to no avail and I'm tuning the drones almost to the tops of the tuning slides. Band chanter (McCallum) pitch is 480.
In the past, when I have encountered a situation like yours when the drone reed combo with a particular pipe is too sharp (and having tried different done reeds with no luck), I have had very reliable results by adding a small piece of blue tack or the like, to a spot close to the outward end of the tongue, as Olypiper mentioned. This serves to slow the speed of the vibrating tongue (thereby flattening the pitch) and will allow you to bring your drone tops down to a better position on the slide. You will probably need to experiment with the size of the blue tack on each tenor reed to get their weight matched very closely. You would do that by comparing the position of your drone tops and getting the tenors matched at the lower hempline area.

Lengthening the tongue would flatten the pitch also, of course, but would also make the reed less air efficient and therefore, would be, in my opinion, a less desirable trade-off.

Ron Cuthbert






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