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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Other (not GH) Bagpipes > Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes +
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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 04-04-2020, 03:54 AM   #1
RabCE
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Default Durable Smallpipes

Hello all,

I spent a fair amount of time traveling, sometimes nice places and sometimes not-so-nice places, and find myself missing piping and unsatisfied by hours with a practice chanter. To that end, I'm looking for suggestions on where to find a *decent* set of of smallpipes. They will be mouth blown (don't need the added bulk of a bellows) and probably poly since the properties of synthetic pipes resist damage and climate changes more readily than others. Price range is hovering around $1000, give or take.

I realize that for some purists, this is the equivalent of asking you to give me suggestions for the best gas station sushi in Alabama, but I appreciate whatever advice or abuse you'd like to throw my way.

Cheers,
Rob

Last edited by RabCE; 04-04-2020 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 07:05 AM   #2
Lochie
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

You will have several options these days, luckily enough.
I'm in Canada, and several pipers in both of the bands I play in have sets made by John Walsh of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, myself included.
I find them to be reliable and pretty bullet proof, and a true musical instrument, not a toy.
I believe they go for approx $750 Cdn....
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:02 AM   #3
RabCE
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

Cheers Lochie. Any particular Walsh set you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochie View Post
You will have several options these days, luckily enough.
I'm in Canada, and several pipers in both of the bands I play in have sets made by John Walsh of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, myself included.
I find them to be reliable and pretty bullet proof, and a true musical instrument, not a toy.
I believe they go for approx $750 Cdn....
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:19 PM   #4
Lochie
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

It's down to a choice of keys really.
I like his 3 drone set in A, and that's what I have.
It also comes in Bb, which is really a practice chanter, and D which has tight spacing on the chanter holes. They sound great, but my mitts are too big to play the D set cleanly.
The A set has no more finger spread than a normal pipe chanter, and has the added advantage of playing well with other instruments, since it tunes at A 440.
I believe Walsh also makes retro pipes, same beast, one less drone, costs less....I have no experience with them.
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:27 AM   #5
Helvetica
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

Given your budget, definitely the Walsh smallpipes in A. They have a very good sound for the price, and will be both compact enough and robust enough for travelling with them.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:49 AM   #6
RabCE
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

Thanks guys. Any thoughts on the following as well?

1. Walsh Shuttle Pipes (not poly, but comapct)
2. Gibson Ceilidh Pipes
3. Dunfion Small Pipes
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:13 AM   #7
Abbott
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

I would take dunfion off your list
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
Matt Willis Bagpiper
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

For durability, the shuttlepipes are hard to beat. The shuttle is short and thick. Even plastic regular smallpipe drones are fairly delicate.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:36 PM   #9
Dave
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

+1 for the Shuttle Pipes. It's a very compact and tough instrument and sounds nice. The chanter has been made of delrin since the start, but now Walsh offers an "Eco-Friendly Hardwood" chanter upgrade. The website doesn't explain what wood this is nor do I find any pictures.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:09 PM   #10
daj
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Default Re: Durable Smallpipes

huge advances recently in 3 d printing, a lot of very clever people around the world are collaborating on many successful designs.. this guy is one of the driving forces behind it all...https://lindstruments.com/
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