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

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Old 12-27-2019, 08:20 AM   #1
blhs209
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Default Drone Reed Assistance

Good Day:

As I have mentioned in previous posts about my pipes, I am having an issue with my drone reeds due to the lower pitch of my solo chanter. The set up for 2020 will currently be:

McCallum pipes
Selbie Tenor Drone Reeds
Canning Carbon Bass Reed
McCallum Mc2 Chanter
G-1 Platinum Chanter Reed

For this year, I have changed the chanter reed from Shepherd to G1 which did raise the pitch about 5 'points' (now about 470). Also, I have EZ Drone reeds as backup (but has the same issue). I also use these pipes and drone reeds for the band set up.

Now for the issue - even with the change of chanter reed, the pins of the Tenor reeds are maxed (all the way out) and the Tenor tops are 1/2 to 3/4 of the way in the hemp.

What other tenor drone reeds would you suggest that would allow the tenor tops not to have to be so high and not max out the pin on the reed (even if I do go to separate tenor reeds for solos)?

Chris
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:37 AM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by blhs209 View Post
Good Day:

As I have mentioned in previous posts about my pipes, I am having an issue with my drone reeds due to the lower pitch of my solo chanter. The set up for 2020 will currently be:

McCallum pipes
Selbie Tenor Drone Reeds
Canning Carbon Bass Reed
McCallum Mc2 Chanter
G-1 Platinum Chanter Reed

For this year, I have changed the chanter reed from Shepherd to G1 which did raise the pitch about 5 'points' (now about 470). Also, I have EZ Drone reeds as backup (but has the same issue). I also use these pipes and drone reeds for the band set up.

Now for the issue - even with the change of chanter reed, the pins of the Tenor reeds are maxed (all the way out) and the Tenor tops are 1/2 to 3/4 of the way in the hemp.

What other tenor drone reeds would you suggest that would allow the tenor tops not to have to be so high and not max out the pin on the reed (even if I do go to separate tenor reeds for solos)?

Chris
Insofar as you already have McC pipes you might try a set of the MG drone top extenders. Or a set of the MG screw -in extenders that fit into the end of the drones reeds within the stock . - OR- try a set of EZ long drone reeds

You might already know the MK2 chanter design spec is 474-476hz. At 470 you might be pushing it a bit outside its box to suit the particular pipes.

FWIW..I’ve set up a few dozen sets of McCallum band pipes with Selbie reeds/mk2 chanter/ Shepherd moulded reed..at 475....tenors at ~ 1/8” above the hempline.

Last edited by el gaitero; 12-27-2019 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:35 AM   #3
MacTallanambeann
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

In my setup I am using a set of Canning Blues with a Naill blackwood solo chanter. In order to get the Canning tenors down to the right pitch with the drone tops just above the slides I had to lower the bridles lengthening the tongues. OK they take a bit more air than they would with a higher pitched chanter and shorter tongues but on the plus side they really roar loudly compared to the volume they produced out of the box.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

I find X-TREME reeds to be tonally satisfying with a large pitch range due to a long tuning plug/screw. Iíve got one pipe at 482 and one at 473 with x-treme and both tune where I like and both have tuning plugs that arenít maxed out in either direction allowing for even further adjustment if needed.
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:45 AM   #5
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

OP rather than buying anything here is a very simple solution for you to flatten the pitch of your drone reeds.

Get some real beeswax, not the parafin/beeswax mix. If you need some send me your address and I'll send you a chunk on me.

Rip off a small piece about the size of a small pill and let it warm up between your fingers, then roll it into a small cylinder shape and carefully smoosh it down onto the top of your tenor or bass reed tongue. This will add weight to the blade and make it vibrate slower thus flattening the pitch.

This will work amazingly well for you. You can get as low as you could ever possibly want simply by adding more and more weight until you are where you need to be.

The reason you want to use real beeswax is because it warms up nicely in your fingers and once it cools back down it hardens and will stay in place and not flake off, it will even withstand summer temperatures without melting. It's wonderful stuff. If you try to use black wax or parafin you will run into all kinds of issues.

This is a very very easy fix and this is the absolute best way to fix it! Cheap, easy to do and virtually no issues to worry about at all. The only thing you want to be careful about it don't get any wax under the tongue but if you are careful you will be fine. Beeswax isn't super sticky it's more tacky than sticky so it works very well for this.


When smooshing it down just mold it into a nice flattened shape (kind of aerodynamic) and add as little or as much as you need.

All the best,

Shawn
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:32 PM   #6
Greenpipe
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

I've done this with clear nail polish. Put on a small dob, test, put on a bit more as necessary. Sometimes it will come off with a thumbnail scrape, or nail polish remover applied with a bit of rag will do the trick.
I also used this method with a set of reeds that wouldn't completely cut out. Even with the bag nearly half deflated, far more than I was used to, a tiny movement of the bag would bring about a very faint very high pitched, almost electronics-type eeeek sound. A wee dob on the end of the tongues put a stop to it, and flattened the reed by about 2 millimeters adjustment on the pin.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:35 PM   #7
Greenpipe
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

By the way, Andrew, or any other moderator reading this, why do all my posts come out as number 832?

Last edited by Greenpipe; 12-28-2019 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:24 PM   #8
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenpipe View Post
By the way, Andrew, or any other moderator reading this, why do all my posts come out as number 832?
FWIW, ( not a moderator) I'm seeing both of the latest as 833
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:09 PM   #9
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenpipe View Post
By the way, Andrew, or any other moderator reading this, why do all my posts come out as number 832?
Your post count is your total number of posts, not each individual post number.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:11 AM   #10
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Drone Reed Assistance

My b-flat setup is Maclellan drones with ezeedrone long reeds. Plays very comfortably at 466hz without extenders or having to weigh down the tongues (although that technique works just fine). Just an anecdote.
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