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

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Old 05-07-2018, 03:50 PM   #21
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

Re: My history as a piper

I have played Kaba Gaida since 2015. It's one of the more primitive bagpipes out there, and really quite a bit less tolerant than GHB of sub-prime setup. For example, the rotational orientation of the reeds in their socket can completely throw the instrument out of whack - by which I mean a howling drone and a chanter that sounds like a snake charmer's flute. Reeds which are not balanced for strength will mean that either your drone or chanter will probably not be sounding at all. Reeds are made individually for your chanter... If you need a new one, you have to send the chanter back to Bulgaria.

GHB and its players are more tolerant of sup-prime setup by a notable margin.

Re: Having my pipes examined

I have them examined weekly by my instructor, who plays in the 78th Fraser Highlanders. Between the two of us, I'm the more fastidious one. He and I do, however, agree on the fact that it is not good to have reeds not fully seated in the seat, or having tuning screws jammed all the way in or pulled all the way out for the simple reason that you have nowhere further to go if adjustments are needed "on the day".

Re: my instrument's current setup

With one drone reed seated a quarter-inch out of its seat and all three tuning screws set as flat as I can get them, I have no room for adjustment should the temperature drop a few degrees as it is wont to do here in MI in the Spring. If I blew hard reeds, I might get a wee bit more leeway, but I stay around the low 30's as far as in/H2O. Long Ezees will give me some room to breathe.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #22
jackhawkpiper97
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
Re: My history as a piper

I have played Kaba Gaida since 2015. It's one of the more primitive bagpipes out there, and really quite a bit less tolerant than GHB of sub-prime setup. For example, the rotational orientation of the reeds in their socket can completely throw the instrument out of whack - by which I mean a howling drone and a chanter that sounds like a snake charmer's flute. Reeds which are not balanced for strength will mean that either your drone or chanter will probably not be sounding at all. Reeds are made individually for your chanter... If you need a new one, you have to send the chanter back to Bulgaria.

GHB and its players are more tolerant of sup-prime setup by a notable margin.

Re: Having my pipes examined

I have them examined weekly by my instructor, who plays in the 78th Fraser Highlanders. Between the two of us, I'm the more fastidious one. He and I do, however, agree on the fact that it is not good to have reeds not fully seated in the seat, or having tuning screws jammed all the way in or pulled all the way out for the simple reason that you have nowhere further to go if adjustments are needed "on the day".

Re: my instrument's current setup

With one drone reed seated a quarter-inch out of its seat and all three tuning screws set as flat as I can get them, I have no room for adjustment should the temperature drop a few degrees as it is wont to do here in MI in the Spring. If I blew hard reeds, I might get a wee bit more leeway, but I stay around the low 30's as far as in/H2O. Long Ezees will give me some room to breathe.


My thoughts here are still, I would either sharpen the chanter pitch to at least 475, or try MG carbon reeds, which have quite a bit of pitch movement inherent in their design. Eezydrone reeds sound great but simply aren't built to play that flat.


I respect your teacher's accolades, but this may be a case where the square peg will not fit into the round hole.


I would also look at my chanter and see just how much tape I am slogging onto it.


However, if low 470's is what you want, here's what I would do to work with that:
-Either getting a long length set of eezys or a set of reeds that has more room for flat end of pitch (MG carbons for example
-try doing drone extenders or rushes in the drones
-Make sure that the screws in your eezydrone reeds are hollow, because if they come filled (they make two different screws) that is another avenue for flattening off. I think the bass comes with hollow screws standard, and the screws are interchangeable between bass and tenor
-Make sure your drone reeds are clean, and your drones.


Jack
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:28 PM   #23
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

Even if I went up 3Hz to 475, I would not have much leeway for the setting of the drone reeds - at least not so much as I like to have, hence I have ordered some Ezee longs which will arrive tomorrow. They should give me enough flexibility to set the drones where they want to behave, and still pitch with the chanter (the Naill chanter in question, of 2016 vintage, is hard-pressed to go over 478-480).

As for tape, I have very little slogged onto my chanter - a wee bit on Low A and Low G, a hair on B and D. E was carved. All of this was done by my instructor - voicing GHB chanters is a dark art of which I have only cursory knowledge. Give me a gaidunitsa, however...

Last edited by MichiganGaidar; 05-08-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:35 PM   #24
el gaitero
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post


(the Naill chanter in question, of 2016 vintage, is hard-pressed to go over 478-480).

...
Have you dropped a line to Martin Cowall at Naill to confirm what the test bench design pitch is for a 2016 Naill chanter? You might be surprised...or disappointed.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:02 PM   #25
DapperDan
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

An update -

I received the Ezee drone long reeds from the supplier linked above (arrived promptly, and unbeatable price).
They work very well. By adjusting the tuning screw, I can have the tenor drones tuning on the hempline, and the bass in ideal position, with both my band chanter and my solo chanter. They have a lot more range of adjustability for my situation than other types of reeds I've tried. My situation being, that of the OP - with the bridles set at an easy strength on standard reeds (which makes them much sharper than where a stronger blower would have them), the tuning screws had no adjustment left to flatten the reeds anymore to pitch with a solo chanter, and left the drones tuning too high on the pins.

I would point out the following two things as well - they obviously have their own tonal characteristics. Much discussed on this forum already. I happen to like them, but I like the sound of other reeds too.
The other thing is that the bridles are VERY sensitive to adjustment. If you try to move them and think that you didn't, you probably actually did and changed the calibration noticeably. I'm only exaggerating slightly when I say that I used a micrometer to set the tenors at the same exactly length (same for how deeply they are seated in the drone). The plus side to this is that they can be made very efficient and stay together well.
So I'm pleased.

Michigan Gaidar, did you get yours, and how did you make out?
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:33 PM   #26
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Naill Drones in the Low 470s?

My apologies: The Ezee longs were indeed the ticket, and I have therefore been doing more playing than posting.

Ezee bridles are indeed very sensitive, and I judge the efficacy of my adjustments by examining the height of the tongues over the reed bodies rather than the position of the bridle. This change in thinking significantly transformed how I work with Ezee and other small-tongued synthetic reeds.

If calibrated well, you'd have to spend a lot of time and effort to get better tone or performance than Ezee. I went down that road, and really regret doing so.

Of note is that the Ezee longs also get Lawrie drones to the low 470's with good room for adjustment "on the day" - the vendor with the unreal prices on Ezees also had a set of refurbed 1960's Lawries for a nice price. Being that mounts were coming loose on my Naills, I nabbed the Lawries so I wouldn't be out of the game while my Naills get worked on. Couldn't be happier - the Lawries are an excellent set of drones, and while they need some further TLC - a chipped tenor top (which was disclosed in the sale listing) and some hairlines (which is a common occurence with old instruments being brought back into service) - they sound, perform, and behave phenomenally.

Last edited by MichiganGaidar; 05-22-2018 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Emphasis
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