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Old 04-17-2019, 03:07 PM   #1
salmunmousavi
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Default To carve or not to carve?

Hello everybody!

I recently had my smallpipes (Bb MacLellan's) tied into a new hybrid bag, and I'm really loving the feel of it, but I've run into quite a dilemma.

I purchased an Apps smallpipe reed to pair with this hybrid bag, and I'm finding that it is requiring a heck of a lot more air than my Abbott reed, so much so that it has become quite difficult to even play them.

I switched back to the Abbott reed and the tone is very steady with the new hybrid bag, however, F and High G are considerably flat, and also the only notes that are flat. I tried turning the Abbott reed as far as it'll go into the reed seat, and F and High G are sounding better (albeit not perfect), but now the reed is squealing and squawking, which is why I went ahead and bought an Apps reed in the first place.

I've come to the conclusion that I could probably carve out F and High G on the chanter, but seeing as how A) I've never done that before and B) it's more or less permanent, I figured I'd come here first and see if anybody has any solutions that I haven't thought of yet.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

Have you tried putting a bridle on the reed ?
It could be either an elastic band or a light wire wrapped aroung the blades. Start at about 1/4 " beyond the end of the staple and move it in hair's breadth increments. You may find that a slight move may bring those pesky flat notes into balance.

A bridle on the reed taking too much air could also close it down slightly, making it more efficient.
In either case, it seems to me a better idea to try altering the reeds as opposed to possibly mangling the chanter.
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Last edited by Klondike Waldo; 04-17-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:51 PM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

Any reason why not called Chris Apps to discuss...heíd gladly walk you thru it.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

Apps makes several reeds, one of which requires moisture (though that may be just his pc reeds). Regardless, definitely make sure youíre playing it under the conditions it was designed to be played under (wet/dry) or it will contort and become too easy/hard/impossible to play.

With plastic reeded chanters, do not carve the chanter. It IS the reed. With the plastic reed, it may help to trim a bit right off the top (1 mm?) of the blades to sharpen the top hand. Plastic reeds are cheap, do not booger with the chanter. This is coming from a guy who has no resevations about carving pipe chanters.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
Dan Bell
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

What reed does/did Roddy supply with the chanter? I would certainly switch out or alter a <$50 reed before I started altering a chanter that's worth five or ten times that.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:13 PM   #6
salmunmousavi
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
What reed does/did Roddy supply with the chanter? I would certainly switch out or alter a <$50 reed before I started altering a chanter that's worth five or ten times that.


I bought it used, and it came with a plastic Abbott Reed.

Quick update: Iíve put another brand of plastic Reed in the chanter, and the F and High G are still flat. Iíve also tried putting a bridle on the Apps cane reed and everything sounds like itís in tune, but the tone is unstable after about 2 minutes.


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Old 04-23-2019, 10:27 AM   #7
zarb
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

Where in California are you? There are many areas where the ambient humidity is quite low, which affects these reeds. I use a humidifier in the room I practice in while practicing. It becomes quite apparent whenever I forget to turn it on. It takes fifteen or twenty minutes for the reed to come back to life.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:10 AM   #8
Chris Apps
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Default Re: To carve or not to carve?

[QUOTE=salmunmousavi;1336636]Hello everybody!


I purchased an Apps smallpipe reed to pair with this hybrid bag, and I'm finding that it is requiring a heck of a lot more air than my Abbott reed, so much so that it has become quite difficult to even play them.

You need to use the brass bridle fitted on the reed to close the mouth down. This will adjust the amount of air going through it and make it easier to blow. Don't ever put a secondary bridle on. Feel free to call me if you would like me to talk you through this process.

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