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Old 02-14-2019, 07:39 AM   #21
Pppiper
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Husk View Post
As a reedmaker I've come to appreciate that there are almost NO bad chanters on the market today ...
... Any chanter from any reputable maker can be reeded and made to sound excellent ...
...if you like your sound and you are happy with the performance then that is all that matters.
This has been my observation as well. Obviously I'm rather new to this whole arena, so I guess I'm a bit taken aback at how frequently I see/hear all sorts of strong opinions being thrown about regarding what may be a perfectly lovely pipe to another individual.

Thanks for the encouraging words ... if anyone knows the strengths/weaknesses of various products out there, it would be a reedmaker such as yourself. In encountering seemingly dubious claims/perspectives in the future, I believe I will continue my current approach, which is to smile and nod, then turn my back as soon as possible so I can roll my eyes and continue on my way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
There's something about the culture of piping that encourages a my-way-or-the-highway approach ...
... certainly there are some things that some people make work that I wouldn't recommend generally; I can think of chanters, bags, drone reeds I wouldn't personally use, all of which have won medals.
Likewise, I certainly have my own preferences ... I do my best to not to speak ill of other products/approaches though, simply because I choose not to use them. I probably don't always succeed, but I do try.

I suppose not everyone cares to employ such effort.
Cheers gents, I appreciate your thoughts.
~Nate

Last edited by Pppiper; 02-14-2019 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:38 AM   #22
Pip01
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Default Re: Chanter bias?





Greetings, Pppiper... and to All,

Well... and of course!!... there's bias... :)

There's always bias... one way or another...

And... how not?... :)

We poor mortal buggers... needs must view all else...
from only our own perspective... which is all we have...
and personal preferences... then calcifying... into
biases... seem to ever abound... :) ... and irrespective...
of what ever new facts... may later come to light.

Hence... the different pronunciations... and meanings...
between ig-norance... and ig-nor-ance. (Which some
say... is bliss... :)

Ergo... choose what you like... play what you like...
and the old saying... "The Devil take the hindmost!"

How ever you go... have a grand time of it!! :)

Regards, Pppiper... and to All,

Pip01


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Old 02-18-2019, 11:55 AM   #23
jackhawkpiper97
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

Having both participated and given workshops like the one you are referencing, I feel like it's the job of the instructor to make recommendations based on function and then if s/he wants to, give testimonials based on preference. There is a fine line, but there's a very important difference between "buy a new bag because yours is leaking" and "I have had good luck with Gannaway so you might want to check them out."


I know some instructors don't follow this approach, and there's nothing wrong with theirs either (and not nearly as many of them get kickbacks as one might think).


At the end of the day, if you can get a good sound from a chanter, stick with it. As finicky as chanter design is, and with the margins of error being as small as they are in manufacture, brand loyalty doesn't always mean a good chanter. Similarly, one bad chanter does not an informed opinion make. So, if you can get a good tone from something, even if someone thinks it should be used more as a dog chew toy, go for it.


Jack
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:06 PM   #24
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
I was asked the make of my chanter and I answered. The response from the workshop runner was something along the lines of "Oh an ABC chanter—sorry, but that's more useful as a door stop. You should buy an XYZ chanter."
Just to play devil's advocate a bit, what if the workshop runner was expressing a widely-held opinion amongst the piping judges in the place he's from?

As I've told, back many years ago a friend of mine made the jump into Open level solos, and was consistently placing last.

After several last-place showings one of the judges took him aside and said "buy a Naill chanter".

He did, and the first contest with the Naill he placed in the middle of the pack.

(At that time nearly all the serious solo competitors, at least around here, were playing Naill chanters.)
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:42 AM   #25
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Just to play devil's advocate a bit, what if the workshop runner was expressing a widely-held opinion amongst the piping judges in the place he's from?

As I've told, back many years ago a friend of mine made the jump into Open level solos, and was consistently placing last.

After several last-place showings one of the judges took him aside and said "buy a Naill chanter".

He did, and the first contest with the Naill he placed in the middle of the pack.

(At that time nearly all the serious solo competitors, at least around here, were playing Naill chanters.)
Ahh, right. This goes right to the route of my inquiry.

In your example, I'm wondering what it is about your friend's former chanter choice that was supposedly dooming him to not place well? Is it an actual problem with the sound produced?

It is what it is I suppose.

Thanks for weighing in, I appreciate the perspective.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:20 PM   #26
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

Does the individual in question happen to sell the brand of chanter that he recommended?

Just ignore it. If your chanter sounds good, then it does. If you DIDN'T like the sound you were getting, then something like "hey, this chanter sounds like pish, can I set it up differently or should I replace it?" would be a reasonable question.

Otherwise, I'd chalk this "advice" up to competitive-piper-trash-talking and ignore it.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:22 PM   #27
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

And frankly, every blackwood chanter is different because wood is an organic material. It's thoroughly possible to get a good one or a bad one from any maker.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

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Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
Does the individual in question happen to sell the brand of chanter that he recommended?

Just ignore it. If your chanter sounds good, then it does. If you DIDN'T like the sound you were getting, then something like "hey, this chanter sounds like pish, can I set it up differently or should I replace it?" would be a reasonable question.

Otherwise, I'd chalk this "advice" up to competitive-piper-trash-talking and ignore it.
Well reasoned/stated, as per usual. The individual in this example did seem to possibly be a retailer for his frequently suggested make.

And note, this was merely a recent example of many such statements I observed over the course of last year. Another example comes to mind where a particular maker's chanter came up in conversation, and one of the folks there said, "yeah, I won't be seen playing X chanter." The implication seeming to be that merely being "seen" playing X chanter would inevitably lead to ridicule and/or unfavorable opinions from judges.

Here I am, thinking "sound" is what matters. (((Sigh.)))

Last edited by Pppiper; 02-19-2019 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:29 PM   #29
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

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Similarly, one bad chanter does not an informed opinion make.
I enjoy this statement in particular.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:47 PM   #30
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Default Re: Chanter bias?

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Another example comes to mind where a particular maker's chanter came up in conversation, and one of the folks there said, "yeah, I won't be seen playing X chanter." The implication seeming to be that merely being "seen" playing X chanter would inevitably lead to ridicule and/or unfavorable opinions from judges.)
I strongly suspect that most judges couldn't give a rat's rear-end, particularly at the amateur levels.

Understanding that competition is a sport, sure, if you're competing at the very highest levels, then stack the deck in your own favor however you can. Play whatever the popular thing is and don't even LOOK out of place. That's gamesmanship.

Given the standard that I hear around the games... I would think that a little bit of well-tuned, well-balanced sound would go a long way. I can't imagine a judge asking or looking too hard at what make of anything you're playing.*



* There WAS a time in band competition when certain judges had a reputation for "if you don't play my chanters/reeds, I'll never give you the prize." It was only really a thing in the top grades, and those folks are pretty much gone as far as I know.
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