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Old 07-31-2020, 12:34 PM   #1
firelttim
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Default Need advice to help with a decision on GHB

I am a 56 y.o. piper and currently play a set of McCallum AB4 Deluxe with Celtic engraving, and McC2 blackwood chanter. I've had these pipes since 2008 and they are good but showing signs of age with some plating flaking off the slides and loose mounts. I have been researching other pipes and looking for feedback on the following:


1. Naill DN4A
2. Lee and Sons Hollywood or Boxwood
3. MacLellan Traditional "Artisian"
4. MacLellan Skye


Thanks in advance
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:19 PM   #2
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision

Well, I guess my first question is, how do they sound?

As far as loose mounts and flaking, I'd contact McCallum and see what they say. While I don't own a set, I've always heard good things about their customer service. Maybe those things could be easily fixed for a nominal fee.

At some point they tweaked the bores on their bass drone to improve it. I don't recall if that was before or after 2008, I'm thinking after, but I'm also over 50 and years run together! There are past discussions here at BDF that you can search for about that bore change.

As far as the brands you mention, I'll leave that to others here. Lee & Sons are relatively new in the bagpipes market. David Naill Co. is the most venerable of those you mention, though MacLellan has a strong following.

Andrew
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:01 PM   #3
Pip01
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision





Greetings, firelttim,

As Andrew asked... How do they sound??

For most... that would be... the... major consideration.

But... and concomitant with that... though solely dependent
upon one's view... of such matters... there are those who
consider such visual changes... due to aging... to simply be
the marks of... time-spent... seniority... playing the music!!... :)

Indeed!! Some consider such "marks"... to be rather like those
uniform hash marks... that proclaim... Time In Grade... and they
think of them... as marks of beauty all... :)

Now... we've all had to... tighten up... ferrules and projecting
mounts... :) ... and if one's pipes even came from... Saint Peter
Himself!!... sometime later... that tightening up... comes due... :)

Wishing you... the very best of Good Fortune with yours... and
you may not want to change them... too soon... :)

All the Best!!

Pip01




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Old 08-08-2020, 02:07 PM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by firelttim View Post
I am a 56 y.o. piper and currently play a set of McCallum AB4 Deluxe with Celtic engraving, and McC2 blackwood chanter. I've had these pipes since 2008 and they are good but showing signs of age with some plating flaking off the slides and loose mounts...
What you have are McC pipes with 3 micron thickness nickel plated brass ferrules. One of my better 11 year young students got this same set /year as his first pipes in 2008 ..when a few bits started to show a little flake and peel after a few years I asked McC would they mind to simply send me replacement ferrules which I would fit and screw on.
No way.....they insisted on sending whatever 2-3 new abw parts with the ferrules already fitted. Outstanding customer attitude attention and service!!!

Back to that student ..now at ~22 yrs age he’s still playing those same pipes,...has 2 World Champion band titles under his belt and plays in the Reigning champions band of USA destined for notoriety in Grade 1.
He is also a very accomplished soloist.

IMHO I don’t think you really need new pipes...but have you reached out to Mccallum?

Last edited by Andrew Lenz; 08-08-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:36 AM   #5
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision

McCallum several years ago changed from that plated brass to solid aluminium alloy.

McCallum also changed the brittle imitation ivory they had been using to the strong stuff that Dunbar has used for many years.

About the drone bore specs, in 2011 changes were made in all the bores "to be more like Willie McCallum's 1890 Hendersons" with the tenors "bolder" the bass more stable and all drones easier to tune.

So there's a divide with McCallums, the earlier ones based on Stuart McCallum's WWI Lawries and the post-2011 ones Henderson-based.

I think better than those are the MacRae models, based on Stuart Liddell's vintage MacRaes. They sound great.

Now if I were going to get a set of Naills (which of course are great pipes) I would snap up the set on Ebay now, a tremendous bargain for around a thousand dollars. I know nothing about this particular set or this particular seller, but I do prefer to pick up great pipes inexpensively over paying full price.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/D-Naill-DN0...wAAOSwmuBfUpmA
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-15-2020 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:32 AM   #6
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision

Now there are three or four Naill sets in the $800 to $1200 range, all great bargains.

Naills have impeccable tone, craftsmanship, and track record at major competitions. I'm surprised to see several on Ebay at once- you don't see Naills that often, at least the lower-priced models.

Oh there are half-silver and full-silver Naills on Ebay too! Personally I don't pay attention to those. I prefer the basic plain sets.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:41 AM   #7
John Dally
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Default Re: Need advice to help with a decision

You might check in with one of the pipers from Wasatch and District. There are some very knowledgeable pipers in that band and they might have a contact at MacCallum. Nothing is better than having someone take a look and give a listen.

http://www.wdpb.org
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