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Old 01-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
1911 guy
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Default So what am I doing wrong?

Full disclosure, I was off the pipes for about a month due to a chest injury.

Firstly, my birl has gone to poop since I was off for a bit. I keep lifting my B finger slightly when I swipe my pinkie over the low a hole. That's just an issue of getting back into the swing of things.

Here's where I'm confused. I traded my original Dunbar Elite II for a Gael 474 chanter. It's got nice tone. Balancing the high and low A's gives me a pretty good scale, I just had to lower the low G and F with some tape. The issue is pitch. I plugged in the Soutar reed I had been using in my Dunbar and this Gael is pitching just over 480.

With a Korg CA-30 tuner, the two A's read dead on at 480, same as the Dunbar Elite II. With such a wide margin (supposedly) between the two chanters, what's going on here?

Am I correct in thinking that a different reed will give me a lower pitch? Warnocks are recommended, I'll have a go at them. Or am I wasting time and a little cash ordering new reeds?

If the person I traded with reads this, I'm not griping. The tone is very good and I'm using less tape now than with my Dunbar, so no sour grapes on my part. I'm just trying to go lower than I was before on the chanter.

As I posted this, I had a thought. Does environment have an effect on the tuner? For example, I tuned up yesterday in a room with tile floor and block walls. Could echo make the tuner read higher than "actual" pitch?
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
olypiper
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

The first thing I would do is check it with a different reed, or several, to see if anything changes. I'll admit, it does sound odd that it wouldn't pitch lower than the Dunbar.
The next things I would do would be to talk to Jim McGillivray at piping.on.ca and see if he can assist you. He and Roddy MacLellan designed the Gael chanter, so I might ask Roddy MacLellan next (highland-pipemaker.com).
Let us know what you find out!
Good luck.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
Rojellio
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911 guy View Post
As I posted this, I had a thought. Does environment have an effect on the tuner? For example, I tuned up yesterday in a room with tile floor and block walls. Could echo make the tuner read higher than "actual" pitch?
Reflective surfaces tend to brighten the tone of the Pipes. Perhaps a perception/phenomena kinda thing going on there. Not sure if it would effect the Tuner too. A clip-on Tuner mic might help. Music stores have those.

My Gael Chanter with the supplied Warnock reed is sitting at exactly Bb +18 cents measured on a Peterson VS-1, and 471 hz measured on the Peterson Strobo-clip. The scale is also a perfect match with the Strobo-clips GHB temperament. {with the same wee bit of tape on F & G that you have}

Soutar Reeds I have tried in my Nail, Gibson and MacHarg 440 chanters were a a wee bit on the sharp side, but not by 8-10 hz... It was more like one or two.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

Just by scraping the reed, I've taken it up 8 Hz. That being said, the sharpest I got it was 474. With a halfway med-easy I've even hit 466 though, depending on the weather. Probably just the reed, though something is tugging me to say that there are two versions of the Gael, a 470 and a 474, but let's see if Jim can confirm that.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #5
Rojellio
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
something is tugging me to say that there are two versions of the Gael, a 470 and a 474, but let's see if Jim can confirm that.
I am fairly certain there is only one, and that its typical range is 470-474 with the target "spec pitch" being 470'ish.

The one I have says "The Gael 470" stamped directly above the High G hole.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
1911 guy
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

Mine is stamped in the same location, but "474" instead of "470".

I'll try a medium reed (been playing an easy for solo) and switch to Warnock. Can't hurt to try it.

If I can't lower it, I haven't lost anything. This one sounds pretty good and uses little tape.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
William McKenzie
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Default Re: So what am I doing wrong?

There was a thread 2 or so years ago about the release of the Gael chanter. in it Jim said there was a 470 chanter in production and at the same time they were also working on a 474 version that would be released later. I'm not certain what came of that, maybe they sold some of the 474s for a year or sold some in very limited quantities without advertising.

But to my knowledge all they sell now is the 470 which is what I'm currently playing (and what's stamped below the bell). With a Troy sunk as far as possible down into it mine is pitching at 473 with balanced As and a great bottom hand but a somewhat lackluster top hand. Waiting on a Shepherd in the mail to see how that sounds.

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