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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Competing Pipers
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Competing Pipers Questions, issues, or discussions specifically related to Piping and Pipers competition.

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Old 09-24-2019, 04:10 AM   #11
Max K241
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

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Originally Posted by piper_hm View Post
I've had really good results with regular Ezee tenors and an Increased Absorption Ezee bass.
After using Ezee drone reeds for years, I switched to Kinnaird Evolutions. The Kinnairds produce a more pleasing tone in my Hardie pipes.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:28 PM   #12
connpiper
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

Thanks! Just what I was looking for.
My sound is good, been getting steady comments there. I am, can't explain, looking for a BETTER sound, just experiment and trying to get a feel for what works for folks. How do you like the Gandy chanter? I'm looking for a new chanter to try. I have McC2, G1(cracked/repaired and works well) usually in my Hector Russells

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Yeah .. this is a very tough area to nail down, it seems to me.

I've been on this search myself since starting with competition last year. My competition set is an old, 1910s set of cocuswood Hendersons ... a lucky find that I purchased specifically for the intention of entering into solo competitions.

I experimented around for a while, initially settling on Redwood tenors and an original Kinnaird bass. Comments were inconsistent ... either they were glowing, or I was told that the bass was overpowering. By about mid-season last year, I tried switching to Ezee drone tenors, and still the Kinnaird bass. Comments were all very positive except for one of the final of the season, and it was the only event that was indoors. That judge gently suggested that I continue to explore refining the sound of the drones, and he specifically said that I should do so with reeds.

Looking back, nearly all comments about the powerful bass were when I was playing inside .. something that I keep in mind. Still, it would be nice to find a set up that seems to work universally.

In the middle of the winter, someone suggested that I try out a set of Henderson Harmonic reeds. I did, and was relatively happy with the sound. At the same time, I also switched to a sheepskin.

This seemed to go quite well as I started out this season after moving up to grade 2, but eventually it became clear that the tenors would start to gurgle if I played for too long. In a pinch, I decided to swap out the Ez tenors with a set of Rockets that I'd lucked into a long time back.

I've been enjoying quite favorable results/comments ever since, though it'll be a while before I'm likely to have another indoor contest.

So for the time being, that combination is where I'm at:
  • Rocket tenors
  • Henderson Harmonic Bass
  • Sheep bag w/ simple tube trap (and Trap-dri)
  • Naill or Gandy McCallum chanter
  • G1 platinum chanter reeds (usually)

I'm sure it'll keep changing. For the most part, I'd change one thing ... and leave it for a while before messing with anything else.

That'd be my suggestion: try one thing at a time, and stick with it a bit before changing something else. With so many variables (and opinions), I think it's inevitable that you'll be "finding your sound" for quite some time.

And don't neglect time working on your steadiness, chanter tuning, and blowing for tone ... it's amazing what a difference that all makes in the end. Far too often I feel that players will be buying all kinds of stuff to try and fix things that are really just a matter of needing to focus on fundamentals.

That's my 2Ę ... take of it what you will.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
Pppiper
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by connpiper View Post
Thanks! Just what I was looking for.
My sound is good, been getting steady comments there. I am, can't explain, looking for a BETTER sound, just experiment and trying to get a feel for what works for folks. How do you like the Gandy chanter? I'm looking for a new chanter to try. I have McC2, G1(cracked/repaired and works well) usually in my Hector Russells


Overall, I like the Gandy chanter quite a bit. It has a very similar feel to a Kyo chanter, and had the higher pitch that most judges seem to expect. Most days, Iím normally right around 480, once the chanter is settled in.

Iíve been trying a lot of chanters, and so far, I always seem to find my way back to the Gandy. There have been a few, rather isolated comments from some judges that were negative about it, but after considerable thought, my feelings are that itís most likely bias of some sort. Itís either that, or the other 95% of judges are lying when they say the sound is excellent.

Iím also big on playing easy reeds ... so thereís a very fine line between playing a reed thatís easy (but good), and thin sounding.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:08 PM   #14
Pppiper
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

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Originally Posted by connpiper View Post
. I am, can't explain, looking for a BETTER sound, just experiment and trying to get a feel for what works for folks.

Sorry ... forgot one more item, which serves as I pretty helpful update, I think.

That one judge I had at the end of last year, who suggested that I continue exploring a more refined sound .. I had the same judge again, this past weekend, and once again it was indoors. No complaints on the sound this time. I also got very positive remarks on the sound, not only from him, but from the other three judges as well.

So I think itís fair to say that these Rocket tenors with the Henderson Harmonic bass are proving to be a very good combination indeed. Iím sure the sheepskin bag doesnít hurt either. Of course, every pipe is different, and sadly ... Rockets are both hard to find, and made bespoke to previous ownersí pipes. Overall, I got lucky.

I havenít gotten around to ever trying Kinnaird Edge reeds ... if I didnt have these Rockets, Iíd be going to those Id imagine. The design is clearly very similar, and I think itís very clever that you can adjust the strength independent from the pitch.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:44 AM   #15
Molasses4masses
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Posts: 277
Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

I had some success in 2018 with all Ezeedrone reeds (regular tenors and an inverted bass) in my MacRae reproductions and a no name ABW chanter with a Shepherd reed in it. Towards the end of the season, the chanter and reed had some issues, but that was after about 6-7 months of solid use.

I switched over to a Gandy chanter with a Shepherd reed and a Henderson chanter with a MacPhee reed at the end of 2018 hoping to have them both working for this year. Unfortunately, the Shepherd reed had a chip taken out of it through my own clumsiness, so I was down to just the Henderson chanter for competing. I didn't place well this year, but that had more to do with me than the chanter and reeds. I did get good remarks on tone.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:48 PM   #16
el gaitero
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

[QUOTE=Molasses4masses;1340472


....and a no name ABW chanter with a Shepherd reed in it.

.[/QUOTE]

Ok,Iím piqued....how to end up with a Ďno nameí abw chanter...but a quality big name set of pipes..
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:25 AM   #17
Molasses4masses
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Default Re: Solo chanters/reeds

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Ok,I’m piqued....how to end up with a ‘no name’ abw chanter...but a quality big name set of pipes..
Secondary market purchase. I got the standard McCallum poly chanter with my pipes. The no name chanter was sold to me as a Shepherd chanter, but definitely is not one and I was given a bunch of guesses by reed makers and open pipers. For $100, it was worth a gamble.
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