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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 04-07-2019, 08:22 AM   #11
piper Q
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

For as many Pipers that are here and respond, you'll probably hear as many opinions and suggestions. Take my suggestions for as they are just suggestions and not iron clad that's the way it should be done rulings.

In regards to the bag, observing others work to maintain natural bags, my personal experience with a synthetic bag, and now a hybrid bag. I will concur with many others that the hybrid bag is the way to go. Again after reviewing options and asking the opinion of Pipers better qualified than my self, I went with the Ross Red Hybrid bag and am very pleased with the results. That said, if you have opportunity to try other pipers set ups you may find you prefer one type of bag to another. but not all pipers will willingly let a novice handle the pipes.

Drones, Chanter, and Blow Pipe: you may do very well to steer clear of Pakistani Pipes and E-bay pipes of unknown parentage. I'm not saying E-bay sellers will provide bad goods, but sometimes a pig in a poke isn't a pig. you should be sure of what you are getting for your monies. Dunbar P1s have a vastly different sound than my Kilgour and Krone basic blackwood pipes. The mellower tones of the black wood is more pleasant to my ear, while the P1s let their presence be known to all. Louder sounding is not always better depending upon environs.


Reeds: I'll start with chanter reeds first. I am partial to both Husk and McPhee reeds, though there are many find quality reeds out there to choose from you'll need to experiment to find those which best match how you blow. The strength of the chanter reeds being gauged against a column of water. Some Pipers will think nothing of 30 inches which is a fairly strong reed, and for others especially beginners 25 inches can be a struggle and off putting. So if you can determine your reed strength and start from there. If you are using the GHB as a goose with the stocks corked that can be a guide for later drone reed selection.

Drone reeds, these too come in a wide variety of shades, hues, and colors, as well as strengths, weaknesses and tuning options. What I find functional, another may consider garbage of irredeemable qualities. Perhaps Balance Tone are the easiest to set up and sound, while Rockets may have a more stable sound. you may need to experiment and try different combinations which also work for you. I use balance tones in my Kilgour and Krone drones, while my P1 pipes have a rocket in the bass drone and balance tone in the tenors.

If you can find a group of pipers near you and get with them to practice, experiment and socialize even, you may be able to progress more easily with direct access to a local knowledge base that can provide hands on assistance. Where I am currently aside from 8 capable pipers (and 1 or 2 beginning pipers) within a 30 mile radius. The next hub of pipers are 90 miles distant North or West and 110 miles east. That said you may need to travel quite a bit.


Have fun deciding upon the pipes, bag, and reeds you feel will work best for you.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:16 AM   #12
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

I would advise a hide bag. My limited experience with hybrid bags is that any moisture wicking/whatever properties the synthetic material might have had is negated by the leather layer. Might as well get a hide and have control over moisture with seasoning.

I enjoy the feel of connection with the instrument through a hide bag and maintenance is simple. Because they have lasted so long I havenít needed to try other makes, but I enjoy Gannaway bags; their chanter tie-in is very easy.

As far as pipes go, I would recommend Gellaitry and Colin Kyo, and if those are too expensive, Dunbar. Lots of good chanters, though for my own reasons I prefer Colin Kyo.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:05 AM   #13
RichmondPiper
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

As one of the replies says - you will get as many opinions as you get replies. What you want, almost always but particularly as a beginner, is the least amount of potential hassle.

As for the make of pipe, there are many very good pipe makers in business these days. MacCallum of Scotland has an excellent reputation and my personal experience of their service is that it's second to none. Others have similar experience of others. This is the one area where copying the experts can be of benefit because the actual pipe is the foundation of everything else. If there is a good maker near to you, that might be a valuable basis for a choice.

Mimicking the world experts on issues like bags isn't a good idea - they have all the time and expertise to be able to pick, chose and personalise. A beginner doesn't.

I would definitely not suggest using a leather bag if you can avoid that by using a hybrid or even a synthetic. As someone who has been playing pipes for over 55 years and teaching for almost as long, I can say with conviction that the advent of synthetic reeds and bags (and chanters but to a lesser degree), has made life vastly easier for pipers, particularly beginners. Synthetic pipes, like those made by MacCallum are now made to a very high standard, but it seems to be generally accepted that they don't yet equal good wooden (which these days really means African Blackwood) pipes.

In some respects, it's a personal thing - what suits one won't suit others and with bags it's mainly a question of whether any of the available bags of your chosen type (ie hybrid, leather or synthetic) will suit your particular physique, with other things following from that. The hybrid bag combines the benefits of the two. Synthetic bags tend not to be as good at handling moisture as leather and some hybrids so the climate where you live and they sort of place you will practice (indoors, outdoors, warm, hot cold etc) can influence that.

This is where you need advice - the advice on here to make sure that you have guidance from someone who does know is the best advice here so far. If possible, see if you can try alternatives by looking at and maybe handling someone elses' instruments, or at least have a good look at them.

Oh - and, don't try and blow reeds that are physically uncomfortable for you, whatever others might try and impress you with. You'll get fitter and stronger as time passes but always blow a manageable strength.

Good luck
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:26 PM   #14
DapperDan
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

Hi Justin -

Any reputable make from the UK, Canada, or the US should be a quality instrument.

Depending where you are in PA, you may be able to go to Pipeline bagpipes and get fitted out in person. He's in Greentown, which I believe is in the northeast part of the state. Used to be in NJ but moved. You'd be able to see how a few makes look and sound like in person.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:44 PM   #15
Aaron Shaw
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

If you like McCallums then I'll throw my 2 cents in with this-



I think plastic pipes are a great 1st set and a great 2nd set.



They're a great 1st set because they're less expensive, don't warp or break, don't shrink so the mounts and joints don't loosen, are easy to maintain and sound fine.


They're a great 2nd set because once you develop your particular tastes and buy your dream set they'll still be the set you want to take out to crowded pubs on St. Pat's, rainy parades, hiking, anytime you'd be likely to worry about harm to your other set. Who knows, they may just end up Being your dream set!


As far as the details my recommendation would be this-


Keep it simple. Low maintenance is what you want in the beginning so you can concentrate on playing. You don't want to be stymied by problems you aren't sure how to fix that prevent you from just playing the thing. Later on if you think sheepskin, cane, pitches other than standard, frequent oiling, seasoning with treacle, making your own chanter or drone reeds, turning your own bits on a lathe, whatever, is important-you can knock yerself out!


Good luck, have fun!


...and get one-on-one help if at all possible!
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:55 PM   #16
el gaitero
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Shaw View Post

If you like McCallums then I'll throw my 2 cents in with this-

I think plastic pipes are a great 1st set and a great 2nd set.

They're a great 1st set because they're less expensive, don't warp or break, don't shrink so the mounts and joints don't loosen, are easy to maintain and sound fine.


They're a great 2nd set because once you develop your particular tastes and buy your dream set they'll still be the set you want to take out to crowded pubs on St. Pat's, rainy parades, hiking, anytime you'd be likely to worry about harm to your other set. Who knows, they may just end up Being your dream set!

Keep it simple.


...and get one-on-one help if at all possible!
👌👏 Iíve enjoyed the hell out of my second set...mccallum polyís with MG White Mamba reeds.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:45 AM   #17
DNorwood
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

I wonder if McCallum uses differing quality of acetyl between their ABP0 and their ABP4 bagpipes?

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Old 04-08-2019, 09:57 AM   #18
burp birl
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

What Aaron said.......keep it simple. Keep maintenance to a minimum.


Find pipers around you and get together.....invaluable tips and knowledge they might share with you to make getting on the pipes as easy as possible. The GHB is a whole different beast compared to the practice chanter!


Jenni
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:36 AM   #19
el gaitero
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

Quote:
Originally Posted by DNorwood View Post
I wonder if McCallum uses differing quality of acetyl between their ABP0 and their ABP4 bagpipes?

No. Same material throughout the P lineup. And same internal specs as the AB Lineup.. AB = African Blackwood. P = Poly ( aka acetyl,acetal..)

Fast becoming my go to set..I play P3..mounted with the antique option smaller diameter mounts...and added engraved alloy slides. Wonderful set up enhanced with a set of MG White Mamba reeds and a Canmore hybrid bag. They are marvelous.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:38 AM   #20
paul_111
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Default Re: Need opinions on a GHB first set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piparoo View Post
<snip> Other new makers that you havenít already mentioned that may be worth considering,
D. Macpherson
Dunbar
John Walsh

These are all really competitively priced with McCallums and are well made.

I own an ABW set of D. MacPhersons and a poly set of Walshs. They are both fine to look at and sound great - as good as I can make them sound anyway.
Iíll second Doug MacPhersonís pipes! They were my first set. I wanted a quality set that you donít see everywhere. They sound great! And Doug is great to work with.

I got a poly Crisler set for my second....
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