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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 09-18-2020, 09:14 AM   #1
Matt Willis Bagpiper
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Default Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

Not often we get to hear two different models from the same maker, so I thought I'd give it a go when this set of Hardie RG00 came to me (many thanks to Jeremy Downs at Lone Star Piper). Since I already own a set of Henderson Heritage pipes by R.G. Hardie & Co., I thought "let's compare these!"

I use three different drone reeds (Melvin cane, Ackland Overtone 480s, and Ezeedrones). You can hear each by themselves as well as them spliced together to really hear the differences.

What do you think? Which pipe or set of reeds did you prefer?

Link: https://youtu.be/k5npfWfiAds

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Old 09-18-2020, 10:18 AM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

[QUOTE=Matt Willis Bagpiper;1348179

"let's compare these!"

[QUOTE]

Did j miss a memo from RGH &Co.? Except for the the exterior profile they've said all the internal bores and specs are the same. ??
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
Matt Willis Bagpiper
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Did j miss a memo from RGH &Co.? Except for the the exterior profile they've said all the internal bores and specs are the same. ??
They do have the same bores, so this is more of a "does the price point" matter comparison. Was poorer wood selected? Do the less expensive ones sound worse? In my experiment here, they sound remarkably similar, though I do think the bass is a bit fuller on the Hardies and the blend a bit better on the Hendersons. But just a touch.

I'm having a difficult time deciding which ones I prefer tonally. They're both gorgeous in their own way aesthetically.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:59 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Willis Bagpiper View Post
They do have the same bores, so this is more of a "does the price point" matter comparison. Was poorer wood selected? Do the less expensive ones sound worse? In my experiment here, they sound remarkably similar, though I do think the bass is a bit fuller on the Hardies and the blend a bit better on the Hendersons. But just a touch.

I'm having a difficult time deciding which ones I prefer tonally. They're both gorgeous in their own way aesthetically.
Iím thinking the wood is the wood is the wood. It all gets used...unless a real flaw is uncovered. Granted ..for a bespoke full silver set some added attention might be given to hand selecting the blanks. But RGH like others have and use quality material from trusted and consistent suppliers.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

The most striking difference was the performance of the drone reeds.
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

If what the firm has stated, that they use the same specs for all models, differences detected could be due to

1) Production changing over time. So unless you're comparing a Hardie and Henderson that were made in the same batch you're introducing an unknown number of variables which have nothing to do with the branding.

2) The degree of variation from instrument to instrument. What if the differences detected between one Henderson and one Hardie actually fall within the range of variation that exists within each brand?

Unknown variables cast shade on the validity of conclusions.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:10 PM   #7
John Dally
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

The sound quality of YouTube is so poor that it's difficult to judge just by viewing the video.
With CNC machining of the drones, the reeds, as previously noted, would be the main difference. Bag material and blowing are other factors.
Comparing Delrin to wood pipes would be interesting, but YouTube doesn't have the quality to reveal the differences.
It is a worthy experiment. And your main take away, which is that basic pipes can sound as good as expensive pipes, is important. In the Old Days before computerized machining lathes that was not true. In those days you really needed someone at the maker, or someone who knew the maker, to pick out a quality set regardless of the bling on it. There were makers who didn't make crap, of course, but a lot of crap was shipped off to the States that wouldn't have passed inspection in Scotland except in a tourist shop on the Royal Mile.
The chanter in your Henderson set did sound better than the chanter in the Hardie set, but I might have been imagining that.
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Last edited by John Dally; 09-19-2020 at 09:11 PM. Reason: and another thing
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Modern Hardie vs. Henderson - play test between two models from the same maker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Iím thinking the wood is the wood is the wood. It all gets used...unless a real flaw is uncovered. Granted ..for a bespoke full silver set some added attention might be given to hand selecting the blanks. But RGH like others have and use quality material from trusted and consistent suppliers.
If the bores are identical, it must be the beading and combing that produce the difference, if any?
Matt should offer up a shuffled blind test, just the audio, without the video, the odds being 2\1
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