Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2019, 09:54 AM   #1
Molasses4masses
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 277
Default MacRae Repro tenor question

I know there are many of these sets out in the wild, so I wanted to ask and see if anyone has a similar situation that I do.

The inner tenor on my MacRae set ALWAYS tunes lower than the outer tenor and is significantly louder. At first, I thought it was just my drone reeds (Ezeedrones) and tried switching them around and messing with the bridles and screw. That wasn't the solution. In order to have the drones tune at the same position, I have to put the tuning screw in significantly farther for the inner tenor, no matter which reed I use.

Is this normal? It's not a deal breaker for me, and is actually easy to solve (one reed is just set differently than the other). But, I was just curious if others have this same thing going on.
Molasses4masses is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 10-01-2019, 10:11 AM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lubbock, TX
Posts: 5,690
Default Re: MacRae Repro tenor question

I’m 100% certain that the two tenor drones are made differently from each other on purpose to fully reflect the MacRae pipes they are a copy of, Stuart Liddell’s.

So, that they tune differently does not come as a surprise to me. I forget which, or if both, sections are different, but I vaguely remember there being an “M” inscribed on the middle one.
Patrick McLaurin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2019, 10:35 AM   #3
Matt Weasner
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 810
Default Re: MacRae Repro tenor question

Yeah, the tenor tops are different dimensions, you'll have to tweak reeds accordingly. All the fiddly fun of a vintage set, but in a brand new bagpipe! Yay! ;)

In all seriousness, it was easy to adjust past this as you've found. Have fun!

Matt
__________________
"Don't think; it can only hurt the ball club." Crash Davis
Matt Weasner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2019, 10:44 AM   #4
Molasses4masses
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 277
Default Re: MacRae Repro tenor question

Duh! I can't believe I forgot that!

If nothing else, I got a crash course in setting up drone reeds.
Molasses4masses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2019, 02:10 PM   #5
Tom MacKenzie
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,444
Default Re: MacRae Repro tenor question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molasses4masses View Post
The inner tenor on my MacRae set ALWAYS tunes lower than the outer tenor and is significantly louder. ... In order to have the drones tune at the same position, I have to put the tuning screw in significantly farther for the inner tenor, no matter which reed I use.

Yes, I have SL3's and I have had to do exactly as you have described. The middle tenor is also louder than the outside one in my experience. I also use Ezeedrone reeds for the tenors, and a Kinnaird Evolution bass.


tomm
__________________
tom.mackenzie@sympatico.ca
Tom MacKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 05:51 AM   #6
pancelticpiper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 10,013
Default Re: MacRae Repro tenor question

What are the specs of the two tenors?

I first encountered the different-tenor thing back in the 1970s when I bought a set of full ivory Hendersons which had been played in WWI by a piper in the Royal Scots (I don't know which battalion, there were probably over a dozen).

When I measured the pipes I found that one tenor bottom section had a slightly larger, and as I recall longer, bore than the other (sorry I lost the measurements) and likewise one tenor top section had every spec slightly larger than the other (the tone chamber, the upper bore, the bush). As I recall one tenor stock was also slightly larger in bore.

One would assume that you would assemble the pipes so that you got one tenor that was consistently larger in every way than the other, and that's how I played that set. Of course there's no way to prove that that was the original intention, unless we found a pristine Henderson set of that period which had been tied into the bag and assembled at the shop and then boxed up and sealed for 100 years only to be opened for the very first time today.

Likewise I had no way of knowing which tenor was intended to go where.

Obviously the larger-bore tenor was intended to be slightly louder than the other, and it was. The logical assumption would be that this was done in order to balance the volume of the two tenors- but from what perspective?

Recall that at the time these pipes were made (c1900-1918) it was the fashion to have the drones much further apart that we do today, and the outer tenor was often nearly horizontal, pointing directly away from the player and directly at the audience.

If the point was to have the two tenors balanced from the audience's perspective the outer tenor would have to be softer, as it was pointing at them, while the middle tenor, pointing up, would have to be louder.

If the point was to have the two tenors balanced from the player's perspective then the tenor next to the player's ear would have to be softer and the one pointing directly away from him (and a couple feet distant) would have to be louder.

Since that time I've owned quite a few vintage pipes and I found that the differing-tenor thing was common.

So your McCallum MacRaes have one tenor labelled M for middle. But did the original MacRae that McCallum copied come from the MacRae workshop marked in that way? Or is this mere guessing by modern people?

Another thing to keep in mind is that cane is infinitely variable and to get the best tone and performance in the two differing tenors of my old Hendersons I ended up using slightly different reeds in them, different in bore and length.

Trying to use the same brand of synthetic reed in both tenors on your MacRae reproductions might not be the way to go. If I had one of these sets I would try various makes of reeds in each tenor and go with what worked best in each, rather than try to straightjacket both tenors with identical reeds.

Here's an example of a piper, this one from the Victorian period, showing how having the tenors at such different orientation from each other might cause a pipemaker to use different bores in order to equalize the volume from either the player's or the audience's perspective.

Look how far away the outer tenor is from the player's ears, and how it's pointing directly at people listening. Do you want that outer tenor softer, so it's not roaring right at people? Or do you want it louder, so the piper can hear it better?



Though other pipers had their drones more like we do today.

__________________
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

Last edited by pancelticpiper; 10-06-2019 at 06:07 AM.
pancelticpiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:18 AM.