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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 06-07-2014, 06:34 AM   #21
North Idaho Piper
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roddy Livingstone View Post
No! All wood selected & seasoned exactly the same. I've know Les & Martin for many years & have visited the workshop from when it was a small affair in Buckinghamshire 35 years ago to most recently less than a year ago at the factory in Somerset. The constant factors are the extended length of time Naill's season the wood for, and the amount of the process which is still done by hand by their master craftsmen. I recently purchased two sets of pipes from Naill on behalf of young members of the Scottish Piping Society of London. One was an 'entry level' set of DN0s and the other a mid-range set. The sound of both was identical (and outstanding!).

Craic Piper mentioned the shallower beading on the more recent Naill pipes as opposed to the deep combing after the style of Henry Starck (to whom Les was apprenticed many years ago). I asked Martin about this recently and he told me the change was just his own cosmetic preference. I'm sure anyone wanting a replacement part would only have to ask for Naill's to supply one to the 'old' style.

I am an unashamed fan of Naill pipes (in case you hadn't guessed!) and particularly their chanters. They have been possibly the most consistently successful solo chanter ever and I believe that under the 'Roddy MacLeod RJM brand name' they are making in-roads to the band world. Torphichen & Bathgate grade 2 British Champions just last weekend using this chanter I understand.
I am also an unashamed fan and will not sell my Naill's until I know I can never play again (hopefully many years from now). While they may use the same wood in all pipes now, I've seen evidence that it has not always been the case.

I bought my full ivory sent in 1986. The wood was very dark, almost black, with a satin oiled finish. Within three months, some of my instructors other students got new catalin mounted Naill's. Every set that I saw had lighter coloring and some kind of lacquer finish. I still believe, during that period, that the wood was specially selected for the higher end pipes...

Karl
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:29 PM   #22
Dave Sanderson
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

I was sold them as Starck's, didn't know the name but knew quality when I saw it. Have since learned of their history as I've been in contact with Martin at Naill. Yes very distinctive combing and silver engraving.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:59 AM   #23
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

I played a fantastic set of 1985 full ivory Naills for about 7 years. Very black wood, I think it was ABW but may have been ebony. Very deep beading and combing very similar to Starck. Very bright tenors and a milder bass. A bit difficult to lock in the tenors as the E harmonic was very dominant and if the E on the chanter and the tenors were not perfectly in tune you could hear it kind of rolling around in frequency above your head. It was maddening at times but a very common thing with Naills. Not a bad think but very much a part of the signature Naill sound. It helped to tune a bit lower on the pins under the hemp line to reduce this bold E harmonic. Interesting stuff. All that to say, they were an amazing set of pipes and I enjoyed playing them for years. They sold very quickly when the time came.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:43 AM   #24
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

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Originally Posted by 3sheets86 View Post
I would be worried that other people would look at them (silver mounted pipes) and think that I must rate myself a lot higher than my actual ability...
Yes that's been discussed on these forums before, the various subtle social aspects of what pipes somebody plays in relation to their playing ability.

In other countries it's sometimes more clear-cut. I was told (by a guy who makes Bulgarian pipes) that in Bulgaria the top makers won't make you a set until they hear you play; then they make you the set you deserve.
If you play at a professional level you'll get a fine professional set; if you're a beginner they'll make you a beginner set; and so forth. The sets are all made of the same materials and mounted the same, the difference being in the time the maker spends voicing the pipes for maximum performance. The professional set will have subtle superiority in the ability to do certain things that a beginner wouldn't be able to perceive anyhow.

A professional Spanish gaita player told me he tried for years to get Seivane to make him an instrument, but they wouldn't return his calls. So he shows up and knocks on the door and plays for them and they're delighted to make him whatever he wants. (Oddly, I also heard of a group of Americans who ordered a batch of pipes from Seivane and had no problems.)

In both these traditions top players always seem to play new pipes.

Anyhow the Scottish thing is different because of so many vintage sets being widely available.

When I started playing in the 70s all the good players played c1890-c1930 pipes. The unspoken thing seemed to be that as a beginner you bought a new set and learned on it, but when you got good it was time to graduate onto a fine vintage set.

There's still the thing of good players having the cache of having lovely old silver Hendersons... but there's also a reverse-snobbery thing of some good players having beat-up utterly plain old sets, the least expensive sets available in their day.

The difference is nowadays that many top players are playing new pipes.

A rank beginner showing up with 100 year old full silver Hendersons, or a full silver new set, well, some people might question if such a set were in the 'right' hands. Most wouldn't care.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:12 AM   #25
Leong
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
then they make you the set you deserve.
Oh dear. I think I only rate Pakistani pipes right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
... but there's also a reverse-snobbery thing of some good players having beat-up utterly plain old sets, the least expensive sets available in their day.
At least the piping scene does not have the equivalents of pre-distressed Fender stratocaster guitars - brand new, paint only just dry instruments that look like they have been on the road for the last 40 years, and hard roads those were too. At least piping is still innocent and honest.

Last edited by Adam Sanderson; 06-09-2014 at 06:22 AM. Reason: racial terminology
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #26
3sheets86
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

At least the piping scene does not have the equivalents of pre-distressed Fender stratocaster guitars - brand new, paint only just dry instruments that look like they have been on the road for the last 40 years, and hard roads those were too. At least piping is still innocent and honest.[/QUOTE]

I must confess to being a fan of relic strats. I'm less worried about playing them in the presence of clumsy drummers and singers!
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:52 AM   #27
Craic Piper
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

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Originally Posted by 3sheets86 View Post

I must confess to being a fan of relic strats. I'm less worried about playing them in the presence of clumsy drummers and singers!
agreed...I had a beautiful Phil Jones briefcase amp with a limited blue flamed maple case...and I was so terrified of it getting marred that I never took it out of the house!
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:30 AM   #28
3sheets86
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

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Originally Posted by Craic Piper View Post
agreed...I had a beautiful Phil Jones briefcase amp with a limited blue flamed maple case...and I was so terrified of it getting marred that I never took it out of the house!
I have a Rory Gallagher strat, I don't think guitars come anymore relic'd!

On topic, there was a set of 1970's Naills for sale on Stirling Bagpipes website and have recently sold. I wonder if a reader of this thread has bought them after all the superlative reports that have been given?
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:43 PM   #29
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Yes that's been discussed on these forums before, the various subtle social aspects of what pipes somebody plays in relation to their playing ability.

In other countries it's sometimes more clear-cut. I was told (by a guy who makes Bulgarian pipes) that in Bulgaria the top makers won't make you a set until they hear you play; then they make you the set you deserve.
If you play at a professional level you'll get a fine professional set; if you're a beginner they'll make you a beginner set; and so forth. The sets are all made of the same materials and mounted the same, the difference being in the time the maker spends voicing the pipes for maximum performance. The professional set will have subtle superiority in the ability to do certain things that a beginner wouldn't be able to perceive anyhow.

A professional Spanish gaita player told me he tried for years to get Seivane to make him an instrument, but they wouldn't return his calls. So he shows up and knocks on the door and plays for them and they're delighted to make him whatever he wants. (Oddly, I also heard of a group of Americans who ordered a batch of pipes from Seivane and had no problems.)

In both these traditions top players always seem to play new pipes.

Anyhow the Scottish thing is different because of so many vintage sets being widely available.

When I started playing in the 70s all the good players played c1890-c1930 pipes. The unspoken thing seemed to be that as a beginner you bought a new set and learned on it, but when you got good it was time to graduate onto a fine vintage set.

There's still the thing of good players having the cache of having lovely old silver Hendersons... but there's also a reverse-snobbery thing of some good players having beat-up utterly plain old sets, the least expensive sets available in their day.

The difference is nowadays that many top players are playing new pipes.

A rank beginner showing up with 100 year old full silver Hendersons, or a full silver new set, well, some people might question if such a set were in the 'right' hands. Most wouldn't care.
P Panceltic, however protesting, yet entertainly digressing, seems to be exempt from his own complaint about straying from the subject--Old Naills for sale-quality? He went off on Catalin mounts then Bulgarian bagpipes. Richard are you off your meds? Never mind we don't really care
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:57 PM   #30
Kyle C.H.
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Default Re: Never see old Naills

I actually do care, don't assume that none of us want to learn something new or interesting. Digressions in threads are usually quite entertaining and still helpful.
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