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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 07-24-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
Bruce Neill
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Default McCallum poly pipes

I was just wondering what people are thinking of the new McCallum poly pipes and the sound compaired to blackwood McCallum pipes.

I was told there are very close in sound, tone...

Is it Poly sound or Blackwood sound?

Bruce
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
Brucebc
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

I am also interested in hearing folks thoughts. Are there are sound files out there with them playing?
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
Bruce Neill
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

I am suprised to see this. I have been told by a few people they sound realy good but not in person yet. They are supposed to be lighter also but its just what I was told.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

I had a set for awhile as a loner when mine were in the shop to change from imitation ivory to mopani wood mounts. They are not lighter at all. Maybe lighter than Dunbars (I don't know) but certainly not lighter than my blackwood pipes. They did sound nice though and I would not hesitate to recomend then to anyone who wants poly pipes.

Jeff
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by FDpiper View Post
I had a set for awhile as a loner when mine were in the shop to change from imitation ivory to mopani wood mounts. They are not lighter at all. Maybe lighter than Dunbars (I don't know) but certainly not lighter than my blackwood pipes. They did sound nice though and I would not hesitate to recomend then to anyone who wants poly pipes.

Jeff
not sure why a knowledgeable piper [ operative word: knowledgeable]would buy or an experienced instructor recommend to buy any maker's poly pipes over blackwood. [ "blackwood" trees grow in a rain forest; immitaon ivory and metal mounts are 'waterproof' ]; Most of the players I know with poly pipes are GR5 or lower in 'Finest' cadres who gravitate towards 'indestructible' pipes that can be beer spilt and thrown about or left untended in a car/truck over the winter.

That said...I did observe a soloist last summer play a set of poly McCallum pipes in a GR3 March event she handily won 1st place in. While listening to her performance,...she played very very well and her pipes were set up beautifully;...I had no aural or physical inkling they were poly pipes ..or McCallum's...until much later in the day.
So, while I believe many sets from north of the border are not nearly an equivalent...I do believe the McCallum poly's are a near equal to their blackwood sets.

Now, if they only weren't,..ugh.., plastic!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
not sure why a knowledgeable piper [ operative word: knowledgeable]would buy or an experienced instructor recommend to buy any maker's poly pipes over blackwood.

...I had no aural or physical inkling they were poly pipes ..or McCallum's...until much later in the day.

Now, if they only weren't,..ugh.., plastic!!
Which sounds most plastic to you - poly pipes with cane reeds, or blackwood pipes with plastic reeds?

Best, John
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

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Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
Which sounds most plastic to you - poly pipes with cane reeds, or blackwood pipes with plastic reeds?

Best, John
Most thought-provoking comment I've read on the poly vs. ABW debate in the 2 years I've been reading these threads.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
el gaitero
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

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Originally Posted by AveryB View Post
Most thought-provoking comment I've read on the poly vs. ABW debate in the 2 years I've been reading these threads.

Precisely. Won't be too long and there will be high quality 18oz. Dacron 8 yd. kilts out there to debate with the MOD ...no-iron/machine washable.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
Gord MacDonald
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Neill View Post
I was just wondering what people are thinking of the new McCallum poly pipes and the sound compared to blackwood McCallum pipes.

I was told there are very close in sound, tone...

Is it Poly sound or Blackwood sound?

Bruce
Hi Bruce,

As a McCallum dealer, I have played/heard both ABW and poly sets, the difference in tone could be compared like this - The blackwood scored 100/100 and the poly scored 97/100. That being said, drone reeds are the biggest factor as a poly pipe set up with drone reed X sounds better than a blackwood set with drone reed Y......and vise versa.

Weight wise they are similar.

Cheers,

Gord
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: McCallum poly pipes

I always thought the shape of the sound chamber had more to do with the sound than the material, although the material does matter some what although slight. I am curious to know how McCallums Poly complare to Dunbar's Poly?
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