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

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Old 01-30-2020, 07:21 PM   #1
DCYMPiper
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Default Poly pipes.... Opinions

Hi all! I've always been a fan of african blackwood, but I live in Oregon and it pretty much rains all winter. Lol. I was thinking of buying a set of poly pipes. I was wondering are there any poly pipes that sound great? I'd like to hear some opinions. My pipes are Naills DN2 and I know I can't get poly that sounds as good but maybe something close?
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:01 PM   #2
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

As an Oregon resident, too, playing ABW pipes, as everyone in our band does, I'm not understanding the problem. I've played in snow, of course in rain, and even in hot, dry conditions in California (and Portland, popping the myth that it rains all the time).

The point is that I've never had issues, other than the usual temperamental thing about pipes, and really more the reeds, here in the NW. What are you experiencing that would shift your desire to move from your excellent pipes to plastic?
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:33 PM   #3
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

I mean no offense when I say this, but it's 2020 not 1990.. I do not understand the stigma around Delrin/Acetyl/Polypenco that still persists as if they are an inferior instrument simply because they are not 'wood'. They're another material to turn on a lathe just as Royal Mexican Ebony. But in the case of ABW, I strongly believe that if you put a new polypenco pipe and a new identical pipe of ABW in a well controlled A/B test, I would put money where my mouth is and bet that the tonal difference is not discernible all things considered. Their specific gravities are 1.27 for the Blackwood and 1.41 for the polypenco; less than a 10% difference. Easily enough difference in the Blackwood itself to be within that margin of error between different makers just given moisture changes, age of tree the wood came from, length of aging, etc.. This is before we even talk drone reeds and the big swings those make in pipes' character.

When I purchased my current set of pipes I specifically asked to have it made from Delrin instead of the other wood options. I like these so much that I am now seriously considering another polypenco set from a different maker. In A/B chanter tests that I have heard of poly vs ABW I have correctly picked the Blackwood chanters. But in drones, I'm fairly sure never. In fact I've heard sets I've liked and asked about them only to realize they were polypenco too. I have hand turned polypenco drones which are indestructible and fantastic, with hand engraved ferrules and ring caps. Then several ABW chanters that I worry about.

Sources:
https://www.gilmerwood.com/articles/african_blackwood
https://www.wood-database.com/african-blackwood/
https://www.engineersedge.com/plasti...ials_14630.htm
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:43 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

[QUOTE=DCYMPiper;1342867]

Hi all! I've always been a fan of african blackwood, but I live in Oregon and it pretty much rains all winter. Lol. I was thinking of buying a set of poly pipes. I was wondering are there any poly pipes that sound great? I'd like to hear some opinions. My pipes are Naills DN2 and I know I can't get poly that sounds as good but maybe something close?
[/QUO

McCallum acetyl pipes are superb ...and obviously weatherproof...a need I finally acquiesced to several years ago after playing yet another weekend bout of local St. Patrick parades in low 30F temps and lugging my old FS Hardie pipes....fortunately unscathed.
Now,.. I play my acetyl pipes 80+% and use the FS for weddings or special indoor or suitable weather events.
Hooked up with a set of Rory Grossart MG ( McCallum-Grossart) White Mamba reeds they are an indefatigable combo IMHO.

For competitive purpose Id swap over to EZ drone reeds.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:17 AM   #5
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

Dunbar makes the best-sounding poly pipes I've ever heard.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:06 AM   #6
Dave Sanderson
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

I'll second on Dunbar poly's on sound, your bag and reed preference will be your own but hybred bannatyne and Kinnairds are my choice in near freezing, poor weather.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:00 AM   #7
DCYMPiper
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EquusRacer View Post
As an Oregon resident, too, playing ABW pipes, as everyone in our band does, I'm not understanding the problem. I've played in snow, of course in rain, and even in hot, dry conditions in California (and Portland, popping the myth that it rains all the time).

The point is that I've never had issues, other than the usual temperamental thing about pipes, and really more the reeds, here in the NW. What are you experiencing that would shift your desire to move from your excellent pipes to plastic?
Not a replacement....an addition!
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:19 AM   #8
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCYMPiper View Post
Not a replacement....an addition!
Got it! I misunderstood; for it sounded like you were having issues and/or concerns with your Naills.

For those above who are proponents of Delrin, etc. pipes, I have no disagreement. I've even recommended such for some students (one in particular was a young lad who could never seem to get through a lesson without dropping his chanter, knocking his water bottle off the table or falling out of his chair!!).

So, no, I'm not anti-Delrin/other materials. My response was simply that it sounded like DCYMPiper was replacing, not adding, a set.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:13 PM   #9
Greenpipe
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions

go to lockyphoto.com/bagpipeecology

There's a good deal of info from tests he made, and lots of other good stuff.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:45 PM   #10
Pip01
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Default Re: Poly pipes.... Opinions





Greetings to All,

My first... and forever main set... is an old 1916
Lawrie ABW "military style"... that went through
both World Wars.

And, having made it through all of that... I am
always confident that it can make it through all
of this... what ever the "this"... presently may be. :)

So they are with me in every kind of climate and
condition... dry... wet... cold... and hot... and have
yet... to either disappoint... or to produce problems.

I do not own any poly pipes... but I have played...
and in varying climatic conditions... several sets of
them... some five different makers...in all

And... all of them... have been much... much more than
merely acceptable... they have been damned fine musical
instruments... and worthy of ownership... and playing!! :)

I especially like the Dunbar's... and I guided one of my
friends to his acquiring a set. It is his main and only set...
and he overjoyed with them... and they sound as grand
today... as they did... now some years ago... when he
first got them.

"It's a Long Way to Tipperary"... and even longer from
those days... when we were restricted in the materials
from which "good"... or "grand"... and now even quite
"excellent" pipes... can be made.

Get a good brand... buy with confidence... and play with
joy!! :)

Regards to All,

Pip01



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Last edited by Pip01; 01-31-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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