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Old 02-24-2019, 11:17 AM   #21
DapperDan
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 88
Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Agreed, as a reader, I really like coming across threads where things have come full-circle, i.e. original poster lets folks know how they made out, what worked, what didn't.

I'm interested to see how things go with using a Bb set for solo. If I may ask, why specifically Bb?

Cheers,
~Nate
Hi Nate -

The wooden chanter that came with my pipes is at a much lower pitch than my band chanter (Dunbar makes two chanters, I chose the flatter one because I prefer a lower pitch personally). I don't need to be at concert pitch, but out of curiosity I tried a Bb reed and I was pretty close to 466. A Husk reed sits at around 472 (I will probably use the Husk reed actually). It's difficult to get my drones to tune that low using standard length drone reeds, especially since I play a light reed and have to set the tongues on the drone reeds short, which makes them sharp. So I thought I'd try the Bb balance tones, and I'm glad I did. They calibrate and tune just right, with plenty of room for adjustment - they could tune much lower if I ever decide to go true concert pitch, or play a vintage chanter. I prefer this to using reed or drone extenders or something.
I played at an indoor contest this past weekend, and while I certainly had some issues, my instrument and pitch weren't among them.

Last edited by DapperDan; 02-24-2019 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:39 PM   #22
Pppiper
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Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
Hi Nate -

The wooden chanter that came with my pipes is at a much lower pitch than my band chanter (Dunbar makes two chanters, I chose the flatter one because I prefer a lower pitch personally). I don't need to be at concert pitch, but out of curiosity I tried a Bb reed and I was pretty close to 466. A Husk reed sits at around 472 (I will probably use the Husk reed actually). It's difficult to get my drones to tune that low using standard length drone reeds, especially since I play a light reed and have to set the tongues on the drone reeds short, which makes them sharp. So I thought I'd try the Bb balance tones, and I'm glad I did. They calibrate and tune just right, with plenty of room for adjustment - they could tune much lower if I ever decide to go true concert pitch, or play a vintage chanter. I prefer this to using reed or drone extenders or something.
I played at an indoor contest this past weekend, and while I certainly had some issues, my instrument and pitch weren't among them.
Right on. Just curious. Personally I really like lower pitch ... eg. 471-474 ... but since the "pitch du jour" seems to be now up around 480 and what-have-you, I've grudgingly taken up a sharper set up for the time being with my solo pipes.

Interested to hear how things go with lower pitches ... it seriously shouldn't be a consideration in my book, so long as the chanter is balanced, etc.

Best,
~Nate
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:25 AM   #23
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Right on. Just curious. Personally I really like lower pitch ... eg. 471-474 ... but since the "pitch du jour" seems to be now up around 480 and what-have-you, I've grudgingly taken up a sharper set up for the time being with my solo pipes.

Interested to hear how things go with lower pitches ... it seriously shouldn't be a consideration in my book, so long as the chanter is balanced, etc.

Best,
~Nate
I also hover around the mid 470s, prefer it overall.

Only setup change I've made is buying a set of my own pipes! So still got lots of kinks to iron out (drone reeds etc)
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:33 PM   #24
blhs209
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Join Date: Aug 2018
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Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

For solo's, this years setup will be the same as last year:


McCallum P2 pipes

Gannaway bag
EZ Drone tenors
Canning Carbon Bass Drone
McCallum MC2 ABW chanter
Shepherd chanter reed.


The chanter / chanter reed puts me into the mid-460's, which I like the low tone. Most judges said they liked the pitch, but 1 judge commented that I was flat (go figure).


Chris Sheperd

PS - Nate - missed you at the Indoor last weekend.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:38 PM   #25
Pppiper
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Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

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Originally Posted by blhs209 View Post
For solo's, this years setup will be the same as last year .. The chanter / chanter reed puts me into the mid-460's, which I like the low tone. Most judges said they liked the pitch, but 1 judge commented that I was flat (go figure).
...
PS - Nate - missed you at the Indoor last weekend.
Hey there Chris!

Right on ... I'd wanted to head up, but I'm behind in preparing for Grade 2. Got hit with the flu hard around New Years, and I was pretty much out of commission all of January, and a bit of Feb as well. So I'm still playing catch up. First event now looks to be NH Indoor.

I hear lots of varied opinions on pitch ... so clearly it's a matter of taste. I really like the lower sound, I think the harmonics are much richer. But since the tide seems to be in the upper 470s at least, I got cowardly, decided to cave, and set things a bit higher. My instructor is one who gets a rumpled forehead if my pitch is getting too low. I seem to be around 477 right now, and I'm sure that'll be around 480-482 in the hot summer days.

Hope to see you out there soon! Cheers!
~Nate
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:39 PM   #26
SPCsound
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Re: 2019 setup, changes?

My current setup is a set of 1960's R.G. Hardie sticks and stocks, Bannatyne hybrid extended-small bag, and both a McCallum Bagad chanter and a Murray Huggins laminate.

Previously, I had been playing an EZdrone inveted bass and Henderson Harmonic tenors. I swapped them all for Balance Tone High Resonance reeds, and it's like a new set of pipes. They take SO much less air and sound so much smoother. Combined with swapping my reeds for Melvin medium reeds in both chanters, I've been quite happy.
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