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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 07-05-2019, 04:47 PM   #31
Harley G
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Further to this


Situation: 2 of the bands I play with use both band pitch and Bb pitch chanters. One uses Shepherd and the other R G Hardie.


The Hardie chanter band is playing in the upcoming Tattoo so will be using Bb chanters. I only had a band pitch R G Hardie so we made a Bb composite reed for that chanter and it played in tune at 466. We ordered a Bb R G Hardie chanter anyway and it arrived yesterday so we made a composite reed for that chanter at 466 and it worked well, (in tune).


We reeded a band pitch chanter to 466 and it works well and is in tune. The reed from the 466 Hardie chanter will not play in tune when put in the band pitch chanter. The 466 reed from the band pitch chanter will not work when put in the Bb 466 Hardie chanter.



Why then do we buy a Bb chanter when we can just have a reed made for our regular band chanter that will also pitch down to 466 in tune?



$230 Bb chanter + $25 Bb reed as against $25 for a 466 reed to suit the band chanter.


We tried this on a few of our modern chanters and the result was consistent, (pretty much) cepting for one chanter.


It works with composite reeds so in theory it should also work with cane reeds.


Commercial reality check: No chanter maker is going to tell you this works.


To the Trads that would sooner chew off their own nose as think of playing a composite chanter reed, I am not suggesting you try a composite reed.



As there are cane reed makers that comment here every so often I would be interested to know if this situation is also consistent with cane reeds. We do not make cane GHB reeds.



Could save some bands and players some serious cash.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:26 AM   #32
DNorwood
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

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Old 07-08-2019, 08:13 AM   #33
el gaitero
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Perhaps in this same vein...I posted here several months ago ‘ What makes a reed Bb?”

Could not get a definitive answer from a few reed makers...and learned that a eg. Shepherd standard reed works just as good in my Bb chanter as does a Shepherd reed stamped Bb. ( ...and they appear identical externally)
I tried this only after a RPM friend said had didn’t know what a Bb reed was ...he only uses standard reeds in his own Bb chanter.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:06 AM   #34
magsevenband
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Perhaps in this same vein...I posted here several months ago ‘ What makes a reed Bb?”

Could not get a definitive answer from a few reed makers...and learned that a eg. Shepherd standard reed works just as good in my Bb chanter as does a Shepherd reed stamped Bb. ( ...and they appear identical externally)
I tried this only after a RPM friend said had didn’t know what a Bb reed was ...he only uses standard reeds in his own Bb chanter.
From what I've heard Bob Shepherd say, the B flat reeds were just ones that sounded flatter off the board..I like the idea of playing B flat chanters in competition, the Shepherd Orchestral has been my regular stick for years..I don't get the idea of trying to make sharper pitched chanters fit to B flat with so called composite reeds whatever that is...
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:03 PM   #35
Harley G
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

We use Shepherd reeds and chanters as the consistency is very good. Our PM and band have played GHB with ACDC, John Farnham, Paul McCartney and cabaret performers such as Ian Cooper, all at Bb.



The Shepherd Bb reeds are a different length than standard band pitch reeds but you may need a caliper to see it. Shepherd has that u-beaut reed cutting machine which can be set to cut whatever profile he likes.


Mouth crow your Bb and then compare the crow to a band pitch chanter, you will get the idea from that.


We are very experienced with Bb setup and it is much more pleasant to the ear than current band offerings. If Bb is 466, when does it turn into the next note in the scale? Musically, 490 sounds piercingly sharp to the ear and conflicts with other music the ear is usually exposed to so why do we do it?



The lady with the nails down the blackboard voice always gets heard in the crowd, not that she sounds pleasant. The band playing at 490, (blackboard nails) gets heard over the band playing at 480, therein lies the reason, to be heard, simply put, a pissing contest in Hz. Some jazz musicians in particular have been doing this for years because it works, you get heard over the others. Mr Beaumont is demonstrating the latest RGH chanter at 490 because it makes the chanter sound bigger and brighter over the others and he is being paid to get this chanter sold.



A Bb chanter has a longer hole span or/and a more narrow bore taper and was made this way for a conventional reed to be able to be seated to play at the lower pitch. As the pitch has increased the reeds have had to become shorter to sharpen the tonic and wider to keep the top hand down. This is width aspect ratio is why so many pipers have to tolerate that scawly thin varying high A that is now becoming all too common.



The point I was making is just that if you design the reed correctly, you can get your band stick to also play at Bb. As we have only done this with composite (non organic) reeds, we were not sure if it was also achievable with cane (organic) reeds.



I may just have to give Mr Shepherd another call.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:12 AM   #36
magsevenband
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley G View Post
We are very experienced with Bb setup and it is much more pleasant to the ear than current band offerings. If Bb is 466, when does it turn into the next note in the scale? Musically, 490 sounds piercingly sharp to the ear and conflicts with other music the ear is usually exposed to so why do we do it?
I'll drink to that.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:33 AM   #37
3D Piper
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
What makes a reed Bb
I always assumed a longer reed would make it flatter. Right?
If we clip the lips to make it sharper, wouldn't longer lips be flatter?

We play Dunbar Elite 1 for a flatter sound, although we anticipate going sharp because of the heat.. I don't like the thinner 480+ sound, it's just too sharp for me and harder to get those wee high notes perfectly in tune


-Matthew
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:51 AM   #38
el gaitero
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Piper View Post

I always assumed a longer reed would make it flatter. Right?


-Matthew
Yes...One would think. I carefully compared multiple popular brand Bb reeds to the standard reed and found virtually no diff in overall length, staple diameter, blade length or binding height. So, as mentioned here prior,..I started using the standard reeds as recommended by a RPM friend ...like he does...they work fine.
The Bb reeds seemed/were more tedious to work with ...
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:11 PM   #39
Harley G
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

The difference is quite small as you are only altering the pitch by a small amount in hardware terms.


A standard Shepherd is about 0.3 - 0.4mm shorter than their Bb offering. As all makers may vary the staple length and the length of reed extending past the staple eye you need to be brand specific when comparing. Obviously this will also differ depending on the cane. Small capillary long fiber cane tends to be alot stronger both in length and width so the same maker may vary the profile to suit the batch of cane. The machine that Shepherd uses can dynamically test for hardness, hence his consistency. The joys of CNC.



The shorter the reed the sharper. To stop the top hand going ballistic you make the lips wider which flattens down the top hand proportionally more than it effects the bottom hand. Sorry if I was not clear in my last post.


If the lips are too wide and the cane is not strong enough they can flex too much and will not close evenly across the lips. They end up touching in the middle with a small air gap out towards the edges like a figure eight. This causes that scurly, raspy thin hA as well as base to octave chirps and squeals. This is why the spine on cane reeds is so important. Look at a clarinet/saxophone reed up to the light and you will see that on good reeds there is a distinctive pointed spine in the middle of the reed going up to the tip. Same principle applies to double bladed reeds, just as an oboe player and they get to control the reed with the luxury of embouchure. No such luck for the GHB piper.



We apply this principle to composite reeds also.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:53 PM   #40
Harley G
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Default Re: Who makes this reed?

The woes of using this type of reed.


I played at a competition and was told my chanter was "Too Sharp". I try to pitch around 480 as this is about the average pitch I am hearing played at such events.


I checked my A - A balance and it was fine as was the rest of the chanter. I demonstrated this fact and was told no matter what the tuner indicated, I was still "Too Sharp", the tuner must be wrong.


After speaking with one of the older judges I was told it was not "Sharp" but "Too Bright". WT_?


After a lengthy discussion it was pointed out that most pipers are so used to hearing that thin, lifeless, raspy, "disappearing"? hA & G they get confused when they hear the clean vibrant hA & G this composite reed produces and to some of them it just sounds too top hand sharp.


I used to think, (and still do to some extent) that it is just the old stagers rejecting the thought of non-cane chanter reeds when it is actually the fact that these reeds produce a sound not usually heard from a bagpipe chanter. In fairness, once you find a good cane reed you can get clean top hand notes also but this usually means quite a hard reed from fairly hard cane, also 45 inches plus and out of the playing range of many pipers.


The same was said about non-cane drone reeds when they first appeared on the scene. They were too loud and "Buzzy" compared to cane. Now that icey buzz is pretty much the norm and we all like non-cane drone reeds now.



I guess there will always be those that believe the earth is flat so using these reeds comes at a cost if you are in it for the trophies.
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