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MG White Zamba's - Oy!

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  • MG White Zamba's - Oy!

    Hey guys,
    I'm trying to get these new reeds (MG White Mamba - carbon fiber) set up. I've Naill pipes (2012) with a Naill band chanter and a new MG "easy" chanter reed. I'm tuning in the 474 range. I'm finding that I need to use drone reed extenders in order to get the drones in tune where they should be, which is a little above the hemp. I lengthened the pitch screws all of the way out, but I'm still tuning way high on the drones without the extenders.
    I feel like I shouldn't need the extenders as they are one more point of "failure/potential problem" so to speak.
    What the heck is going on? I understand that tuning gets a tad sharper as the reeds warm up but still not right.
    Do you think that my chanter reed pitch might be too low? Should I be around 480 or so?
    Comments/suggestions appreciated!
    Winch

    PS - I found an MG chanter reed that comes in around 480 and this appears to have solved my situation. I did not realize that 474 vs 480 was that much of leap!! Thanks for looking!!
    Winch
    Forum Regular
    Last edited by Winch; 04-19-2021, 04:33 PM.

  • #2
    Glad you solved it. I was surprised at your post.
    I have been using White Mambas in my Mccallum acetyl pipes since ~early 2017....and I can’t say enough good about them.Absolutely solid sound and set up... I consistently find no matter how little or much I play at a time or rest in between it seems as soon as I pick them ..it’s as if ‘the pipes were tuned at the factory..’ ready to go .
    I've had a number of bandsmen getting new pipes switch to White Mamba reeds...they’re tops in my book.
    As for tuning....474 is certainly a bit low by current standards...but I tune at 475/76...I’m not pleased as much at at 480 though
    I do have the Mccallum Ceol chanter to do so...and every so often give 480 another try. Of late I’ve been switching between my McCallum Mk2 and Shepherd Mk 3 chanters..both at 475. ..Shepherd standard reeds....two high performers.

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    • #3
      I wonder if the easy reed made it so you needed to close down the drone reeds to get them to the right strength, making the reeds too sharp.
      You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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      • #4
        Nail do not usually tune above the hemp. They are very short in the hemped section and are designed to tune lower on the pin.
        www.schoolofpiping.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by el gaitero View Post
          Glad you solved it. I was surprised at your post.
          I have been using White Mambas in my Mccallum acetyl pipes since ~early 2017....and I can’t say enough good about them.Absolutely solid sound and set up... I consistently find no matter how little or much I play at a time or rest in between it seems as soon as I pick them ..it’s as if ‘the pipes were tuned at the factory..’ ready to go .
          I've had a number of bandsmen getting new pipes switch to White Mamba reeds...they’re tops in my book.
          As for tuning....474 is certainly a bit low by current standards...but I tune at 475/76...I’m not pleased as much at at 480 though
          I do have the Mccallum Ceol chanter to do so...and every so often give 480 another try. Of late I’ve been switching between my McCallum Mk2 and Shepherd Mk 3 chanters..both at 475. ..Shepherd standard reeds....two high performers.
          The Mambas really are good. The Shepherd Mk 3 is one I keep coming back to, I own it in wood and plastic at this point.

          What is the finger spread difference on B and LA between the McCallum Mk2 and the Shepherd?


          Originally posted by PMT View Post
          Nail do not usually tune above the hemp. They are very short in the hemped section and are designed to tune lower on the pin.
          Did not know that, interesting. Is there a particular reason for this or simply something they wanted to do differently?

          Happy Piping

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by William McKenzie View Post


            What is the finger spread difference on B and LA between the McCallum Mk2 and the Shepherd MK 3
            By my measure the Shepherd = 33mm....The McCallum Mk2 = 34.3.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PMT View Post
              Nail do not usually tune above the hemp. They are very short in the hemped section and are designed to tune lower on the pin.
              Learned something today. I'm just slightly above the hemp line. I'll adjust the screws to lower the drone a tad and see what happens.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jim Fogelman View Post
                I wonder if the easy reed made it so you needed to close down the drone reeds to get them to the right strength, making the reeds too sharp.
                I did not adjust the bridles, they are still set at the factory position. Going to a 480 reed made a big difference.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PMT View Post
                  Nail do not usually tune above the hemp. They are very short in the hemped section and are designed to tune lower on the pin.
                  Interesting, by request from Naill owners, I produced a shorter reed that allowed them to tune higher on the pin.

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                  • #10
                    I find it hard to believe they were purposefully designed to tune lower on the pin. Naills are slightly flatter pipes. It is simply a function of the pitch of the chanter. Naill has been making pipes since long before standard pitch was 480+. Plop the pitch back down to 470 and the drone height will go right back up. Naill also has no control over what reed people would put in their pipes. Does “set your reeds so that the tenors tune lower than you might otherwise” come in the documentation with a new set of Naills?

                    My take, it is what it is. Their design is slightly flatter than all your run of the mill Henderson-esque pipes so they’ll tune lower to compensate, unless you compensate in reed selection/setup.
                    My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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                    • #11
                      > Naill has been making pipes since long before standard pitch was 480+

                      True, but so has every other make of pipes that tunes up on the pin...
                      http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
                      -- Formerly known as CalumII

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                      • #12
                        Yes, but that doesn’t mean they were “designed” to tune lower.
                        My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
                          Yes, but that doesn’t mean they were “designed” to tune lower.
                          Maybe not "lower" as much as the hemp portion is shorter, thus what typically would be visible ~1/4" hemp is just pin and no hemp visible (and they're tuning in the same region as other pipes)? Not sure.
                          Happy Piping

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by el gaitero View Post

                            By my measure the Shepherd = 33mm....The McCallum Mk2 = 34.3.
                            This tempts me to try one at some point but I also know that what looks like a subtle difference on paper will probably feel like an airfield to my pinky finger. The Shepherd is really just about perfect for me, the Kyo is even more compact and I sometimes miss birls. I got so used to the Shepherd that I had to give up my Peter Henderson, one of my favorite chanters ever. Could not get comfortable with it after time on the Mk3.
                            Happy Piping

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by William McKenzie View Post

                              Could not get comfortable with it after time on the Mk3.
                              Of course,...the mm I mentioned is hole center to hole center. Hard to believe a fat mm diff would make a diff..but I’d readily believe the LA hole size or shape ( oval) could easily.

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