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Gannaway vs Canmore Hybrid

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  • Gannaway vs Canmore Hybrid

    I currently have an older Bannatyne Hybrid bag on my set, and although it overall fits & plays ok, I am on a quest for better moisture management.

    For the most part, that means I don’t want excess moisture swings damaging my pipes. This is a real concern to me in high altitude with low humidity overall, but get a puff of cool air, and there’s condensation everywhere.

    With that said, for the same reasons of high/dry, a chanter reed *can* get too dry and spiral into the stratosphere as well, so trying to find a balance is what I am after. (I’m not hard to please.... Nah...)

    My plan on bag replacement (along with use of tube and TrapDri) was either Gannaway, or Canmore hybrid. Clearly there is a big difference in cost. Is the difference worth it on the Gannaway, as far as fit, comfort, drone sound (no grommets; tied in, vs Canmore’s grommets) and yes; moisture control?

    I'm looking for honest thoughts, especially from folks that have experience with them...

  • #2
    The Gannaway will last a lot longer than the Canmore. I had a Gannaway last 9 years, but it failed at the zipper during a parade. I’m guessing that if it didn’t have a zipper, it would probably still be going strong today.
    You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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    • #3
      FWIW, a certain internationally-renowned piper whose first initial is "S" and last initial is "L" told me a couple of years ago that he had played a Canmore hybrid bag regularly on one of his sets for eight years and just switched over to a new one.

      My current Canmore hybrid is a couple of years old and still works great.
      www.portlandpipes.com
      soundcloud.com/channing-dodson

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      • #4
        The Canmore Hybrid is infinitely better at moisture control than the Bannatyne hybrid. Though, while the leather outer provides desirable heft, the canmore does not have the suppleness of a leather bag like a Gannaway. But you don’t have to season the canmore. I find Gannaway needs seasoning a bit more often than my wallet likes buying their $26 seasoning + shipping that seems barely more complex than $6 propylene glycol from a natural food store.
        My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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        • #5
          Curious.....What level...solo or band...are you competing at?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Graineag View Post
            FWIW, a certain internationally-renowned piper whose first initial is "S" and last initial is "L" told me a couple of years ago that he had played a Canmore hybrid bag regularly on one of his sets for eight years and just switched over to a new one.

            My current Canmore hybrid is a couple of years old and still works great.
            Maybe my memory is deceiving me but I'm pretty sure eight years two years ago would be outside the bounds imposed by arithmetic, as the bag itself has only been out for what, three, four years?
            BagpipeTechnique.net
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            • #7
              Originally posted by CalumII View Post

              ....lthe bag itself has only been out for what, three, four years?
              Thinking you’re about right. Got my first two in early 2017 on recommendation of an SG RPM friend...they’d only been out from ~the prior year was my understanding.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CalumII View Post

                Maybe my memory is deceiving me but I'm pretty sure eight years two years ago would be outside the bounds imposed by arithmetic, as the bag itself has only been out for what, three, four years?
                Ah, good point. Perhaps the piper in question had previously used an older Canmore then.
                www.portlandpipes.com
                soundcloud.com/channing-dodson

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by el gaitero View Post
                  Curious.....What level...solo or band...are you competing at?
                  I do both solo and band. G-4

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                  • #10
                    See if you have any requirements from the band as to what kind of bag to play. That could make your decision for you
                    You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
                      I find Gannaway needs seasoning a bit more often than my wallet likes buying their $26 seasoning + shipping that seems barely more complex than $6 propylene glycol from a natural food store.
                      Is this potentially because of the dry climate you're in? When I owned my Gannaway(s) years ago I mostly got away with just the primer. But here in the PNW the average humidity year round is ~65%.
                      Happy Piping

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                      • #12
                        Also to answer the OP. I've owned both bags and I don't think you can go wrong with either. I personally found the Gannaway to be a better cut. The drop below the drones is cut back nicely for your forearm and the neck is a good swan neck which drops the chanter neatly. You'll get a lot of life out of either and I loved my Cannmore too, though having gone back to hide/skin it still seems worth it to me for longevity, ergonomics, and tone. I'm playing about once a week currently.
                        Happy Piping

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MedicPiperLoy View Post

                          I do both solo and band. G-4
                          A Canmore Hybrid will serve you very very well with far less angst. The difference between large and medium is only 3/4”( 3/8” out on each ‘side’ when inflated) ...so if you’re not a wee fellow...I’d recommend go for large.
                          Last edited by el gaitero; 04-06-2021, 04:14 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jim Fogelman View Post
                            See if you have any requirements from the band as to what kind of bag to play. That could make your decision for you
                            That choice is up to me. I’ve wanted to try a hide bag, but the cost is a tough hurdle...

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                            • #15
                              The cost is certainly important, it is a tough call. However, I believe the first thing it should come down to are ergonomics.

                              The pipe bag is so central to everything in Highland piping. Both physically and figuratively. It decides if your bag shoulder can relax, where your forearm hangs (and by extension your other forearm and other shoulder), where your elbow rests. If you aren't at least 90%+ with any one pipe bag under your arm then it does not matter as much if it was expensive or inexpensive comparatively. You will never fully relax and settle in.

                              Canmore hybrid are great bags. I've owned a Medium with grommets, then an Extended Small, then back to a Medium but special ordered one full tie in (grommeted bags bother me). Iain at Canmore is very responsive and great to work with. I've owned Gannaways in Extended Small and Medium as well, excellent bags. I mostly got away with just the initial priming and little seasoning afterward in those and I let go of them due to selling my pipes and not playing for a time. When I came back to piping I couldn't justify a hide bag price in addition to the cost of new pipes so I went with the hybrid Canmore.

                              However, I recently agonized over the same question you are deciding now of upgrading to a hide bag or staying with a hybrid. Given my ergonomics I couldn't fully "get there" with my Canmores, always felt 80%. I tried various blowpipes and lengths, tipping the bag up or down, inching it forward or back slightly. Those things helped but I never fully relaxed for various reasons. Had this not been the case I could have been very happy with the Canmore.

                              I am not in a band and don't have an opportunity to try other bags. This question of switching for ergonomics was made during a personal COVID budget reduction as well last year, even more stressful given I had a bag that was perfectly fine. Like you I asked around, listened to the pros and cons, suggestions. Ultimately, I made the decision to purchase a L&S Gandy cut sight unseen. This bag feels amazing. Going back to a hide or in this case a skin bag brought back positive memories of the Gannaways. There is the seasoning involved or the bag becoming slightly dry if you haven't played in a while of course. But those trade offs pale in comparison (for me) to the ergonomics. I forgot how they mold to your body, the chanter for me now drops just how I need it, and the cut under the drones feels comfortable. I haven't regretted it for a second but it initially was an anxious purchase.

                              For reference I am 5'10"/178cm, average build but long arms. When it comes to sizing and not just bag type, my own point of view is that Large size bags are for very few people. With my own build I would go Extended Small if it weren't for my arms being on the longer side. If measurements between ES to M to L appear to be similar enough on paper that it wouldn't be an issue to go to the largest available then I believe we would all mostly be playing a Large bag. This isn't the case like it was around the 1970's, and while it's nice to have a larger reservoir of air it is far more important in my view to be fully relaxed in your whole body.
                              Happy Piping

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