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R.G. Hardie drone extenders

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  • #16
    I have just received a set and have only played them once. My set up is McCallum acetyl drones, selbie drone reeds, Hardie infinity B flat chanter and Soutar reed , about 25 strength.
    The selbie reeds were sunk as far as possible into the extenders, the extenders were sunk as far as possible into the drone. With the tuning screws as far in as possible the tenors tuned below the hemp. The bass reed tuning screw showed about 4 mm of thread. It showed about a few mm of hemp after tuning.
    I was happy enough with the bass sound, the tenors not so much, they were tuning too low, I removed the extenders, screwed the tuning screw as far out as possible and hemped the reeds to sit high from the drone reed seat, this worked well.
    It was also 35 Celsius, the reed is easy , the reed settled in at 470hz. As I mentioned I only played them once so far, so some tweaking is necessary.

    Last edited by baxter; 08-29-2021, 09:24 PM.


    • #17
      I don't think I can agree with you all on some of the Balance Tone features. They are awesome reeds in my eyes, I love them, but I wish they were industry standard..


      The twist to close aperture knob at the bottom has no real world use in my view, I believe there is a reason no other reed maker else does this. If you want to shut off a drone temporarily then you tap the drone top. If you wanting to stop to drone entirely for a while then you put a rubber cork in it. I don't think it makes sense to lay the pipes down, pull the drone out of the stock, close the aperture knob, put the drone back into the stock and pick the pipes back up to play again.

      The friction slip-fit stem is also not a good design in my view. If this stem were a threaded stem then that could be very useful since you could still keep the post in the drone and quickly unscrew the reed body to make adjustments to the bridles without having to unseat the reed each time. But as it is the reed body can easily slide on the stem making tiny adjustments challenging. And if you bump the reed while putting the drone back into the stock you're doing the adjustments all over again since it's not threaded. I have had to add teflon to my sets of Balance Tones in order to tighten the fit. I also felt the need to add o-rings in order to make sure the reeds are the same distance from the drone as well as protect against accidental bumping.

      Balance Tones are still excellent reeds. Super efficient, great interaction with the chanter and sound. If it were a solid body and a threaded tuning screw they would be magic.
      Attached Files
      Happy Piping