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Bannatyne Hybrid vs. Gannaway Hide w/zipper

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  • Bannatyne Hybrid vs. Gannaway Hide w/zipper

    Morning Gents,

    I am fortunate enough to have ordered a new set of pipes and I would like your input regarding the type of pipe bag that I should use. I have been playing for 10 years and my original Bannatyne Hide/Synthetic is still going strong. I like the ease of installation on the Bannatyne and the fact that it is virtually maintenance free. Having said that, the really good players that I know all use a Gannaway hide bag that is tied in. I am wavering back and forth between the Bannatyne and Gannaway. Some people say that you get better tone and better cut off's with the hide. I'm not sure about that. Also, I'm a little trepidatious about the tie in of a hide bag (although I have some assistance if I want to ask). I'm in 2 parade bands, and I will never be in a competition. I'm prolly like a G4 or G5 level piper.

    Cost is not a factor. I initially purchased the Bannatyne. Then I sent it back and ordered a Gannaway. Now I'm thinking that I should have stuck with the Bannatyne LOL.

    I look forward to your sage advice!!

    Thanks,
    Winch





  • #2
    If your band friends are using Gannaway, can you play one of their pipes for a while, to see if you like that bag? That's the best way to make this decision, it seems to me. I've never known a piper who didn't have strong opinions - pro and con - about particular bags...all of which could be contradicted by the next piper. Guidance from good pipers should be given due consideration, but playing different bags provides the best experience. Also, in my experience, new bags take time to adjust to; a bag may initially feel uncomfortable, but improve with time and use...and vice versa, of course. I used tied-in Gannaways for a long time, and like them; I play sheepskin now, and like it best of all. However, I have a hybrid Canmore on a set of street pipes that feels just fine. Particular characteristics of bags suit some pipers and not others. For example, I prefer tied-in bags to those with grommets, as they seem to make the drones more flexible on my shoulder (and easier to pack nicely in a pack), but other pipers may like the locked-in feeling or simply not mind at all.

    Don't let tone be a consideration. There is significant disagreement about the effect of bag material on tone, and it usually centers around sheepskin; regardless of what the truth may be, it almost certainly is not an issue at the G4/5 band level. And strike-ins? Well, bands and soloists of all levels effect accurate strike-ins with every reputable bag out there. Competent strike-ins are more a result of the piper's ability, and a bit to the proper setting of the drone reeds. The difference between the Bannatyne and Gannaway - if there is any - is probably very small and indistinguishable by most pipers.

    A suitable size of bag would be, I think, more important for you than the type of bag material.

    That may sound wishy-washy, if you are looking for affirmative answer, but ultimately only you can decide what is best for you, and it may not be what is best for your band buddies. That said, I think there is something to be said for trying a new bag now and then....
    Eddie
    "All politeness is owing to Liberty. We polish one another, and rub off our Corners and rough Sides by a sort of amicable Collision." Lord Shaftesbury

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    • #3
      Thanks Eddie! Good advice. However, in these days of COVID, I feel kind of reluctant to ask to blow someone else's pipes. (I would not let anyone play my pipes). I'm going to talk to my PM some more. One PM plays Gannaway, the other plays Bannatyne. Be well!

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      • #4
        I pretty much agree with Eddie's advice. Re: Strike-ins. It may vary, even with the same bag. I've played Gannaways for years; and when I changed even the same size bag, my strike-in changed a bit. Don't be swayed as much by what "the better" pipers play, as much as what works for you. For tone, I agree with the sheepskin recommendation (to which I'm changing). I like to keep a grommet bag on hand for emergencies. I had a bag spring a leak a day before competition (thank God I was practicing!); and it was so much easier to pop on a grommeted bag in a hurry (although I was concerned about the strike-in; which, fortunately, turned out to not be an issue).

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        • #5
          I'm a total Gannaway fanboy. I even use their lovely seasoning for my morning aftershave.
          "What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EquusRacer View Post
            I pretty much agree with Eddie's advice. Re: Strike-ins. It may vary, even with the same bag. I've played Gannaways for years; and when I changed even the same size bag, my strike-in changed a bit. Don't be swayed as much by what "the better" pipers play, as much as what works for you. For tone, I agree with the sheepskin recommendation (to which I'm changing). I like to keep a grommet bag on hand for emergencies. I had a bag spring a leak a day before competition (thank God I was practicing!); and it was so much easier to pop on a grommeted bag in a hurry (although I was concerned about the strike-in; which, fortunately, turned out to not be an issue).
            I recall in days of yor playing in the event grade 2 circle when our pipey..standing direct across from me... suddenly slowly lowered down his pipes in mid medley...looking around with a shoulder shrug.
            Seemed his leather bag chose to open up a 1/2" tear along the rear bottom seam.
            When I looked at after marching off...I was certain the 'tear' was the same width as a skean dhu blade...from some knuckleheads in an adjacent competitor's band playing mumbledy skean dhu while our pipes were laying around before going up to the line.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by John McCain View Post
              I'm a total Gannaway fanboy. I even use their lovely seasoning for my morning aftershave.
              Being a sheepskin man, I find Airtight makes a soothing aftershave gel...
              Eddie
              "All politeness is owing to Liberty. We polish one another, and rub off our Corners and rough Sides by a sort of amicable Collision." Lord Shaftesbury

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              • #8
                Thanks for the advice everyone. I went with the Gannaway. The tie in process was fun.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eddie Selden View Post

                  Being a sheepskin man, I find Airtight makes a soothing aftershave gel...
                  It also makes a great face mask.

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