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For those with Dunbar poly pipes...

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  • For those with Dunbar poly pipes...

    What chanter, chanter reeds, and drone reeds have worked best for you?

  • #2
    Original Dunbar (pre-Elite series) or a poly infinity chanter both work well.
    EZdrone reeds or balance tone work great and complement the low maintenance pipes.
    I use Melvin or Shepherd chanter reeds.

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    • #3
      I have used a few different chanters (Gandy, older McCallum, G1). I use original Kinnaird but Evolution worked well as did Canning.
      Stephanie Allen
      @piperchickYYZ

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      • #4
        I also went with Kinnaird in mine, as well as most of my other pipes.
        My Dunbars were used primarily for foul weather play, which often for me meant freezing temperatures.
        They didn't mind in the least, and I've found the Kinnaird reeds to be almost impervious to this same level of mistreatment. St Patricks day and occasionally Nov 11 dishes out notoriously cold weather and since i have to pull off a solo lament, i need drone reeds I can trust to function.
        I also use them in the summer for solos as well.
        So they bring good tone as well as being bullet proof.

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        • #5
          A lot of pipers describe their Dunbar (or other poly set) along the lines of being for bad weather, when traveling, and really limited to just those times when ABW may be at risk of injury or not functioning properly. That strikes me that there must be a pretty noticable tonal/harmonics difference between poly and ABW given that ABW seems to unanimously be the pipe of choice for all occasions, and poly limited to certain times. Is that a fair conclusion? (I'm purchasing my first set very soon and debating between poly vs ABW). Thx!

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          • #6
            I think what I tend to see is that people purchase a poly set after their wooden set, and realising that some of the conditions they play in aren't ideal.

            In terms of tone, you could probably identify a difference in an A/B test but I doubt it would be meaningful. The considerations for me would be weight and moisture management first, and tone second. I'm pretty sure I've walked past many poly instruments without noticing.
            http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
            -- Formerly known as CalumII

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            • #7

              Greetings, ToddS... and to All,

              While I have never owned a set... I have played several... and
              I find them to be... and in any regard... of superior sound...
              pleasing in appearance... and dead-on... dependable!! :-)

              For my part... my 1916 Lawries... having been through WW I...
              WW II... and Korea... with the taking of but reasonable care...
              whether in those sometimes ghastly Saint Patrick's Day
              pub crawls... and... out in terrible On the March Parades...
              and either damned hot... or damned cold... there has yet to
              be... any difficulty... or problem with them... :-)

              Dunbar is a superior establishment... and their truly wonderful
              Shop Elves... always... produce... superior pipes... whether of
              poly... or... of ABW. :-)

              I would hazard... that you shall be... equally safe... with either.

              Best case... follow your heart... :-)

              And... the Best of Good Fortune with it all. :-)

              Regards,

              Pip01

              A Quick Post Script:
              I have used... and shall always use...
              those lovely Old... Green Kinnaird
              Originals... for my drones.

              And... I cannot speak highly enough...
              of... and for them... :-)





              Last edited by Pip01; 01-25-2023, 09:53 AM.
              My friends all know,
              With what a brave carouse...

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              • #8
                My experience with poly pipes is limited to Dunbar and McCallum.
                I've owned dozens of sets, mostly blackwood, some cocus, one ebony, all vintage.
                I break out the poly to make sure I don't ruin a set that would be expensive to repair, in conditions that we frankly shouldn't even be playing in.
                I don't sacrifice tone by going poly....they are very much up to the task.
                I just refuse to sacrifice wood to below zero temps...

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                • #9
                  How many grade one bands are using poly chanters?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ToddS View Post
                    A lot of pipers describe their Dunbar (or other poly set) along the lines of being for bad weather, when traveling, and really limited to just those times when ABW may be at risk of injury or not functioning properly. That strikes me that there must be a pretty noticeable tonal/harmonics difference between poly and ABW...
                    Actually that's not what I found.

                    At one point I owned three Dunbar pipes, two ABW and one poly.

                    Mouthblown drone-by-drone testing showed that all three bass drones sounded identical.

                    The poly tenors were a tad bolder BUT when I measured the bores I found that the poly tenors had slightly larger bores than the ABW tenors.

                    Thus I ascribe the difference in tone to the specs rather than the material.

                    I'm not a big fan of poly drones but it has nowt to do with tone. What I didn't like about that poly set was:

                    -Weight. The poly set was considerably heavier on the shoulder.

                    -Moisture buildup. The insides of the drones got wet quick, the water running down into the reeds.

                    I play sheep or Gannaway with no MCS other than a Moose valve, and I get great consistency out of my wood drones (ABW, cocus, cocobolo, or ebony).

                    I don't feel like adding a complex MCS to compensate for poly drones.

                    proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                    • #11
                      I've got an older set to of Dunbar polys that I obtained years ago and enjoy playing. This is for traveling or seasonal events when the weather is suspect and the S & I Rudall Carte is laid aside. Original version of Kinnaird drone reeds, Bannatyne hybrid bag with moisture bottle, McCallum chanter and Platinum reed. Yes, the bottle does get wet/soaked for Santa Claus parades and the reed tongues have moisture droplets on them but I've not had drones shut off like the old days of hide bags. Everyone mileage will vary but always a clean attack, cut off, and that Henderson sound. Playing the Rudall Carte pipes the Dunbar weight is not a problem.
                      General Order May 2, 1779; by Order of the Commander-in-Chief The Queen's Rangers henceforth shall be known as the "1st American Regiment".

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                      • #12
                        Oh yes about reeds, in the various Dunbar pipes I've owned (ABW, cocobolo, and poly) I got great performance using Kinnaird (original, with rounded tops) in tenors and bass.

                        I found that EzeeDrone tenors gave similar tone to Kinnaird tenors but at a lower volume, so for a more bass-dominant sound try a Kinnaird in the bass and EzeeDrones in the tenors.
                        proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                        • #13
                          I have a set of blackwood McCallums circa 2000, an old unidentified ebony set (Henderson-ish) and poly Dunbars. I use Kinnaird Edge drone reeds, poly McCallum MK3 Chanter, Sounds Supreme chanter reed, and hybrid Bannatyne bag on all three and the Dunbars are magic! Nice bold, warm, seamless drones that lock in beautifully. All three sound great but the Dunbars have the edge and you don’t have to worry about the weather or international travel. I think the sound has more to do with internal dimensions and build quality than material.

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