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 Post subject: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:06 am 
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Does anyone have an opinion on the quality and value of McCallum bellows-blown small pipes in A made by Fred Morrison? I'm considering buying a set.

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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:20 am 
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I to would like to hear from people who own McCallum smallpipes. I've seen them for sale, but never actually played one.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:58 am 
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I couldn't hold off - I acquired a set. Initial impression is very positive: very nice tone & sound. Even though I have played the Uilleann pipes, the bellows are going to take awhile to get use to. And those bellows... VERY manly! Much more capacity than the bellows for my Uilleann pipes. So far the only downside to the small pipes is the bellows connector could be a bit longer. I feel a bit cramped when playing them, but that may just be something to get use to. Overall, I'm happy with the pipes.

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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:09 pm 
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I have a set, and my wife another. They are remarkably stable over large humidity swings. I live on the northern end of the great California desert). The humidity swings from extremely low 10 to 12% up to the 70% range in parts fo the winter just after it rains. I attend a group of bellow pipers in the Lake Tahoe area yearly where the humidity gets really low. Altitude means that the air is tired and just cannot hold up enough water to make reeds more pliable. The Smallpipes just keep on rolling, but other bellows pipes tend to get a bit "altered". DItto Highland pipes.

These pipes are robust, Tune in "A", keep their tuning, are easy to play and have a pleasant sound. I don't know how much more one could ask. The bellows too are robust and effective.

I've a few other sets of smallpipes about the place 2X Herriott and Allen, A set of Blue McMurchies, and some other bits and bobs, but the Fred Morrison/McCallums are the ones that that get called out to play in earnest. Tehy just work when asked to. The other sets, might be better in some more difficult to explain way, but the Fred Morrison McCallums are the ones that get played.


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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:15 am 
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Thanks Zarb for all that info.

When is this Tahoe piper gathering?

I have a sister in Carson City (who used to live in South Lake Tahoe by the way) and it would be great to visit her and attend this piping event too.

As I've said before I have a strange disability when it comes to Scottish bellows pipes. I've been playing both Highland pipes and Uilleann pipes for around 40 years, but for some reason combining the two confounds my brain.

So my SSPs have always been mouthblown. Ditto the period when I was playing "border" chanters, I used them in a vintage 3/4 set of Highland pipes.

BTW I just googled "piper's gathering" and came up with this site. There is no mention that I can find of where this gathering takes place, not a word of this page as to location:

http://www.pipersgathering.org/gathering/

nor on this one

http://www.pipersgathering.org/2016-gathering/

I looked through a number of the drop-down menus and still nothing about location.

I did find information about past locations on this drop-down:

http://www.pipersgathering.org/history- ... gathering/

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:51 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
There is no mention that I can find of where this gathering takes place, not a word of this page as to location:

http://www.pipersgathering.org/gathering/

nor on this one

http://www.pipersgathering.org/2016-gathering/
There's a link for tickets that gives the location as Wisdom House, 229 East Litchfield Road , Litchfield, CT 06759, back in late August.

Not in your neighbourhood.


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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:19 pm 
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Update on my experience with the McCallum SSP. I play these nearly every day and enjoy them more and more. The bellows versus mouth-blowing technique took a bit of getting use to but is so worth it. The reeds are rock-steady and I haven't had to touch the tuning even once as humidity levels in the house fluctuate. The one thing I've found to be important for comfort while playing is that the bellows strap (for me at least) needs to be at the rib cage versus closer to the beltline as with my Uilleann pipes. This affects the height at which the chanter can be held and played comfortably. Took me awhile to figure that out. Great pipes. Highly recommend them to Highland pipers who want something to practice on indoors in the winter.

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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:37 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
There's a link for tickets that gives the location


Ah, in a submenu of a submenu there's "registration" which gives the location.

Still very odd. I go to many events each year of various types in various states and I can't recall any that don't either give the location on the home page, or have a "location" tab on the home page.

On that one there, you will have had to make the decision to attended and click on "registration" before you even know where the event is held.

Unique in my experience.

What I do see many times with various Highland Games around the country is listing the venue as "so-and-so park" which name has no official standing and is merely a nickname used by locals, and does not appear on maps or anywhere else on the internet. The organisers of the events are all locals to the venue and don't realize the problem ("everyone here knows that that park is called that") and don't seem to understand that non-locals won't be able to find their venue online.

I guess that piper's gathering is in the same boat: "everyone knows where the piper's gathering is!"

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:29 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
There's a link for tickets that gives the location

pancelticpiper wrote:
Ah, in a submenu of a submenu there's "registration" which gives the location.

Still very odd. I go to many events each year of various types in various states and I can't recall any that don't either give the location on the home page, or have a "location" tab on the home page.

On that one there, you will have had to make the decision to attended and click on "registration" before you even know where the event is held.

Unique in my experience.

What I do see many times with various Highland Games around the country is listing the venue as "so-and-so park" which name has no official standing and is merely a nickname used by locals, and does not appear on maps or anywhere else on the internet. The organisers of the events are all locals to the venue and don't realize the problem ("everyone here knows that that park is called that") and don't seem to understand that non-locals won't be able to find their venue online.

I guess that piper's gathering is in the same boat: "everyone knows where the piper's gathering is!"

Your note is somewhat confusing. On the Pipers Gathering Home Page it quite clearly states (in two places) that it is located in Litchfield, CT.

Best wishes.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:25 am 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Your note is somewhat confusing. On the Pipers Gathering Home Page it quite clearly states (in two places) that it is located in Litchfield, CT.
That's new. When this first came up, they were still showing info about the 2016 gathering, which said nothing about location. Perhaps others commented on the lack of vital information. This year, they've wisely put when and where boldly up front.


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 Post subject: Re: McCallum Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:08 am 
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Good to hear they've updated the site.

Not knowing I had to click on the tab to register for the event to discover the location, I did find a page that talked about the history of the gathering which mentioned past locations. That's all that was there at the time I looked.

Just yesterday I was looking over the site of a different unrelated event and found a mix of new stuff talking about the 2017 event and old stuff talking about the 2016 event (already passed). So one place told about how to get tickets for the event, another place said the event was sold out. You have to read between the lines to figure out which year is being referenced in each portion of the site.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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