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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Anyone had experience with McCullum Acetyl GHP's? Would appreciate any feedback on your experience. Thank you, Don.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:32 am 
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Hummmmm????? I was hoping for some feedback relative to persons who have purchased or have tried out the "plastic" pipes (Acetyl/Delrin, etc.), especially the newer models or pipes that are of fairly recent manufacture (within the past 2 or 3 years). I've heard that earlier manufactured pipes, made of Acetyl, may not have been so good as advances have been made recently. I was specifically interested in McCullum Pipes (as I feel they are very well made and a nice value), but would be interested in hearing your experience with other makes as well. I was looking at the Acetyl pipes as a second set of pipes that I can take out of doors in a variety of weather conditions without fear of damage due to heat in the summer months or, low moisture or cold conditions in the winter months. I live in an area that has temperature/humidity extremes; it's really hot and dry in the summer and cold and dry in the winter.

Perhaps I'm in the wrong forum to be asking such questions, it would seem so, based upon the lack of responses. Or, may be I've not been clear in my request, if so I apologize. Or, may be no one is interested in this topic, or for that matter cares? If so, would someone please re-direct me to a site(s)/forum(s) that might provide some information/feedback? Thank you. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:40 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 2:32 am 
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Thanks oleorezinator, I appreciate your feedback. Looks like a good place to pose my question.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:52 pm 
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You probably mean McCallum?

They're relative newcomers to the poly pipemaking scene, but Dunbar (in Canada) has been making poly pipes for, what, 30 years or so.

Dunbars are fine pipes, very well made, and sound and perform in a similar way to vintage Hendersons etc.

I owned at the same time, several years ago, two sets of Dunbars in African Blackwood and one set of Dunbars in polypenco/Delrin. (All since have been sold. I'm only playing vintage pipes now.)

My impressions were that poly and ABW perform and sound the same.

One thing: I got much more moisture condensation in the bores and on the reeds of the poly pipes. I would probably need to use an MCS if I were to do my playing on poly pipes, perhaps the full Ross canister system.

I've not played a poly McCallum set but I've done quite a bit of playing on ABW McCallum pipes and they're good pipes. The best testimony is that you'll see McCallums being played in various Grade One circles at the Worlds every year. Obviously they must have a great sound and be extremely reliable to be carried into the highly competitive Grade One circles.

Due to my personal experiences if I had to get a poly set it would be a Dunbar.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Thanks Richard for your post. Yes, you are correct, I did mean McCallum Pipes. I ordered and recently received a set of McCallum AP4 pipes and I'm well pleased with the purchase. Took a while to get here, but was worth the wait. I ordered all of the "extras" a lot of bling, but I like the bling. I needed a set of pipes that I was not afraid of taking out in fairly harsh weather conditions. Where I live, the summers are hot and dry and the winters are cold and dry. The McCallum's are made of Acetyl, similar to, but different than Delrin, but they suit my purpose. Also got the Canmore Hybrid bag which is really nice and helps with moisture control. Also added a moisture control system in the bag. Really a nice set of pipes, they sound great, look great, very well made; I couldn't be happier!!!

I currently own a set of Dunbars made of African Black wood, love those pipes as well. I think you are correct, about the sound being the same. A lot has been made of plastic vs. wood, however, the material I've read and the many people whom I've spoken with have basically said that there isn't a discernible difference between the sound produced by the two materials as far as the human ear is concerned. Especially is that true of pipes made by the same manufacture and set up in the same way (based upon what I have read). When I look at the Black wood drones and the Acetyl drones side by side, it is very difficult for me to see any difference visually between the two. Some have said that the Black Acetyl has a gray tint to it, but I don't see it. For me it's a mute point, if I had wanted Black wood, I would have ordered it.

I appreciate your comments, thanks. I went to another forum for this particular post and was rewarded with a great deal of good feedback, suggestions and knowledge--all very helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:02 pm 
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You're welcome! Glad you have the McCallums going well, and especially glad you have some African Blackwood Dunbars. Around here few people even know that Dunbar makes anything other than poly pipes.

Personally I'm through with new pipes and through with bling. I've been doing this over 40 years and my attitude about pipes is different now.

Give me plain beat-up old pipes that play great!

I'm playing these 1945 Starcks that sound amazing. I paid less than $700 for them.

Image

And I recently got these pipes, probably also from the 1940s, for $800. They're wonderful. The day I got them I popped in some reeds and BOOM!
The next day I was playing them in the band.
(Some people think they're Lawries, some think they're Hendersons. Who can say.)
IMHO vintage pipes just work better than modern pipes, in general.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:40 am 
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Hi Richard: thank you for the pictures, really nice looking pipes. Wouldn't it be interesting to know some of the history behind the two sets that you own, perhaps you do? Previous owners obviously took good care of them in order for them to have survived for 70+ years. My Dunbar's are very plain and simple as are my other set of ebony pipes. The Dunbar's are my favorite, they have a wonderful sound, the person who turned those drones and stocks knew his business in my humble opinion. After all, isn't the play-ability and sound that we are all seeking, I know that's been my goal?

My point, and I think you may agree, is that some instruments are made to last over time by makers who knew what they were doing and were invested in producing a fine/quality instrument. It is always a honor to come across such an instrument and be privileged enough to play it and possess it for a time.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Sorry I don't know anything about the history of those two sets.

You're right: pipes made by makers who know what they're doing will continue to be played, played by generations of pipers.

Well, there's the occasional set that doesn't get played, when a piper passes away and the pipes become a cherished keepsake rather than a living musical instrument. I recently picked up a set which had been played for decades by a musician who was mainly a guitar player but played pipes some. When he passed away his family wanted all of his sizable collection to go to musicians and continue to be played. I'm keeping his pipes going, 1960s Lawries that sound fantastic.

He had kept meticulous care of these pipes, and they look like they did the day they were made (except for the yellowing of the plastic).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:31 am 
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Wow Richard, what a find!!!! They look beautiful. It just does not get much better than that. Enjoy, Don.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Richard, by now you most likely have had a chance to play your new set of pipes a bit, are you still pleased with them? It sounds as though they may have been sitting for a while, are you breaking them in as you would with a new set? How are they set up? Would be interested in your thoughts on changes that you might be considering in terms of the bag, drone reeds, chanter, your choice of chanter reed, moisture control, etc? Did you polish up the metal, and if so, what did you use? Final question, and this is somewhat delicate, would you be willing to disclose how much you paid for them? If not, I understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:55 pm 
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I didn't polish the metal or oil the wood or anything. They came to me looking like that.

They cost $200.

But! They were missing the Bass bottom section, and the stocks.

I had Rick Pettigrew at Dunbar Bagpipes make a new Bass bottom section. He had some vintage catalin mounts to hand. The new section isn't a perfect match but it's very close.

Image

I already had a set of vintage ABW stocks tied into a sheepskin bag so I just stuck these drones in that bag and began playing them right away. They haven't changed any that I can tell.

Several years ago I acquired a c1905 set of pipes which had been hung above somebody's fireplace for around 30 years. Luckily they didn't seem to have ever had a fire in the fireplace, because the pipes were in perfect condition, with no cracks in the wood or ivory.

I began playing them right away. I played them for several years, in the hot sun and in the rain and all the conditions that pipes are exposed to at Highland Games and funerals and such. They never developed a single crack.

What is so very strange is that when I sold them to another piper they developed a big crack in the Bass top section after he had been playing them for a couple months.

Also I ordered a set of Dunbar ABW pipes with "palm nut ivory" mounts. I played this set for a couple years and it was perfect. I sold it to another piper and within a month or two all the mounts had shrunk and became loose. I just can't explain it. I don't know what these guys are doing to their pipes! I don't take any special care of my pipes, just commonsense stuff like don't leave them sitting in the hot sun.

About setup I use a sheepskin bag, a Moose valve in the blowpipe stock, and no MCS or other "guts".

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:24 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I just can't explain it. I don't know what these guys are doing to their pipes! I don't take any special care of my pipes, just commonsense stuff like don't leave them sitting in the hot sun.


In general, wood cracks when it drys out. Some possibilities include: you play more than they do, you play wetter than they do, they put more moisture control in them, they use more AC in their homes in the summer, or more heat in the winter, or they live somewhere with less humidity. I'm sure there are many other possible reasons.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:35 pm 
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I am a wet blower!

Yes there are many possibilities. For one thing I keep pipes in air-tight cases so they don't dry out between playings.

My guess is that these guys play their pipes a lot more than I do, get their pipes soaking wet, then leave them exposed to the air so that they fully dry out. I think alternating pipes between the extremes of wet and dry makes them crack. I keep pipes more or less in the middle.

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