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 Post subject: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:43 am 
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Looking for a really reasonable price for a great, playable set of mouth-blown smallpipes or lowland/border pipes. I would prefer mouthblown but i wouldn't know where to buy or what a reasonable price is or who to trust (maker wise). I need them for session and for practice as my neighbors have made formal complaints against me for the GHB....so any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Location: N.W. Scotland
First suggestion is whatever you do get bellows blown. Even the best mouth blown ones are problematic. If it's quieter you want go for smallpipes. Border pipes cut through much more but are great for sessions. The only cheaper decent pipes I know about are Kinnears at around £600 - £700. Depends how serious you are about them of course. Virtually all decent players, certainly here in Scotland, play Garvie or Moore with the odd person playing McCallum (Morrison Reel pipes).


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:16 pm 
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bogman wrote:
The only cheaper decent pipes I know about are Kinnears at around £600 - £700.

Add Ross Calderwood's Lochalsh Pipes to that. He's making really, really nice smallpipes for a very reasonable price, but advised me himself to look elsewhere for borders (for which I went to Garvie). Might add, however, that I've never really got on with Ross's bellows and prefer to partner my Lochalsh smallpipes with my Kinnear or Garvie bellows.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Yes, I've not heard Ross Calderwoods pipes but they certainly have good reports.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:45 am 
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Location: Southwestern Ontario
If you're in North America, you might want to consider a set of John Walsh smallpipes. I'm no judge of pipes, but I have a smallpipe chanter that he did up for me as a practice chanter.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:04 am 
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I've a smallpipe for sale, with bellow. If you are interested pm me ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:44 am 
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I would try the John Walsh "Smallpipes A-2000" as he called them.

They're quite reasonably priced but play great.

http://www.johnwalshbagpipes.com/cart.p ... ory_id=278

Though mouthblown they are completely stable, because all the reeds are plastic. I toured playing a set of those on stage and it didn't matter if the venue was indoors or outdoors or hot or rainy: the pipes were always bang-on in tune.

The downside is that those pipes are ugly: all delrin/polypenco with no mounts, just a big blob of black plastic.

John Walsh is deservedly famous for "setting up" and fine-tuning his pipes before sending them out, so that a John Walsh set (unless damaged in shipping) will play right in tune out of the box.

There are no separate drone reeds: the reed bodies are machined as one piece with the drone bottom sections. The drones sound great and come perfectly adjusted. Don't mess with them!

Every Walsh set I've encountered that wasn't in tune had been mucked with by the player.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:23 am 
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I see from his website that my info on Kinnear pipes is completely outdated! They're a lot more expensive now - though probably worth the asking price. For a low budget the Walsh pipes sound samples would suggest they're pretty good. Though I wouldn't play plastic reeds myself if you're determined to go mouth blown then that would be what to get.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:51 am 
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bogman wrote:
I see from his website that my info on Kinnear pipes is completely outdated!

He still makes some poly sets (which I'd assumed were what you were suggesting) with all-cane reeds at closer to the price point you quoted, but doesn't advertise these on his site.

Might be persuaded to sell my Kinnear poly A set for the right price, but not sure yet.

Quote:
For a low budget the Walsh pipes sound samples would suggest they're pretty good.

Depending where the OP lives? (Not quite so attractively priced with UK import costs!)

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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:26 am 
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I tried a Kinnear poly set and it was great.

No doubt a more sophisticated tone than the Walsh.

But it used a cane chanter reed, with all the things that cane brings.

The price point, back when I tried them (at The Worlds in 2004 or 2007, can't remember which) was around $1,200 US, or twice the price of a Walsh at that time.

You can pick up used Walsh smallpipes on Ebay in the $300 range.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:27 am 
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I have a set of Duncan Soutar of St. Andrews mouthblown poly smallpipes.

I have compared them to Walsh. The walsh are a lot louder and more brash (which could be good or bad, depending what you're after). I think Soutar has really done a good job of designing pleasing drones and reeds to compliment them.

I know a lot of purists don't care for the idea of mouthblown. Mine seem to be bulletproof. They never give me any trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:59 pm 
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"purists"?


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:42 pm 
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bogman wrote:
"purists"?


Some people believe (dogma? faith? elitism?) that the definition of Scottish Smallpipe includes bellows.

To me, if you're playing it as your main instrument then it probably makes sense to go for bellows. If you're like me and you pull them out a few times a year while mainly playing GHB, then mouthblown can be just fine, so long as you have a set that's designed to work that way. Mine are entirely made from synthetics, so they are pretty impervious to moisture issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:09 pm 
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It's amazing how many people use the term "purists" as a counter argument to anyone who suggests using the fingering that's been refined over centuries or using cane reeds as being the best way to go, but to label someone a purist for advocating bellows over mouthblown is a new one to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallpipes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:14 pm 
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bogman wrote:
It's amazing how many people use the term "purists" as a counter argument to anyone who suggests using the fingering that's been refined over centuries or using cane reeds as being the best way to go, but to label someone a purist for advocating bellows over mouthblown is a new one to me.


Advocating is great; but some people tell me my instrument is not a SSP just because it is mouth blown.


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