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 Post subject: GHB A440
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:00 pm
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Location: The Swamp (go Gators!)
Hello other pipers forum! Today I received my A440 chanter and drone reed extensions… what a pain in the arse… my cane drone reeds wouldn't work. My old shepherd reeds wouldn't work. My old Wygents wouldn't work. EZ drone reeds wouldn't work…. some set of reeds I cannot even identify that allowed the body to be pulled way out on the tube did work… but barely…

Why doing this? Its a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll (AC:DC) for one of my bands… worried that I'll never get them back in proper tuning so should I just get another set in proper GHB tuning? These are old MacLeods…. and of course MacLeod started MacCallum… these pipes have always been a major pain to reed for some reason, only reeds that ever worked were cane reeds.

In my uilleann pipe world we would call these now flat pipes… the different sound plays on my ears bc I am used to standard tuning… wonder if any listeners other than pipers will hear any difference.

Anyone else been through this?

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: GHB A440
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:18 pm 
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HI Ive been playing A440 ghb for quite some time. I actually keep 3 ghbs in rotataion, one at band pitch, the next in Bb 466, last in A440.
My A440 setup is MacLellan chanter, medium gannaway zip & airstream with bottle tube trap.
The drones are Hutcheons: but I only use bass and one tenor.(get to reasons why in a min),
Theyre reeded with standard Shep SM90's, with custom extenders i made myself out of brass tubing. The extenders are hotwaxed into the drone reed seats using thermowax. (I melted a gob, slathered threaded brass tube end into it & jammed it into the drone bores.)
For a long time i tried this & that to get the tenors to lock , but at that extreme length they simply wouldnt. But using one tenor & one bass only, tunes up just fine with the chanter.
Straight cut chanter reeds need a longer profile, often down to the binding, to get comfy at A440. Mine will currently do all the auxillary tones except high B. theres plenty of stuff out there with me on this setup if you want to check it out.
I like to think what listeners hear is "wow a bagpipe that fits in with other stuff" :shock: But the biggest change I had to get used to was tuning the scale more towards tempered intonation instead of the "purer" intervals of solo piping.

Couple years ago I had the not-so-bright idea of a lower pitched Pipe band, close as possible to Bb 466. There were enough chanters (like hardies, for ex) that got down there without too much complaint, but we had such trouble with drones, even with older sets like Glens, Thows etc. that it just go to to be too much of a pita on gigs.
PS I make sure the backing band always learns the ACDC tune in Bb ;) let them do the work for a change, if ya know what i mean... :D

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 Post subject: Re: GHB A440
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:27 am
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Location: N.W. Scotland
Maze, do you mean standard pipes with a Bb chanter or A pipes? I'm just curious about the reed extenders, I've never heard of these.


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 Post subject: Re: GHB A440
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:00 pm
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Location: The Swamp (go Gators!)
Using an A440 MacLellan chanter - mystery reed, the rest MacLeod band pitch with the wee reed extenders - but I think the extenders I bought (inexpensive little plastic things) aren't long enough so might make my own from brass tubing. After so many years on the pipes its hard to hear the scale correctly now that its shifted down…. will take getting used to. On uilleann pipes, i have chanters in D, C , Eb and B and really enjoy the C particularly…

I think there is just something weird about the bore on my drones as I have been to hell and back getting them reeded up - finally cane is what works best - go figure.

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 Post subject: Re: GHB A440
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
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I made my own extenders.

I bought brass hobby tubing of various telescoping diameters.

The longest tube is one chosen to have the same ID as the ID of the reed itself. So, in effect, you're simply making the reed longer. The other tubes are used to create a socket that the bottom of the reed fits snugly into. I super-glue the whole device together. Low-tech but very effective.

I've been using the same tenor reed for years for low pitch: a Wygent with my own extender. I made the tube very long so that it can actually go up into the drone's bore for a higher pitch, or with a change in hemp I can get the reed very long for a quite low pitch. No matter what pitch I have the drone tuning at its ideal spot, with a tad of hemp showing. The only limit is that if the reed is too long it extends past the end of the stock into the bag, not good!

The bass I can get low enough with the same reed.

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