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 Post subject: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:38 am
Posts: 55
Hi.

What is the average life time of a good chanter reed if you take good care and don't play in extreme conditions ?

In my limited time I heard two different extremes. Some pipers reported using the same reed happily for 20 or 35 years, but on the other side, I heard opinion that 6 months is a good average life, since after that they lose responsivness and some other things starts to happen.

Cheers


Last edited by Eric F. on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:37 am
Posts: 169
I played a set that had reeds that were well over 100 years old. Sounded fantastic, played very smoothly, no issues. On the other hand, I have some reeds by Leo Rowsome and Dan O'Dowd that, although still play, are not so good. They now live in a display box instead.

My experience is that a reed will change dramatically over 6 months of playing and 'settle in' to a good playable reed. The reed is usually hard to play during this period but eventually softens. If you prefer a hard-blown reed then I can see why this might suit, but I find that when a reed gets past this stage is where the magic happens, in both stability and playability.


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 Post subject: Re: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:19 am
Posts: 577
Location: Portland, OR
From my limited experience and what I've heard from other pipers, there really isn't a set lifetime of a reed. Some people have reeds that play for decades. I've only ever had a reed die on me once, and it died soon after it was made, because it was made intentionally light, and the unusually warm summer at the time caused it to drastically close up. It might have still have been saved, but I was new to pipes, and the maker decided to replace them instead.

My current chanter reed I've been playing almost daily for a year and a half. And I'm the third owner of the reed, which is probably around 4 years old at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:06 pm
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Location: just outside Xanadu
When I asked this question of a reed maker, his response was another question: How long is a piece of string? :D

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:50 am
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Location: the cutting edge
an seanduine wrote:
How long is a piece of string?

It's twice as long as half its length.
RORY

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 Post subject: Re: Reed Longevity
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
Too many variables and ways of making reeds for one answer.

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