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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Hello, I'm looking for some pipes to begin my journey on this instrument, and it's been a pretty daunting task I have to say. I'm from Barcelona in beautiful Catalonia, but there's pretty much no piping around. I've found one teacher in the city and he's of the same opinion, there's pretty much nothing around here.

The thing is, I'm still a student and not exactly swimming in money, so pretty much all of the sets I find (that are not paquistanese ones) are expensive. I would be able to gather in the next few months about 400€, but then my internship runs out so no more from there. My father will maybe be able to help out with a little more if a business deal works out, so I was looking at stuff around 600. Maaaaybe stretchable a little more, dunno.

So, right now from what I've been able to gather my options are:

  1. David's Penny Chanter practice set, with postage would be about 420€. But David hasn't responded to my mails and his awaiting list seems long because of his recent health issues
  2. The often relisted ebay Charles Roberts practice set in D, but I heard Roberts' chanters aren't so great and hard to reed.
  3. Getting chanter, bag & bellows separately from different makers, but no idea whose and it looks like it would be more expensive than going directly for a set
  4. Selling a kidney, praying to the gods that I somehow trip on a sack of money to pay the 880€ + shipping, and get a polyacetyl set from Andreas Rogge. Bonus points it's near my grandparents home in München, so even if it's 2 countries over it's not hard to simply up and go if something's up or I want to upgrade/whatever.

So... Yeah... Options I've found that seemed "nice" and have discarded are this other ebay set that looks like a scam, same name as the soundcloud of the kim and steve thing that was discussed around here. Then, a local webiste sells "Irish bagpipe from scottish maker Galore" which on the little I found on the web seem to be pakistanese things that are only sold through a company in Edinburgh and not at all built there.

I apologise if I got anything wrong here, complete newbie just a tad overwhelmed :lol:. Can you fine folks give me some advice :love: ?


Last edited by idrilirdi on Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:10 pm 
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This would likely get me abuse from the rest of the forum.

To get under your spending limit.

Vid of 3D printed chanter

A 3D printed chanter with C natural key from Kenny at KM bagpipes.

KM bagpipes 3D price list

The thing that will get me into rows, is suggesting you buy a Geoffrey practice set and use the bag and bellows with the KM bagpipes chanter.

At current exchange rates, roughly 390 Euros plus whatever Kenny charges for postage to Spain.

David

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:12 pm 
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idrilirdi wrote:
[*] Selling a kidney, praying to the gods that I somehow trip on a sack of money to pay the 880€ + shipping, and get a polyacetyl set from Andreas Rogge.


You've got two kidneys ...

Seriously, the only real advice I have is to buy the best quality that you can afford. As you are finding out, this is not a poor man's instrument. Myself, I waited 35 years (and my children were grown) before I bought a good quality, new 3/4 set - but I sure wish I had started earlier. Back before the days of the internet, it was much more difficult to find a set at all. In any event, all best wishes for your search and your piping journey. It will be long, but worth it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:19 am 
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Davy beat me too it. My exact recommendation. About ten years ago I had given up the pipes and traded my half set for an excellent flute, but the bug was still there. I happened to trade another flute then for a C chanter and was stuck for a bag and bellows. I bought that Geoffrey set. The bag and bellows work fine. I now have a B set and better bellows and bag but keep the Geoffrey set with a Kenny D chanter for the odd time I want to play in D. It works.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:24 am 
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Make an offer on this one... I think it's a good value for the money if it sounds like Benson sets I have heard in the past.

https://reverb.com/item/13586689-benson ... e-set-2012


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:59 am 
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Quote:
Make an offer on this one... I think it's a good value for the money if it sounds like Benson sets I have heard in the past.



Quote:
Practice Set is sold as is and cannot be returned.


You want to make sure that Benson set is working properly after sitting unused for a good while. You don't want the hassle of finding someone to reed it. Also, shipping from the US to Spain can be a problem (CITES, cost etc).

At least Charles Roberts is based in Spain, AFAIK. But seriously, especially when starting out you will want to be sure to get an instrument that is at least set up properly and working well (taking your location's weather/climate into consideration). There's enough struggle the first few months without the hassle of malfunction.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:43 am 
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I agree, with Mr. G.

If I were to go this direction I'd have it shipped to Alan Burton and have him reed it up for me. Of course assuming Alan would take on the work. My offer would cover that expense...The chanter is not exactly what I would prefer but it fits the budget and the rest of the set you can grow with.

I was a broke student when I started out and my path was the following: I bought a cheap whistle. I saved up and purchased the best chanter I could afford. I made my own bag out of marine grade vinyl and bought a David Daye Bellows kit for cheap. I ended up with a shaggy practice set but a really nice Dave Williams chanter that I grew with for not much more than your budget.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:53 am 
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That Benson set could be a good option if you expected having to pay someone to make reeds for it. Chances are the chanter is in ebony, but you'd want to verify with the maker. Ebony can be shipped easily out of the USA, but African Blackwood cannot.

Some people recommended buying Pakistani-made bag/bellows. While some people have had success with that, I once borrowed someone's Pakistani-made set, and it was completely unplayable. The bellows were stiff and uncomfortable. I personally would stay away from those sets entirely.

I want to echo another recommendation though, Kenneth McNicholl 3D printed chanters. Kenneth has a good reputation for pipes, and I would expect his 3D printed chanters to be quality. He also might be able to get you a bag and bellows to go along with a chanter for a decent price. If not, you could save a little more for a Kelleher bag/bellows to go with the McNicholl chanter.

https://www.kmbagpipes.com/selling.html
http://www.kellehertrad.com

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 am 
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Thank you all for your suggestions, gonna have to ponder a lot here :boggle:

So from what I gather, the majority opinion here is that my best option would be getting a chanter (a decent one) on one side and bags & bellows on another side (in working order), combine them and voilà, custom practice set:
  1. Kenneth McNichol's 3D printed one, like this option as on the video it sounds awesome, and my teacher's chanter is a McNichol's too. ~280€ (~310 with C nat key, worth it?)
  2. Bag & Bellows from Kelleher with tie in, cheapest option = 450€
Those options together would, without postage, cost me 730€. So lets say 800€, a tad bit overboard for me right now. If instead I got a geoffrey set for the bag&bellows (which sounds kinda fishy because I've heard they leak and aren't comfortable):

  • Geoffrey ~90€ with postage. Seems to have 30-day money back so if they were worthless, back they could go
It would be about 400€ including the postage, not bad at all, on par with the penny chanter set in price but with a better chanter and very probably bad bag&bellows. Those would be upgradeable later on though, right? Or is there a middle ground I could cover between Kelleher and Geoffrey? :P.
I'll also send a mail to Kenny asking about a practice set with 3d printed chanter, as his page lists 800 pounds for a practice set but to email him for options and prices.

As for the Benson set, seems nice but I imagine the posting would be expensive, especially if I went by the route of sending it first to Alan to be reeded if necessary. Daye, for example, ships his sets for 86$ to europe so I guess it would be around that + reeding + another shipment to Catalonia. Seems like it would cost around the same as my other options.

As for the Roberts set, no takers? :poke: As far as I've understood his chanters aren't the best, but it would be 670€ without (hopefully) too much hassle, although I don't know if it would have to be reeded again even if Alan already reeded it recently. Barcelona is about 74% humidity all year long, for reference. Last I talked with him he wasn't a fan of Roberts' chanters.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:56 am 
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Found another combination that would maybe work stretching it a little bit:
3D printed chanter + Kelleher bellows + Bennet Bag (has free tie-in)
280€ + 280€ + 95€ = 655 € + 3 shippings
What do you think?


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