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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 7:11 pm 
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I've been investigating sets by different makers recently, and have decided to go ahead and put my name on a list. I've been under the assumption that it's better to buy from a maker who is relatively close to you, and so have ruled out makers in Europe as a rule for my first set.

Seth Gallagher is a name that seems to pop up as about the best maker this side of the water. Does anyone else have feelings on this claim? Is there a "BEST" maker in the field someone might want to reccommend?

Again, I understand that as with whistles, this is a loaded question, but I'd like to get as much feedback as possible.

Also, how much merit is there in mixing sets? For example, is there a maker out there with a particularly good chanter? Top notch stock and drones? Is it wise to mix and match parts or to stick with the same maker throughout a set?

Thanks to any and all!

Brian~


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 1:19 am 
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About mixing parts...I wouldn't count on it. I don't believe there is any real standard size for all the connections; bellows to air line, air line to bag (some makers go directly from bellows to bag), bag to chanter, and bag to drones. I have seen people mix parts using lots of dental floss, teflon tape, and garden hose though!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 8:25 am 
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That's just what I thought John!

But I seem to keep hearing about all these folks who use so and so's chanter with a mainstock by someone else and all that. But I was wondering how they could all fit! I know a Burke mouthpiece certainly won't fit an Overton whistle body!

Hmmm..now I'm even more perplexed. How do these people mix stuff I wonder...

B~


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 8:42 am 
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Hey Brian

I swap out chanters often (with a fair amount of teflon tape/waxed hemp). I have a 20+ year old Konzak chanter and a new Daye blackwood. The Konzak, due to the age, is incredibly mellow and sweet and certain tunes just sound better with it. So, out comes the adjustments. That's as far as I'd go with mix and match though. Most makers prefer to work on their own sets of pipes... some won't work on other makers sets. Its best to pick a maker and let them do all the upgrades from practice set to full. There are so many really good makers out there too. Seth's pipes get very good reviews. Some say that the best maker in the U.S. is Timothy Britton. Kirk Lynch also makes good sets, as does Childress. Williams (in the U.K.) is supposed to make very good sets too. Don't count out the Irish/U.K. makers just because of distance. When you upgrade, you'll have to surrender your pipes to the maker anyway. And unless you learn to make reeds (argh! don't even get me started on that subject!), you'll have to send in your chanter for the fitting. So, a non-U.S. maker is going to mean a little longer wait depending on what shipping you use. I haven't heard the latest wait times on Seth's pipes... are we talking years? I highly recommend getting a set of David Daye's to get started. The prices are great and wait times minimal. He is up to special orders. My husband ordered a custom set as a Christmas gift for me. He asked for a blackwood chanter and David delivered. There are used sets all over the place for sale as well. About 2-3 years ago after Riverdance everyone and their brother wanted a set of uilleanns. Well, after seeing just how difficult these monsters are, a fair number of those people are now selling their pipes. Check out http://www.purplethorn.com/UPIL/ and
http://www.iol.ie/~npupipes/index.html

Good luck!
Teri


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 11:05 am 
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Hi Brian and John,

Based on my attending a recent Tionol (piper's gathering) and on playing a borrowed practice set from the local club, and attending their monthly meetings, I'd like to gently disagree with you on a few of your points. << Soapbox alert!!! >>

As near as I can tell, everyone uses either beeswaxed hemp or teflon tape to help leak-proof their various joints. That's not to say that their sets are poorly made; this just seems to be the way it's done in the real world.

Parts (bags, bellows, even chanters) do seem to be largely interchangeable. A newly-made chanter in B was passed around the circle last meeting and everyone was able to plug it in to their own bags. Everyone had sets playing in D that day, so the fact that a B chanter worked fine tells me that things are more standard than we may think. Sorry I don't have any measurements? Hey, dave parkhurst, Help!

About mixing chanters and drones from different makers, yes, it is done, but it may not be the best way to go. Remember that chanter volume and bag pressure must match that of the drones in order to have everything play in tune. That seems to be tricky enough for makers with all their own stuff, much less a mix.

A local maker can be a fine thing, especially when reeding questions or problems arise. A European maker, fine as he or she may be, may be personally unfamiliar with the climate and humidity conditions found in the U.S. A maker living in the U.S. may have more experience reeding for the more varied conditions here. I have a David Daye set on order and I know that he's worked hard to make sure his reeds work well in all conditions.

<< Soapbox alert cancelled >>

Hope this helps,
Henri VIII


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:25 pm 
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Henri,

You must have been to a very unique meeting of Uilleann pipe players (or luck was on their side). I have sat in on groups where there are Childress, Gallagher, Lambe, Lynch, Preshaw, Rowesome, Sloan, Vignoles, and other sets I haven't identified all playing and someone pulls out a new chanter. Without using some kind of <i>homemade semi-universal hose-pipe clamp-flange adapter thingie</i> or a lot of teflon tape probably only half the pipers are able to try the new toy out.

Just like you, I'm speaking from experience. Obviously we need more than experience to solve the mystery though. Like the low-D whistles, the only thing we can do is everybody measure their own pipes and post the results. But, then, what good will the results be? Will that give us a wider choice of hybrid pipes to concoct?

When a person is just starting out it <b>is probably best</b> to stick with a single maker for the entire set.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 3:31 pm 
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I have two sets, a Kirk Lynch concert-D half set, and a Seth Gallagher flat-C (well, sort of, narrow bore, but big tone holes) practice set. I can use the Lynch chanter on the Gallagher bag by wrapping the chanter air tube with waxed floss, or as I've done now, a tapered mix of floss and beeswax, this way I can go between the two sets with the one chanter easily. The Gallagher chanter intake tube is considerably larger than the Lynch, so to go the other way, I made an adapter out of brass hobby tubing.

I highly recommend both of these builders, their work is exemplary.

Cheers,

Michael Eskin
http://www.michaeleskin.com


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