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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 9:44 am 
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So, I've been looking into killing someone to get a set of Quinn pipes, due to their mellow tone, and the fact that his books are currently CLOSED! :sad: Just curious to know if anyone has played a set by a different maker that is as good or better quality-wise, ans is still sweet and mellow, witgh a softer tone.

I've played some sets by other makers, and while in tune and balanced with the drones, they are simply TOO LOUD! I swear one set could have practicly doubled as a foghorn, or worse...great highland pipes! Anyway, just wanted to throw that out.

Thanks you guys!

B~

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Brian Lee on 2001-08-29 11:46 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 11:13 am 
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Hi Brian,

Quinn's pipes are no more mellow then anyone elses. The "mellowness" has everything to do with the reed setup. Are you talking about his flat sets or concert pitch sets?

I've played a variety of his sets too and they are all different due to how the owner likes the reeds to be, hard soft etc.

Anyway, just yapping....

Patrick.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 11:56 am 
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Hi Patrick,

Well, the two sets I've played most recently were a Gallagher half set, which was on the louder side, but still easy to listen too, and a Childress full set. Actuslly, I was up at Bruce's place in MA. in June. He played for me about ten minutes and then let me have a go.

His set was SO LOUD it was almost uncomfortable. Certainly not an instrument I'd wish to play in the local sessions. Now, it has been my understanding that the reeds can't be messed with too much once you get everything tuned correctly.

I know you can move the reed (or is it the bridle) in and out slightly to affect overall tuning, and that moving the staple can affect specific notes, but how much flexibility is there realisticly in overall volume control?

Thank you gracious uilleann master!

Bri~


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 2:48 pm 
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Brian, it's a matter of taste. I have a Childress chanter that I adjusted the reed to play quieter than average.
I had the pleasure of listening to Bruce in session with Eamonn Dillon and his trio at a pub one night. They each had one microphone but Bruce's pipes were more vibrant sounding, including the drones.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:04 pm 
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Then Tony,

Once again, I'll ask: how does one DO that? I was under the impression that, as in whistles, a narrow bore chanter will be quieter, and easier to play in tune, whereas a wide bore chanter will be louder, and you may have more trouble blowing the notes in tune.

Thanks-


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 4:17 pm 
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Brian, I'll tell you what works for me.
All changes must be minor, anything radical may render the instrument un-playable. Often, one change affects other things... like volume affecting pitch and pitch affecting intonation.
My experience with a Childress wide bore D chanter is it tunes well when adjusted to play loudly. Bruce uses a wire wrapped bridal that looks similar to a bassoon reed. This reed is very strong and appears resistant to temperature and humidity changes. Changes can be made by lightly squeezing at the bridal thus closing the elevation, making the reed play softer and quieter. Note, this usually effects the tuning and you might have to pull the reed out (re-wrap with hemp) if intonation goes out, meaning your back D doesn't match the bottom D and the bottom D is in tune, you'll have to adjust with tape partly covering finger holes. ----
What I say here is only 'conversation' as there are several websites that go into great detail of troubleshooting reed and tuning problems.
----
There is a limit to how much I can lower the volume, often my high E note wavers or I'll loose a bottom D and I'm forced to open the reeds elevation a bit.

I experimented with an O'Grady reed that I sanded to the point where it wouldn't play in an O'Grady chanter and it (to my suprise) played well in the Childress chanter.
Note although the chanters are 'similar' in physical size they each have their own differences. The reeds are different as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 4:30 pm 
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I think this all brings me right back to y original question then:

Is there a chanter out there that is designed to be mellow from the get go? I was under the impression that classic sets, such as those from the 19th and very early 20th centuries were a LOT mellower in tone than what is commonly produced today.

Is this incorrect? I also thought the bores of the older sets were a lot smaller than odern sets comparitively speaking. (in reality, the difference is onlt a few millimeters in bore size)

So I guess maybe I should ask if there are any makers who specialize in the 'old' style of pipe making? ie: narrow bore

I need to clarify too...the sets I played were both concert pitch. I also got to hear a C and B set at Bruce's place. they were a bit mellower, but still louder than I would like

B~


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 5:31 pm 
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As reported earlier... there are many factors that dictate a chanters volume. The wood used, the bore design, and the reed design and setting.

>Is there a chanter out there that is
>designed to be mellow from the get go?

Yes, it's narrow bore.
Narrow bore compared to wide bore (in the same key) is generally much quieter. Also, as the pitch drops, so does the volume.

>I was under the impression that classic
>sets, such as those from the 19th and
>very early 20th centuries were a LOT
>mellower in tone than what is
>commonly produced today.

Sure, for two reasons. Many were narrow bore, many were flat pitch... Many were made in boxwood. Oops, that's 3 reasons

I'm told boxwood yields a sweeter sounding instrument as compared to ebony. So, two chanters of the SAME design by the same maker one in boxwood one in ebony. The boxwood will be more mellow. The drawback: Some pipemakers are reluctant to work in boxwood as it's less resistant to movement, even with extended seasoning.

>So I guess maybe I should ask if there
>are any makers who specialize in the
>'old' style of pipe making? ie: narrow
>bore

From my research, nearly every pipemaker has a flat set or two to offer. Expect a 1-3 year wait from most and as high as 10 year wait for some of the most prized flat sets.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 6:12 pm 
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Alas!

I don't think the others in the sessions will play with me if I play in a flat key! :sad:

Therefore, I'm pretty much stuck with a loud concert pitch set it seems.

I'm most grateful for all the information! It's great to have resident geniouses to ask this stuff to!

B~


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 7:14 pm 
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Hi Brian,

Sounds like you're looking for a narrow bore D set. Geoff Wooff would naturally be my first choice. He might make a practice set for you in a shorter time period???

Other then him I'm not sure who makes narrow bore D sets??? Don't know why, they are sweet sounding. Actually now that I think of it Brad Angus in Portland, Oregon makes them.

Patrick.

PS - I'm no master, just an avid practitioner like the rest of ye :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Patrick D'Arcy on 2001-08-30 12:43 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 7:28 pm 
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You may be 'just' a fan like the rest of us, but your a fan with KNOWLEDGE!

Have you played any of Angus' sets Patrick? just curious how they rate against say Gallagher as far as quality. Could you email me if you have any personal contacts perhaps?

Thanks man!

B~


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 7:59 pm 
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ya'll just got me to thinking,so i took 1/3 of a cotton ball and fluffed and pulled it, and gently wrapped it around my reed from the bridal up with about 3/4" hanging fluffy above the lips and carefully inserted it into the reed cap.it cut the volume about 30%and did not change intonation,hard D seems easier,i could see fiddling with it and perhaps controlling the volume to where you wanted it exactly.it might prove spousal friendly,as i just hit an over blown low-hi-harmonic scream D and my girl friend didn't give me that cold icey glare.be carefull with your reed.tansy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 2:48 am 
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Brian, who made your chanter ? Have you gone back to them for advice ?

I think you should call Brad to see what he has to offer in a narrow bore D chanter.

Tansy, Funny you should mention the cotton thing... I've tried a few wraps of masking tape about 1/8" down from the end of the reed and it 'takes the edge' off the reeds sound as well.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tony on 2001-08-30 05:00 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 11:07 am 
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Give pipe cleaners a go???? They would be a bit more controlable........?

Probably better off getting a reed you like.... or locking yourself away in a room that won't bother others???

I konw of people who wrap rubber bands around their reeds loosely to mute them a bit.... that's why I mention the pipe cleaner. See what happens for you!

Patrick.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 11:35 am 
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Patrick, the pipe cleaner idea sounds very resourceful, I'll try that later. I'm using 2 small rubberbands right now and they work well... but I'm open to suggestion and enjoy the experimentation process.
Did you ever press the top of the windcap to your ear (or jawbone) ?? there are some very sharp sounds that are produced inside the windcap to me, they were much like a saxophone... good thing those sounds get muted out!!


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