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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 5:13 pm 
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Location: Greenfield Park, Quebec
Hi,

I've seen Gremlin Practice sets on the Hobgoblin site. I know they are made in Pakistan. Does anyone have an opinion of these sets? I'm not sure if I'm going to get into piping, mostly because of the cost, but these sets are "modestly" priced...

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 5:35 pm 
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Location: Surlyville
Rather than discussing if Uilleann Pipes made in Pakistan are worth the money or not...
It's usually suggested to find a full-time pipemaker relatively close by.
I'm suggesting you contact Canadian pipemaker Neil O'Grady. http://home.thezone.net/~pipes/index.htm
His pipes are moderately priced, and can take you from a practice set to a full set if (and when) you decide to upgrade.
Knowing who the pipemaker is can be a BIG PLUS, especially when you have questions or problems. Neil is both knowledgeable and friendly when it comes to customer support. At first, it may be hard to rationalize spending few hundred dollars more than the import set but you will greatly improve your odds at having a shorter learning curve, especially knowing help isn't too far away. Uilleann Pipes should give years and years of service... hopefully you won't let the initial cost be an obstical.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tony on 2001-09-15 07:10 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2001 5:47 pm 
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Thanks Tony,

I half-expected that kind of answer. I have emailed Neil O'Grady. Who knows where this obsession might lead...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2001 7:32 am 
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Something I might add...
Uilleann Pipes are a unique instrument to themselves. Satisfaction of this addiction can only be acheived by actually playing the pipes. Recently, a few new mouth-blown instruments have appeared that can give you Uilleann fingering practice. These instruments CAN be a good learning tool, but won't cure your Uilleann urge. On a limited budget, I feel it's best to 'go for the pipes' and refrain from purchasing any supplementary practice instruments.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tony on 2001-09-16 09:41 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2001 9:09 am 
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I have tried both the uilleann whistle chanter and the uillean practice chanter. I have no intention of buying either, as I think it is important to learn to use the bellows. I haven't ever played a practice, or any set for that matter, but I agree that it is best to start with a practice set.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2001 9:14 am 
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The practice chanter is nice for fingering, and for having a feel for what the instrument is capable of in the variety of sound. However it does not compare to the pure beauty of a well-made wooden instrument with a cane-reed. It's like comparing a kazoo to an Oboe. Still -- If you don't know for sure if you love the instrument enough to shell out a thousand+ dollars (or if you simply don't have the money), it's a nice way to jump in.

Dionys


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2001 6:50 pm 
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Quote:
I'm suggesting you contact Canadian pipemaker Neil O'Grady. http://home.thezone.net/~pipes/index.htm
His pipes are moderately priced, and can take you from a practice set to a full set if (and when) you decide to upgrade.


Tony,

Could you please tell me a bit more about why you recommend Neil O'Grady's pipes? How do they compare to other sets you've heard?

Thanks,

Jamie


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2001 8:14 pm 
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Jamie,
O'Grady pipes are traditional style without features that can raise the price. The mounts are wood, the bellows have no padding, the leather straps aren't overly thick. I would consider them to be middle-of-the-road, no frills, but they play in tune and sound fine. Song of the Sea sells his sets http://www.songsea.com/ and usually have one in stock at all times. The practice sets include a blocked chanter with 3 keys and a spare reed. For the price, it's a great value. This is less money than many other pipemakers worldwide. It's a great set to get started with knowing you can upgrade.
For me, I decided to keep my O'Grady practice set as is and I purchased a half set made by Childress. I like both chanters and have them setup to get different sounds, the O'Grady to play slightly softer.
O'Grady detailing is less than others and less expensive materials are used in the process, but the important thing is the workmanship has no apparent defects.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tony on 2001-09-18 22:22 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2001 2:54 am 
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In summation, if you can't readily find out who made the pipes, why the heck would you buy them? It's like buying an automobile that has had all the serial numbers and identifying logos stripped off of it...I sure as heck wouldn't get warm fuzzies from that, would you? Buy from a person, not a brand, when getting pipes.


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