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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:19 am 
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andymay wrote:
Well i know a guy that bought the Koehler chanter from Fred last year, so he's definitely not using that anymore, wonder what he's switched to now?


For the last couple of years Fred has been playing a Williams chanter he got from a chap out in the Islands. It has whale ivory trimmings from what I recall.

I have had a go on a couple of the McCallum uilleann chanters. I don't play but I just had a go at the scale and a couple tunes. They had a good crack off of them. My knowledge and ability to assess them ends there.

I have no guesses as to what make of chanter was the starting point for McCallum but I would guess it was only that-- a starting point. Fred's ear and playing will likely have informed the design more than any particular specifications. It is as unique a design as can be.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:51 am 
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BigDavy wrote:
Hi Pancelticpiper

Fred Morrisopn on his Dave Williams set

He can make that set talk. I have sat 3 feet away from him playing the set and I can say with confidence that if McCallum makes a duplicate of the chanter, then they will sell a lot of them.


David


It might be just me but the chanter sounds flat of the guitar on this clip.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:39 am 
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I, as a consumer, would welcome the McCallum business model in the uilleann world.

Their strength is customer service, the very thing that's often most lacking with uilleann makers.

Around five years ago I plunked down a $700 deposit for a set of drones. Nothing. The guy has totally blown me off, no communication. He's in another country so there's nothing I can do. I'm pretty sure that I will never see any drones, or any of my money... the guy's "business model" is to collect deposits and not make anything.

With McCallum, were they making drones, I would have got them when promised. (I was promised that I would have the drones in 6 months.)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 am 
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As a matter of interest, does Fred Morrison own and play a flat set or does he only play the Williams concert pitch set?
Also as a matter of interest, the classified section of another uilleann website indicates that Fred started his uilleann career on a Froment D chanter with a set of Dave Williams bellows.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:52 am 
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Quote:
the very thing that's often most lacking with uilleann makers


Can't speak for all makers but that's not my experience.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:17 am 
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Nor mine.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:28 pm 
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dude, i think you just lucked out & got that ONE GUY for whom this is standard procedure :D

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:40 am 
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Well I won't bore you all with a load of stories or drag specific people into the discussion, but it's been my general experience, in 35 years of dealing with uilleann pipemakers in Britain, Canada, and the USA.

The two Irish pipemakers I ordered sets from, Eugene Lamb and one I can't now recall the name of in Northern Ireland, both delivered as promised.

2 v a dozen... not good odds.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:44 am 
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This concern about what McCallum pipes might, or might not, do to the nature of the instrument seems a bit misplaced. Surely the heart of uilleann piping lies in the instruction, performance and repertoire, rather than the (admittedly glamorous) bundle of sticks it's played on.

In any case, I'm sure that with one maker knocking out a relatively standardised chanter, people will quickly work out how to tweak or reed it to their particular taste. If McCallum can get reliable, basic sets to beginners it has to be a good thing in the long run.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:56 am 
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myles wrote:
Surely the heart of uilleann piping lies in the instruction, performance and repertoire, rather than the (admittedly glamorous) bundle of sticks it's played on.


Believe it, if you can get a set of pipes for a relative small money and without any wait time, this will affect instruction, performance and repertoire, good or bad :wink:

Thomas

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Well, I think we can all agree that it's very much a niche market. They won't sell a million either way.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:15 am 
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I just posted this on the Dunsire forum...

On Christmas Eve I received my practice set from McCallum. I was going to write about it and give an opinion as to what I thought but being a complete beginner my opinion would mean nothing.

Today I had my first lesson and I can tell you I couldn't be happier. My tutor
gave them a go before we started to see how they were. What he found was the reed was a little hard, the back D was sharp and the C nat was a little flat. Other then that everything else was fine after adding a little tape for the back D they played very nicely even with the C nat being slightly flat. Reaching the second octave was easy, even I was able and he played it to the 3rd. This was the first he heard of McCallum's venture into the UP market.

The set came with the McCallum bellows, hide bag with a nicely fitted cover, nickel plated chanter stock with imitation ivory and ABW chanter. If you know McCallum this practice set in every way meets their standard of quality.

As for me I found it fairly easy to play, running through the G and D scale. I'm still getting used to the McCallum bellows but keep going back to my Simon Hope bellows. They are lighter and seem to be every bit as air efficient as McCallum's. The bag on the first practice set I tried October, was a little to big so Fred had them shorten the neck about 2 inches. Just this little change made a big difference.

BTW...I am one of those GHB players who always loved the UP but after reading numerous posts about how difficult they are to learn, the expense for a decent new or used set, the trouble with reeds etc... was very discouraging. I'm so glad Fred introduced me to his set. As for the expense part...I understand McCallum will be offering this practice set for around $1200.00. My tutor thought they would have been much more. Fred said they are hoping for a turn around of about 6-8 weeks. I ordered mine in early October. They were ready late November but Fred didn't have time to check them out before going on tour so thats why I didn't receive mine until Christmas Eve. There were 3 others that ordered sets during our workshop and they got theirs about the same time.

For any of you sitting on the fence don't be intimidated. I've had about a year on the bellows and play both the penny and low whistle. I think this is going to make it much easier since the fingering is similar and I won't need to learn to play with bellows while at the same time I'm trying to learn the UP.

Let the journey begin!
Frank


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:47 am 
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I would imagine the product from McCallum will be excellent value for money. Despite their more automated system, their highland pipes are absolutely top quality. I've owned many of the top chanters over the years but now use two matching Bb chanters and am very happy with them. As far as their border pipes go I think it's fair to say they haven't quite managed to persuade many top players to use their product yet despite Fred Morrisons involvement. Most play either Nigel Richard or Hamish Moore pipes - that's not to knock the McCallum borders at all but I don't think they quite match the top two makers yet. If you applied that to the Uilleann world though you'd still get an instrument that should have a significant impact on the market.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:15 pm 
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firnatine wrote:
I just posted this on the Dunsire forum...

On Christmas Eve I received my practice set from McCallum. I was going to write about it and give an opinion as to what I thought but being a complete beginner my opinion would mean nothing.




might we see some pics?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Here is a link to showing the Fred" practice set. The person in the video ordered his during the same workshop as I ordered mine. I don't know why he decided to do this video using his own reed instead of the reed that came with the chanter so the sound file is not going to be of much help. At least you will see the product. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyzaZ2R9 ... e=youtu.be

I recorded my tutor playing my set and if I can figure out how to upload a sound file I will be more then glad to share it.

Happy New Year
Frank


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