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TOPIC: Plastic to cane

Plastic to cane 1 year 10 months ago #302

  • Tunni
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Hi folks my best laid plans to convert my old mouthblown SSP to belows have been partially scupered by the straightened times we live in. Instead of a new bag, valve connector and, most importantly of all, a new chanter, cane reeded to get rid of the 'yoghurt pot' reed currently used, I'm now looking at just hooking up the existing bits with a gizmo that replaces the mouthpiece.

Ok that may well cure a lot of the instability of playing with wet reeds but I'm still going to have to deal with that plastic sound which personally I dislike in a chanter. I think synthetic drone reeds have just about cracked it tonally but plastic chanter reeds are a long way off to my ear.

The chanter I have is well made and acurate, it has never needed much tape to tune it up note by note when playing with others and has a good just temperament without tape. Before I part with my hard earned on a new cane reed for it has anyone out there gone down this road? Did it play out well or result in a compromised beast fallen between the 2 stools? Will any makers D reed fit and sound well, should I find a maker who will reed the chanter directly (if so who)? Questions, questions. Your answers if you are able will be very welcome.
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Re: Plastic to cane 1 year 5 months ago #346

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I'm getting excited now I'm expecting my converted pipe back any time soon. I plumped for a half way house measure in the end. A new bag, so that the stocks could be tied in at a more natural angle for the bellow, a new valve connector (replacing the mouthpiece) to hook up the bellow and a cane reed for the chanter. This latter change wasn't quite as straight forward as I had rather innocently expected and required some carving of some of the note holes. I've never had the guts to do that my self and I'm glad it has fallen to Nigel at Garvie pipes to do the work, I'm constantly blown away with the tone from my border pipe he made so I'm expecting a winner. All in it's still come in at quite a lot less than going the hole hog for the new chanter so the missus isn't to mad with me either.

I'm planning my Gary West kitchen table tribute now along with some Irish tunes I used to play a lot in D that never did sound quite right on an A chanter. I let you know how I get on if my neighbours haven't finished me off before hand.
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Re: Plastic to cane 1 year 5 months ago #351

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Here's the latest for anyone vaguely interested. Got the pipes back a couple of days ago and now I've had the chance to try and play them here's a top tip for anyone thinking of going down the same road...send the drones to your maker along with the rest of the bits. I didn't, reasoning that the work was all chanter, reed and stock. It was but what I hadn't reckoned on was the game that was going to follow matching the drones to the new chanter reed set up. Doh! It's obvious NOW but too late for my much anticpated plug and play session.

I've been able to grab a couple of hours here and there to start getting it all balanced up and the tone is really starting to get there, although it ain't quite sitting right yet. The rasp of the slapping plastic has gone for good though and I'm a happy camper on that pitch at least. So far although more complex than I originally thought the whole exercise seems to be a winner. My shirts aren't getting covered in slobber anymore and the pipe doesn't sound like an angry bee hive. I'd recommend it to anyone
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