Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Pipemaking, reedmaking & maintanence. Expert pipemakers are eager to answer your questions

Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby adrian » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:23 am

A larger bore-size, is the answer. I cannot be arsed with 'normal' G reeds.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby pipemakermike » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:19 am

Hi Adrian
Would you give us more detail of the bore size you have found to work please. I haven't tried any other bore sizes but if it makes achieving concert G easily and doesn't have any adverse effect on the tone I would like to give it a try
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:10 pm

Well there is certainly some excellant advice here thank you everyone, I am still on the case & foolish enough not to give up now. I will let you all know when I crack it.
John Ross
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby KimBull » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:08 pm

I've been making 'F' pitch reeds this week. I had one which to me sounded too mellow/oboey. As an experiment, I cut the reed down and reset it. In a G chanter it now plays at G less 10 cents, and it's easy to change the bag pressure to make it play in tune. Inspired, I tried Andy's idea and made a reed with standard reed length blades but a shorter staple/bound section and this behaves in the same way in the G chanter - just needing a little more pressure than I'm used to to play in tune. I have a couple of others made the same way and ready for final scrapping/sanding so I'll let you know how these turn out.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby KimBull » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:06 pm

By the way, what's a "modern" concert pitch chanter? I take it we're talking about any concert pitch chanter in this context and therefore "modern" as opposed to "traditional" F+20 pitch, or is there something else to it?
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:00 am

The method I am using now is by scalloping the tail instead of rounding them that way I am able to get a much shorter area of thread which makes for a much sexyer looking reed but also a longer tongue without lengthening the reed. I stil havn't got got my chanter to play a true scale in G but I am not yet convinced my chanter is true since I don't have a true chanter to compare it with.
If only there were friendly pipe makers nearby that I could compare my work with, that way I could have saved myself years of trouble & strife. Devon is a long way from Northumberland.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:59 pm

OK so I have spent the last few months making dozens of reeds & I am always confronted with the same problems when trying to match them to my self made chanters. The top end is always sharp or the bottom end is always flat. Either way they don't seem to be able to be reeded to play a true scale. I am tempted to bore the chanters out a little at the bottom to sharpen the bottem end.
I have made my chanters religiously to match the plans and to engineering precision so what is going wrong? I am at my wits end with these chanters. I have taken note of all the advice & experimented widely also, and the results are always the same. I must have shaved & trimmed hundreds of reeds to destruction trying to solve this problem. Has any one else had similar problems when working from these plans, otherwise what might I be doing wrong? Please.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Richard Evans » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:24 pm

You need to set the reed further out. This flattens the whole scale but affects the top much more. Find the best compromise position at which as many of the octaves as possible are close to being correct, regardless of overall pitch. Get low/high G right if nothing else. Then see where you are with respect to the reed position and the actual pitch. This will give us some idea of what's going on, if you let us know what the results are.
On our own chanters, the tip of the reed is typically 31mm from the top of the chanter, and 82mm from the centre of the top G thumb hole.
If you use the Ross/Nelson "usual" chanter scale and a reed made to the correct dimensions and pitch, and thinned to crow at the right pitch, you shouldn't be far out even if you are not spot-on.

There's a sound file of the crow of a reasonable reed in the reed making section of our website BTW.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks Richard I will let you know how I get on with the next batch of reeds. Never say die while there is helpful advice & a breath in my body. but I am starting to wonder if I bought a set at least I would have something to play in the mean time.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:47 pm

Ok so at last some progress, I have yet to complete the next batch of test reeds but I decided to try rushing the chanter using a short length of 1mm copper wire at the top end of the chanter. This at last had the desired affect of evening out most of the difference between the high & low octave notes. I then added a couple of extra wraps of wire to the bridles which raised the pitch slightly but still leaving me 1" tongue length. There is still a little difference between the two octaves but I should now be able to undercut the lower tone holes slightly to bring them up to pitch. I will wait until I have tried the next batch of reeds & I will be happy to leave the wire inside the bore since it doesn't seem to be affecting tone. I will post the results once I know how the next batch of reeds respond. Strangely this whole process worked on both my G & D chanters so if I were going to make another chanter I would definately step bore the bores but I suspect a very slight taper might actually be better. If my concept is correct I will work on developing a tapered reamer if that is possible but in the mean time I will be hppy to just get these chanters playing.
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