Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:49 am

Adrian, Hi'. Would you be prepared to discuss your larger bore size further as I feel it might impact on my recent conclusions from my previous post?
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Richard Evans » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:07 pm

Silversmith wrote: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.


I don't want to appear critical, but I don't think this is a good idea. The chanter dimensions available on Mike's website (and elsewhere) have been proven over many years and many hundreds of chanters.

Having said that, our chanter scale differs somewhat from Mike's, but not by very much- a small adjustment to top B (sharpened), C# (flattened) and low D (can't remember offhand, not more than 1mm movement).

So assuming the bore and toneholes are correct, the problem must be with the reed. Rushing or bore adjustment may result in a well-tuned chanter, but it will presumably require a non-standard reed- so your reeds, made to that spec, won't work in other people's chanters, and reeds from other makers won't work in your chanters.

I was reluctant to comment on this- I hope it's useful.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby pipemakermike » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:21 pm

Hi Richard etc
My scale came from Colin Ross many years ago (1980) and I have tweaked a few of the holes. The only one I moved significantly is the bottom D and I sharpened that by about 1mm (from memory).
I have just had the task of reeding a Ray Sloan concert G chanter to replace a reed that was very flat at the top and much too quiet. I didn't recognise the maker of the reed but the reed I put in came from my School Pipe reed box. The interesting thing is that the tip to shoulder distance for the original reed was 46mm and my replacement was 52mm. I also checked the bore and it was 4.5mm diameter which is a bit bigger than I use (4.2mm) I had to flatten the top d and the b with a little glue and I think that the chanter needs a bit more time to get it right all over.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Richard Evans » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:58 pm

pipemakermike wrote:Hi Richard etc
The interesting thing is that the tip to shoulder distance for the original reed was 46mm and my replacement was 52mm.


Yes, I have come across this sort of thing: in theory I understand there is only one 'correct' position for the reed in any given chanter. In practice, I have found that fitting a new, bright-toned reed results in the reed being set further out to bring the chanter into tune with itself. Generally 0.5-1mm though: 6mm is a bit of a jump!
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:47 pm

Richard I am thankful for your opinion & I welcome your advice thank you so much.There is an issue with both of tyhese chanters since I started with 2" billets & was wary of turning them all away I left them quite chunky as a result the tone holes are longer than they prrobably should be. This would I feel sure affect the pitch considerably so I will have to deal with that by undercutting etc & it would explain much of the issues I am having. I have only one billet left that I intend to make an F+ chanter to complete the set but not until the two are done. The whole set is made from Hondurus Rosewood that I have had for at least 30 years so it will never be sold & is only intended for my own personal use. I would also like to mention that I have the highest regard for Mike Nelson & have not intended in any way to dispute his plans in fact I am grateful for his advice also.. I might just also get an extra drone or so out of the last billet if I am lucky.
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby andymay » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:01 pm

Hi John,

Ah this explains EVERYTHING!

As you say, if the stick of the chanter is fatter then all the hole chimneys will be longer and the chanter generally flatter on all the notes. Then you end up making a sharper reed, but that sharpens the top notes more than the bottom ones, and gives the result you describe. Is it too late to thin the stick down a bit?

I have done this myself in the past with some G chanters and ended up flattening the front over the finger holes in order to regain the correct pitch and bright tone i was seeking. Nowadays in my own G chanters i try and keep the 'core' 12 1/2 mil max in the finger hole region.

One question for Mike though - is your bore really 4.2mm? 11/64 seems to be 4.36mm and i've always approximated it to 4.4. I think 0.2mm is certainly enough to affect the pitch of the finished chanter.

Cheers
A
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Richard Evans » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:37 pm

andymay wrote:Hi John,

Ah this explains EVERYTHING!



Agreed!
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:17 am

Yes indeed guys, With my latest batch of reeds rather than trying to force the pitch up to G I concentrated on trying to find the natural pitch of the chanter, which after undercutting away from the reed to improve the tonal qualities, turns out to be F believe it or not. I have left the 1mm wire rush inside to flatten the top hand tone holes. So I will leave the chanter there & I will use my final billet to make another G chanter, this time adhering to the correct outside diameter. The outside diameter of the chanter at the tone holes for your interest is 15mm. Interestingly the D chanter does now seem to be fine without rushing it so there at least is a success & with a bit of luck I can move on from making endless batches of Kamakasi reeds. Thank you everybody for your interest & support.
John Ross
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby pipemakermike » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:13 am

My core outside diameter is tapered from 11mm at the top to 13mm at the bottom. I do this as I have found that the extra wood at the bottom makes tuning easier giving more room to undercut the lower notes that require more undercutting to effect a pitch change. Also the extra diameter better accommodates the larger diameter pad. I also think that it looks nicer.
I ream my bores with an 11/64" reamer and on my metric dimensioned drawings I have rationalised this to 4.3
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Re: Modern Concert Pitch Chanters

Postby Silversmith » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:36 am

So in the mean time while I am gathering the courage to remake my reamer & start on a new chanter I have decided to scallop the existing tone holes, in tha hope that this might allow me to tune the individual tone holes. If I am going to attempt this it will probably only work if I also counter drill the keyed holes also. Besides with all these different length chanters I am likely to struggle to find the tone holes with my finger tips whilst playing so scalloping them might also help with that issue. Well it works on Uilleann chanters so why not NSP.
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