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  1. #11
    Join Date
    7th May 09
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    One of the gentlemen who had been gifted a set of pipes of Sialkot origin allowed me to examine and experiment with them for a few days.

    I found it instructive.

    I started by removing the chanter and drones and plugging the stocks with rubber stoppers. I then inflated the bag to check for air-tightness. When I did so I heard a hissing sound which increased with pressure in the bag.....obviously very leaky and not an auspicious start, but not necessarily irrecoverable.

    A more serious issue was that with both tenor drones set to the same point on the tuning pins, and using the same, known to be good, reed, the two tenors produced markedly different tones with one perceptibly sharper than the other and both sharper than would be expected from the reed and tuning pin combination. It would have been a long, difficult chore of reed manipulation to simply get them to tune together. Since neither of the tones that they produced was particularly pleasant, I chose to forego further experimentation.
    'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "

  2. #12
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    Orange County California
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    What about the bass drone? Oftentimes those are impossible to get going. A guy bought a Pakistani set in and we tried every sort of reed and adjustment and all we could ever get was squeals.

    And as you say even when you get them going it's not worth the effort.

    And the chanters! Wow. Usually they're super flat, around A, and sound horrible. More squeals are likely.

    However there are Pakistani pipes which will play. There's a firm named Hakim Din which makes drones that work OK and produce a tone more or less equivalent to the worst Scottish-made sets. The chanters are still useless.

    Here's a review of a Hakim Din set by Shawn Husk, a good piper and reedmaker who knows his business

    http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/...d.php?t=122694

    The typical cheap Pakistani pipes do come with distinctive bags, bag-covers, and cords, which help give a quick ID, but it sometimes happens that a previous owner had switched these out for legit ones. The wood parts themselves are easy to ID anyhow.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 15th July 16 at 07:09 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  3. The Following User Says 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  4. #13
    Join Date
    5th January 14
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    Port Angeles, WA
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    I have a pal who plays a set of 1920's Robertson's, and the drones sound spectacular, rich and full of bass. Through recent genealogy research, it turns out he's related to the man who made his pipes. How cool is that?!
    "Life's too short to hunt with an ugly gun"
    U.S. Coast Guard, retired
    Clan MacKenzie

  5. The Following User Says 'Aye' to 416 Rigby For This Useful Post:


  6. #14
    Join Date
    6th November 08
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    I picked the first as Pakistani based on the mounts, which are that pot metal they use. The second I could tell were quality based on the engraving, but I had no idea they were Robertson. Supposedly my Soutar pipes are somewhat like Robertson.

    At Grandfather Mountain last week two different pipers played my plastic McCallum pipes. I was really impressed by how good they sound.

  7. #15
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    Orange County California
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    Yes plastic (delrin/polypenco) pipes sound pretty much the same as wood pipes by the same maker.

    I had Dunbar pipes in blackwood and poly and the tone of the bass drones was identical. The poly tenors were a tad brighter than the blackwood tenors but when I measured them I found that the ID specs were slightly different wood v plastic, which I account for the difference in tone.

    AFAIK no other maker used the odd huge fat ivory mounts that Robertson used- they're one of the few makes that are easy to ID.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  8. #16
    Join Date
    7th May 09
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    I never did try to get the bass going in the set I examined. I had been asked to determine the feasibility of getting them playing for a budget-minded student. When realized that the two tenors would likely never tune together, I told him that the expense of acquiring and tying in a new bag would not be justified and recommended he look into finding a set of used Dunbar or McCallum polypenco pipes.
    'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "

  9. #17
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    Orange County California
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    Yes that's the wisest advice to give. Why throw good money after bad, and end up with a set which will never be satisfactory?

    There was a kid here who was convinced he had found that elusive "diamond in the rough."

    It was a terrible Pakistani set. He spent much time and money putting on a new bag, trying various sorts of reeds, buying a new chanter, and so forth. In the end it was still a terrible Pakistani set.

    A woman who saw his process told me "He thinks it's a diamond in the rough. It's just plain rough."

    A piper friend had it happen where somebody brought him their terrible Pakistani set, to try to get it to work.

    My friend tried everything with the bass, and nothing. So he took the bass apart and examined each section and noticed he couldn't see any light coming through the bass upper section. "Something's jammed up in there" he thought. After poking long sharp pointy things in each end, he came to the realization that it wasn't bored all the way through! They had run a drill partway in from each end, but never the twain did meet.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 20th July 16 at 06:16 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  10. #18
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    Here's something that just came up on Ebay.

    What do you all make of it? There are two things which are immediate 'red flags' for us Ebay pipe-spotters.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-P-He.../201630703743?
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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