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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
weepiper Scottish Smallpipes (28) RE: Scottish Smallpipes 08 Jan 02

Ian Kinnear is indeed a sound guy, he made my pipes and very good they are too.

If you are a beginner I think the plastic model he does is an excellent choice (these are what I have) for a number of reasons. First off they are very robust so you're unlikely to have any chanter-splintering moments if you twist it overzealously or whatever. Also they are very stable in tone regardless of changes in weather/temperature/wind direction/the phase of the moon etc etc so you will probably struggle less with learning proper bellows technique and how much pressure to apply. And thirdly they need hardly any maintenance in comparison to a wooden set.

All that said, nothing compares to the sound and general niceness of a really good wooden set, but actually the tone of these pipes is very smooth. I think they're also a wee bit louder than some other sets I've played which might be good if you're planning on taking them to sessions.

In terms of price you're looking at a minimum of about 450 for bellows small pipes, and in practice I would try and spend a bit more. My set I think retails for 650 but it is a combo set with 4 drones and interchangable A and D chanters (generally they come as a single chanter set with 3 drones). After this the price goes up and up....As with all things you get what you pay for and it's worth spending more than you can afford - in the best case scenario you'll become addicted and have a nice set of pipes which will last you a lifetime, and in the worst you'll still have a fairly high resale value if you discover it's not for you.

Here's a link to Ian Kinnear's website
And one to Nigel Richards' - he made my border pipes (now they're a whole new kettle of fish! :-) )
And this is a discussion group about bellows pipes in general - if you read some of the back posts you will learn lots of useful stuff.
Good luck - let us know what you go for!

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