Reeds and reed adjustment

When pipes leave our workshop they have been set up with great care, and in the past we have discouraged pipers from fiddling with the chanter reed or the settings on the drone reeds. Usually there are no problems, however we recognise that reeds do sometimes change as a result of travel, particularly air travel in a cold hold, or react to a different climate. For most pipes our original advice holds, but occasionaly it may be necessary to make some adjustment, however this should not be consided until you feel you can control the pressure of the pipes properly, and you are sure that adjustment is necessary. Even better get a good bellows piper to try the pipes out and see if your judgement is correct.

If you believe it is, then rather than send the chanter back to us to reset the reed, first try this. If the chanter reed if playing at too high a pressure, and/or is flat and has a bold tone, then the lips need to be closer together, squeeze the bridle on the top and bottom of the reed. If the reed if playing at too low a pressure, and/or is sharp and has a weak tone, then the lips need to be opened, squeeze the bridle on both sides of the reed. A very small adjustment brings a big change in the way the reed performs, take care! It is very unlikely that you will need to cut the reed at the end, or sand it down. These other two principle adjustments have been done by us, the reed should be the right length and thickness when it comes to you. Almost all our pipes have been fitted with eezydrone reeds for quite a few years. They have been designed by Pipe Dreams to suit our drones, they have a good tone and are very stable. This is important when we are exporting to pipers who live in different climates. It is very unlikely that any adjustment will be necessary. If for example any of the drones "shuts off" in playing it is most likely that this is caused by a surge in pressure. The bridle can be moved fractionally back to open the tongue if you are absolutely sure that shutting off is not caused by lack of pressure control. Similarly the tongue can be closed if the drones seem to be taking too much air and are sounding too bold. These adjustments are very fine and are brought about by a movement of the rubber bridle, often just a squeeze with the fingernail is enough. Remember if the chanter reed has opened in transit and is playing flat, then this will be at a higher pressure which will affect the drones. Don’t adjust the drones until you are sure your pressure, and the chanter reed are right.

Further advice on reeds will be added in the next couple of months. 

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