Members of Wake and District spent a Saturday with Master bagpipe maker – Roddy MacLellan. At MacLellan bagpipes they don’t strive to be the biggest, fastest or the cheapest. They do however, meticulously craft a small number of the some of the best sounding and most beautiful looking instruments. Since 1988, Roddy has gradually established a solid reputation for rich, warm and stable tone, created with incredible craftsmanship, and instruments of heirloom quality and unparalleled beauty.
Roddy has been working on a new profile Derlin chanter with round and oval holes for us to try out (along with a plethora of blank prototypes which he made changes on — milling — based on what we heard). Preliminary testing was done with Roddy and one of his apprentices – Gabriel Nierman.
We set the prototypes up with blown in and balanced Megarity reeds pitching around 480 hz in the shop. They produced a full range of harmonics (especially in the top hand) producing clearer projection, more volume and broader sound against a set of MacLellan originals and Atherton MDs.
The end result was pretty epic. We kept tweaking and after about 10 blank chanters we fell in love. We did blind sound tests with other chanters and our final result won every time. Roddy is awesome! — Seth Wells
Using the same reed for the blind sound tests, the chanter sounded bigger and brighter than one of the world standard chanters. It’s going to be exciting to hear a dozen of them together! — Michael Supples
At the end of the day we settled in on two prototypes; T2 and T3 — “T” for Roddy’s daughter Taylor (who is a piper herself — finishing 4th overall this season in the EUSPBA Piping Grade IV Jr).
We will continue to play the prototypes in other sets of pipes and with other reeds — and advise on where we settle in. Based on what we garnered from a day with Roddy — we are looking forward to a bigger, brighter, bolder and broader sound.
Thank you Roddy, Gab and Taylor for spending the day with us.
For more information on MacLellan bagpipes — please visit their website @ http://www.highland-pipemaker.com/MacLellan%20Bagpipes.htm
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