The Royal Scots Cap Badge

Drone bores

Hi Bill,

I have a set of MacDOUGAL pipes 1997 they have the larger drone bores which makes the drones very loud for me soft chanter reed.Is there any way to quiten the drones to more of a nice hummmm rather than the loud brrrrr.Moving the bridle on the drones reed to take less air shuts them off. Keep well and many thanks.


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Jul 31, 2013
New reeds in old bores
by: Henrik Idoff Hornhaver

Hello Andrew
I have a few older sets of which the oldest is a pre-1900 Lawrie.
I have spent a lot of time setting these sets up and always end up using Crozier Omega reeds. They are quite expensive and you need to sit in the corner for a week getting familiar with them, but it pays out.
Good Luck

Jul 26, 2013
Drone Bores
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Andrew,
I have not heard of MacDougall's make in 1997. Such make much older. I suspect if the bores are very much larger that that of most good sets of pipes today that the bores have been altered over time by other than the original maker.

Kent's suggestion appears to be very good and worth trying. Perhaps you some good piper friends who can help testing with their drone reeds especially if the synhtetic or hybird variety.
Before buying pipes always have them checked thoroughly by a good piper as to the quality of finish, matching parts (not bits of others) with the same coming mounts etc., every part, then a good test with known quality reeds. Alternatively have on trial first.
Best wishes,


Jul 26, 2013
by: Kent

You might consider using the newer synthetic drone reeds. They are easy to fine tune for strength, and can be calibrated to your chanter reed strength (so that they shut off when you blow just a little bit harder than necessary).

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