We sent out 31 surveys to B-Grade pipers who we identified with an e-mail address, and we received 22 responses – a 71% response rate.
While Naill blackwood once again was most played (six, 29%), there was a wide variety of responses with this group when it came to chanters. McCallum blackwood and Strathmore blackwood each were played by four (19%), and the rest that were selected were with either two (Shepherd blackwood) or one (several).
Interestingly, with the B-Grade pipers we see a drop in popularity of vintage drones. The leader in this category was Naill (six, 29%). Vintage Lawries (four, 19%) or Hendersons (three, 14%) came in second and third. Under “Other,” Fanch Gourves and MacLeod of Edinburgh were listed once. Overall, only 36% of B-Grade competitors who responded said that they play vintage drones. Could it be that modern pipe-makers are making strong sales with younger pipers? Or perhaps many in this group are still searching for their dream set of vintage drones.
Again, responses with this group were more scattered than elsewhere. Shepherd came out on top (four, 19%), while Andy Ross’s reeds were second, played by three (14%). MacLellan and MacPhee were named two times each. Under “Other,” Duncan Watson was listed twice, and Greg Wilson once.
Drone Reed Setup
Unlike the previous groups, more B-Grade pipers (three, 14%) went with an all-cane drone reed setup. But the majority (12, 54%) competed with pipes with all-synthetic drone reeds. Six (27%) went with a cane bass and synthetic tenors combination.