Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

An on-line forum to discuss uilleann pipes

Moderators: the plod, snoogie, dropkick

Post Reply
IndyPiper
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:08 pm
Real Name: David Wurdeman

Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by IndyPiper » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:37 pm

I'm looking to start playing the Uilleann Pipes. I love the sound of them and have listened to them since I was a kid. I'm looking at various makers for a starter set, but I'm not sure which ones are better. I want to hopefully get a really solid practice set that I can eventually upgrade to a half and full set without having to resell my practice set. I'm hoping to spend about $2000 to start, but I'm not sure which are the better makers.

Currently I'm most interested in:

John Butler
Kirk Lynch
Andreas Rogge
Seth Gallagher

John Butler especially intrigues me. Looking at his website he really seems to care about the craftsmanship of his pipes, but I don't know if they are "good pipes." Has anybody ever owned a John Butler set? How would they stack up to Lynch or Rogge or Gallagher pipes? Are there some other amazing pipers I should look at? Thanks!

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by Mr.Gumby » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:43 pm

John Butler would be the way to go if you ask me.
My brain hurts

User avatar
the plod
Site Admin
Posts: 1077
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:25 pm
Real Name: Jeffrey Wall
Location: Kansas City
Contact:
United States of America

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by the plod » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:36 pm

Kirk Lynch in my book.

IndyPiper
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:08 pm
Real Name: David Wurdeman

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by IndyPiper » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:12 pm

Thanks for responding guys! Any specific reasons why one or the other? Overall quality of craftsmanship? Does one lend itself more to a certain style of playing than the other? I read that Lynch uses synthetic reeds, which I would assume would be more durable, but perhaps a lesser quality in tone. I play Highland pipes, and the drones on those are all synthetic, so I wouldn't think it would be a terribly big issue.

User avatar
djm
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Real Name: David Moulton
Location: Canadia
Contact:

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by djm » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:31 am

I'm not familiar with John Butler (doesn't mean he isn't good) but the other makers you list all have good reputations for quality workmanship. I would say that your best bet now would be to find the pipemaker closest to you. Easy access to your pipemaker can be a real asset as you first set out on your UP journey. They can easily fix things with the pipes (or with you) and set you straight on any questions or misunderstandings you have on the pipes, and give you insights on where you might like to go in future as you grow your set.

Another problem you may run into by choosing high calibre makers as you have is that they all probably have significant waiting times. You might want to continue looking for those pipemakers' names but look in the for sale ads that crop up here, on Chiff & Fipple, or at Pat D'Arcy's Uilleann Obsession website..

djm
Sex and drugs and uilleann pipes

Mr Hulot
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Up North

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by Mr Hulot » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:06 am

djm wrote:I'm not familiar with John Butler (doesn't mean he isn't good) but the other makers you list all have good reputations for quality workmanship. I would say that your best bet now would be to find the pipemaker closest to you. Easy access to your pipemaker can be a real asset as you first set out on your UP journey. They can easily fix things with the pipes (or with you) and set you straight on any questions or misunderstandings you have on the pipes, and give you insights on where you might like to go in future as you grow your set.

Another problem you may run into by choosing high calibre makers as you have is that they all probably have significant waiting times. You might want to continue looking for those pipemakers' names but look in the for sale ads that crop up here, on Chiff & Fipple, or at Pat D'Arcy's Uilleann Obsession website..

djm
All tip top advice for someone starting out and if you do not have a pipe maker close by is there a pipers club or a Tional where you can see and hear a variety of makers work

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by Mr.Gumby » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:12 pm

If you haven't already, look at John Butler's website

Why I'd prefer him out of those four? Because he's a nice guy who does good work (allthough I am maybe not mad about his trademark square bass drone puck). I also think out of the four he makes by far the best sounding pipes. But I suppose nobody can make these decisions for you, you must handle a set before you can make up your mind about them.
My brain hurts

IndyPiper
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:08 pm
Real Name: David Wurdeman

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by IndyPiper » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:51 pm

I don't know of any pipe clubs in the area. I think there are two pipers in Indiana from what I can tell. I'll try to go to the St. Louis Tional if I can get work off this year! Are there any other Tionals in the Midwest?

Nico
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:00 pm

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by Nico » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:05 pm

That's probably the closest.

It's spelled tionól, by the way. It's irish for gathering.

User avatar
djm
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Real Name: David Moulton
Location: Canadia
Contact:

Re: Advice on pipemakers: John Butler vs. others.

Post by djm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:57 am

Next closest is Minneapolis - bit of a drive...

djm
Sex and drugs and uilleann pipes

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest