FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO THEY SOUND?
That's the first thing most people want to know; how do they sound? The answer is they sound GREAT! Robust, bright, excellent harmonics, and they are steady as a rock! I've made many modifications from the original design, mostly for consistent quality and repeatability, but the drones really do sound incredible! The Bass drone has a wonderful deep richness that blends excellently with the tenors, and they themselves have many subtle harmonics. The pipes are what my teacher would call "Crackerjack!"
WHAT ARE THE PIPES MADE OF?
PETG. Which stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol. You see now why the abbreviate it, don't you? Phonetically you'd pronounce it like this, "Polly-Ethull-Lean-Tear-Aff-thay-late-Gly-call". Or as I like to pronounce it, "PETG". I used to use PLA+, which is a great material, but PETG has better properties in terms of toughness, Temperature Resistance, and it won't fade due to UV rays. It's a bit trickier to print, but once I got the techniques down, I NAILED it. You'll LOVE the way they look; they have a medium-high sheen, and you won't have to worry about the finish flaking off like some sets of pipes that use a varnish. This sheen is a part of the pipes and particular to my printing process and as such it can't flake off. If you prefer a more semi-gloss or even flat finish, you can take fine steel wool and rough up the surface to give it a flatter finish.
HOW ARE THEY MADE?
It takes more than 75 hours on my 3d printers to "rough out" the parts. Once they're off the printers, I inspect each part to make sure that they're ready to be completed. They're measured, fitted, and the mounts prepared. If the part doesn't meet my expectations, or it isn't as good looking as it possibly can be, then it unceremoniously gets chucked in the recycle bin.
Finally, after about two hours of hand finishing I have a set of pipes that is ready to ship! Then, as I carefully bubble wrap each and every piece, I ask myself, "Are they going to LOVE opening this package? Are they going to be excited when they get it put together? Are they going to shake their head and wonder how the quality can be this high, but the price be so low?" When all answers are a resounding "HECK YEAH!" I box them bad boys up and ship them off... Where hopefully that Brazilian Soccer Player who works at my local branch of the USPS isn't having flashbacks...
Don't even get me started.
You'd think that with the process being digital, there'd be no variance whatsoever in the parts as they're printed. But surprisingly, a lot of variables come in to play, and between 5-10% of the parts that come of the machines are rejected! Hey, bad parts are bad parts, and they don't get sent to my customers. Certainly not on purpose. And that brings me to my next point. "Stealth Defects". Hey, everything has to have a cool tagline these days, right?
Now, VERY rarely, a defect in printing can occur that results in a part that upon visual inspection looks great. It even sounds great. And it makes it to my customers. When they start playing the instrument, a catastrophic failure occurs. If this happens, immediately reach out to me, even if it's midnight in Colorado, and I'll get it straightened out as soon as possible. Every measure is taken to assure that this doesn't happen, but sometimes these things can slip through the cracks. I need to know about it if it happens, and I need to know quickly. This is because if it does happen, I need to make sure I correct it on the production line, and reach out to anyone who might be affected. In aviation we'd call that an "Airworthiness Directive".
My commitment to all of my customers is this: I'll make it my primary purpose to constantly improve, incorporating the latest technology to refine the quality, both in tone and manufacture. If I make a mistake, I will admit it, own it, and correct it as quickly and as completely as I am able. If you place your trust in me to make a good instrument, I will never betray it, nor will I intentionally disappoint anyone who trusts me with their hard earned money.
Let's make some great music together!
WHAT ABOUT CUSTOM ORDERS?
The sky is the limit! You want a Pirate Ship on the end of each drone? I can do that! Do you want a bass, a baritone, and a tenor drone for your Great Highland Bagpipe? I can do that! Do you want your drones to look like the Tsuka (handle/grip) of a Katana? I can do that too! Actually, that's pretty cool, come to think of it...
Your cost will be commensurate with the amount of design and effort put in to the print. And if I think it's detrimental to society as a whole, you'll pay extra. For example, if you ask me to put your preferred pronouns on the bagpipe, you can expect to pay 8-10 thousand dollars. I'll do it, but stupidity has a cost beyond just [hopefully] eliminating yourself from the gene pool early.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT THEM?
My printers run around the clock, but a lead time is to be expected. I'm grateful to say that the demand for my pipes is very strong so right now my lead time is running from 8-12 weeks. Communication with my customers is a very high priority for me, so feel free to call after you've placed your order to ask questions, make last minute changes if necessary, or just chew the fat about bagpipes!
HOW DO THEY COMPARE WITH DELRIN, OR POLYPENCO PIPES?
These pipes are lighter in weight than Delrin, as it is a higher density product than PLA+. My Pipes are just as durable and will take just as much NORMAL wear and tear as a set of Delrin or Polypenco pipes.
WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?
I can't accept returns on mouthblown stuff - reeds, bags, moisture control systems, blowpipes, and valves that have been opened. I can and will issue a refund on Sticks and Stocks (because they can be disinfected), provided that: 1. it's requested within 14 days of receipt, and 2. The pipes are shipped back to me and are undamaged before return shipping. Returns are shipped at buyers expense.
For orders that are not fulfilled, a refund will be issued within 30 days of the date of request.
I had one guy leave his bagpipes on his back porch for 6 weeks, and wondered why they were wrecked. He got his pipes SUPER quick, too. I shipped them 2 day express because he said he had a gig in like 2 weeks. He was really bossy, come to think of it. Anyway, I shipped them AT MY EXPENSE, AND I GAVE HIM A $90 UPGRADE FOR FREE!!! I very politely told him, "I'm so sorry Guy-who-thinks-instruments-are-patio-furniture, because it's been more than 14 days, I can't offer you a refund. However, even though you're well outside your return window, I can do this: I'll ship you what you originally ordered (the instrument that was $90 cheaper!), and it will be on the house. I'm very sorry that you experienced...." You get the idea. He didn't even respond. Don't be THAT GUY. Be a GOOD GUY.
Look, if a maker sends you something you're not happy with, be it their fault or yours (in his case it most definitely WAS his fault), and you point it out to them, you should give them a chance to make it right. The same goes with restaurants - if they screw up your food, give them a chance to make it right before you blast them on Yelp or Google or whatever. Ok, rant over.
WHAT ABOUT AFTER PURCHASE? WHAT IF SOMETHING BREAKS OR I CHEW THROUGH MY MOUTHPIECE?
I stand behind my pipes! Within 3 years from the date of purchase, if there are any defects of manufacture, I'll fix it with a replacement. After 3 years, accidents do happen and parts can be affordably replaced. If it happens that you need a replacement, reach out to me and I can quote you a price! If it's a good enough story (one involving airplanes, hilarity, or really good food), I might just give you the replacement for free, you'll just have to cover shipping.
Sounds pretty good, right?