Pied Piper Productions

Uillean Pipes Made & Played by
Tim Britton
808 S. 3rd Street, Fairfield, IA 52556


Prices for Uillean Pipes



Chanter with reed, brass chanter top, bellows, bag, stocks, blowpipe.




Same as practice set plus tenor, baritone, & bass drones with guill reeds; main stock will accommodate A drone and regulators.


3/4 SET


Same as half set plus tenor & baritone regulators with reeds.




Same as 3/4 set plus standard bass regulator with reed.




with fully keyed chanter, wood top with stop-valve, baritone drone with bell and U-bend, "A" drone with separate switch and reed, composite drone reeds.


* Practice sets can be made into full sets or any degree between.



     My pipes are designed for fullness of tone, stylistic versatility, aesthetic coherence and ergonomic elegance, incorporating many innovations based on over thirty-five years of experience as a professional piper and pipemaker. They are made as I would for myself and are guaranteed against faulty workmanship. Blackwood is standard for all wooden parts except for the mainstock and bellows sides, which are cherry. Brass is standard for all metal parts. All stocks and pipes are reinforced with brass ferrules. The joints use O-rings instead of thread or cork for a durable snug fit. The bellows are fitted with leather covered foam pads on both sides and convenient quick release hook fastened straps. Both the bellows and the stitched elk hide bag are generously and ergonomically sized for efficiency and comfort. The main stock is hollowed for increased resonance. For reasons of conscience I do not use ivory or plastic. Mountings are simply an extension of the wood of the pipe.
     Reeds are fitted to play in tune at concert pitch. Small adjustments for weather conditions are typically required on an ongoing basis. When buying a reed, the pipe must be present. I suggest ordering extras, as they are susceptible to change and damage due to weather and handling, especially chanter reeds. For larger sets, orders are often shipped in increments of practice set, drones and regulators, so as to provide you with the priority parts sooner.

Please see Itemized Price List, Options and Explanations and FAQs.

Orders are confirmed with a 10% deposit, with a likely waiting time of about two years, although I am not currently taking confirmed orders.

Revised 12/21/2012


Itemized Price List

•   Chanter (with block mounts for 4 keys)


•   Chanter same as above but in C#, C, B, Bb


•   Chanter Top (brass)


•   *Chanter Top (wood)


•   *Stop-valve for Chanter Top (twist style)


•   *Keys (C, Bb, G#, F) each


•   Bellows (nailed, leather, with pads and quick release hooks)


•   Bag (elkhide, sewn, extra large)


•   *Bag Cover (velvet, for practice set)


•   *Bag Cover (same as above but will accommodate mainstock)


•   Stocks (chanter or blowpipe) each


•   Blowpipe


•   Tying-in of stocks (per stock)


•   Mainstock (holes for 4 drones, regulators, and switch keys)


•   Stock cup


•   Tenor Drone


•   Baritone Drone


•   *Baritone Drone (with bell & U-bend)


•   Bass Drone (with bell & U-bend)


•   *"A" Drone (between tenor & baritone)


•   *Separate switch for "A" drone


•   Tenor Regulator (has keys for C, B, A, G, F#)


•   Baritone Regulator (has keys for A, G, F#, D)


•   **Baritone Regulator (with E key between F# and D)


•   Bass Regulator (has keys for C, B, A, G) with detachable, straight reed chamber
     with tuning slide


•   Chanter and Regulator Reeds for pipes made by me


•   **Chanter and Regulator Reeds for pipes not made by me


•   Drone Reed (traditional cane guill type)


•   *Drone Reed (cane tongue, wood body composite type)




**Cases – beautiful dovetailed Mahogany, Ό” foam lined
Inside measurements:


•   24" x 9" x 4"  (will hold up to a 3/4 set)


•   28" x 10" x 4"  (will hold my full sets)


•   30" x 11" x 5"  (will hold flat full sets)




* Not standard except on deluxe set
** Special Order



Options & Explanations

(See itemized price list)


     Up to four keys can be added for C, Bb, G#, and F. For those aspiring to versatility, I recommend getting all but the Bb key, which is rarely used. In my experience, the others are of equal importance, despite the traditional tendency to prioritize the C key, which is typically used only for the second octave C natural. For those wanting to be prepared for anything, the Bb key is available. Any key can be added at a later date.
     The standard reed chamber or chanter top is made of brass. It can be made of Blackwood with brass ferrules. This imparts an arguably more antiquated look and a slightly warmer resonance.
     Either chanter top can incorporate a stop valve, enabling the chanter to be twisted, shutting off the air to the reed. Thus the chanter can be stopped and the hands taken away for the purpose of tuning the drones or regulators, or even playing another instrument while maintaining the drones. The traditional way of accomplishing this with a switch key is more complicated and expensive to make, more vulnerable to failure and is not as effective, as versatile, nor as convenient.


     Traditionally, the uillean pipes have three drones in octaves of D, or in the case of flat sets, whatever the tonic of the chanter is. The two smaller drones are “straight out” with the bass incorporating several U-bends to accommodate its extra length. The last of these U-bends terminates in an end piece that is sometimes hollowed out for increased resonance. In the case of my pipes, the end piece is fashioned as a hollow resonator “bell” and the U-bend incorporates a “trombone-style” tuning slide for increased tuning versatility. This is particularly relevant with the extra length of the bass drone and in the event of using the drones with a flat chanter. All that comes as standard.
     The baritone or middle drone can also be made with a resonator “bell” and U-bend/tuning slide. The advantages of this are that it has more tuning latitude for using with flat chanters, it is louder and richer, it is louder for the player since it aims back at the player rather than away into the floor and it is easier to mic as it centralizes the sound sources.
     The unique option of a fourth drone in “A” between the two smaller drones can be added.  With its requisite separate switch key, it can be played by itself, or in concert with the three D drones, or not at all.  It adds subtle yet significant richness to playing in D, A minor, and A mixolydian. It also makes it possible to have a drone while playing in A major.
     Traditional drone reeds, called guills, are usually made of small diameter cane, cut and split back, creating a vibrating tongue. They can also be made by machining the body out of wood and strapping a carved tongue of cane or other material onto it, much like a clarinet or saxophone reed. I call these composite reeds. They are much more expensive, tend to be clearer toned and more stable through weather changes, and more controllable in their manufacture. They also enable the maker to experiment in nontraditional materials like plastic or metal shim stock.


     Regulators are acoustically like chanters, in that they have conical bores and double reeds, but have permanently closed ends and closed levers (keys) covering the holes, which enables them to remain silent until pressed by the wrist. The keys are aligned in rows so that two or three regulators can be sounded in tandem creating chords to rhythmically and harmonically accompany the melody of the chanter. The limited harmonic options enforce a quirky but charming effect. On traditional sets the baritone regulator notes descend from A to G to F# to D, skipping E. I offer the option of a baritone regulator that includes an E key. The E key does make it a little less convenient to play the G with the D in the traditional way so it’s not for everyone.

Flat Sets

     It is possible to convert a D set of drones and regulators to C# or C. This is done with small adjustments to, or replacement, of the reeds, along with adjustments to the tuning slides. This allows one to economically enjoy the richness of the flat pipes, effectively having two sets for the price of one plus the cost of the flat chanter. Sets can also be made to span C to B or Bb with different chanters.


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