Manometer Instructions


Instructions for Use of Bagpipe Manometer

The bagpipe manometer is a tool that is used to quickly and accurately set-up and balance the drone and pipe chanter reeds. Is consists of a plastic stock with a low pressure dial gauge mounted on the side where it can be easily viewed.

To use the manometer, remove the drone or chanter from the bagpipe. Place the stock over the reed and seat it against the drone or chanter. Blow into the other end of the stock and read the pressure off of the dial gauge.

The most common uses for the manometer are:
1. Setting up new drone reeds. Check the operating pressure of the chanter reed in the bagpipe where the drone reeds will be installed. Using the chanter reed pressure as a guide, set up the drone reeds so that they shut off between 4 and 8 in-H2O stronger. This will ensure that the reeds don't shut off if the pipes are overblown.
2. Optimizing pipes for air efficiency. Same as in 1, except you can set the drone reeds to shut off just above the chanter reed. You must be an extremely steady blower to get away with this.
3. Grading reeds for strength. You can use the manometer to grade the strength of different drone or chanter reeds. Once you determine what strength of reed suits your set-up, then it is a simple matter to select an appropriate reed with the manometer.
4. Checking for reeds that take too much air. If your pipes are hard, most people suspect that their drone reeds are taking too much air. More commonly, it is the chanter reed that is too difficult. With the manometer, you can check all reeds and determine if one or more reeds are the problem.

The manometer is only a tool to assist you with setting up your pipes. Ultimately, the sound should be the deciding factor in how you balance the drones and chanter.  Sometimes the most air efficient set-up is not the best sounding set-up! Let your ear be the final judge.

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