Fred Arnold's Product Reviews

  • Reed Absorb Simple but pertinent!, November 26th, 2010
    This is a no-brainer. It is simple and works so well. Even with a water trap in your practice chanter, this "sponge" will absorb humidity and grow to prove it! Keeps your playing clean and stops the saliva from leaking down to your fingers from inside the PC bottom section...
  • Pipes Ready! by Jim McGillivray DVD Great for beginners, November 26th, 2010
    A great instructional video for beginners and intermediates. It contains all the "what you should know about the pipes" & "how-to" to get you going and perform better. It presents it with a humorous twist. Easy to watch, it's not like a one-time movie, but a reference for a pipe band that you will use often.
  • Drone Stoppers Must have, November 26th, 2010
    A must have for all pipers. The drone stoppers will be necessary for the beginner pipers when wishing to only play the chanter and not loose all the air in the bag. Also good when purposely wanting to shut off drones to focus elsewhere, without having to move the bridle down on your drone reeds. A big time saver! Make sure to insert well, they could pop out on your neighbor...
  • Stock Stoppers Must have, November 26th, 2010
    A must have in your pipe case. They fit perfectly in the stocks and are necessary when checking for leaks or seasoning a bag that needs it. Very simple to use.
  • Cameron Practice Pad Good pad, November 26th, 2010
    No worries about aesthetics, this is all you need. The rubber reaches below so it provides great grip on any surface. Soft pad is great for beginners and kids.
  • Jim Kilpatrick Drum Sticks KP2s are nice, November 26th, 2010
    I use KP2s. I think they are the most popular brand and model. Better for most people as the diameter and weight are reasonable for most. The bounce is great, but that depends on your pad or head.
  • Q Reed Practice Chanter Reed Very reliable, November 26th, 2010
    I find these PC reeds very reliable. They compare to the Walsh, and I actually prefer them in Dunbar PCs.
  • Reed Protector Plastic Need it, November 26th, 2010
    Must have to keep your reed in place in your chanter but safe from any collision. I make sure the hole is pierced at the top to let the humidity go out and avoid the reed to build mold.
  • Moose Valve The best, November 26th, 2010
    This is what I use and it's fantastic! Air flows easy (one way) and water is neatly trapped. Just remove the blowpipe and invert your stock to let the fluid build-up evacuate. It makes you realize how much humidity could build in the bag and change your tuning. Luckily, this piece is effective!
  • Chanter Brush Good tool, November 26th, 2010
    Cleans well. Watch out for the rubber tip so it doesn't get pulled off and stuck anywhere... good to have.
  • Stock & Drone Brush Great tool, November 26th, 2010
    Helps you reach where you can't go! This tool does the job well if you want to wipe build-up in your drones and stocks. I suggest you use a cleaning towel after seasoning though, and wipe off the excess.
  • Waxed Black Hemp Sticky!, November 26th, 2010
    Thicker, sturdier and more gooey than the yellow waxed hemp, this hemp is awesome. On an aesthetics point of view, some could prefer it to the bright yellow showing on the drones.
  • Waxed Yellow Hemp Good, November 26th, 2010
    I prefer the black waxed hemp for stocks, but this thinner hemp is good for the reed staple. It gives more finesse for reed height adjustments.
  • McCallum Practice Chanter PC1 PC2 PC4 Trustworthy, November 26th, 2010
    You can trust McCallum. This is my back-up PC and I love the tone of it! I have the long size and it's better to imitate the size and hole spacing of your pipes chanter.
  • Dunbar Practice Chanter Excellent, November 26th, 2010
    This is awesome for beginners as the polypenco is thick and durable. It will remain new looking. The rubber O rings make it easy to maintain, no hemp required. Just remember to separate the two sections to let it breathe out...
  • Airstream Mouthpiece Oval, November 26th, 2010
    If you think a round mouthpiece gets in the way, try this! I find it's more convenient to wrap around with your lips and give a good seal for great air distribution. The thread to screw on your blowpipe is efficient.
  • This is the reference when it comes to bagpiping instruction. 1 of 3 parts, you have to start here.
  • Gordon Duncan- Just for Gordon CD WOW, November 26th, 2010
    If you enjoy bagpipes, you'll love this CD. It even has Thunderstruck on it... I like the drums, but solo pipes are great and GD is going to blow your mind away. Crank the volume up in your car :)
  • SFU Affirmation CD Awesome, November 26th, 2010
    Canadian team! This CD is awesome. It will not be sound or noise, just beautiful music to admire! It's fairly recent, so the technology behind the sound is in fine mode for quality material.
  • SFU Affirmation CD Buy it!, November 26th, 2010
    Another great CD. These teens have amazing talent and keep impressing. Check them out also on YouTube!
  • SFU Affirmation CD Never gets old, November 26th, 2010
    If you're going to buy any from 2009, get this one! SFU World Champs and other great pipe bands. All performances are exceptional. A delight for pipers and drummers. Never gets old!
  • Doug Stronach Tutor & CD Great rudiments, November 26th, 2010
    As a piper, I got this book with CD to get a feel for the snare drum...simple explanations, good sound tracks, good progressive video examples. For the video format, if using a Mac, just get "Flip4Mac". I also use VLC. Nice to hear the accent too!
  • Protector Drum Case Good, November 26th, 2010
    The product brand is actually Protechtor with the h. I have one for a bass drum and it's a must have for longevity. Keeps bumps & bad weather away.
  • Protector Drum Case Yum, November 26th, 2010
    Yum, I tried this a while back and it's liquid candy....hum good!
  • Premier Bass Drum Sounds great, November 26th, 2010
    My pipe band has a Premier bass drum and it's the core of the group. The beat on that drum is sweet. All players need to feel it good. Get the right tone for a pipe band!
  • Premier Aluminum Bass Drum Carrier Nice, November 26th, 2010
    Just set it up and you're good to go. Good support & comfortable.
  • Ty Fry Beaters Platinum Top of the line, March 3rd, 2011
    My tenor drummers, when they want to buy their own set of sticks (rather than go with the ones the band provides them), buy this brand. Ty Frys and Platinum model. The head is smaller which gives more stick room. The shape is meant to spin fast, which is awesome for intermediate to advance players. Lots of style and great dynamics.
  • Bass/Tenor Drum Key Fits fine, March 3rd, 2011
    Sturdy and just the right shape for Premier tenor and bass drums. The hole on the key handle enables you to keep your drum key on your key chain...too easy!
  • Ty Fry Drumming Tutor Tenor guide, March 3rd, 2011
    This package is great. My tenor drummers enjoy it lots. TyFry is pretty unique and knows what he is talking about. The demos are at the right speed for anyone to learn how it's done. It's a full package guide, so worth the price.
  • Premier HTS700 T-Bar Assembly 6909 Easy set-up, March 3rd, 2011
    This is easy to set up. Remember those F clamps go directly on the drum, so the T-Bar can be part of it. Then you take your drum to slide the T-Bar in the carrier. Locks in nicely and provides good stability.
  • Premier HTS 800 Snare Drum Sweet, March 3rd, 2011
    That is one sweet snare drum. This is the one we use my band and it sounds great. Esthetically, they look nice, no matter the color. The F Clamps are easy to set-up on it, and the screws are easy to access to adjust the head. The handles at the bottom are god to have so your drum stays out of the dirt, and as well to carry (put in/out of case).
  • Premier Tension Chrome Bolts Clean, March 3rd, 2011
    Avoid torsion and get new bolts for your drums. If you play often outdoors or in humid places, these are worth it, so you can keep adjusting your drum head. They need no instructions...
  • On The Day DVD Well made, March 3rd, 2011
    I just saw this in theater. I will most likely buy it right here because it's great to show fellow pipe band buddies. It goes in depth getting to know the players, which is nice if you've heard of some over the net before. For beginners, it's great to learn that wherever you are, you should be able to find time to play your chanter.
  • HTS Drum Key Perfect, March 3rd, 2011
    You don't have to think too long here. This is what you need for Premier HTS snare drums!
  • Great CD, I like the Duet & the solos are awesome too!
  • If you bought the volume 1, you'll want to level up with volume 2. If you're a pipe band music fan, then you're getting this for sure!
  • Simon Fraser University - Down Under CD Never goes old, March 3rd, 2011
    This CD never goes old. Varied tracks and includes Blue Cloud, one of my favorites!
  • Little Mac Valve Way to go!, April 23rd, 2009
    Don't waste your time with the flapper valve! It will bend, get out of place, get stuck to the blowpipe, etc. Get the Lil' Mac Valve instead...easy to push in and install, air will get through easily when you blow to fill up your bag and play. Cheers!
  • Kinnaird Carbon Fibre Drone Reeds Great drone reeds, November 26th, 2010
    Great tone from these Kinnaird drone reeds. The bridle is very steady, although it is hard to slide down for minor adjustment: it tends to roll over in bigger increments. I find, comparing with buddies with the same reeds, that the bass drone reed needs particular care for remaining in the drone socket. Besides that, the setup is easy, the adjustments with the allen key do make a difference and are user friendly. Wiping off humidity after long play is simple and there are no worries about how gentle to be with the tongue. Highly recommended as they are 1 element you will trust about your pipes!
  • Pipes Up! by Jim McGillivray DVD Great for your ears!, November 26th, 2010
    Jim says it clearly in the video: this will help you make music and not just sound or noise... A great instructional video for beginners and intermediates, and even more advance players. It contains all the tuning tips to perform better. Although slightly redundant once you understand the technique, it presents it with a humorous twist. Easy to watch, it's not like a one-time movie, but a reference for a pipe band that you will use often.
  • Mouthpiece Protector Great for your teeth, November 26th, 2010
    Great for your teeth, it's also good for your skin as it will irritate less than plastic if you play from the corner of your mouth. I wish they were longer as I don't always play at the tip of my mouthpiece.
  • Korg CA40 Chromatic Auto Tuner Great tool, November 26th, 2010
    Doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but has all you need to tune your instrument very well. Pretty accurate and easy to use. You have to keep pressure on the on/off button to prevent from using battery by mistake...smart!
  • Ezeedrone Reeds Popular, November 26th, 2010
    Those are popular drone reeds. They do the job well. I've upgraded to Kinnaird drone reeds, but this is a safe bet for learners especially, which in my opinion shouldn't resort to the cheapest out there or cane reeds.
  • Maintenance Kit for your Bagpipes Good, November 26th, 2010
    Good kit to have. Save $ by buying the kit. Know that a bigger kit exists out there with more parts, not all necessary though.
  • My tenor drummers use those and they are very slick. I find them short for man\'s size hands, but the feel is right, the look is nice, and the sound produced is quality. Not the best spinners due to their shape, but if you don\'t want to pay for the expensive brand name out there, this is the stick to go with.
  • Premier Aluminum Snare Drum Carrier For steady drum, March 3rd, 2011
    This is a good support. Having tried it, I found the snare drum is really hanging out in the open and could become heavy, but the weight is distributed and well supported if you adjust the support right. The center part actually consists of two bars that you overlap, so you can make the belly pad land just on the right spot to be comfortable.
  • Premier Tenor Drum Good, March 3rd, 2011
    The Premier tenor drum is effective. Just make sure you know what size you want before you order. 18" is big. Think of weight, comfort but also the sound you are looking for.
  • Blow Pipe Flapper Valve Get better, November 26th, 2010
    It is an effective valve for it's price. I suggest you put a bit more money into a better product (Lil' Mac Valve or Moose) to help air be less constricted. That valve is sensitive to the seasoning job and easily comes out of the right spot (or brake) should you not be careful when inserting your blowpipe in the stock.
  • Piper's Third Hand Not a must, November 26th, 2010
    This product is a decent option, but you should get use to tuning without it, especially when not only tuning on low A but high A as well. It's good when starting though.
  • Clanrye Synthetic Chanter Reed Prefer cane, March 3rd, 2011
    I sincerely prefer cane, but I love how the piping world is evolving and looking to enhance our equipment. Great stuff for Kinnaird to offer varied products that exist on the market.
  • Premier HTS 800 Snare Drum Ssweet, March 3rd, 2011