» Balance Tone High Resolution Bb Drone Reeds (IN STOCK)

Good Morning Gerry,
I received my order yesterday with the Balance Tone 466 Bb Drone Reeds and must say Im most impressed and even more of a fan of that reed brand than I was before. Off the charts nice smooth, yet rich sound, easy peasy strike ins, great stability during play and very noticeably air efficient. I use the regular (Not 466 Bb) Balance Tone Drone Reeds in my new set of MacLellan pipes as well. Ive tried a number of other brands to good effect but Balance Tone takes the cake for me as the best all around. My rig is a mid - late 60s Peter Henderson set, now outfitted with the (466 Bb) Balance Tones and a McCallum (466 Bb) Poly Chanter, the end result being a really good sounding set up. Ive tried a number of excellent (466 Bb) chanters over the years but feel the McCallum has the best voice and volume along with very comfortable note hole placement. I used a regular pipe chanter reed (Not 466 Bb) easy/medium Original R01 Shepherd with It which resulted in a nice solid 466 hz from low G through High A while using (NO) tape. Take care and have a great day!
Ron Balance Tone High Resolution Bb Drone Reeds (IN STOCK)

Balance Tone High Resolution Bb Drone Reeds (IN STOCK)

Quantity in Basket: 
Shipping Weight: 
0.25 pounds

Balance Tone High Resolution Bb Drone Reeds easy to set up and play will help bring your drones down to B flat pitch. Designed and manufactured by Bruce Hitchings.

From Bruce:

When I started my company many years ago, I took a scientific approach from the outset. I continue to strive to produce a synthetic reed that does not only equal cane in harmonics but surpasses cane. 
In addition, I have a sound analyzer on my computer. It's a piece of software used by most classical musicians and opera singers to make sure they are obtaining the best harmonics. I have used this to test reeds and have made many adjustments to my own reeds to produce higher harmonics (most other synthetic reeds do not achieve this particularly the carbon fibre tongue ones). Also, most other synthetic reeds constantly leak air. Mine do not and I would never play a reed that was leaking air.
An advantage of synthetic reeds are, of course, that synthetic is not subjected to climatic changes in the way cane is. I have a vintage set of MacDougall pipes which my great-grandfather brought in the 1800s. Naturally, for much of my life I played cane in these pipes we didn't have synthetic reeds in those days but these days I test all my own synthetic reeds in these pipes all of them prior to despatch

About Bruce
I was proud to be Pipe Major of the Queen's Own Highlanders from 1986 to 1992. This photograph shows me in the Pipe Major position at a parade during that period.
On retiring from the British Army I set up Highland Reeds. My drone reeds and moisture control systems have helped pipers and pipe bands achieve a superior tone and stay in tune.
Thank you.

Bruce Hitchings MBE BEM.

bruce09-1024x703Major Bruce Hitchings MBE BEM was born in Huntersville, New Zealand. He started playing the pipes at the age of eleven. By the time he was sixteen he was playing with the New Zealand Champions The City of Wellington Pipe Band.  Bruce visited Scotland in 1975 with the band, and the following year, came back to compete around the Highland Games circuit for what he thought would be a couple of years.

Instead of returning home, Bruce joined The Black Watch Territorial Army as a Piper in 1977. In 1978 he enlisted as a regular into the Queens Own Highlanders. The following year he won the Silver Medal for Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering. The Regiment always endeavored to have its top players compete at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban and the Northern Meetings at Inverness where Bruce won numerous prizes including second in the March and Strathspey/Reel in 1980.

Bruce continued to compete successfully around the Highland Games when his Army career permitted. He attended the Pipe Majors course at Edinburgh Castle in 1980-81 receiving instruction from Captain Andrew Pitkeathly and Pipe Major Angus MacDonald MBE and continued to receive on-going instruction from them until their deaths.

In 1986 he became the Battalion Pipe Major, a position he held for six years and during this time was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM). The last eight years of his military career was spent in the post of WO1 Pipe Major, the Senior Pipe Major, British Army and Chief Instructor at The Army School of Piping, The Castle, Edinburgh.  His main responsibility during this period was the teaching of the future Pipe Majors for the British Army and was rewarded with the Member of British Empire Medal (MBE) for services to Army piping in 2000.

On completion of his regular service, Bruce was commissioned into the Territorial Army with responsibility for the development of piping within the Reserve and Cadet Forces.  After a total of 33 years service, he finally resigned his commission (Major) in 2011 and continues to be held in highest esteem in military and piping circles.

Bruce set up the highly successful Highland Reeds company in 2000 and has developed new piping products with an aim to simplify the science of piping.  His Balance Tone Drone Reeds and range of moisture systems are popular with pipers the world over for both their simplicity and effectiveness. He continues to work on innovative products to make the life of the piper easier.

Throughout his career Bruce played at many prestigious events for both the British Royalty and foreign dignitaries. He remains in demand as a piper through teaching and running schools and workshops in the U.S., Germany, Austria and France on a regular basis. Bruce also judges internationally and at many of the Scottish Senior competitions, including the Silver Medal at the Northern Meetings 2013. He gives recitals in places as far afield as China, New Zealand and the USA.

In 2012 Bruce was appointed a Board Member of the College of Piping and a member of the Piping Committee for the Northern Meeting Piping Competition. He continues to be a Senior Examiner for the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) Pipe & Drums Qualifications Board (PDQB).

Bruce played at many Tattoos during his military career including being the Lone Piper on many occasions one of which was the 2000 Edinburgh Military Tattoo in New Zealand. During the eight years as Senior Pipe Major he was part of the Production Team for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  His responsibilities encompassed leading all military and civilian bands in their performances.

Applying his military career status and using his myriad of military contacts in both British and American services, Bruce is an invaluable asset in any Tattoo production. Since 2014, he was the Producer of the annual Highland Military Tattoo that was held near Inverness, Scotland and puts in uncountable hours of organization as a demonstrated born leader.  In 2011 he produced the first International Military Tattoo in Las Vegas, Nevada and the New York Tattoo in 2013.


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