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Bagpipes Costs

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Buying Bagpipes - How much does a set of bagpipes cost?

Bagpipes are not available at the local music store. Specialty Scottish stores, mail order, and vendors at Highland games and festivals are about the only sources of quality pipes. Even in Scotland, it's a special store that handles pipes and piping accessories. The prices of pipes have increased over the past few years as the cost of the best and most common pipe material, African blackwood, continues to escalate. Consequently, there are a few things that can keep the cost of pipes lower. Two highly-respected pipe makers--Dunbar Bagpipes, here in North America, and McCallum Bagpipes, in Scotland--make all-plastic bagpipe, turned and mounted like those made out of wood, at a significantly lower cost.

More traditionally-minded pipers may have dismissed Polypenco pipes previously, but as more reeds, practice chanters, and pipe chanters are made of plastic, the thought of using made-made materials has gained acceptance. Issues surrounding Blackwood conservation also make these pipes an appealing alternative for some, and as a student, starter, or outdoor set, they're fantastic. Polypenco plastic pipes cost about $650-$1100, depending on the types of ornamentation and engraving. A new, high-quality set of blackwood pipes can cost $1000-$6000+, depending on the ornamentation (hand-engraved silver and gold for example, add considerably to the cost.) The average price for fully combed and beaded blackwood pipes, however, is about $1200-$1600.

You may be tempted by advertisements on eBay and other web sites offering new bagpipes for extremely low prices (often under $300). These pipes are of low quality and are appropriate only for decorative wall-hanging. It is difficult to get these pipes to play correctly and along with other pipes, and they are generally a source of frustration for beginning pipers. Polypenco pipes are an excellent alternative and a far greater value. In addition, we offer layaway plans and financing to help make the investment even more comfortable. 

Bagpipe Materials To Avoid

Materials to avoid are rosewood, cocuswood, boxwood. African blackwood is ideal, and other tonewoods like cocobolo and mopani are being used with great success in smallpipes and as mounts. If you're unsure, check the country of origin. High-quality African blackwood Great Highland Bagpipes are manufactured almost exclusively in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The old adage "You get what you pay for" definitely applies here.

Avoid Rosewood Bagpipes

Avoid Cocuswood Bagpipes

Avoid Rosewood Bagpipes

Avoid Cocuswood Bagpipes

Some people believe that the only good bagpipes are made in Scotland, but this is not necessarily true. There are several fine pipe makers both in the US and Canada, such as Gibson and Dunbar. Pipe making is an industry that employs a very small group of master pipe makers and their apprentices working in small shops.

High-tech mass production has not entered the world of pipe making. Style and appearance vary between the makers. Each make changes that they feel enhance the appearance, sound, or construction of their pipes. The quality of the sound each produces is subjective. Most of the name brands have been around through several generations of pipe making. Before you purchase a set of pipes, it would be wise to consult with your instructor and several other experienced pipes to get some ideas.


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Promotion Details & Exclusions

Promotion applies to standard shipping within the U.S. only. For free shipping, order must total $199 or more before shipping and taxes. Free or flat rate shipping is not available for bass drums, bass drum cases, or bagpipe services. Promotion applies to orders placed on or after November 29. Offer ends December 14, 2012.