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MCS are they really needed?

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.. MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Wed 28 Jan - 19:51:04

Just had a conversation with a well respected PM which got me to thinking.

Richard and I are of the same opinion here that a simple hose water trap is suffice. Granted there will be wetter blowers than others, however I feel the hose will be adequate.

The tendency now fer the Tupperware reeds IMO has lead to the increased need for these Moisture Control Systems, yet there are still some grade 1 bands reverting back to sheepskin bags and Tupperware reeds being used.
The split stock and hose water trap I believe are being used in this situation?.

The Bannatyne MCS is now being used by Drumlough, IMO they have hit the nail on the head with their innovated design and MC granules. The old kitty litter IMO was too severe on the chanter reed absorbing way too much moisture depriving the reed of much needed moisture to operate at the desired level.
Reeds, drone ( cane ) / chanter, need a certain amount of moisture to perform at their best. The Bannatyne system is so versatile the system can be custom set fer each individual piper, even then it's advised that 50% of the chanter section be left in the chamber and the remaining granules be dried only.

Never once do I recall the R.A.M.S nor the Graham Memorial and Ravara come to that, ever having these problems......Sheepskin and cane were the order of the day in all three bands back then.

So the question is, are they really need here in the U.K ?
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Gordy88 on Wed 28 Jan - 23:23:25

Good post Iain,

I remember years ago, sitting on a riverbank fishing, and reading a fishing magazine.

A guy stopped for a chat and we discussed some of the gadgetry in the magazine.

After a while he said, ' about 5% of the stuff in that book is used to catch fish, the rest is to catch fishermen'.

I reckon he was bang on, and I also think that we in the pipe band world, are now being gadgetted to death. Some one comes up witha must have invention, but in turn it causes a problem that needs another gadget to fix, ie Goretex bag, and then a MCS

Some of my band use tupperware reeds with sheepskin bags, some use cane, but all of us use the split stock set up you mention.

Personally I would like to experiment a bit more with the length of the hose, ie a dryer blower getting away with a shorter one.

It seems to average out for us, I'm pretty dry, but Queezer is a real slabber,( but you knew that laughing ) He is the wettest blower i've seen, and must tip about a pint of spit at a contest.

As for the MCS, IMO it depends on the player, how wet he is, how much blowing he's doing, and if he is in a band environment.

I have had a set of MG reeds in for a couple of weeks, and found them to be much more water resistant than the crozier carbon I had been playing,

As soon as the Crozier got any moisture on the blade, it went haywire, but they are a good reed, I played them 2 years ago with Cullybackey all season, used a ross set up, with regular changes of the crystals, and never had a problem.

I did cheat however, the ross kitty litter is designed to absorb liquid, I changed mine to a silica gel based crystal, same as the wee teabag you get with electrical goods, as it is designed to absorb moisture from the air. I had no troubles, but neither did anyone using the normal crystal.

As the MG reeds are made from 'Tuffnol', which is a cotton based man made 'artificial wood' they might be drawing some of the moisture away from the reed too.

To answer your point, I think they are necessary in a band set up, as it will even out the differing wetness levels,

For occasional home use, a bottle is fine, even a beer towel in the bag would do, remembering to open the bag to dry it out at the end of play

One thing you mentioned was cane set up, Used to be I stuck in cane reeds,a nd never had much trouble with them, lot of people are now trying cane, and having troubles, even people who know what they are doing, so it makes me wonder if the quality of cane is as good as it once was?

cheers
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Thu 29 Jan - 0:41:26

Good stuff Gordy, gotta agree wi a lotta wat yer sayin'. Not too sure though about the cane aspect, the makers decide on the cane.......can't see the cane being the factor here, it's the reedmakers choice. More to do wi the maker I'd say.

Harry just got some Hepburn cane, pure class. Great workmanship, each reed was near a clone of each other. Took a bit more air than my present reeds, but that's not a bad thing wi a cane reed, easy sorted, the reverse would give more trouble.
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by stormy on Thu 29 Jan - 13:52:09

For many years, in fact since I first started playing, I was indoctrinated into cane reeds and a sheepskin bag.
I was classed as a "wet" blower and tried severel options over the years. I ended up using a "watertrap stock" as the best method of controlling the water.
In 1994 I started to use a Goretex bag (not with a zipper) and Ezeedrone reeds.
The bag has an internal tube.

I was forever emptying a build up of water from the stock when playing the sheepskin bag but have never found any any moisture at all gathering in the tube with the Goretex bag.

I personally think that it is all to do with how much you know about the reed you are playing. Some reeds need more or less moisture than others to produce the sound.
I am confident that with my experience I am able to recognise whether the reed (chanter) should be kept in the pipes or taken out and put into a dummy stock. This action enables the reed to retain moisture or to dry out.

MCS are not for me personally but in a drier climate, who knows.

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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Thu 29 Jan - 18:44:11

Cheers John, pretty much the same as Gordon and myself then.

The thing is.........not everyone has been taught nor brought up on sheepskin / hide bags.
The positive I can see for it is puts all members on a level playing field.
The most impressive thing about the Bannatyne MCS is it's flexibility to enable the system to be set according to each and every pipers needs, and, the system allows enough moisture ( as you correctly pointed out ) to reach the reeds without them getting overly soaked by the wetter blower.
So in this case it is a massive plus for a PM to know the variables have been cut.

You all know by now how the likes of Stormy,Richard,Gordon and myself feel about all these gizmos........but in all honestly this Bannatyne MCS does IMO have the upper hand over the rest.
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Piping Connections on Fri 30 Jan - 0:57:01

Yep i honestly believe the Bannatyne MCS will take over from the Ross system as the one to have

as a PM of a G4 band its a requirment to have something and this looks like the new system we will buy !!!!
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Fri 30 Jan - 15:45:50

Well Richard the feedback so far is very positive, just put mine in last night, played fer a short time and found no decline in drone nor chanter volume ( one of my main concerns ), installation was also very easy, and IMO has a better stock seal than other hybrid bags.
The best thing I found was that the drone stocks can be angled to suit, not a predetermined position, a big plus in my book for comfort, both yourself and Gordon Stafford have been excellent in our transformation to this new set up.
The staff and back up service at Bannatyne has been very helpful and instant.

Maybe this change will help the band step up that little extra 'n push for more placings this year.

Yet again, a big thank you to both pipingconnections and Bannatyne for their help.
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by woody790 on Sat 31 Jan - 20:01:32

Hi all never posted hear before & dont want to annoy anyone. Been reading bout the diffrent systems & no one has talked bout the V3 is this cause its poor or good or past it? Cheers for now.

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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Sat 31 Jan - 20:07:58

TBH the only two I've used and can comment on are the Ross & Bannatyne, the latter wins hands down in all departments.
The V3 system I can't comment on from a personal point of view, but it never gets any good reviews, sorry.

Woody790, yer not going to annoy anyone, post away anytime about any subject, we are here to help.

Good to have you onboard, we'd rather you took part and get involved. Pint
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by scots wa hae on Sun 1 Feb - 12:25:04

Redneck, I thought you were a hide n cane player like myself? But to be honest Ive read this post a few times been on bannatynes site and Im intrequed to say the least, now I know Im a wet blower but how wet compared to others I dont know, Ive never got abody round and measured the spit produced after a session!!! Ive got to say even though I fancy trying the mcs set-up Im still a little undecided it seems alot of dosh if its a load o bollox so to speak. I think Ill keep in touch wi you and get updates of the progress wi the set up if thats OK before I make the jump.


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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Piping Connections on Sun 1 Feb - 15:32:45

woody790 wrote:Hi all never posted hear before & dont want to annoy anyone. Been reading bout the diffrent systems & no one has talked bout the V3 is this cause its poor or good or past it? Cheers for now.
The v3 is an ok system m8 - better than yon yellow dug leg things yev got in the noo
I am just very very impressed with the bannatyne system - and i had played the ross system for 6 years
time will tell but i think it will be the system to have

Scots - Iain has to do as he is told with Drumlough so its goodbye to his sheep and cane untill he is in charge laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Redneck on Sun 1 Feb - 17:31:22

Piping Connections wrote:

Scots - Iain has to do as he is told with Drumlough so its goodbye to his sheep and cane untill he is in charge laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing

Naw m8, one thing about the leadership in the 'Lough......if it works use it, am given a free hand lol. Like yerself ad prefer the old way, but as ya said if ya can't relie on people to look after their instrument then this Bannatyne system levels the playin' field, 'n cuts out the variables.

Happy wi the Canning reeds, but if Hepburn cane works then al use 'em.....put the Canning's in ma wee first aid box as an emergency fix...lol.
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Piping Connections on Sun 1 Feb - 18:25:36

Redneck wrote:

Naw m8, one thing about the leadership in the 'Lough......if it works use it, am given a free hand lol. Like yerself ad prefer the old way, but as ya said if ya can't relie on people to look after their instrument then this Bannatyne system levels the playin' field, 'n cuts out the variables.

Happy wi the Canning reeds, but if Hepburn cane works then al use 'em.....put the Canning's in ma wee first aid box as an emergency fix...lol.


laughing laughing laughing light blue touch paper and stand well back laughing laughing laughing laughing
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Piping Connections
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Registration date : 2007-10-13
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

Post by Gordy88 on Sun 1 Feb - 18:46:27

Redneck wrote:
Piping Connections wrote:

Scots - Iain has to do as he is told with Drumlough so its goodbye to his sheep and cane untill he is in charge laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing

Naw m8, one thing about the leadership in the 'Lough......if it works use it, am given a free hand lol. Like yerself ad prefer the old way, but as ya said if ya can't relie on people to look after their instrument then this Bannatyne system levels the playin' field, 'n cuts out the variables.

Happy wi the Canning reeds, but if Hepburn cane works then al use 'em.....put the Canning's in ma wee first aid box as an emergency fix...lol.

The only time you've got a free hand, is when you're heading back to the bar!!! laughing laughing
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.. Re: MCS are they really needed?

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