Before purchasing a set of pipes, there are many things to consider.
New or Used- With new pipes, you know where they came from, how they've been treated, and there is usually a guarantee. With used pipes, there may have been repairs done or it may need some restoration, and you don't know how they've been treated. If you go with used, ask lots of questions and get a second opinion from an experienced piper.
Budget- Know what you are willing to spend. Prices will vary due to maker, material, and ornamentation.
Brand- Ask around to other pipers and retailers to compare various pipes. There are manufacturers in Scotland, the US, Canada, and other parts of the world.
Material- Traditionally, pipes are made from African Blackwood, but there are pipes made of Cocobolo or Rosewood. Polypenco pipes are also available from some makers.
Ornamentation- Most makers have a range of models available, from a basic set to full engraved silver mounts, ferrules, etc. As you increase the ornamentation, you add to the price.
Choose the right chanter- Chanters are made of either wood or Polypenco plastic. If you plan on joining a band, check which they would recommend, as the wood is more traditional and Polypenco chanters have more precision.
Find what you like in your budget. After you have all of that figured out, then you can add your bag, drone reeds, chanter reeds, etc. Make sure that when purchasing bagpipes you shop with a reputable dealer, in order to ensure a good quality set of bagpipes.
See our current selection of Bagpipes