CE Kron
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I have decided to revamp and simplify my product line. For the last eight years CE Kron & Co. has made two models of bagpipe: the Heritage (a copy of Jim McGillivray’s set of old Henderson pipes,) and the “Standard”, which is the pipe the Company has always made. To reduce the cost and complications of maintaining inventory for these two styles of bore the Company will now make only the Standard, with a few modifications. I have used some of the elements of the Heritage to beef up the sound of the bass drone, and to strengthen the pipe overall. These modifications do not effect the ease of setup and the efficiency of the old Standard model.

I have also simplified the range of styles. The Company now offers this pipe in the models noted on the bagpipe gallery page.

The new pipe also looks a bit different, more like older Edinburgh style pipes. It has a slimmer profile, except on the tuning pins, which are beefier.

I have arranged it so that I have as much control as possible over my product. All the parts on my three basic sets are made in my shop. This gives me complete control over my product; I am not dependant on suppliers who have less knowledge and/or lower standards of craftsmanship than I do. Most parts makers (e.g. silversmiths) are not bagpipe makers, so they don’t have knowledge of the finer points of fitting the pieces to the pipe. Most if not all other bagpipe makers buy in at least some of the parts for their pipes, especially the metal parts.

The most profound improvement in the drones comes from my pioneering use of threads to fit metal parts. Prior to this idea almost all, if not all, metal ferrules and ring caps were drifted on, i.e. glued and hammered into place. My method of treating the metal parts the way most of the best makers treated ivory and art. ivory in the past, makes for much more time in the making, but increases enormously the quality of and control over the end product. Costwise, not only do I have to spend more time in fitment, but I have to spend the time making the metal parts as well. Cost and quality both go up. Because threading is so time consuming I decided to forgo base metals, and use only silver. In 1999 the price of silver was low enough that the cost difference between nickel and sterling was small, once the labor cost of threading was added. The price of silver has tripled since then, so my costs have risen as well. Because sterling silver is a very soft metal it is difficult to cut cleanly. My experience in cutting difficult-to-machine metals allows me to thread silver cleanly.

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Listen to Jim McGillivray play our traditionally crafted pipes.
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Charley Kron, master pipe maker and Principal of C.E. Kron & Co. talks about the business of pipe making and the growing demand for quality drones and chanters in the US.
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