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J. Dunbar Bagpipe Maker


Jack Dunbar learned bagpipe making in the shop of Peter Henderson in the mid-1950s, and his shop continues to make pipes in the Henderson tradition. His pipes and pipe chanters are superbly manufactured and display a rich, vibrant sound. They are easy to reed, and are on the rise as a premier bagpipe, particularly in North America.

While Jack Dunbar was one of the first makers to manufacture chanters and pipes in Polypenco plastic, the success of these synthetic pipes has overshadowed the fact that Dunbar African blackwood pipes are top-drawer instruments: extremely well crafted with threaded mounts, meticulous combing, smooth, even tuning chambers and a full, rich, steady sound that reflects their Henderson pedigree. They are crafted by a single blackwood artisan who makes the entire bagpipe.

Recorded from the front:
Hear Angus MacDowell's "The Irish Guards Welcome to Toronto" played on a set of Dunbar drones with a Dunbar blackwood chanter.

Recorded from behind:
Hear Angus MacDowell's "The Irish Guards Welcome to Toronto" played on a set of Dunbar drones with a Dunbar blackwood chanter.

Dunbar Bagpipes has developed a durable imitation ivory material that is almost impossible to chip, making Dunbar pipes particularly ideal for younger pipers or 'newbies' who might be prone to bumping their pipes into doorways and such.

My school pipe band has played a number of sets of Dunbar pipes for many years and of the 35 sets of pipes the school owns, these are among my most reliable and tonally pleasing instruments. I've been so pleased with their quality and craftsmanship that I now own a set of Dunbar blackwood pipes mounted in engraved silver and Siberian mammoth ivory: a stunning set of pipes, both visually and tonally, and I play them regularly in performance.  

A new young piper with his Dunbars I work closely with the company and offer numerous options with their pipes. The standard instrument comes with a Ross zip bag (with custom-fit cover), a McGillivray Piping Watertrap, a Dunbar polypenco chanter, a set of Ryan Canning drone reeds and top quality silk cords. You may decide to add the Ross Canister components, or substitute a Dunbar or other blackwood chanter.

I focus on Dunbar blackwood pipes. I do not deal in Dunbar polypenco pipes, but I can refer you to a reliable seller.

All blackwood pipes are provided with a non-gloss, hand-rubbed oil finish.

 

 

 




 

 

DB1b: Plain Stainless steel, antique style with chalice bells
Dunbar DB1d This great entry-level blackwood pipe lacks combing, but not class. It is available with chalice bells as pictured, or with the more standard 'military' bell shape. It has blackwood button-mount ferrules and plain nickel slides, ring caps, ferrules and mouthpiece tube. Ferrules are beaded and drone ferrules are closed. These affordable pipes are the same measurements as the highest priced pipes.
DB1d plain tops
This set can also have more traditional military bells.
They come with a Dunbar polypenco chanter. The pipes pictured here have plain aluminum alloy mounts. These are slightly lighter in weight than stainless steel, but identical in appearance.  For Celtic or Victorian engraving on aluminum alloy (DB1d), add Cdn. $590.
Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: Cdn $1385

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $1985

DB2: Plain stainless steel ferrules, ring caps and Imitation Ivory
This blackwood pipe has imitation ivory projecting mounts, while all ferrules and ring caps are threaded aluminum alloy. Ferrules are beaded, drone ferrules are closed.


Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1605

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2205

DB2b: Plain aluminum alloy ferrules, ring caps, slides and Imitation Ivory
DB2b Add four plain (un-engraved) aluminum alloy tuning slides and a mouthpiece tube to the DB2, above.

Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1690

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2320


DB2c: Engraved Aluminum Alloy, Imitation Ivory
Machine-engraved ferrules Add machine-engraving to the aluminum alloy ferrules and ring caps, with engraving available in Celtic or Victorian. All other mounts are imitation ivory. For hand-engraved Victorian on aluminum alloy, add CAD $710.


Metal Patterns
Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1715

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $1990

DB2e: Engraved Aluminum Alloy, Imitation Ivory
Dunbar DB2d Add machine-engraved slides to the DB2c set above, with engraving available in Celtic or Victorian. For hand-engraved Victorian on aluminum alloy, add Cdn $860.

Metal Patterns
Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1825

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2425


DB3:  Full Imitation Ivory
Dunbar DB3 This full imitation ivory mounted pipe has a classic look. It is a great starter blackwood set for a new piper or a great lifetime set for the hobbyist. The imitation ivory is chip-resistant. They are fully combed and beaded, and come with a Dunbar polypenco chanter, Ross zip bag, MP watertrap, Ezeedrone drone reeds and high quality cover and cords.

Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1655

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2205

 

DB4: Full aluminum alloy mounted, half-engraved
Dunbar DB4 This set is half mounted in machine-engraved, threaded aluminum alloy. Mounts consist of engraved ferrules, slides, ring caps with bushings, mouthpiece tube and chanter sole, while the projecting mounts are plain. Machine engraving is available in Celtic or Victorian. Poly blowpipe and blowpipe stock. The pictured set here is hand-engraved on aluminum alloy, add CAD $1,125. The pipes are fully combed and beaded
Metal Patterns
Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $2205

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2760

DB4a: Full Plain Aluminum alloy
Dunbar DB4a These pipes are the same as the DB4 set above, but with no engraving. Blowpipe and blowpipe stock are poly.

Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $1860

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $2425

DB5: Plain silver, imtation ivory (with full-silver add-on)
This is a set of plain half-silvers: the projecting mounts are imitation ivory. The ferrules, ring caps, tuning slides and mouthpiece tube are sterling silver. It comes with a Dunbar polypenco chanter (no sole), Ross zip bag, MP watertrap, Ezeedrone drone reeds and high quality cover and cords.  The blowpipe and blowpipe stock are delrin-lined blackwood which will resist cracking. T. For projecting mounts in African blackwood or cocobolo, add CAD $195.


Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $3275 ( for full plain silver CAD $6530) (for plain silver sole, add CAD $575)

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, blackwood chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $3975 (for full plain silver CAD $7185) (for plain silver sole, add CAD $575)


DB6:  Engraved Silver, imitation ivory

Dunbar engraved half-silvers This is a classic set of beautiful half-silvers: the projecting mounts are imitation ivory. The ferrules, ring caps, tuning slides and mouthpiece tube are sterling silver, hand-engraved in Celtic (Runic), Victorian Zoomorphic or Thistle. Superbly crafted, this is a gorgeous instrument with the full, Henderson sound to match. The blowpipe and blowpipe stock are delrin-lined blackwood which will resist cracking.

For an engraved silver sole, add CAD $915 (premium patterns, CAD $985).


Silver Patterns

Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $5175 (premium patterns CAD $5500)

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, blackwood chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $5850 (premium engraving patterns, CAD $6195)
 



DB7:  Engraved Full Silver

Dunbar engraved full silversImpress your friends, relatives and even yourself with these engraved full silvers. This is a top-of-the-line Highland bagpipe, with all mounts sterling silver, hand-engraved by David Marshall Silverworks in Celtic (Runic), Victorian Zoomorphic or Thistle. This is an enviable instrument and a family heirloom. This set comes with a Dunbar blackwood chanter, Ross zip bag, MP watertrap, Ezeedrone drone reeds and high quality cover and cords. The blowpipe and blowpipe stock are delrin-lined blackwood which will resist cracking.

For an engraved silver sole, add CAD $925 (premium patterns, CAD $985).


Dunbar engraved full silver tenorSilver Patterns

Sticks, stocks, poly chanter only: CAD $8860 (premium engraving patterns, CAD $9495)

Set up to play with Ross zipper bag, poly chanter, Canning or Kinnaird drone reeds, bag cover, cords: CAD $9395 (premium engraving patterns, CAD $9,950)



Dunbar Bagpipe Makers also manufactures a suberb line of pipe chanters and practice chanters which you will find on the appropriate pages in this website.